How to Show You Care

When you first learn of Chris’ background as a 24-year FBI veteran whose specialty was negotiating with international kidnappers, it’s easy to let your perceptions slip into Hollywood-fueled notions of a gruff, intimidating hard-ass who’s going to out-power you to win the negotiation. Then when you see him, his rugged looks and raspy voice only perpetuate this impression.
So with all that in mind, it’s often surprising when Chris reveals the real key to effective negotiations.
It’s not intimidation. It’s not power. It’s not any of the qualities you probably think of reflexively.
It’s empathy.
Or, as Chris calls it, tactical empathy.
When you stop and think about it for a minute, it makes a lot of sense.
If you were selling your biggest financial asset, what would you want from the person you choose to help you? I’m talking beyond their track record or marketing plan… at their core.
You want someone who you believe truly cares about you and the outcome of your transaction.

More Than Meets the Eye

Tactical empathy is more than the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
It’s communicating to them that you understand their situation.
If you’re not demonstrating to people that you understand where they’re coming from, you’re not likely to get them to agree to what you want.
Specifically, Chris says it’s important to convey some of the fears and feelings the other party is feeling. When it comes to working with a homeowner, that means using disarming statements such as:

  • “I know it’s annoying to get all these Realtors calling you.”
  • “I know talking to another Realtor is the last thing you want at this point.”
  • “It sounds like you’re concerned you might not get maximum value from your home sale.”
  • “It seems like you might be hesitant to commit to one agent at this point…”
  • “It sounds like you really love your home and selling might be an emotional process for you.”

These statements allow the other party to feel heard and understood, which is a basic human emotion that everyone wants. Suddenly you don’t seem like a combatant. Instead, you’re someone who is on their side.