Master sales with Stephane Plaza
September 24, 2018 08:50
For those who don’t know the guy, this is him, the boss of real estate in France : Stéphane Plaza. Stephane has started selling and buying real estate by accident after failing economic studies and playing theater as an amateur with friends. Unemployed, he gave himself a try as a real-estate middle-man at his cousin’s business place, and rapidly became the best seller ever. In 2015, Stephane made a genius move by branding his famous last name to a network of real estate offices, becoming a multi-millionaire without having to create a single agency.
Since 2005, Stephane runs his own TV shows « Maison à vendre », « Recherche Appartement »… inspired by the concept of the American show « Sell This House », where he can combine his expertise for real-estate and his talent for acting. The show depicts people who have relentlessly struggled with the sale of their house for months, sometimes for years. They finally called for help and hired Stephane as sales consultant.
« Study your product and face the hard cold truth »
The show starts with Stephane making a tour of the property and asking diagnostic questions. A lot, in fact. His purpose is to fully understand the key parameters gravitating around the sale : the emergency situation for the people, the attraction for the product and the technical features of the house.
- Emergency is never a good situation for a seller. Don’t let impatience be your guide and take your time to negotiate at a good path. Of course, sometimes you don’t have the choice anymore as your financial situation is becoming a dead-end. Learn to anticipate to avoid being stuck in painful situations.
- Figure the metrics linked to the attraction of your product. When Stephane asks about how many visits or how many offers people got, you have to make the parallel with your product or service. Nowadays it’s quite easy to test the attraction of a new offer on social medias or give a few calls to test the idea with prospects.
- The value of a consultant resides also in the fresh perspective on your product. She’s going to help you to be honest with yourself. Yes, you do not have the perfect product, and yes you can do a better product. Learn how to emphasize qualities and reduce defaults. If you like what you have, probably others will.
« Do you research and benchmark your product/service»
- Do your homework about the competition. To learn about alternative offers is a nice way to keep on eye on the market dynamics. But please don’t turn it into an obsession. At the end of the day, your real focus must be your service, your user feedbacks and client relationship.
- Positione your product in a nice price range and don’t hesitate to ask colleagues to estimate the value/price ratio. Ask yourself if people perceive the same value as you do.
« Dress up something old as something new »
- In his TV how, Stephane used to make a fresh start and clean everything that link the house to personal feelings and criteria. Your product is your baby but it doesn’t belong to you anymore : it’s already in your clients hands. It’s a diffcult step, but it’s a necessary one. Start putting yourself in your client’shoes and take out your personal life from the equation.
- Don’t spend too much money, it’s still your Minimum Viable Product. It’s possible to improve your product or services, but get used to spend a maximum of 2 or 3% of total cost on it and not more. Like home staging, increase pragmatic features, the user friendly side.
- Give a feeling of confort and create a product people would like to spend time with. Like Steve Jobs, stay connected to fashion and design : a practical product can also be esthetically pleasing.
- You have only 90 seconds to make a first good impression. Take care of what people will first discover and try to immediately create emotions. Don’t forget that the buying process is a good mix of vibes and rational explanation.
« Don’t forget to have fun »
- During the show, Stephane always wears fancy dress, playing with children and telling jokes. Selling can be fun if you put things in perspective. As sales professional, Stephane has a good sense of humor. He takes his profession and his prospects’ needs seriously, but not himself.
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