Admitting your weaknesses, let alone talking about your weaknesses, can be difficult! But as the old saying goes, the first step is accepting it.
The challenge is that with weaknesses specific to your apartment community come prospect objections.
Although objections are rarely great news, they do indicate interest and are an opportunity for you – an opportunity to overcome the weakness and close the deal.
The first step in overcoming community weaknesses is preparing yourself. Many sales people fear their weaknesses, but you cannot avoid them. Objections are a key part of your job. After all, a prospect that has zero objections is often a prospect that isn’t going to lease from you. Your prospect is asking questions or raising concerns about a weakness because they are interested. You are in the power position. If you want to convince your prospect that you are the right community for them, you have to be mentally and emotionally prepared, and you must steer clear of the natural defense mode. A question about a weakness is not an attack; it is merely a misunderstanding. Cue your opportunity to educate and engage your prospect in an easy and comfortable dialogue.
When a prospect presents you with their hesitations, be empathetic and understanding by acknowledging your weakness (or their objection) for exactly what they are. Learn to agree and to say yes. By agreeing and confirming the weaknesses you can move on to resolving the problem for them. It is important not to let one weakness taint your own impression of the community. Become comfortable by practicing and learning from each conversation you have.
Once you are prepared you must work towards increasing your credibility. When a prospect looks at your weakness, he weighs it against your strengths and then decides whether to lease from you. Your job is to ensure that your strengths outweigh your weaknesses and that those weaknesses become non-issues. You can use these opportunities to become a problem solver, which will then increase your credibility for your prospect.
The following tips will help increase your credibility while also overcoming your competitive weaknesses:
- Treat every prospect as if he’s the most important person in the room
- Focus on the prospect’s needs to establish trust
- Listen carefully and never make assumptions
- Offer information and educate the prospect
- Explain the benefits of living at your community
- Share stories about similar situations or concerns
- Don’t pressure the prospect for a decision
The more you educate your prospect, the more your prospect believes that you understand his problem and have the skills and qualifications to solve it. Listen to your prospect carefully so you can determine which points are most important to your prospect. Be careful not to offer boilerplate solutions before you have genuinely listened to your prospect’s problem.
Lastly, keep the line of communication open. If the prospects says no now, that isn’t a forever no. Make sure the prospect knows that you are always happy to answer questions, whether it is now or in the future. This builds trust better than anything else, and trust can overcome any community weakness or objection.