wHow not to dread the request for a real estate commission discount anymore.
Jennifer Nelson, co-founder of Metropolist and the Learning Lab, jumps in with practical suggestions and considerations to this could-be-offensive question some clients ask.
So, I know you have heard it before… the dreaded question of Can I get a discount on your commission?
But I would like to outline why this question doesnt have to be a dreaded one anymore. In fact, I want you to know exactly how to answer this, or should I say, how to question this.
When a potential client, or even a long-time client, asks you for a discount we automatically assume this is because they want to save money.
But we dont really know their motivation yet, do we?
It could be that their dad told them to always ask, or maybe they just want to see what will happen. Perhaps they are testing you to see how you will respond.
The question you should ask in return
I’ve found that the best way to handle the commission discount question is to ask them a question in return.
I usually say something like, “I am interested to know why you are asking?”
This turn in the conversation usually changes the whole dynamic. The client then has to answer to you about why they are asking. Some client answers I have heard:
- they just wondered if I ever do that
- they are interviewing others who do
- they only want to work with someone who does offer commission discounts
All of these answers help me to know which direction to go within the conversation.
For the first, I simply need to clarify how I work. I simply, and kindly, let them know that in fact, I do not offer commission discounts. Why? Because it is an integrity issue for me… and treating everyone the same is the name of the game.
For the second one, I usually ask a follow-up question about why they are interviewing both full-service brokers and discount brokers. What is it they are looking for in terms of an outcome?
For the third person who might answer that they will only hire a discount broker, my question is then why did you call me?
Definitely say it with a smile
Most often I find that by just smiling and saying no and asking good questions, this objection goes away. I am fully confident I have won more business by not discounting than if I had given in to their questions.
Stay firm but calm and carry on!
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