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Using tie-down phrases to close more deals

Want to close more deals? Change your wording to elicit “yes” responses by using tie-down phrases.

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tie down phrases

Increasing your success rate

Do you ever fear that you sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher when trying to close a deal – like the person on the other end has no interest in deciphering your nonsensical gibberish? As a businessperson, it’s normal to have a spiel to reel in prospects, but if your wording is passive and doesn’t engage with the listener, they’re more likely to tune you out and get lost in their own thoughts. One way to increase your success rate during a pitch is by using tie down phrases.

A tie down phrase is normally fashioned in the form of a question and is used to elicit a response from the listener. By turning a statement into a question, the speaker is able to invoke acknowledgement from the client and hear their opinions on things rather than spending an hour reciting a bunch of information to this person while their eyes glaze over.

For example, if you’re a Realtor showing a house to a married couple with children, and you want to draw attention to a picturesque window, rather than stating: “This window is great. You can see the whole backyard from here,” a better way to start the conversation would be to ask, “Wouldn’t it be great to look out of this huge window and see your kids playing there – that would make such a great memory wouldn’t it?”

Getting the response you’re looking for

The first statement is likely to receive no response as the person is probably thinking about where they’re going to go for lunch later. The question with the tie down phrase could also not get a response, but the person would look foolish if you ask a question and they remain silent. It’s more likely to get an emphatic yes and the client may even launch into a story about how their parents use to watch them from the window during their childhood.

In another instance you may say: “This condo is a property that’s been well maintained and will alleviate the stress of doing any handiwork yourself. Wouldn’t that be great if you didn’t have to worry about doing any repairs?”

Your client is likely to nod their head in agreement or say yes – because after all, who would want to be obligated to fix a housing disaster?

By emphasizing aspects that people can relate to in a tie down phrase that elicits a “yes” from your client, you develop a sense of camaraderie with that person and can leverage that positivity to close the deal. Eliciting involvement from your client and nudging them to provide input to the conversation increases the level of interactivity and maintains their interest in what you’re talking about.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. JasonBlackburn

    August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Tie down questions are great but are too often overused and ask for answers to questions that are not really important to the client. An agent may get them involved, but it also may annoy them and the next weekend they are looking at houses with another agent. Tie down questions became popular when Tom Hopkins wrote his real estate book back in the late 70s, and many trainers still teach the technique without updating when and how to best use them. A better way is to use a technique called MEMO with tie down questions. MEMO = Mention Early, Mention Often. So once I discover a buyer’s dominant buying motive (DBMs = Pride, Profit, Love, Need, or Fear) I mention what features of the homes we are viewing meet their primary and secondary DBM and then use a simple tie down to ascertain if that feature indeed satisfies their want or need. For instance, a buyer is moving because they recently got a promotion and can afford to move up, in talking to the buyers I ask them if there was one room in their current house they could blow up, what would it be, and they respond the kitchen and dining room, because they have always wanted to host dinner parties and family gatherings in a place large enough and nice enough to impress their friends and to annoy the sister that has hogged all the Thanksgiving dinners. I now know what feature of the layout is most important to the buyers and what their primary DBM is – Pride. Now I can structure my tie down questions to demonstrating, validating, and gaining agreement that a home meets their satisfies their primary DBM Using MEMO and ties downs. For instance, ” Folks, one of the main reasons I wanted to show you this home was because while many homes meet all of your basic wants and needs, this home a special kitchen and dining room. They are perfect for entertaining large groups for formal and informal gatherings, and with the bay windows and the sliding door leading out to the deck, all your guests cannot only be envious of the home, but also the view you get to enjoy everyday. I think this is home that can get your family over here next Thanksgiving. What do you think would be their reaction?” 

  2. BlueFernRE

    August 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    great post! 
     
     @BlueFernRE    
    https://bit.ly/bluefernblog

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Business Marketing

How to make sure your newly remote team stays productive.

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The tide of change is rolling in and may never recede again, so managers should know how to handle the new normal, here’s some advice.

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The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people work. Working from home is the new normal. It’s not only employees who have to think about how they perform, but managers have to learn new skills to keep their team engaged and efficient. I’ve worked on remote teams for over 6 years. Here are some things that have helped me.

Ask “What can I do to help you?”

I’ve worked with some great managers and some awful ones. The best ones had a collaborative attitude when discussing problems. Instead of laying blame, the question was “what can we do to correct this?” It takes a little longer to think in those terms if you’re not used to it, but it reduces stress. If you’re communicating through email or message apps, it pays to reread before hitting send. We’re all learning new skills in this new normal.

Make sure your employees have the technology they need

One of the companies I work for has specific programs they use and technology requirements. Before I was allowed to proceed through their final onboarding, they made sure that I could access their technology. If your team is working from home, they need to have the resources to be productive. It’s not just computers and software, but access to internet. One of my friends said that it took them over an hour to upload a 5-minute video to Facebook.

Define success; don’t micro-manage

As I’m writing this, Ask a Manager’s Alison Green posted a question about “what’s reasonable to expect from parents who are working from home. Just a reminder that managers may have to lower expectations from their team, not only for parents, but for everyone. I don’t have kids at home, but there are many distractions out of the ordinary. Managers have to accept that people aren’t going to be as productive in these not-so-normal-times. Identify priorities. Check in when you’re on a deadline. Find a balance between managing and micro-managing.

We’re all just trying to do the best we can

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you work, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all adapting to these crazy times. How managers handle their teams will set the tone for years to come. If you want to keep those employees who have been hard workers, you’re going to have to adjust to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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Business Marketing

Easy email signature builder quickly updates your info

(BUSINESS MARKETING) When’s the last time you updated your email signature? That long? You might want to look at just sign, a new, quick, and easy, email signature generator.

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just sign email

The last thing any of us are thinking about right now is email. While we’re all staying safer at home, though, it’s a good time to think about all the little things that need our attention, but typically get neglected: clearing out the email inbox, unsubscribing from things no longer relevant, and updating our email signatures. Why the email signature?

Oftentimes, we change emails when we change jobs and forget to change our signatures to reflect our new address. The same is true with social media; if we happen to change jobs, due to our own choice or by necessity thanks to the virus, we may need to update our social media profiles accordingly, especially if the new job suddenly makes this a requirement.

One of the fastest ways to update your email signature is with a generator. An email signature generator can help you quickly make a professional looking signature in about half the time it would take you to manually add each individual component.

Just Sign is one of the quickest options I’ve seen. This email signature generator is ultra simple, ultra easy, and ultra effective. It allows you to add clickable social links, a profile picture or logo, and all relevant contact information. It also allows you to choose a color scheme and tailor the formatting a bit to your preferences. As you begin to add options to your signature, you can see a preview of what the final product will look like in the right-hand panel.

Just Sign welcome

This allows you to make any necessary changes before downloading the finished product. When you have your signature perfected, simply click the purple “generate signature” button and you’re ready to go.

Just Sign is an easy, quick way to check another thing off your to-do list while we’re all at home. If you have already updated your signature, you might save this link for later use as it’s a good idea to revisit your signature a few times a year. Oftentimes, I revise mine simply to keep the attached picture updated. Have you updated your signature lately? Do you plan to? Let us know what you think of Just Sign.

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Business Marketing

How one employer beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.

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Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make personnel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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