Knowing how to become your seller’s only option is one foolproof way to win the wholesaling game. However, how do make it happen? It all starts with what you say to the sellers the first time you speak to them!
In this episode, virtual investing coach Lauren Hardy got really micro and shared how she and her team handles the first ever conversation with prospects. Lauren’s 3-step GDP method has been her go-to strategy and she can definitely attest it works!
From asking the right discovery questions to matching people’s vibes, Lauren covered it all. So if you want to get things right during the first call, this is one episode you can’t miss!
The GDP Method – 3-Step Method to Become Your Seller’s ONLY Option
I am the newest coach on the team. I teach all things virtual, and I am excited to be with you. Now, it’s going to be me. I’m going solo. I want to do a deep dive on a super important to me in my sales team. We will get super micro on what you should say to sellers the first time you speak with them. We will talk about that initial seller phone call, the first time that you pick up the phone and you call that seller after you determine their lead.
This is not a cold calling script or discussion. This seller has already been identified as a lead, whether they came in from direct mail, cold calling or your texting campaign. Let’s talk about that first call. You have determined a seller as a lead, and now you are going to pick up the phone, and you are going to qualify them essentially. I have a way that I look at this. There are some objectives that I want to meet with this phone call. It’s very important to me, that’s why I want to get super micro about it.
You Are The Solution To The Seller’s Problems
It is very important to me that if it’s either me or somebody on my sales team, I want them to convey that they are genuine, to get the seller to trust them and the seller to truly believe that they are a problem solver, that my team is the solution to their problems. A big word that comes to play here for me is loyalty. By the end of this call, I want the seller to have some sense of loyalty to me. I have some tricks as to how I get there with my sellers. If you do this right in the first call, you are setting the tone for the rest of your relationship with this seller.
First impressions are everything. It’s important that you set the stage with how you and the seller will work together. You want to make sure that the seller likes you so much after that first call that it gets them to stop calling other investors. The goal is to form a relationship with them upfront right there, so they are not motivated to pick up the phone and call anyone else because they know that you will solve their problem and trust you. I have some words to remember. I like associating words with processes, so it helps you remember things.
The GDP Method
We are going to talk about my goals, discovery and path method. You can call it GDP if you want. Not gross domestic product, don’t get it mixed up. I’m going to go into what are the three goals that you need to have. What are these objectives that you need to have in that first seller call? We are going to ask the seller some discovery questions. The point of those are to help you pick the path that you are going to take that seller on because every seller has different problems that you need to solve, and you are not going to handle each seller situation the same.
The First Goal
You want to make sure that each seller situation is handled appropriately. The discovery questions help you figure out what is going on with that seller and how you can best serve them. The three goals for my team and me is number one, you want to determine their interest in selling. What I want to know is, were they interested in selling prior to my outreach or post-outreach? What I mean by that is I do some lead generation. I sent them a text message. Were they already thinking about selling that home, and then they happened to get my text message?
If you are doing direct mail, were they already thinking about selling that home, and then they’ve got your letter in the mail and said, “Perfect. I’m going to give them a call,” or was it one of those, “I wasn’t selling or thinking about selling but you sent me a text, so whatever.” The latter is the less motivated seller. If we have a situation where it is the latter where post outreach, they thought, “Maybe I will consider selling since you reached out to me anyway but I wasn’t thinking about selling beforehand.” That’s somebody that I am not going to give as much of our time.
First impressions are everything. It’s important that you set the stage with how you and the seller are going to work together.
I’m still going to give them an offer. Don’t get me wrong. Everybody gets an offer but I’m not going to give it my all. I’m not going to instruct my team to sit on the phone and talk about their vacation that they took or spend a ton of time building rapport. I would instead build rapport with the seller, who before they received direct mail, a text or a cold call from us already had had this idea of selling the home. Those are the sellers that I’m going to hone in and build rapport with. Number one, determine the interest in selling. Was it pre outreach or post outreach? That’s goal number one.
The Second Goal
Goal number two, I want to determine the motivation. One word I love to use and helps my team remember is what the pain button is? When I say those words pain button, in my head, I imagine this big red button that I’m going to push. What is the seller’s pain button? What we want to know is how we can provide tailor-made solutions to fix their problems. I want to talk about those solutions in every conversation from here on out. There are a handful of seller motivation issues. They all fall under the same five scenarios. Once you get good at problem-solving, you are able to spit those solutions out in the conversation.
Every time you talk to them, you are reminded of their pain button. It’s not that you are pushing their pain button. I don’t want it to sound like you are doing something mean and nasty. It’s that you want to remind them, “I’ve got the solution.” The way your solution is going to be different to a seller who has a property that they inherited from their grandma but it’s vacant, it’s not causing them many problems versus a seller who has a nightmare tenant.
The seller is stressed out, and the tenant is making their life horrible. You are going to handle those sellers differently. You are going to talk about different outcomes and give the seller different solutions in your conversation. It’s very important as goal number two in that first initial call to know their motivation to sell.
The Third Goal
Number three, get them to like you. It sounds so elementary but getting a seller to like you is my number one priorities that I tell my sales team. There are a lot of questions that you can ask that I see a lot of other people ask sellers on the first go that get the seller to not like you, like asking them what their mortgage balances or what they want for the property. People stress about those types of questions. To me, those questions are a little bit combative and abrasive, instead, “I want the seller to like me.” If I have those three goals achieved, I will be happy by the end of that call.
How do you get sellers to like you? Maybe this is like some social skills training. There is a great book, it’s called How to Win Friends & Influence People. It’s got a lot of good tips. For example, match their vibes. You want to match their vibes. If this seller has upbeat high energy, talks fast, and is super chatty like me, you want to match that. You want to talk fast, be chatty, be a conversationalist and ask them about the trip they went on to Mexico or that dog that’s barking in the background, what kind of dog is that?
You want to bring up that you have a dog too and you love going to the dog park every Thursday where you meet up with a bunch of dog enthusiasts. That is how you would handle a seller that has my type of energy or vibes but not everybody is like us. Believe it or not, I’m very good at mirroring. When I’m talking to somebody who has lower energy, they talk a little bit slower. I match that. I slow down. I ask them questions slowly but to the point, I don’t overshare. I get the vibe that they are a bit of a private person, so I don’t ask them, “What kind of dog do you have in the background?” I match them.
That is so important because people like people who they can relate to, most importantly. That’s the first thing, match their vibes. The second way to get them to like you is to write 1 to 2 things memorable about the seller in my CRM. These could be all things. It’s funny like I will write down how many kids they had if they mentioned that they had children, I will say, “How many kids do you have? I have two kids, too,” or if they did something in a certain profession, they might bring up like, “I’m a CPA.” “That’s funny. My dad was a CPA.” I will write down his name and that he was a CPA, and then sometime around April, you bring up, “It’s tax time, are you ready?”
I love bringing up personal details about them because they remember. They will go, “I can’t believe she remembered that I told her I broke my leg.” I have sellers in my CRM that we have been talking to for two years. We will have things in our CRM that stay there, and they will be so impressed that we remember these details about them. Another way to get them to like you, and I’ve got this from a cold caller I had in the house. He was good. This was one of the most skilled cold callers I had ever hired. He would always use their name.
I used to say that he almost sounded like one of those 911 operators the way he would talk because he would say their name a lot. He constantly repeated their name. Use the name when you speak to them. First of all, it will help you remember their name, which is important. You don’t want to mess that up. Also, it helps it feel personal. People like hearing their names. If you do these three things, it’s pretty likely that the seller will like you and prefer you over the competition. You guys know what the three goals are, and you know that I ask discovery questions to figure out more about what path I’m going to take.
Ask Discovery Questions
Here are some examples of discovery questions. With goal number one, determine their interest in selling. I want to know where they are interested before they get some marketing from me or after. I asked them simple questions like, “What’s got you interested in selling? What were your plans with this property when you originally purchased it?” Those are interesting open-ended questions that get them to talk.
The second one with determining motivation that can get personal. Sometimes, it’s hard to get that out of a seller. I hate this question. It makes me cringe when I see on sample scripts, “Why are you selling?” That is the most abrasive way to ask that question, and please don’t ask it like that. You can ask like what I said, “What were your plans with this property before you’ve got that text message from me?” Open-ended questions usually will bring out the motivation.
Sometimes, if you are building rapport with them and you are asking those open-ended questions like, “What’s got you interested in selling? What were your plans with the property before you’ve got that text from me?” Other ways you can say it is, “Is there anything else going on with the house that we should know about,” or you are playing off building rapport. Most of the time, the motivation will come out through the conversation.
You want to make sure you remind sellers that you understand what their problem is and that you have the solution for it.
If you are having a basic conversation and building rapport, the seller will say what’s going on and why they were selling but if they are still being tight-lipped about it. They are not giving you any indication, sometimes the motivation is within the condition of the properties. It’s not that there’s some situation but it’s that the property has tons of repairs and they don’t have the money to fix it or don’t feel like fixing it, don’t have the time, don’t know contractors or whatever it is. Maybe they are not in the area. Sometimes it’s the condition.
If you still haven’t gotten it out, what was their motivation? Go to asking them condition questions. Once you ask these discovery questions, you are going to get an idea of what path you should take with them. Make sure that the path that you choose eliminates their pain, and you remind them of this pain constantly with every further conversation or communication you have with them. You want to make sure you remind them that you understand what their problem is and that you have the solution for it.
Learn How Other People Do It
I love going out in the world and seeing how other salespeople or professionals in other industries utilize their interpersonal or sales skills. Sometimes they don’t even necessarily know they have sales skills. Still, I being somebody who studied sales, I love paying attention to people that have a natural knack for it professionally, hearing their approach and say, “How can I apply that to my business?” Some people are naturals that this it’s not even that they have put any thought to it. They might not have even gone to one sales seminar or read one book about sales but they have it naturally.
I love meeting these people and taking down what I thought worked for them. I’ve got a story to illustrate this whole goal, and discovery questions that led to a path but it had nothing to do with real estate. In fact, it was in the medical field. Doctors are often salespeople, if you think about it. They do have to sell themselves. You hear like, “That doctor didn’t have a very good bedside manner.” Those doctors could be the most brilliant, intelligent people who can heal their patients but because their bedside manner is so poor, they get horrible reviews. They get patients that leave them.
I had a personal story of me looking for a doctor, and I found this doctor that had the best bedside manner. You would think that this guy had trained in sales because he used the goals, discovery, and path method that I’m talking about when working with me. Maybe you don’t know this about me. I don’t put it out there very often but I have a thyroid disease. I have hypothyroidism, and I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. It was after my daughter was born. It was very well-managed.
I was doing fine for many years. I was on a very low dose of medication. Part of thyroid disease is that you have to take a thyroid hormone for the rest of your life. There’s pretty much no chance I’m ever going to get off of that. It’s supplementing a hormone that my body does not produce on its own. It causes many problems when it’s not managed correctly but as long as I was taking my medication every day, I was fine. I was not very symptomatic until I was. I went on about 5 to 6 years, totally fine on a very low dose of the medication.
It felt like it was suddenly but now I look back, realizing it wasn’t so sudden. I started getting symptoms. The first, most noticeable one was I put on about 6 pounds in one day. I’ve got on the scale, and I weigh myself pretty regularly because part of hypothyroidism is weight gain. That is usually the first indication that you’ve got a problem that your thyroid levels are dropping is because you gain weight very suddenly. That’s signal number one. I weighed myself that morning and gained 6 pounds out of nowhere. I was like, “That’s weird. It wasn’t like I had eaten more the days before anything.”
That was pretty shocking. I have never gained weight that quickly before. I also started getting bad stomach issues, and a whole other mess of symptoms came on like a wave after that. It wasn’t until I lost a significant amount of my hair that I was like, “It’s definitely my thyroid. I need to get into a doctor.” I went to my primary care doctor. Usually, primary care can handle it. They do a blood test, and they increase your hormone dosages. They did that. They did my blood and increased my dosage.
My levels got even wonkier after that. My blood did not test right, and it was becoming worse and worse. They put their hands up in the air and were not willing to help me anymore and said, “You have to see an endocrinologist or specialist.” They didn’t really know what to do with me. I was on the hunt. At this point, it has been months since I was dealing with this because part of it was I put it off. I didn’t think it was that big of an issue until I could not find an endocrinologist that would get me in.
Finally, I found a good endocrinologist through Yelp. This guy had good reviews. You’ve got to think bedside manner. I had other endos recommended to me but their reviews were not very good. One of the things was poor bedside manner. This guy had amazing reviews. I thought, “I’m going to check him out first.” I am so glad I did. Here’s what he did. I remember the first meeting with him. Think of it like the first sales call, it was the first appointment with him. He hadn’t retained me as a patient yet. It could have been a consultation, and I never go to him again.
I could tell he had some goals. His goal in that first appointment were to retain me as a patient, and the way to do that was to figure out my most crucial health problems that we needed to fix first. He was asking me a lot of discovery questions. He was asking me all the areas that he’s aware of the thyroid that causes problems, and he’s taking it all down but what touched me the most is he wanted to know what was most important to me to fix first.
What made that different was because as a medical professional, he might have looked at some of my issues and said, “This should be first,” but instead, he wanted to know what was mentally getting me down the most. It was not what was most important. The most important were some of the hormonal issues that this was causing but it was the weight I gained. What was most important to me was that I was waking up every day and beginning not to recognize myself. It was hard.
He with his discovery questions figured out that the most important thing for me was that I wanted to return to looking the way I used to. Unfortunately, for me, he said that it was the last thing to get fixed. The thing with hormones is you have to take it one step at a time, and there were bigger issues that needed to get fixed first.
I can’t tell you enough, the amount of trust and loyalty I have to that doctor. What he did for me was he reiterated my pain. He said, “I can tell this is making you very miserable. You gained weight, and you don’t know why. You eat healthily, yet you are still gaining weight. You have lost your hair, and I know thyroid problems cause hair loss. It’s not in your head. You have lost hair. You probably feel terrible every day.”
Every seller has different problems that you need to solve and you are not going to handle each seller situation the same.
He reiterated everything that I was going through. He has experience. He’s talked to hundreds of patients that have had the same issues, so he knew exactly what to say that described my problems. He said, “Don’t worry, I’m going to fix you.” That brought tears to my eyes. I cried in that appointment. I get hearing for months of doctors saying, “I don’t know what to do with you.” Having no answers and felt like it was hopeless, so when he reiterated my pain buttons, I did not feel the need to call another doctor. I immediately was loyal to him.
I saw his kindness and how genuine he was. I love this guy so much. I want to send him a Christmas gift. I have given him a glowing review on Google, on Yelp and tell everyone, “I know who is diabetic or has any endocrinology need about this guy I am obsessed with.” That right there in that story is what I want the seller to say about you. I want you to deliver that level of service to every single seller you speak to in that first call. You need to deliver that type of service. What’s funny is it doesn’t take that long. You can achieve this in a ten-minute phone call.
If you become efficient with the way you speak and you put those three goals in front of you, so you are reminded of what they are, and put the discovery questions underneath those goals, you have 2 or 3 that you can quickly look at if you get a little tongue tied and get those answers. Pick out a couple of memorable things about the seller that you can build rapport on maybe a little personal that you are matching their vibes. You can achieve that level of service in a ten-minute phone call.
As you determine throughout that phone call the motivation of that seller, you are going to get a feeling that some sellers are hotter than others. Some, you feel might be wasting your time a little bit, and then the other ones you know you are like, “This is my seller. We are going to do a deal. I am going to help this person.” You will spend more time with them. I want you to spend more time with that type of seller. I hope that you feel clear about the goals, discovery questions and the path. If you love this episode, let me know, follow me on Instagram, share the episode.
I hope you’ve got something out of it. It is my goal with every piece of content that I put out that you have at least one piece of practical advice that you can take with you to make your business better. I know I gave you a lot of practical advice in this one. Please do me a favor and share it with the world. Most importantly, if you want to grow your wholesaling business in virtual markets, I am obsessed with being virtual. I’m the virtual coach here at Wholesaling Inc. My jam is all things are virtual.
Check me out, I’ve got a coaching program at www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. It’s an amazing program. I cannot tell you how excited I am. My students are crushing it in their virtual markets. I would love to have you in my group. Thank you so much for tuning in. We love hearing and seeing that you are reading. Please share it to the world. Thank you.
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.