Handle Objections And Have Fun! ©
By Patty Morgan-Seager

When we talk or think about handling objections in the leasing process, why do we automatically associate the word overcome with the word objection? Just for fun, start your next leasing meeting with your leasing team by asking each person to write down the word overcome.  Now, have each person write down the first five to eight words that come to mind when they hear or see the word overcome.  Take a few minutes and ask each team member to share one or two words on their list. What kinds of words have surfaced as a result of this brief exercise?  Win, lose, conquer, fight, war, battle, harm, are just a few examples of the types of words you will find your leasing team has written down.  Now ask yourself this question, “Are these the types of words I want my leasing teams to associate with their thought process when it comes to handling objections in the leasing process?  Of course not!  You want your teams focused on the win-win or problem-solving approach when faced with objections from future residents.  So…from now on, instruct your leasing teams to replace the word overcome with the words anticipate/resolve. This will encourage your teams to focus on resolving rather than overcoming objections. In this article, I will share with you a nine-step process to anticipate/resolve objections in the leasing cycle, and have fun at the same time!

1.  Seek To Identify All Possible Objections.

Meet with your entire leasing team and ask everyone on the team for the top ten objections they get/hear most often.  Create a fun, team building environment that will encourage your leasing teams to be open and honest when stating their objections.  In addition, explain to your leasing teams that sharing objections which are specific to their community will prove to be a very beneficial, and an eye-opening exercise for the entire leasing team.

2.  Write These Objections Down.

As your leasing teams share their specific objections, be certain that each of these objections is written down and visible to your entire team. This process sends a powerful message to each person that every objection counts. It will also show your leasing teams that often their objections will also be the same objection given by other members on their leasing team.

3.  Script Objection Responses/Answers For Each Objection That Is Written Down.

Ask for feedback from each team member, and assign a specific person to record the various responses as they are given. Encourage each of your leasing team members to share their current response/answer with their leasing team.

4.  Implement Sales Tools That  Support Each Response.

Testimonial letters from existing residents, comparison charts (that compare your amenities, value-added resident services, and rental rates with those of your competitors), an article that has appeared in print about your community or management company, etc., will add credibility and confidence for your leasing team.

5.  Rehearse Your Newly Created Scripts.

After successfully crafting a response for each objection, schedule several fun role-playing sessions with your leasing teams, so each person is familiar with each scripted response. Continue practicing with your teams until the customized scripts feel and sound natural.

6.  Try The Responses Out.

Have your leasing teams use their new custom designed responses with other team members, family, friends, and real prospects. Instruct your leasing teams to ask each person they practice with for truthful input and make the suggested changes.

7.  Tweak The Responses.

Each time you role-play with your leasing teams, you will hear and implement changes to these objection  scripts.  Make the changes and continue practicing. Suggest to your leasing teams they discuss with each other how effective their objection responses are being received, when they return to your leasing center after each apartment tour.  Be certain to encourage your leasing teams to write down suggested changes to their objection responses as they arise.

8.       Create A Master Notebook.

Give each person on your leasing teams his or her own personal copy of the written objections with the suggested responses. If your company already has a property notebook or product knowledge binder, simply add an additional tab or section titled “Resolving Objections”. Added bonus! When you hire a new person for your leasing teams, he or she has a valuable leasing tool to assist him or her in their closing success.

9.  Meet Regularly.

Continue to meet often with your leasing teams, and discuss any changes or revisions that need to be made to their newly scripted objections. This is a very important step in the nine-step process for handling objections as this will keep their objections and responses current and concise.  Be certain that each leasing team keeps their notebook updated with the most recent objection response revisions.

By following this nine-step process, you will give your leasing teams the ability to anticipate/resolve objections.  It just requires preparation and practice, a little time and the creativity to make it happen. Try it! It’s FUN, and you will be amazed at the positive effect on your leasing team’s ability to resolve their objections and close more leases with much more ease and a higher level of confidence.

Want to hear more about this important objection-solving topic? Send an E-mail to pattymorgan@seagermarketing.com or fax a note to (614) 761-8587.

Author:  Patty Morgan-Seager, president of Patty Morgan-Seager and Associates, Inc. is a national speaker and consultant who designs custom training programs for the multi-housing industry and other sales and servicing organizations.  She is former national sales trainer and regional director for a national publishing company and is known for her genuine enthusiasm, professionalism and unique ability to motivate her clients to their highest potential.  Patty can be reached at (614) 761-2567 or by E-mail at pattymorgan@seagermarketing.com.

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