How to Be the Right Kind of Aggressive Agent

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Occasionally agents ask me if it’s good or bad to be an aggressive agent.  Some trainers teach you to be a aggressive…to be a bulldog.  Others say you should be more sensitive and avoid coming across as aggressive.  Which is it?  Well…the reality is, it’s BOTH.  Be the right kind of aggressive and at the right time.

There is a significant difference between being assertive and abrasive…between knowing how to be powerful and being downright pushy.  One is compelling.  The other is repelling.

Watch the entire video as Kevin explains these keys to bringing the right dose of aggressiveness and sensitivity:

  1. Be straightforward.  (no BS)
  2. Be confident…not arrogant.
  3. Use Finesse….  Analogy of a bull in a china closet.  Push till you get resistance and then back off a little.  But don’t quit.
  4. Learn when to be strong.
  5. Improve your communication skills.  (Resistance triggers and influence triggers)
  6. Learning to have multiple tools in your communications arsenal. Some agents have only one tool….a sledge hammer. Others the only tool they have is a play school plastic hammer (or a limp noodle).
  7. Get on the seller’s side.  Speak in terms of their interests, not your own.
  8. Follow their motivation.  People love to be led toward something they want.  They don’t like to be pushed to do something they’re not sure they want to do.  Once you find their real motivation, learn to skillfully lead them to make good decisions that serve their best interest and your appropriate aggressiveness will pay off huge.


Today I want to talk you about being an aggressive — are you ready? Being an aggressive agent. Are you ready to be aggressive?
It’s funny, because I get these emails asking me all the time or agents ask me occasionally, “I’ve been taught that I should be an aggressive agent, but I’m not just naturally an aggressive person” or people will say, “I feel like if I’m being an aggressive agent that I’m going to push people away and I don’t want to be pushy…” Which I understand, and so the question is — and I even had someone asked this on a YouTube video, they just commented, “should I be an aggressive agent or not?” Is it good to be aggressive or is it not to be aggressive? The answer is yes, you want to be aggressive, but you want to be the right kind of aggressive and that’s not a skill that’s taught very much in real estate. So today is your lucky day, because I am here to give you the answer of how to be an aggressive agent that people like.
That’s what you want, right? You want to be an aggressive agent that people like, because you want to get results. You want people to understand you mean business, and yet, you don’t want to be pushy. You don’t want to be mean. Let’s talk about being the right kind of aggressive as an agent. I want to start by giving you a couple of distinctions about how you can be the right kind of of aggressive.
One is to understand there is a difference between being assertive and being abrasive. Do you understand the difference? Somebody who’s assertive means they put themselves out there. It means they know how to be strong. It means they know how to be powerful without being pushy. It means they know how to put themselves out there, how to communicate something in a way that let’s people know they mean business, and yet it’s not in such a way that people are going to be like, “Oh, get off me, get off me.” You want to be assertive. You don’t want to be obnoxious. You don’t want to be a jerk. That’s probably why a lot of agents are afraid of this whole idea of being aggressive.
You may say, “Well, it’s not my style to be aggressive. I’m just more of a laid back kind of person and I’m not going to try to push people or talk people into doing something they don’t want to do and all of that.” I promise I get it, because I’m not by nature. I am totally a laid back, not a pushy person. I hate feeling like I’m being pushy so this whole concept of be aggressive was — here was something I was taught and it’s kind of true and that’s motivated people want an aggressive agent. What they’re looking for — it’s true — but you got to understand the right kind of aggressive and that is they want somebody who’s assertive, who’s proactive, who takes action, who’s strong, who gets stuff done without being abrasive, because here’s the real difference.
The real difference is that somebody who is assertive when you talk to them, they’re compelling. What you want to be is you want to be compelling. You don’t want to be repelling. That’s the kind of aggressive you don’t want to be. You want to be the kind of aggressive that people look at and go like, “Man, if I need to do something, I would trust her. I would trust him.” Why? They’re serious about business, they get stuff done. They know how to make that happen. They’re assertive. That’s very compelling.
When you’re assertive, when you’re a strong leader and you know how to influence people and inspire people and be leader in working with buyers and sellers, that’s very compelling. When you move with conviction and so whenever there’s an argument between you and the seller about a price for example, when I say argument, there’s a difference of agreement is when you have absolute conviction that I understand what you’re saying, I love would to be able to get you more money, however, based on what the market’s telling us, this is the right price. When I’m assertive and convicted about it and I stand firm on my conviction, on my belief, and I’m strong in that and powerful in that, that’s very compelling.
However, if I go like, “Look, then you’re just — that’s just ridiculous. I’m not even going to list it. If you’re going to think that ridiculous price, I’m not even going to list it. You need to price it at this price so we can get it sold so let’s just price it here where I say so I can get it sold. I want you to sign the contract and we’re going to get it done so sign there right now. Sign it. Sign it right now. I’m telling you sign the listing agreement.” That’s aggressive. That’s abrasive and that’s repelling. Are you getting the difference now between being the right kind of aggressive — between being assertive, and being abrasive?
I want to share with you four strategies or four different approaches that is the formula for how to be right kind of aggressive. The cool thing is this works if you are naturally a very strong person, if you’re very naturally a kind of driver personality and you just — you’re strong type A personality and you’re just in people’s faces. You’re a go-getter which is awesome or if you’re the nice guy. If you’re like me, I was just a nice guy. I didn’t want to push anybody so for me when they talked about close the sale and you want to close seven times. I was like closing seven times is kind of like taking a sledgehammer and putting my hand in between me and the paper and when I pressure them, when I hammer, I felt like I was getting hammered. I hated it. I hated that feeling of being pushy. I hated that feeling of being high pressure.
You can be the right kind of aggressive without high pressure if you know how to apply the right kind of pressure to get the results that are needed. So watch this. There are five ways — four ways to be the right kind of aggressive.
Number is one you got to be honest. You got to shoot straight with people, no BS, straight forward conversations. If you want to be the right kind of aggressive, if somebody is a seller for example is not in agreement in on a price or you got a buyer that’s wanting to back out, you got to shoot straight with them and be willing to be honest and say, “I don’t want to tell them that because I’m afraid they’ll be mad. I’m afraid they’ll not hire me. I’m afraid they’ll back out of the contract if I just tell them that.” Look, that’s the right kind of aggressive is you got to have the courage and the back bone to be straight, to shoot straight with people and don’t BS them and don’t beat around the bush with them.
You got to be willing to have the straight forward, honest conversations that are in their best interest so they make the right decision. When you let them push you around, because you don’t want to be pushy and you just say, “I”m not going to be pushy, I’d rather be pushed around.” Well, you’re not going to be strong enough as an agent to help sellers and really represent buyers and sellers and getting them the best result. You got to make a commitment to be honest. I hope you don’t have to learn how to be honest, I hope we’re past that one, but you got learn to have the resolve and the courage to be honest, to shoot straight with people. Right kind of aggressive is just always being very straight forward, not in an abrasive, harsh jerk way, that’s the way it is if you don’t like it tough, I’m telling you the truth. That’s abrasive honesty. You can be assertive and straight forward with your honesty without being a jerk, without being abrasive.
Number two is if you want to be the right kind of aggressive, be confident not arrogant. There’s a big difference. You don’t want to be arrogant, it’s being confident without being cocky. When I talk about confidence, what we’re taking about is having certainly. They need to know that you know what you’re doing. Your clients need to be able to trust your professionalism, to trust your knowledge, to trust your experience and the way they trust it is if you trust it, but if you look uncertain and your bumbling and stumbling and like your nervous — I mean think of it, have you ever been to a dentist?
You’re sitting there and your in the dentist chair and you’re sitting there and your mouth’s open, and if the dentist walks up to you and says, “Okay, now here’s what’s going to happen, you’re going to hear a little buzzing noise and you’re going to feel a little bit of pressure here, but don’t worry, it’s going to be a little bit of a smell, but it’s going to be okay.” Then you’re comfortable, because the dentist seems okay, but if the dentist walks up to you and he goes and he’s sweating profusely and he goes — and you can see his hands shaking a little bit and he goes like, “I hope this goes better than it did with the last patient, because they screamed like –” Well, you want to run right? They’re not confident. No matter how bad it’s going to hurt or what’s going to happen, if the dentist is confident, he’s certain than you feel comfortable. You feel confident. You feel certain even if you know there’s going to be a little pain, even if there’s going to be some discomfort you can handle it, because they’re in control and you trust them.
You got to be strong enough to communicate certainty and confidence to people, because if you’re like, “I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to offend them.” Therefore you don’t even ask for the appointment, you don’t even have the certainty that they need to meet with you, that they need you, then that’s the wrong kind of non-aggressive, because you’re not going to get results.
Number three, the third key element in the right kind of aggressive is to learn to have a little finesse. Now, what’s finesse? Finesse is learning enough skills to be able to try something — take a different angle, take a different perspective, take a different tact here and use a different strategy or different tactic. See here’s the deal, learn enough communication skills that whenever you ask a question and say, “Are you ready to get the home on the market tonight?” And they say, “No, I feel like you’re being pushy.” Learn how to back up and come in from a little different angle without giving up.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re talking to an expired and you call them and say, “Hey, just noticed your house is showing up that it’s off the market now, and I was wondering when you were planning to interview agents again for the job of actually getting your home sold?” They go like, “There’s too many agents calling us, we don’t want to talk to you and we’re just tired of this.” You just say, “Okay, I’m sorry to bother you.” You hand up, that’s not finesse. That’s quitting, okay? “When would be a good time for us to get together and talk about a way to help you make this move happen?” “We’re not ready to meet with an agent right now.” “But you do want to sell your house, so when would be a good time for us to get together?” “We’re not interested right now. I need to talk to my wife.” “Okay, talk to your wife, when do you want to meet?”
We just keep hammering to set the appointment, set the appointment, set the appointment. If you just hammer people, some people they know one approach to getting appointments. That’s the sledge hammer approach is just like I’m going to blast through every objection, every appointment, I’m going to ignore, all we need to do is set an appointment. “All we need to do now is set an appointment. I understand that, but let’s go ahead and set the appointment.” “I need to check my calendar.” “Okay, check your calendar, but let’s set the appointment.” “I need to talk to my wife.” “Okay, talk to your wife, but let’s set the appointment.” All you do when you keep hammering, hammering, hammering is you keep getting more resistance, resistance, resistance and when that happens, you’re losing ground rather than gaining ground.
Learn a little finesse. “Well, we’re not going to sell the house right now.” “Well, you should sell the house right now. You need to sell the house, because the market’s good right now. It may get bad, you need to sell it. When can we get together?” “Well, I told you, I don’t want to sell it.” “Yeah, but you need to sell it.” Hopefully, you get that I’m over exaggerating here, but you understand what I’m talking about is this idea just don’t be the sledgehammer.
If they say, “Well, we’re not selling right now.” “Oh, you’re not selling right now. Excellent, if you had sold, where were you thinking of going next?” That’s literally a finesse approach. It’s not just what you say, it’s learning how to say it in a way that takes the pressure off. Here’s kind of a way to approach it, is when you are talking to a seller, you’re talking a prospect, you’re talking to a lead and you’re asking them questions and they’re answering the questions, how do you know how aggressive to be? How far to take the conversation? How many times to ask for the appointment?
Here’s a very simple answer, you move until you hit resistance and then you back up just a little bit and then you take a different angle. Back up and say, “No, problem. What’s the next step for you guys? What do you think the next step is in you guys deciding what you’re going to do next?” I’m not going like, “Let’s set an appointment.” “Well, we’re not ready to set an appointment.” “The market’s hot right now, you need to set an appointment. When’s a good time for us to meet?” “Well, like I said, we want to talk about it.” “Okay, that’s certianly fine, let’s talk about it, let’s go ahead and set the appointment now and you can talk about it.” We just keep hammering.
Back up, ask another question, ask him something else about their motivation, dig in a little bit deeper without just hammer, hammer, hammer. Back off, you ask questions, you got some resistance. “Hey, no problem, I was just touching base to see if there was anything I could do to help. What do you feel like the next step would be?” Asking questions, backing off, learning to use a little bit of finesse and stop being the one tool agent that’s just a sledgehammer which is not really powerful. I mean it’s powerful, but it’s kind of like a bull in a china closet, right?
The other extreme then is the other agent that they’re only tool is a limp noodle. They got no back bone, and they’re apologetic and all of that. That’s not helpful either. It’s about being the right kind of aggressive, but being a totally passive agent is probably not going to get you much business, and when you do get it, you’re not going to represent your clients in the best way, because they need an agent who knows how to be strong, to negotiate strongly, and learn how to be the right kind of aggressive.
The fourth thing, if you want to learn how to be the right kind of aggressive, I mean where you really get results, number four is learn how to get on their side. Whoever it is you’re talking to, it’s a prospect, it’s a lead, even when you’re negotiating a deal, you’re working a deal with another agent and you’re negotiating back and forth between you and the buyer’s agent and whoever it is, is understanding that if I can find out what their motivation is — find out what’s important to them, speak in terms of their interests, then you’re going to be able to get past a lot more resistance with a lot — you’re going to get a lot further with a lot less resistance.
Learn how to use influence triggers instead of resistance triggers which I teach my coaching members and I teach at my events the idea of resistance triggers which are things we say that cause people to resist us, that makes them feel like we’re being pushy, that makes them feel like we’re being aggressive, that makes them feel like they want to resist us is learn how not to say those. One of the keys is by learning how to get on their side, to speak in terms of their motivation and stop spending so much time trying to convince unmotivated people to do something.
Look, agents spend way to much time trying to convince an unmotivated seller to set an appointment, to do a listing presentation — spend your time learning how to identify motivation, find the ones who are motivated, and work with them. What happens is we find a potential lead, we’re so afraid of rejection — a lot of agents — we’re so afraid of getting no’s that we find somebody who’s willing to talk to us, we’ll just follow it to the bitter end just hoping that it could turn into something when we know they’re not really motivated. We end up wasting a lot of time trying to convince a non-motivated person to do something, because they’re nice to us. We don’t want to talk to the abrasive person. We want to stick with that one.
However, when their motivation isn’t strong, it’s hard for you to be strong in leading them to make a decision. The way you get on their side means you got to find their motivation and then follow their motivation. Here’s the beauty, when you find somebody who’s motivated, they want the right kind of aggressive, they want a go-getter, they want an agent that they know when I hand you the ball, you’re going to run with it. You’re going to captain the ship, you’re going to get us to the destination, and I can count on you to do that, because you’re the right kind of aggressive. When you have that kind of thing, you’ll have more opportunities and you can engage those opportunities, and you’ll always be able to expect yes.

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