One of the more powerful techniques we help people learn is how to uncover expectations. We call it the “magic wand” technique. A client shared a great story a while back that helps demonstrate how it works.
The client of mine is a roofer, and he’d received a referral from a realtor he had worked with before. The realtor had him look at a roof, and warned him that the owners were literally moving out that day. The husband had been transferred out of state, and they had just now gotten a buyer for the house.
My client knew it was going to be tight. Usually the whole process of getting an adjuster out to the house, filing the claim, and receiving the check takes a week or two. So usually it’s done several weeks before someone moves out. In this case, most of the family’s possessions were already loaded on the moving truck out front, and they were inside doing touch-up paint work!
As my client talked with the family, he found out they had never replaced a roof before. Not knowing what their expectations were, he immediately thought of the magic wand technique.
He asked them, “If I could wave a magic wand and you ended up with the best possible outcome, what would that look like to you guys?”
They answered, “We have to have this closed before we move into our new house. And if the roof’s not insurable, the buyer’s going to back out of the deal.”
Understanding the situation and their expectations, my client got the ball rolling quickly. He had an adjuster out there first thing the next morning, and got them an estimate and a check that same day. He also got a signed contract for them that day, and his roofing company completed the job just a couple days later.
Later, the family was saying goodbye to their neighbors, when the neighbors asked about the roofing sign in front of their house. “You guys just had your roof replaced?” they asked.
“Yes, we did,” the family responded.
“Wow, that was fast!” the neighbors said. “It’s been years since we’ve had our roof replaced. Think we should talk to your roofer?”
Of course, the family said they should, and went on to rave about what a great job my client had done at meeting and even exceeding their expectations!
You can use that magic wand in a variety of situations to uncover what the best case expectations are when you’re talking to a prospect. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a $20,000 sale like that roof, or a $20 million one. It’s all about putting the focus on the other party and learning what they ideally want to happen. It’s about making the situation comfortable enough that they’re willing to share that with you.