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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

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

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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