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When Most Real Estate Agents Quit

The reason that agents who pursue expired and FSBO listings are so effective in securing listings is that most agents either don't attempt to compete or, if they do, they compete on a haphazard basis, usually quitting long before the sale is made.

If you're going to succeed in sales, you have to get used to hearing the word "no" more often than you hear the word "yes."

If prospects always said "yes," real estate agents wouldn't be salespeople. Instead they would be called order takers. They would just take someone's order, confirm its accuracy, and fulfill it as if they're working the counter at the local fast-food restaurant, with no selling involved.

Beyond that, if prospects always said yes, income or payment for services would plummet. One of the reasons real estate agents usually get paid so well is that they're compensated for dealing with prospect rejection and finding solutions when answers aren't readily available.

Study after study has confirmed that most salespeople quit long before the sale occurs because they can't take the rejection. For example:

  • 44 percent of salespeople quit trying the first time the prospect tells them "no." In other words, at the first point of resistance, nearly half of all salespeople quit trying to win the sale and earn a commission.

  • 22 percent of salespeople quit the second time the prospect says "no." That means that two-thirds of salespeople eliminate their chance of a paycheck after two small roadblocks.

  • 14 percent of salespeople quit after the prospect says "no" for the third time.

  • 12 percent of salespeople quit and go home after a fourth "no."

Imagine that: 92 percent of salespeople bail out after four attempts to get the sale. That means only 8 percent of all salespeople continue after the fourth rejection.

Here's the amazing number: Studies further prove that more than 60 percent of sales are completed after the prospect has said "no" at least four times. Maybe the prospects say no because of the terms and conditions, maybe they need more information and clarification, maybe their schedules don't allow for the purchase, or maybe the timing is just plain lousy. In any case, the end result is that 92 percent of salespeople are missing in action by the time the prospect is ready to say "yes." That means that 8 percent of the salespeople control 60 percent of the business, simply because they're there to ask for the sale when the prospect is ready.

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