April 23, 2021

The New ABC’s of Selling

Ever since the famous scene in Glengarry Glen Ross where Blake, played by Alec Baldwin, defined the ABCs of Selling…. as “Always Be Closing”, that phrase has haunted sales professionals everywhere.

Closing is scary, regardless of how you dress up the words. The idea of the hard sell, or forceful close and “kill” tactic is extremely upsetting to both the real estate agent and client. But there is a better way, in my new video from Icon Coaching, “The NEW ABCs of Selling,” I show agents how to use the old term in a new, modern way that benefits both the real estate agent and client.

The NEW ABCs of Selling are:

  • A – Action
  • B – Benefit
  • C – Commitment

It’s a simple strategy which can be used over and over during the agent/client relationship to move the process along in a meaningful and non-threatening manner.

Action: What specific action do you want your client to take?

Benefit: What is the benefit to your client for taking this action?

Commitment: Get the client’s commitment to take the action.

Using this method you can employ this strategy all along the way and move through the sales cycle effortlessly and deliberately. Let’s explore Icon Coaching’s strategy by walking through the ABCs with a potential home buyer and see how easy it is to move the client forward.


What specific action do you want your client to take? “Buy a home from me!” Ok, yes, of course, you want to get to the close, every good real estate agent does, but remember, we are going to look at the sales cycle one action at a time. What’s the very first step in that cycle? Every sale will start with the first appointment, so that’s going to be your first “Action”: setting the appointment.

So in our example, let’s talk about the appointment. As you begin to use Icon’s NEW ABCs of Selling, you will begin by telling your client that you would like to meet and talk about their real estate needs. You might say,

“What I would like to do is find a time to sit down and talk so I can learn more about your real estate needs and goals.”

An Action item is a statement of intent. Keep it simple and straightforward and clear. The Action item should not be vague or open ended, be clear in your statement. A poor example might be, “We should talk more about your needs.” Notice in this statement there is no concrete, immediate action statement. It merely suggests that there should be more discussion vs a specific call to get together.

As you start to move along in the sales cycle, the Action item will naturally change. The Action item could be actions like:

  • Visit listings
  • Write an offer or counter offer
  • Ask for repairs

At each stage of the process, take the ABCs one step at a time until the last one results in handing the client the keys to their new home.


After you make your Action statement, offer your client a Benefit for performing the Action. My video, “The NEW ABCs of Selling,” shows you how to answer the question forming in the client’s mind, “why should I get together with this agent?” In other words, what’s in it for the client? Answer this question right up front.

“What I will do is to bring all the listings which meet your basic criteria and we can use this list as a starting point to refine the search, so you can make the best use of your time.”

What did that statement indicate to the client? You stated that the Benefit was to save your client time and effort by providing useful information they can use to narrow down their search.

As you move along in the sales cycle, you might offer benefits.

  • Write an offer so your client does not lose a home to another buyer
  • Accept the request for repairs response because they gave us all the important corrections we asked for
  • Let’s ask for an extension to allow us a little extra time to close

Proceeding from a genuine interest in helping your client make the best possible decisions along the way, you will offer the Benefit of each Action you request.


The Commitment should be the easiest part of the NEW ABCs of Selling, yet most real estate agents still shy away from asking for it. If you’ve set the stage properly with the Action and Benefit, then the client should easily want to commit in order to gain the Benefit that the Action gives them. Offer a Benefit that they want and your client will gladly take the Action which provides it.

Going back to our example, we’ve defined the Action and its Benefit, now it’s time to get the client’s commitment. I always suggest giving the client an “either – or” option.

“Would weekends or weekdays be best for your schedule?”

Notice we give them options that both lead to the commitment you want them to make, in this case, the appointment. You should not ask an open ended question which leaves them without a clear decision, clear commitment. A few examples of the open ended question are:

“When will you have some time to meet?”
“Would you like to set a time to meet?”
“What do you think?”

In each case, you are giving the client the ability to say “no” to the commitment. To successfully use the NEW ABCs of Selling technique, you have to offer options that allow your client to make the commitment. Remember that you are offering something of value to your client; it’s in their best interest to make the commitment, so help them make it. That’s part of your job as a professional real estate agent.


Icon Coaching’s NEW ABCs of Selling takes the old, tired, pushy rules of selling and turns it on its head. The NEW ABCs, utilizing the process of Action – Benefit – Commitment helps you move your client through the sale cycle one step at a time in a methodical manner which helps both agent and client.

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