Insider Training Tips

Real estate trainer Joe Meyer of Joe Meyer Presentations in Lake Grove, N.Y., offers advice on ways to make in-house training more effective.

What types of training are particularly suited to being taught in-house?

Meyer: Technical skills—such as how to use PowerPoint to do listing presentations—are good topics for in-house training because you can work in small groups and let students practice perfecting the skill. Really any technique that can be improved with practice—closing and telephone solicitations work well in an in-house setting because you can work with salespeople one-on-one.

What advice can you give to in-house trainers?

Meyer: Hold your students accountable; give them homework assignments and have them report on their outcomes at the next class. But keep in mind that these assignments need to be real-life real estate activities, not “go read this article” sorts of assignments. For example, if you do a training session on prospecting, have each student apply the techniques you covered by making at least 10 prospecting calls before the next class and then be prepared to discuss the results. Some students will connect with prospects, which will motivate the whole class. Those that don’t manage to make an appointment can talk about what objections they encountered. Then you can use these real-life situations to show the students how to overcome these objections.

What’s the most effective way to demonstrate a technique like overcoming objections to students?

Meyer: I like to use role-playing exercises, even in a larger group. But the key is not to just create a script and have two students role play it. That doesn’t show them how to solve a problem. I start out personally doing a role play with one student, to demonstrate how to solve the problem. Then I immediately call on two other students to do the same role play. This way, the group gets to hear the entire exercise twice and gets a chance to start thinking about how each of them would vary the basic technique I’ve demonstrated.

What’s the best way to encourage more experienced salespeople to participate in training?

Meyer: Everyone can benefit from fine-tuning their skills, no matter how good they are. Even the best hitter in the league goes to spring training for coaching. Often the key with veteran salespeople is to present the training topic in the right light. If I announce I’m going to do a training session on listing, I’m not likely to get the experienced associates. But if I call my presentation “Listing Presentation Makeovers for the 21st Century Sellers,” I’m more likely to get them interested.

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