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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

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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Business Marketing

Unsplash is the secret weapon for seekers, and creators of unique images

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It’s free, it’s great, it’s free, it’s a marketing multi-tool, and it’s FREE. Why aren’t you using Unsplash already? It has great exposure!

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I really can’t stand seeing the same thing over and over again.

Might be my slutty, slutty, non-brand-monogamous Milleniality showing, but I reeeeeeally feel like something’s wrong when I can’t tell two different companies (or WRITERS) apart because they’ve aped the same template, or bought the same cheap font, or used the same stock photos.

He’s a cutie, but I can only see that surprised toddler in the pink shirt and gray vest so many times. And I guarantee at least 85% of people reading this know exactly which baby I’m talking about, hence the issue I’m having.

That’s where Unsplash has been my friend.

I was introduced to the image search engine in my last job: hundreds of thousands of hi-res images for 100% free, which yeah, was just my boss saving money on subscriptions to pay for our office snacks. But I was pleasantly surprised by the cool stuff I could find!

How it works is; well first, pretend you’re a photographer. One amongst many. And you specialize in, say, bomb ass macrophotography. Except the people who need your services A: Don’t know the difference between your specialty and someone who can use the zoom button, and thus B: Aren’t finding your portfolio because they don’t even know what they’re looking for.

If you’re willing to let people use some of your photos, you can host images on Unsplash, tag them with keywords, and ideally get some subtext or alt-text credit.

It’s not like a paying gig, it’s more like passing out fliers to super warm leads.

Now pretend you’re writing for a nature blog. Justifiable crackdowns on unpaid intellectual property mean that when your client says ‘Just pull some stuff from Google, it’s whatever’, you’re not actually going to do that. But there’s no budget for a subscription to anything, so what now?

You check out Unsplash is what. Then you find that macrophotographer’s amazing pictures of leaves and such, and bookmarking their gallery gives you a way to harmonize all the preview images you use for the ‘5 Most Ominous Things I’ve Found in the Austin Greenbelt’ article you’re working on with everything else on the site.

As a master manipulator of text/feelings myself, I’m also really into the fact that since anyone with a camera, anywhere in the world can host their images, I’ve got a lot of diversity in styles, locations, and of course human subjects. I really enjoyed that I could look up ‘CEO’ and find a Vietnamese woman and a Canadian man sharing the first page and probably a complicated relationship with France as a concept.

And I noticed something else.

Quite a few of these images were branded! As in Harley Davidson, Boxed Water, and more have Unsplash accounts, with their products on display to be used whenever people look up words like ‘freedom’ and ‘quirky’ and ‘hydrate’.

You literally can hire a photographer to take pictures of people in various situations wearing your brand of pillbox hats, and get photos of your product placed any and everywhere!

Now of course there are a few wee drawbacks.

Credit isn’t guaranteed, so whether you’re a brand or a photographer, you may not have your name on your work when it’s displayed, especially on preview images.

You also won’t be notified as to WHERE your photos are being used, so if your properly gloved and be-pillboxed gals end up photoshopped with digital Sharpie mustaches and used in an anti-fancy fashion postpunk op-ed, that’s out of your control.

On the searcher side, the AI is a little off as you scroll through. You might be distracted by photos of fighting racoons being auto-tagged as dogs hugging, and lose time laughing and taking screenshots, and then explaining why you’re posting to Tumblr during work hours.

Still worth it, by the way.

Ultimately Unsplash has been my ace-in-the-hole when it came to advancing the radical left agenda by viciously adding different ages, races, and settings to my last gig’s newsletters, and it’s another great resource for anyone in the ‘get/KEEP your name out there’ stage of business.

Hitch up your water wings, dive in, and make an un-splash!

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