Everybody hates difficult customers.
And real estate is no exception.
In my case, being unable to placate difficult customers made me almost want to quite real estate all those years ago.
But things changed after I realised that I could actually take back control.
And things did change for the better for me.
But I guess there are other agents out there who still need help in this area.
And today I decided to discuss about difficult customers and how you can permanently handle such people.
How to Handle Nightmare Clients
The biggest mindset shift came to me from my mentor Dan Kennedy.
He taught me this golden principle:
You are the REJECTOR, not the rejectee.
That was an eye opener for me.
I realised I was the one letting such customers do that to me.
It was my fault.
So the first thing I needed to do was to get better at qualifying prospects.
Because, if I let unqualified prospects do business with me, just because I needed their money so desperately, I would have given them permission to walk all over me.
They would ruin my peace of mind and give me hell.
I couldn't let that happen to my sanity.
In short, it was my responsibility to make sure that I respect myself enough.
That self-respect demanded others treat me the way they themselves wanted to be treated by others.
What did I do with my difficult customers
For the 20% most difficult customers who were really giving me 80% of all headaches (remember Pareto's 80/20 Principle?), I simply FIRED them.
I fired them quickly.
I told them gently that we were not a good fit and that they better look for business with someone else willing to tolerate their drama.
(Yes, I said that to their faces in a soft tone and watched their reactions.)
Of course they were angry, which wasn't anything outside of their character anyway. But I was calm and remained firm.
Then with the remaining clients, I had a heart-to-heart talk and told them I had certain expectations too, ,just like they expected me to do a great job in helping them with their home buying or selling needs.
They were of course, very understandable.
NO BS Secret Number 1:
90% of the time, the CHEAPEST clients are usually the WORST!
So I stopped selling low-priced real estate.
I even stopped negotiating my commission!
Did my business life improve? You bet!
But it took massive courage from me to stand my ground and demand respect. That was the day I realised that courage and boldness can take you far in personal relations.
The most important thing I managed to salvage was my dignity and sanity.
But that's a bit extreme example, isn't it?
Extreme clients require extreme solutions.
We're independent business owners, not slaves to homeowners.
We have families to feed and a tough business to run, without cushy jobs and guaranteed fat salaries.
We're entrepreneurs who solve problems for a profit
We can't afford to let some people with daddy issues walk all over us and make our own lives miserable.
We deserve happiness too.
We're human beings with emotions too.
We have bad days and bad moods too.
The fact of the matter is, we're all human.
Don't let bad customers walk all over you just because you need their money desperately; FIRE them and live to sell another day!
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Yasser Khan is a real estate coach, speaker, and trainer at YasserKhan.SG who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S.
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