To Know and Not to Do Is Not to Know

To Know and Not to Do Is Not to Know

My guess is that if If you have been in sales for more than 24 hours, you have already heard that if you don’t have a prospect if they are not ready, willing and able to purchase a home. You have a suspect. The reason this is included in this series of ‘lessons’ is that too few sales agents understand how important each of the three qualifications is.

Obviously “able” means “can afford it and can prove it.” It also means they can make the buying decision without third party approval. If they need someone else, say a parent, to approve their buying decision, there are in fact, not able to buy. This is the easiest of the three ‘musts” to determine. They either qualify for a home in the price range they can pay or they don’t.

What does “Ready” mean? This means they are motivated to make a decision to buy now. They are not looking for something to purchase in 6 months. They are ready now.

“Willing” means they are willing to make a purchase decision if they see what they want and can afford it. These prospects ask questions, have objections, and need your help. They are willing to spend time looking at homes, and may find some they like, but are not willing to make an offer because there is no urgency to make one This is the group that can afford the home, will spend weeks looking at homes, then decide to wait.  Just because they are approved for a mortgage does not mean they will buy.

These are important lessons, not just to know, but to understand how they apply. Here is how I learned them, then learned how to apply them.

Just out of college, I needed a job but I wanted one that would teach me how to sell. I knew I would need this skill somewhere along the line and I did not the sales experience I needed. For 30 months I went door to door selling Baby Butler, a safety feeding table and safety crib.

It did not take me long to learn what “not ready” meant.

My prospects were expectant first- time mothers who used a self addressed stamped post card to request a free Dr. Spock baby book. I set up an appointment to deliver the book and show a baby safety film. The film showed the danger of high chairs and the safety features of my products.

When I made an in-home presentation to a couple who could afford the product, needed baby furniture, but were not willing to purchase it from me, I learned what “willing’ meant. I also learned that of the three: ready, willing, and able, ‘willing’ was the one qualification I could control and that if the spouse was only in an early pregnancy, they were not quite ‘ready’ to buy yet.

The Lesson: It’s easy to determine if they are financially able, and if you are a good qualifier you can easily take their ‘ready’ temperature. Bu for them to be willing to make a buying decision today or soon, requires careful attention to the homes you show. Even then, urgency plays an important role.

Next time you have a minute to look in the mirror, and ask yourself honestly how you are doing when it comes to understanding applying the ready, willing and able conditions that so impact your commissions.


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