Originally published on Advisor Perspectives, March 27, 2019
We can all learn a lot from Ben Caballero. According to this article, Caballero is the top real-estate agent in the U.S. In 2017, he sold 4,799 homes worth $1.9 billion.
Here’s how you can adopt his successful sales strategy and increase your AUM.
Check out the image of him in the article. He looks professional. His clothes are conservative and well-tailored. He’s wearing a dark suit, crisp white shirt and a solid red tie. The overall effect is very positive.
I could quarrel with his facial hair. There’s evidence it’s perceived as a negative in some settings. However, the evidence is conflicting. Clearly, facial hair has not been an impediment to Caballero’s success.
Keep it simple
Caballero’s first rule for success is: You’ve got to make it easy.
He works with developers who list hundreds of homes a year. He created a system that permits his clients to initiate a listing request in a minute or two instead of 20 minutes to an hour.
Ask yourself this question: How easy is it to do business with me?
For some advisors, the answer is “not very.”
You may have extensive prospect screening procedures that often go far beyond what you need to determine if someone meets your minimum requirements. I don’t understand why more advisors don’t post minimums on their webpages, which would avoid the need to screen for this issue.
I’ve seen elaborate questionnaires prospects are asked to fill out before the first meeting. Many are burdensome and intrusive, ranging from a psychological profile to a series of financial questions.
Some advisors ask prospects to bring financial information to the first meeting, without understanding the burden imposed on the prospect to locate and gather this information. This request may also increase anxiety. The prospect may not be comfortable sharing financial details with a complete stranger.
When the prospect is ready to sign up, the obstacles don’t stop. The paperwork can be confusing and burdensome. Often it can’t be done digitally.
The overall message to prospects is that engaging you is a tedious, unpleasant and time-consuming process.
Caballero would not approve.
His second rule is likeability. He stated: “If they don’t like you, they will not do business with you unless you have the only game in town — you’re a monopoly or something.”
Recognizing the need to be likeable and trustworthy is one thing. Being aware of the research on how to achieve those feelings is another.
Becoming more likeable is easy. Show a genuine interest in the other person. Do so by asking your prospect to tell you about themselves. Follow up with soft, logical questions, demonstrating an authentic curiosity.
We can all benefit from Caballero’s stunning success. Follow his example by removing artificial barriers and trusting a process solidly based on sound, peer reviewed research.