What to do when a prospect grills you with irrelevant questions?

9 replies
Sometimes I'll be speaking to a home seller about buying his house and he'll start grilling me with questions that logically should not matter to him. Example:

"After you buy the house, are you going to rent it or live in it?"

(Irrelevant because it shouldn't matter to him. But he didn't want to do business with a non end-buyer)

How do you handle situations like these? I don't want to break rapport by telling him it's not his concern, but if I answer I tend to get illogical but powerful objections
#grills #irrelevant #prospect #questions
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    I would treat every question as if it's important. Because it may be! Especially to him....no reason it should bother you and it's a pretty easy question to answer.

    So answer him and move on or answer him and ask why that's important to him. Most likely he'll say it's not important.
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  • Profile picture of the author winsoar
    It sounds like you are a "go getter" in the DISC profiling. So you don't like irrelevent small talk. For other people such as a nurterer this type of conversation is necessary!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sys4
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    Sometimes I'll be speaking to a home seller about buying his house and he'll start grilling me with questions that logically should not matter to him. Example:

    "After you buy the house, are you going to rent it or live in it?"

    (Irrelevant because it shouldn't matter to him. But he didn't want to do business with a non end-buyer)

    How do you handle situations like these? I don't want to break rapport by telling him it's not his concern, but if I answer I tend to get illogical but powerful objections
    Having worked in the residential re industry, I'm having trouble understanding your way of thinking. Even someone earning as a developer or flipper knows the average buyer/seller (not investors), don't buy and sell houses. They buy and sell "homes."

    For most people, a home is going to be the most emotional purchase they'll ever make. Logic, for the average buyer/seller (not investors), has less to do with a transaction than the emotional connection. If this wasn't true, we'd all be living in log cabins and the mortgage industry would be dead. (Please don't reply with an argument against log cabins. The previous sentence was a tongue in check reference to the fact that most of our homes have more to do with our wants (emotions) and less to do with our needs (logic)).

    Your question indicates that your use of the word rapport may be a misnomer. In answer to your question, you can't break rapport if you've not established rapport with the seller. You'll have an easier time by establishing rapport, building trust, by asking and answering qualifying questions that may appear not to be a concern for either party. An additional benefit of doing this, is that it may give you the info you need to close the sale.

    I hope this helps...
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Making a big purchase (or sale) is an emotional event. This comes out differently in different people. Some get demanding. Some focus on small points that don't matter to any sane person, some ramble.

      Answer the questions as if they are the most important questions you have ever heard. Nobody thinks their question is stupid. How you handle yourself will be what they remember.

      Every time I hear an irrelevant question from a buyer, I just remember the millions of times I asked a stupid question, and how it was handled.

      My wife refused to buy a beautiful home because she was convinced it was haunted. Really. Our agent acted like it was as reasonable as saying the yard wasn't big enough. Smart guy. He made a 5 figure commission. (on the one we bought)

      Hearing someone out is the right response.
      If they are crazy or misinformed, now is when you want to find out..before the closing. But the questions you posted aren't that odd. And even if they are..so what? If you're an expert, that means nearly everyone will ask you questions that you think are irrelevant and the answers are obvious.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        You might not have come across them, but some people sell houses with a clause in it about how it can be used and re-sold.

        Maybe there was such a clause when this seller bought it and, if he doesn't respect the clause, he's just wasting his time, title won't clear.

        Maybe he/she was selling out of need but didn't want to sell... asking irrelevant questions was his/her way of accepting the situation, kind of like trying to figure out if you'll take good care of his/her baby.

        Irrelevant-seeming questions are not always irrelevant. Either legally, or emotionally.

        Making money is not everybody's main reason or only reason for buying or selling a house.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post


    How do you handle situations like these? I don't want to break rapport by telling him it's not his concern, but if I answer I tend to get illogical but powerful objections
    This is where you are missing the boat.

    If a question leads to a powerful objection, it is definitely relevant. It doesn't matter how YOU feel about these questions or objections.

    The person making the decision decides what is logical or relevant. Not you.

    The goal of any salesman is to try and find the objections as quickly as possible and deal with them in a way that satisfies the buyer.

    If he asks the question, it is relevant. If he makes an objection, it is logical.
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    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author hayfj2
    put it the other way....

    if someone answers me any question that you're unsure how you're going to handle or deal - find out why they asked the damn question....

    "You've obviouly asked me that for a reason, can I ask why?"

    or "Hmm, thats interesting, why do you ask?"

    or "Sorry, I'm confused, is there a reason why you asked me that?"

    or "sorry, can you help me here, you asked me that because.....?"



    Don't get kicked off the page - get them back on your page and your agenda

    Hope that helps

    Regards


    Fraser

    Sales are often lost because of "unanswered" or "unasked" questions
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    Sometimes I'll be speaking to a home seller about buying his house and he'll start grilling me with questions that logically should not matter to him. Example:

    "After you buy the house, are you going to rent it or live in it?"

    (Irrelevant because it shouldn't matter to him.
    You're thinking too academically. The seller's emotionally connected to his baby, his home. It's got memories and meaning to him that it doesn't have for you. It's the home where carried his wife over the threshold 40 years ago. It's the home his children were raised in. It's the home he built the fireplace and den with his bare hands. It's the home where his beloved mom lived her last days out. Family celebrations where held there. Good friends enjoyed BBQs in the back yard on lazy summer weekends. There's the porch where his late wife used to sit at night to watch the stars with him. It's the haven he has an attachment to. And he wants to hear from you what you plan to do with it and how you're going to take care of his baby before he decides if you're the one who'll treat her right.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I wouldnt be put off by the question. I sure wouldnt sell my best guitar to someone who I thought was going to abuse it. An artist wouldnt sell his most prized art to a person who wasnt going to appreciate it. Its the same concept.

    When I have dealt with people overseas in the liquidation game alot of them would be like "I have the money , so you jump when I say". Wrong! lol You got the wrong salesman man.

    Maybe he has 3 other potential buyers and he's trying to decide who the right customer is.
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