I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit to this, but during my daily drives to and from the office (about 25-30 minutes each day), I listened to quite a bit of both the Conrad Murray and Casey Anthony trials on my satellite radio. It’s not that I’m a total gossipmonger, but (having not gone to law school) I was intrigued by the methods of questioning used by the prosecutors in these cases.
Commentators stated that litigators, when interviewing witnesses on the stand, never ask a question for which they don’t already know the answer. Using the Socratic method of questioning, attorneys can actually use carefully worded questions to lead to a particular train of thought.
While I ain’t no Socrates (or Plato, rather), this is certainly a very convenient method to use when speaking with bank employees about short sales. Instead of alienating and bullying, see the conversation with the bank employee as a method of obtaining answers—perhaps the ones that you want to hear.
Use Leading Questions
Short Sale Listing Agent: Thanks for ordering the BPO (Broker Price Opinion). How long should it be until I hear from the agent?
Bank Employee: You should hear something in less than 7 days.
Short Sale Listing Agent: What happens if I do not get a call from the BPO agent?
Bank Employee: Let me know and I will see what I can do.
Short Sale Listing Agent: Sometimes it’s hard to get ahold of you because you are so busy. Is there a better way to reach you?
Bank Employee: Well, if I don’t get back to you in 48 hours, you can call my manager.
Short Sale Listing Agent: While I have you on the phone, can I get your manager’s name and contact information?
Of course, I always want the contact information for the negotiator’s supervisor at the very beginning. And, often times, that information is not easy to come by. But, with a little help from Plato and a few prominent attorneys, that information can be freely provided in a sweet, innocent conversation. Hey, I guess there may be something to that philosophy stuff, after all.
Photo: flickr creative commons by Avia Venefica