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Charisma to Gain Instructions

Why is it that some estate agents have a much higher hit rate than their colleagues on winning instructions, and business relationships in general? In my experience, no matter what process is followed in terms of any “presentation”, sometimes it simply comes down to rapport.

So what can you do to enhance your rapport-building abilities? There are many ways of tackling this subject from sophisticated neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to a simple understanding of basic non-verbal communication (body-language). But on this occasion I’d like to consider the important aspect of your own personal awareness.

Whilst personal awareness is similar to confidence, it goes beyond this. Personal awareness is consciously deciding to identify those elements of your own charisma that can subtly be harnessed to your advantage. Certain people, such as Bill Clinton, are great at doing this. Not only can he step into a room and command attention, but, really importantly, everyone with whom he makes eye contact is made to feel that they have their own personal relationship with him! (especially if you are called Monica!)

So may I suggest that you become personally aware of the following aspects of your own charisma and then decide (and remember) to use them deliberately.

First, charismatic people tend to move purposefully; they are in control of their body, they don’t fidget, and they move more slowly than you might expect. Part of being in control is to look at peace with yourself. Be aware of any frown, forehead furrows or tight lips. Let your shoulders relax and look directly at people when speaking. Stand straight and upright – take up their space!

Even though there is merit in mirroring someone’s speaking pace, speak more slowly and sparingly than your anxiety would prefer. This puts you in better control. Only say what’s important, with more emphasis on listening to what the other person is saying and taking your lead from their interests, not yours. Speak more quietly than you might normally – then they have to listen to you!

Enthusiasm and optimism are infectious and are possibly the most important part of gaining an instruction. But don’t gush and speak deliberately and with well-reasoned arguments backed up with substantiated evidence. Make regular eye contact without staring and smile – but remember that a closed-mouth smile is better and more apparently sincere than a gaping one that seems only to be designed to flatter.

Speaking of flattery, flatter what the seller has done to the property, not the property itself (eg “what a good idea to have knocked this wall through – was that your idea?” or “I’ll bet the children have really enjoyed the lawn since you levelled it”). 

Finally, be well groomed, and make sure your car and desk are also immaculate. Dress for the job above your own and you’ll find you may well rise into it! Feel good about yourself and you’ll conduct yourself with authority. When I was a young estate agent my boss used to tell me to carry a £50 note in my pocket, which I did. Having that £50 note in my pocket made me feel secure and successful and I’m sure this had a positive bearing on my demeanour. I wish I still had it!