10 Things Every Customer Wants

Surprisingly, the best price and best value is at the bottom of the customer’s priority list. See what’s at the top.

Why does a customer buy from one vendor rather than another? According to research recently conducted by The Rain Group (detailed report here), customers tend to buy from sellers who are superlative at the following tasks:

1. Bring New Perspectives and Ideas

If customers could diagnose their own problems and come up with workable solutions on their own, they would do so. The reason that they’re turning to you and your firm is that they’re stuck and need your help. Therefore, you must be able to bring something new to the table.

2. Be Willing to Collaborate

Customers absolutely do NOT want you to sell them something, even something that’s wonderful. They want you to work with them to achieve a mutual goal, by being responsive to the customer’s concerns and ways of doing business. Ideally, customers want you to become integral to their success.

3. Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results

Customers will not buy from you if you can’t persuade them that you, your firm, and your firms offerings will truly achieve the promised results. It is nearly impossible to persuade a customer to believe in these things unless you yourself believe in them. You must make your confidence contagious.

4. Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer

When they’re describing themselves and their needs, customers sense immediately when somebody is just waiting for a break in the conversation in order to launch into a sales pitch. In order to really listen, you must suppress your own inner-voice and forget your goals. It’s about the customer, not about you.

5. Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs

It’s not enough to “connect the dots” between customer needs and your company’s offering. You must also connect with the individuals who will be affected by your offering, and understand how buying from you will satisfy their personal needs, like career advancement and job security.

6. Help the Customer Avoid Potential Pitfalls

Here’s where many sellers fall flat. Customers know that every business decision entails risk but they also want your help to minimize that risk. They want to know what could go wrong and what has gone wrong in similar situations, and what steps you’re taking to make sure these problems won’t recur.

7. Craft a Compelling Solution

Solution selling is definitely not dead. Customers want and expect you to have the basic selling skill of defining and proposing a workable solution. What’s different now though is that the ability to do this is the “price of entry” and not enough, by itself, to win in a competitive sales situation.

8. Communicate the Purchasing Process

Customers hate it when sellers dance around issues like price, discounts, availability, total cost, add-on options, and so forth. They want you to be able to tell them, in plain and simple language, what’s involved in a purchase and how that purchase will take place. No surprises. No last minute upsells.

9. Connect Personally With the Customer

Ultimately, every selling situation involves making a connection between two individuals who like and trust each other. As a great sales guru once said: “All things being equal, most people would rather buy from somebody they like… and that’s true even when all things aren’t equal.”

10. Provide Value That’s Superior to Other Options

And here, finally, at the No. 10 spot (below everything else) comes the price and how that price compares to similar offerings. Unless you can prove that buying from you is the right business decision for the customer, the customer can and should buy elsewhere.

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Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on Inc.com, the world’s most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World’s Top Sales Experts@Sales_Source


Residential Housing Inventory Shortage

From Lennox’s Blog…

We are now experiencing, in most market areas, a shortage of homes available for sale. Favorable market conditions have produced a surge of local home buyers (backlog) on top of the elevated number of residential investors. This combined with fewer homes coming on the market has created a shortage of inventory in the more affordable and mid price ranges and the upper end close to job centers.

Possible Sources of Additional Homes for Sale and How to Optimize Support:


1. Sellers with Equity – there has been a major market change

  • Sellers can sell their homes in today’s market
  • OK to buy/sell within same market timing
  • By waiting for higher prices, the next home purchased may also be at a higher price

2. Underwater Sellers – Short Sales

  • Streamline response / acceptance process
  • Pre-approved short sales

3. Resale Condominiums

  • Move up to 70% FHA occupancy ratio

4. Home Price Appreciation – will unlock current “underwater” sellers

  • Appraisal process is restraining the housing recovery

5. New Construction

  • Promote presale product
  • Need streamlining of land development permit process

6. Foreclosures

  • No bulk sales to National investors (market by market analysis)
  • Keep foreclosures available for local home buyers/investors

7. New Condominium Projects

  • Need to overcome construction financing  and take out home buyer financing

8. Apartments converting to condominiums

  • Streamline Process

“2012 Power Broker Report- The top 300”

John L Scott Real Estate of Orting, WA has been honored with a recognition by Real Estate Magazine in its selection of “2012 Power Broker Report- The top 300”

Orting, WA (PR NewsWire) June 7, 2012 – Announcing a special recognition appearing in the April, 2012 issue of Real Estate Magazine published by Relocation Information Service, Inc.

Following the publication of John L Scott Real Estate, Orting’s selection for Real Estate Magazine’s 2012 Power Broker Report- The Top 300 list, American Registry seconded the honor and added John L Scott Real Estate, Orting to the “Registry of Business Excellence”.

An exclusive recognition plaque, has been designed and will be presented to commemorate this honor.

Major Housing Market Shift

From Lennox’s Blog

This is a unique time in the real estate market. Here are the market facts for the Puget Sound region 

Strong Sales Activity Being Driven by Local Home Buyer Surge

Driven by the return of local home buyers, a positive market psychology has returned. Low inventory, adjusted prices and the historically low interest rates combined with improving job growth have created a positive market for local home buyers. Starting in 2010 an elevated level of residential investors seized the opportunity to purchase homes and helped reestablish the market by bringing sales activity back to a healthy level. By November 2011, we saw the return of the local home buyer to the marketplace and as market activity began to heat up, the level of available inventory could not sustain the demand. This brings us to Spring 2012 where there is a shortage of inventory available to a backlog of buyers looking to take advantage of the superb market conditions. 

Shortage of Inventory will Continue

It is foreseeable that this shortage of inventory will continue for some time. With both residential investors and local home buyers competing in the market place for a restricted amount of homes the supply will not find much relief. The restriction of supply is being caused by several factors; underwater sellers not able to bring their home on the market and sellers with equity thinking they can’t currently sell or waiting for prices to rise.

Stabilizing Prices and Multiple Offers

The shortage of inventory and the flood of local home buyers to the market falls in line with the classic principals of supply and demand, which is why we are now seeing a slow but steady stabilization and the beginning of price increases, as is evidenced by the multiple offer situations. 40% of new properties brought on the market are selling in the first 30 days. Compare this to the Fall of 2010 where only 40% were selling within 6 months. This is happening across the board through the mid-price ranges as well as the upper end close to job centers.

If you are not “Buyer Ready” you may not get a home in today’s market

Buyers who want to win their dream home, in these multiple offer situations, need to come to the table prepared. There are three important things a buyer can do to be “buyer ready.” The first is to have a detailed market review consultation with your trusted broker. The second is to get pre-approved by a lender. The third is to get in the flow of information. Sign up to receive email notifications when new properties come on the market within your desired market area and price range. You can also download a mobile app on your smart phone which will let you look up property information on the go.

Buy at Auction with John L. Scott’s New Foreclosure Services

Foreclosure Services

For over two decades, Dean Street & Associates has specialized in helping clients buy foreclosures at auction. Now backed by the John L. Scott name, we continue to bring you unparalleled support as John L. Scott Foreclosure Services.

JLS Foreclosure Services gives you FREE access to our dynamic website, constantly updated with the latest auction info in 15 counties throughout Washington State.

As a client, you are supported by the best title research available, handy tools for searching, tracking and saving your favorite properties, and one-on-one professional guidance from John L. Scott Realtors.

We also provide access to the LOWEST RATES on auction funding available.

More Good News for 2012!!


Real Estate

IMPROVEMENT – At the end of 2009, 10% of mortgages had at least 1-payment past due and another 5% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process. At the end of 2010, 9% of mortgages had at least 1-payment past due and another 5% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process. As of the end of 2011, 8% of mortgages had at least 1-payment past due and another 4% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process (source: MBA).

That is good news and progress in the Residential Real Estate arena.  Will you go out and buy a rental home now with prices down?  Probably not.  It is very hard to make the financial and time commitment of that size for most of us.  Most of us do not have the property management expertise, time to manage it, and finances to do it.  Some say the biggest time management challenges of owning rentals are the three troublesome Ts:  Tenants, Trash, and Toilets.  That is what most of the landlord’s phone calls are about.  (And the IRS considers it ‘Passive Income’!!!)

How can we find a “Buy low and sell high” opportunity today in Real Estate that is reasonable?  Look to Commercial Real Estate, not Residential.

First, valuations:  Residential properties are valued for the vacant structures and land only.  Commercial properties are valued significantly by the current income production they provide.  Therefore, if a property is producing income due to it being full of lease tenants, it should be valued higher and sell for more.  If the same size property is vacant and has no income, it will sell for far less as a Commercial (income-producing) property.

Second, financing:  If the property has no tenants, the potential buyer will have significant challenges getting financing to buy it.  Why would a bank loan money on property generating no income to make the loan payments?  Right now, banks are very wary of Real Estate anyway, so if banks won’t finance it, that further lowers the price since very few buyers exist with cash to make it happen.  It is a buyer’s market right now.

Right now is a perfect time to find some carefully selected Commercial Real Estate at very low prices.  There are good properties with distressed owners.  You can own a share of a professionally managed partnership or trust with minimal investment and no management time commitment.  

Real Estate is a great hedge for inflation too.  Since it does not go up and down with the stock or bond markets, it provides very good diversification for your overall portfolio.  You can easily buy in to these professionally managed properties for the income they pay (6% to 8% is not unusual) and/or the potential increase in value that they hold once the properties are more fully leased or improved by the experienced management of the partnership or trust.

If you are interested in getting more information on a few of these great buys, please let me know.  The time is right to ‘Buy low so you can sell high’ in a few years!  

I am sure that many of us will look back in the near future with regret that we did not do what will seem so simple in hindsight later on.  It has been said that we rarely have regrets for the actions that we took.  Regrets usually are from the actions that we did not  take.

Is It the Price of Your Home or the Price of Your Happiness?


Why are you selling your home? Are you putting a price on  house or a value on your happiness?


Keys (Photo credit: Richard-G)

These are the questions to ask yourself when selling a home. We all know the home usually doesn’t sell with our original asking price, and if our happiness is slipping away because of a few dollars difference, then lets rethink why are we selling in the first place.

Here is a great story..click here for the full story