Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sales Techniques: The Columbo technique or the "Oh By The Way"

Today I want to share with you a negotiation technique I learnt last year during my master degree. This is a technique that has a long history to be successful and can be used in different occasions during the sale process.

This is a technique so powerful, that a successful real estate coach has based his business on, and became an opinion leader of his profession. This person is Brian Buffini. Brian Buffini has immigrated in the US in 1986, and entered the real estate business with success.
"The ability to generate a predictable supply of high-quality, referred leads meant that his time was not spent advertising or prospecting. He instead devoted himself to providing clients with first-class service. Buffini quickly became a multi-million dollar producer.After several years of outstanding achievement and success, he started Buffini & Company™ to teach these systems to others. Today, thousands of real estate, lending and service professionals across the nation are implementing Brian Buffini's Referral Systems™."

He then became a coach, teaching his methods to thousands of real estate professionals in the US. His trade mark has become the famous "Oh By The Way". He even wrote a book about it.

What is the technique? Basically after any interaction with a person, you always have to ask at the end "oh by the way, do you have any referrals for me?". Whether it is an email, a phone conversation, or anything.

This is also called the Columbo technique. Why Columbo? In honor of the famous police Lieutenant Columbo of the TV show. The detective used to interview suspects and witnesses, and then finish the conversation. But he was coming back, to ask a final question. And most of the time, the answer was very important, and sometimes was even conducting to the confession of the author of the crime. If you want to know more about this technique, you can find some detailed explanation here.

Why does it work? Well this technique targets to ask for a referral or a question at the end of a conversation. The person is then over, most relax, because he probably tried during the conversation to find the traps of the salesperson or the detective. It is therefore easier to talk, to someone that has dropped its shield of protection.

The downside
Well it is not sure that it works, if you haven't been good prior to this point, then the other person will feel unsecure, and probably you can lose his trust. Nevertheless, this technique is pretty accurate and showed it can be successful in many occasions.

That also reminds me of what Henri kaufman was saying: It is always the final 5 seconds of an interview, when you are in the elevator, which are the most important.

Blogged with Flock

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Hello, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts,
    that's in fact excellent, keep up writing.

    my web page: calories walking calculator