Agree & Amplify
Originally published September, 2016

Agree & Amplify

When I moved to New York, I was 21 years old and I didn’t know anyone. I moved here hoping to turn my hobby as a music producer into a career, but there weren’t many girls in my apartment (I made a lot of music on my laptop) or in the recording studio (well, not at the level that I was at). That didn’t sit well with me, so I would go out 3 or 4 nights each week – ordering club soda and pretending it was vodka when I couldn’t afford actual vodka – just to meet girls. That might sound like the perfect life for someone in his early 20s, but I would rather have a stable relationship. Still, that experience was incredibly helpful for me because dating and meeting girls is exactly like sales. All of the things that helped me impress girls help me impress clients, too.

The most important lesson that I learned is to agree and amplify. When you’re asking for something from someone who doesn’t know you – for example, on a cold call – the person with something to lose will want to know how good you are before he trusts you. He will try to find out by testing you. Your reaction to the situation will determine what this person thinks of you. For example, a seller might say something like this:

“Your company doesn’t do enough business in this area.”

This is a test, not a legitimate reason for someone not to work with me. My response to a test is always to agree and amplify. That looks something like this:

“No! We don’t do enough business near you, and that’s why we’re putting all of our efforts into expanding. I want every listing in your neighborhood, and you’re the front gate to those listings. That’s why I will work harder for you than anyone else.”

Instead of getting mad, or defensive, or upset at him for calling out my company, I turn it around on him by agreeing to the objection, amplifying the objection (“we’re putting all of our efforts into expanding”), and then stating exactly why that original objection will help him. That last part is sometimes called accelerating past the objection, and you might see this strategy called “Agree, Amplify, & Accelerate” in some places.

This fits in with my style of being genuine and honest (with some room for exaggeration – you have to be able to have fun, or you will never sell anything to anyone). The objections that you agree and amplify are true. But the person stating the objection spins it in a negative way to make you look bad. The trick is to recognize this and to not allow yourself to react emotionally. When you do this, you show people that you will own up to any perceived flaws, and then use them to your advantage. That builds trust. And trust is key when we’re talking about multi-million dollar real estate deals.

Liked this? Keep reading my posts as I prepare to launch Tawil & Team, my soon-to-be private real estate brokerage, in 2017. And of course, please do not be afraid to reach out for help with your real estate needs. I don’t bite.