Tag Archives: home sales training video

Video Mystery Shopping: Be Your Personal Best

massageOver the past few months I have noticed a DANGEROUS new trend among new home sales associates. They are working themselves TO DEATH! I spoke to one sales associate last month that said she had not taken a day off in over 28 days. Another sales associate told me he had not gone on a ‘real’ vacation in over 2 years! And yet another told me she had not worked out or gone to the gym in 6 months and had subsequently gained 35 lbs. because of it! I hear stories like these almost on a daily basis!

OK, people…here is your wakeup call! It’s time to start taking care of yourselves! How can you be expected to perform at your best if you are not taking the time to relax, recharge, and rest! Let’s start with your smart phone…..it’s OK to turn it off at night. I have actually heard sales associates tell me they SLEEP with their phones. I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of a new home sales emergency taking place at 2 a.m. Suggestion: set a designated time each night to turn your phone off! Also, if you are in the practice of keeping your phone on when you are eating dinner with your family, at least put it on silence or vibrate. If calls come in, let it go to voice mail and return the call later.

Secondly, most new home sales associates are given two days off during the week. These are called ‘days off’ for a reason. You are not supposed to work. However, almost every sales associate I speak with says they literally work through their days off. I certainly understand if you have to check voice mail, return a few emails, or maybe even write a contract on a day off, but your entire day off should not be about working. Suggestion: set aside an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to do these tasks (excect the contract writing!). Also, plan something special for your day off. It can be as simple as reading a book, getting a massage, or having lunch with a friend. Enjoy your time!

Third, don’t put your health in jeopardy. I know it can be easy to blow off exercising, but it is important that you take care of you. Suggestion: use a day timer or calendar program and SCHEDULE your exercise the same way you would schedule an important appointment. Also, when it comes to eating properly (going through a Mickey D’s drive-through does not count as healthy!) plan ahead for the week. Suggestion: Always have healthy snacks on hand in the sales office. Also, when you do your weekly grocery shopping have a plan for what you will be eating for lunch and dinner for the entire week.

Some of these suggestions might sound elementary to you; however, I can promise you that by incorporating them into your life you will improve your well-being! New home sales is not an easy job. It can be stressful, demanding, and overwhelming. So, it’s up to you to set boundaries and standards by which to live!

 

Video Mystery Shopping: Meeting Unrecognized Needs

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Customer Service, he discusses the 3 levels of service.

Level one is Meeting Expectations. For example, you need to purchase toothpaste. So, you go to Walgreens and buy a tube of Colgate. Your expectation has been met, and you are satisfied. Not a thrilling or memorable experience, but you got what you came to get. You are satisfied.

Level two is when you not only meet expectations, but you also Meet Desires! This is the level where most new home sales associates are. You meet with your prospects; ask questions to determine what they are looking for in their new home. You then find them the home that successfully meets their desires. This creates a loyal customer!

However, the third level of Maslow’s Hierarchy is referred to as creating a ‘transformation’. This is when you meet your prospects Unrecognized Needs. This creates EVANGELISM!

What is an unrecognized need? It’s a need that your prospects never knew they had! You can only get to this level of service by finding out everything you can about your prospects and how they live. This takes more than basic discovery and questioning. It takes empathy, understanding and out of the box thinking. Let me give you an example, in a shop I watched last month the SA was working with a couple. They had scheduled their first meeting, but the husband was unable to attend the first meeting due to health issues.

The SA spent about 20 minutes at the beginning of the presentation asking questions, and building trust and rapport. The wife shared with the SA that the husband had some long term health issues that would eventually cause him to be in a wheel chair. The SA began discussing options on how to build the home so that it would accommodate his future health needs. She even went so far as to suggest the option of adding a hidden elevator in the home.  The wife was ecstatic! She had not thought about these options and was thrilled with the recommendations. The SA had met unrecognized needs for her buyers. This is your job as a new home sales associate.  In doing so, you will create Evangelism with YOUR buyers!

 

 

 

Video Mystery Shop: The Power of Personalization

cokePersonalize and Customize. Personalize and Customize. I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to do this in every sales presentation you give. In fact, you should never, ever give the same sales presentation twice. Each one should be specific and focused on your prospect’s specific needs, wants, and desires! The experience you create for your prospects can either make or break the sale for you!

And, this is not just true for new home sales. Many businesses today are finally embracing the concept that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ sales and marketing strategy. My favorite example of this comes from Coca Cola. A couple of years ago Coca Cola introduced its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Instead of just having the company name on the cans and bottles of the soft drink, they started incorporating individual names! It created quite the buzz! Everyone wanted to find ‘their’ coke can or bottle. Facebook was a flurry with pictures of people holding their personalized cans of Coca Cola! It was fun, it was clever, and it was pure marketing genius! Not only that….it was profitable!

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was single handily responsible for turning profits around for the company after a decade of decline. That’s right! After ten long years of losing money, Coke made a profit by simply adding a person’s name to a can of soda! The first step in personalizing your presentation is building rapport in order to find out what is important to your customers. One of the best ways to do this is to use your prospect’s name. Yes, I know it sounds easy, but in about 75% of the video shops I watch the sales person NEVER uses the customer’s name. Not even once!

In his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, Dale Carnegie writes: ‘A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language’ . Don’t forget that! And, if you are like me and have a problem remembering names…..WRITE IT DOWN. Use a clipboard to take notes and write your customer’s name on the top of the page. Try to use their name 3 – 5 times in the first ten minutes of your presentation so that it becomes natural to you.
The Power of Personalization….if Coke can increase sales after ten years by simply putting a name on a 75 cent can of soda, imagine what would happen if you started personalizing and customizing in your sales presentations on a $500,000 home!!!

Video Mystery Shopping: Tips for Building a Better Builder’s Story

Oftentimes when watching video mystery shops, the SA’s tend to struggle with the Builder’s story. They either don’t bring up the builder AT ALL during the presentation or they have a tendency to recite a canned speech about how the builder is a ‘quality, family owned builder’….which can get very BORING!

older people

Let’s face it….your prospects are probably visiting several builders during their home search. Your job is to provide a builders story that will make YOUR builder memorable and unique! Imagine that! A builder that your prospect will actually remember long after they have left your sales office. So, how do you do this?

Here are a couple of tips for you:
1. Don’t make your presentation boring! The fact that you have been in business since 1956 is honorable, but does it really impact your prospect? The fact that you are a quality builder is great, but don’t you think your prospect already assumes you are a quality builder? To make your builders story stand out think about what makes you different and better than the other builders. Try this exercise, fill in the blank: “We are the only builder in (your city) that (your uniqueness). Answers may range from ‘offers a no down payment option’ to ‘builds with brick’ to ‘offers award winning energy features’.

2. Avoid the ‘Pronoun Problem’. Too often SA’s refer to the builder as ‘they’ or ‘them’ during the presentation. This immediately distances you from your builder. It creates an us vs. them scenario. Try using the pronoun WE when referring to your builder. WE build in communities throughout Tampa Bay. WE offer an award winning energy efficient program. WE allow you to customize’

3. Ask your prospect’s if they have ever built a new home before. If they answer YES, then continue by asking them what they LIKED and DISLIKED about the process. This allows you to collect key information that can be used to customize and personalize your builder’s story. If your prospect has never built a new home, then your line of questioning changes. You can ask them about their expectations and then craft your builder’s story to reflect on that.

Bottom line, your builder’s story is your brand. It’s your secret sales weapon! By crafting and sharing an excellent builder’s story, you not only gain credibility and trust with your prospects, but you are able to affiliate yourself with a brand that is much bigger than you alone.

Video Mystery Shopping: Don’t fear the shop!

Businessman with bag over head giving thumbs upVideo Mystery Shopping…..those three words have been known to increase the blood pressure of new home sales associates to deadly levels. Let’s face it, MOST sales associates would rather have a root canal performed (without Novocain!) than be video shopped. I totally get that no one likes seeing themselves on camera and I certainly understand that sometimes the camera position on a video shopper can lead to some unflattering shops, but let’s put all that aside for a moment and let me give you some FACTS about why video shopping is effective and good for you!

FACT 1: Most top performing sales associates welcome a video shop because it is an opportunity to improve their presentation skills. Improved skills = More Sales = More $$

FACT 2: Companies that use video shopping as a training tool are investing in their employees and have a true desire for them to improve. We often work with builders that utilize our three step method of Video Shopping, Coaching, and Training. This program works because it is specific to the needs of the sales team.

FACT 3: Video shops are a great way to get a ‘snap shot’ of what’s going on in your sales offices, thus allowing the sales manager to see what areas the team needs to be trained on. For example, if the video shops reveal that no one is asking for the sale, closing skills might be a good topic for training.

FACT 4: Video shops are NOT all about pointing out the weaknesses of the individual; they should also be used to point out the strengths of the individuals.

FACT 5: The true purpose of a video shop is to train and provide a baseline for your sales team. If used properly, your sales team will improve their presentation skills, become better closers, and make more sales. Isn’t that the main goal?

If you are planning to attend the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) be sure to attend the educational workshop ‘Ten Tips to Ace Your Video Mystery Shop’ on Friday, July 17th at 11 am presented by our very own sales coach and trainer Leah Turner.

Leah Turner has watched hundreds of video shops and has coached hundreds of sales associates on how to improve not only their video shop scores, but also their overall sales presentations….resulting in MORE SALES. If you want to learn how to ACE your next video shop, perfect your sales presentation, and increase sales join Leah to discover what the best and most successful sales associates in the home building industry are doing differently.

Video Mystery Shopping: Objections are directional signs leading you to the close!

problems and solution signpostBuyer’s objections can often derail sales people and end up blowing up the sale. Objections CAN be deal breakers if not identified and overcome quickly.

The problem with objections is that most new home sales consultants view them as a negative. They don’t want to deal with them or, if they do, they just want to provide an immediate solution to the objection and move on. We have actually seen sales consultants IGNORE objections presented by their prospects. Obviously, this is not a good way to handle objections.

Objections are actually powerful selling signs which, when handled properly, actually lead the sales associate closer to the sale. The goal with handling objections is to flush them out early and respond in a calm, convincing way that neutralizes the prospect’s concern.
Below is the 4 step process that we recommend using each time you are presented with an objection.

STEP 1: Validate/Show Empathy – This lets your prospect know you have heard them and validated their point. ‘That’s a great observation!’, ‘I understand what you are saying’, ‘Thank you for pointing that out to me’

STEP 2: Question/Clarify – This allows you to clarify exactly what they are objecting about. Believe it or not, many times there can be a miscommunication between what the prospect has said and what the sales consultant actually interprets. ‘So, tell me specifically what it is about the kitchen layout that isn’t working for you’

STEP 3: Offer Solutions (if possible) – Not all objections will have a solution, but if there is one, this is the place to provide it. ‘Here are a couple of suggestions that may work for you’.

STEP 4: Confirm it is resolved or not a deal breaker – At this point you want to make sure that this objection is no longer going to persuade them regarding the purchase of the home. ‘So, do you think that idea will work for you regarding the kitchen layout?’

BONUS TIP: Another great way to handle objections is to ask the prospect at the beginning of your sales presentation to name their 3 MUST HAVES in their new home. This way, if you are presented with an objection during the model demonstration, IE. ‘These secondary bedrooms seem too small’, you can simply remind your prospect of what those three must haves were (assuming one wasn’t large secondary bedrooms!). This reminds the prospect to focus more on what they REALLY want in a new home, and not get caught up in the smaller details.

Video Mystery Shopping: Follow up can make or break the deal!

A tyPortrait of a smiling businesswoman with phonepical scenario I see often in video mystery shops has to do with following up. Here’s what happens, we send our shoppers out as an ‘A’ prospect. They are ready, willing, and able to buy. Their home is sold, they’re the sole decision maker, they LOVE what you are showing them, and they correctly fill out the registration card. After visiting the community, they check their email inbox and…..NOTHING, NADA, ZIP!

Shopper ‘A’ is an ideal customer. It amazes me that they don’t receive follow up from the sales associates. If the ‘A’ prospects are not being followed up with, I seriously doubt the B’s or C’s are!
Houston…..we have a serious problem here. Think about it….when you are shopping for a home, chances are you are going to visit SEVERAL communities. You are going to see SEVERAL sales associates. You are going to become overwhelmed with everything you have seen and heard. Chances are you may get home and not remember who was who and what was what.

But, when you receive follow up from the sales associate that you met at Windsong, who thanks you for stopping by and then provides you with the information about the surrounding schools you requested, all of a sudden you remember!

Then a few days later, you are checking your mailbox and lo and behold….there is a handwritten letter from Mary at Windsong with a $10 Starbucks certificate (because you had told her how much you love their Frappuccinos). Wow. You are impressed! In her note she also invites you to come back the following Saturday because the neighborhood is having a pool party and she wants to introduce your family to some of the other families and their children. You see, Mary remembered your 10 year old daughter Kelly was anxious about moving and making new friends. See where I am going with this? Follow up helps you build the relationship with your prospects. It allows you to continue to build rapport long after they’ve left your sales office.

My question has always been WHY in the world would you not follow up??? I’ve heard every excuse in the book. In most cases, I have found that laziness and lack of creative follow up ideas are the primary causes for no follow up.

Follow up must be engaging, informative and personalized….just like your sales presentations. Take the time to find out interesting things about your prospects. Do they have children or pets? What do they like to do in their spare time? What’s their favorite dessert? This will give you information to create great (and memorable!) follow up!
Remember, if you don’t follow up, chances are someone else will!

Video Mystery Shopping: The New Rules of Qualifying

Business people in officeBack in the day, the qualifying process for sales associates basically consisted of two things. First, you had to make sure the prospect had enough money to buy the home, and secondly, you had to find out if they had a house to sell. It was a pretty simple process. Once you had answers to those two questions, you could sell them a home.

My, how things have changed! Today, qualifying your prospects has taken on a whole new meaning! You see, your role has changed and evolved over the years. You are no longer a new home sales associate…you are a new home advisor! Your role is to determine if your product, community, and builder match up with what your prospect is looking for. So, in addition to finding out if they can afford your homes and that they don’t have a home to sell, you have to learn how to qualify on everything!

Also, qualifying used to be something that you did throughout your sales presentation. You might do a little qualifying at the beginning, a bit more in the middle, and even some at the end of your presentation. This has also gone by the wayside. In today’s world, it is imperative that you qualify your prospects at the beginning of your presentation. This is done so as to not waste your time or your prospect’s.

I was in the field last week visiting clients throughout Florida, and every sales person I spoke with said that Qualifying had become the most important aspects of their presentation. For example, I visited one very large community in SW Florida that offered 69 floor plans and 6 different product lines! In addition, because of the uniqueness of the community, people from all over the area stop by just to look at models, take the complimentary boat ride through the community, and eat the free chocolate chip cookies! Needless to say, this is a community that gets a lot of traffic. Add to that, the community is very large and on average a sales presentation can take up to 2 hours.

It didn’t take long for the sales associates to realize that if they were going to invest 2 or more hours of their time with the prospects, it was very important to know they were ready, willing and able buyers! In addition, they also realized that due to the multiple product lines and numerous floor plans, they had to use strong qualifying questions to narrow down the options for the prospects based on their needs and wants. Whew! What a process!

I watched the sales team in action, and was very impressed with how they managed all of this qualifying. In most cases, the sales associate had the prospects sit down and before they began discussing the amenities, product lines, and builder story, they started off by saying: ‘Before we get started, we are going to spend about 20 minutes or so talking to determine your moving motivation and time frame and conclude if this community, product line, and builder are the right match for you. We are going to go over what your needs and wants are, and also what type of lifestyle you live. This will better allow me to narrow down your options.’

Awesome stuff! This line of qualifying and questioning allowed them to determine if the prospect was really interested in moving forward or if they were just there for the free cookies and model tours. In our industry, time is money. It is better to invest the time upfront qualifying your prospects before you play cruise director for 2 hours showing models.

Negotiation Pitfalls: Avoid These Deal-Breaking Mistakes!

John A PalumboGuest Blogger: John A. Palumbo, The Sterling Group

At a Jan. 22 International Builders’ Show seminar in Las Vegas, John Palumbo, CEO of The Sterling Group based in Jacksonville, Fla., provided several strategies to help builders to seal the deal more often than not by demonstrating the biggest and most common negotiation deal breakers:

No Differentiation. Most small builders are not doing research that shows why they are better than their competitors, said Palumbo. “If you do what everyone else is doing, you are missing sales.” One example he cited that makes a community stand out is a food truck that comes three days a week to serve the local residents.

Negotiating With Your Customers. “Consumers don’t like ‘aggressive’ salespeople but they love ‘assertive’ salespeople,” said Palumbo. The most successful are those who use information, charm and the power of persuasion to maximize sales. Make the customer feel like they made the right choice in their home purchase without being talked into it.

Treating All Sales the Same. Salespeople who sound automated and like they are reciting from a script come off as insincere to the customer. The most successful, he said, are “unsalespersons” who are spontaneous, casual, authentic and relaxed and who use their own words and stories. They are able to observe, uncover and predict their prospect’s behavior, thereby evoking emotion and communicating more effectively.

Not Using Third-Party Endorsements. Companies that properly use third-party endorsements can increase their sales by 25% to 30%, said Palumbo. When it comes to the bottom line, customers who have seen written correspondence, videos and social media endorsements are better positioned to buy your products with less negotiating and feel as though they have not been persuaded at all.

To make the endorsement process easy, ask a satisfied customer for a few short words or sentences on why they were happy with their home purchase and then write it up yourself and get it signed off by the customer.

Not Hypnotizing the Customer. Customers don’t want to be informed, they have already done their homework on the Internet. They want to be guided and given a reason to feel good about their purchase so that when they go home at night, they are thrilled about the decision they made earlier in the day with you.

Quitting too Soon. “Call me if you have any questions, here’s my card, let me grab a brochure.” These are all examples of salespeople who quit too soon and never make it across the finish line. Don’t throw in the towel on your next customer so soon. Do not let “feeling pushy” stop you from making one more call or letting your customer walk out the door without a contract in hand.

Being a Good Listener. The ability to interpret what you hear from the customer is vital. Most deal breakers occur because of a disconnect between what the customer is actually saying and what the salesperson thinks they are saying. By honing in on the customer’s needs and desires, you can use that information to initiate a solid purchase decision.

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Video Mystery Shopping: Bring the Sizzle back to your Sales Meetings

Leah Turner

Leah Turner

Are you sales meetings motivating or boring? Do you regularly incorporate training ideas or just review housekeeping items? Does your sales team get excited about the sales meeting or would they prefer to have a root canal?

We know that planning and implementing dynamic, engaging and educational sales meetings week after week after week can be a challenge. This is why we are pleased to announce our new program for 2015….Sales Meeting Sizzlers! We will bring the Sizzle back to your sales meeting!

These individualized Sales Meeting Sizzler workshops presented by our sales coach, Leah Turner, are designed to provide intense focus and training on specific elements of a successful sales presentation. Each program includes a 45 minute presentation followed by an additional 30 minute interactive exercise to drive home the message. Sales Sizzlers are an ideal way to incorporate consistent training into your weekly sales meetings.

Ready to take your sales team to the next level?  It’s easy, all you do is select a topic or group of topics that you want to provide training on and we’ll do the rest!

TOPICS:

  1. Approach & Introduction: You had me at hello – How to make an excellent first impression and set the stage for the entire presentation.
  2. Qualifying: Getting to know you – Perfecting your questioning & listening skills to get the information needed to make the sale. Discover how to dig deeper through questioning to find out the buyers true buying motivation, wants, and needs.
  3. Setting the Stage – How to introduce the ‘close’ at the beginning of the presentation and be in full control of the presentation from start to finish.
  4. Overcoming Objections –  Learn how to successfully overcome objections through a simple four step process
  5. Closing Techniques & Effective Follow-Up – How to create a ‘window of opportunity’ to seize the sale
  6. Creating a buzz – Prospecting, lead generation, marketing, networking
  7. Building Strong Realtor Relationships – How to make Realtors your ‘community sales ambassadors’
  8. Goal Setting & Action Plans – Create step by step action plans to achieve your goals the SMART way
  9. Builder’s Promise – Craft the perfect Builder’s story that sets you apart from the competition.
  10.  Community – Learn how to create and sell a ‘lifestyle’ that your prospects
  11. Model demo – Master the art of ‘Show & Sell’ by focusing on a prospect driven demonstration vs. product driven
  12. Demo the dirt – How to successfully sell a home site
  • Customized Programs Available – Based on Builder input (Additional fee)

Interested in learning more? Contact Melinda Brody and Company.