Why do some salespeople excel over others? Why do some always have follow up activities going on, regardless of how many prospects are coming in the door? Why is it that some salespeople consistently get higher customer satisfaction scores than those of their peers?
As a sales trainer and coach I am constantly seeking the answer to those and similar questions. The 80/20 rule states that 20% of the new home salespeople will make 80% of the sales (and commissions!). On the other hand, 80% of the salespeople make only 20% of the sales. I’m guessing that those of you in the 80% group would like to figure out how to get into the top 20% or even top 10%. On May 19, 2007 I found some answers on just how to do that.
I’m not a horse racing fan but for some reason, the results of the 2007 Preakness caught my attention. There were two horses battling it out right to the end of the race. Street Sense, the lead horse, had taken a big lead against the rest of the group and looked like he would run away with the crown. But coming around the final turn, a horse named Curlin started to gain on Street Sense at every stride. They were neck and neck coming into the finish and it was Curlin, by a nose.
Now in my book, it didn’t matter if Curlin won by a nose or six lengths. He will go down in history as the winner and Street Sense will forever be second. After hearing this it hit me that in order to “win” in new home sales, we only have to persuade our prospects just a little bit more than our competitors. Consider these other thoughts I looked up:
1. The average margin of victory on the PGA tour over the last 25 years is less than three strokes.
2. An Olympic sprinter will train for six to ten hours a day, six days a week for three years for a race that usually lasts 10 seconds. In 2004, the difference between first place and fourth place in the Men’s 800 Meters was .71 seconds!
3. At 211 degrees, water is very hot but if you increase the heat by only one degree, water boils and turns to steam. Steam can power a locomotive! (For a great inspirational video on this concept, visit 212 movie.)
If you want to win at new home sales, that little bit of extra effort will put you in the winners’ circle (or in our case, at the closing table) more often than not.
Here is the key point: to get what you’ve never had you must do what you’ve never done!
Question: “How do I apply this ‘extra degree’ of effort to the new home sales process?
Answer: Read on!
In May, we discussed Presenting and Demonstrating. Our next two steps are Selecting One (creating urgency) and Objections. With Objections, we are moving into the Action phase of the Critical Path. This is really what separates the winners from the losers.
The Critical Path to new home sales (in chronological order):
3. Discovery/Needs Analysis- Interest
4. Presentation- Interest
5. Demonstration- Desire
6. Select One- Desire
7. Objections- Action
8. Finance- Action
9. Closing- Action
10. Follow up- Action
11. Due Diligence- Action
12. Referrals- Action
Selecting One (creating urgency)
“If you don’t want this home there are two other families that do,” or “We’re selling one home per week at Wild Meadows so if you don’t reserve this site, there is a good chance it won’t be around two weeks from now.” The previous are statements that were heard far and wide between 1998 and 2004. As you all know, you can’t use them anymore. How do we create urgency in today’s market? By narrowing down each prospect to one specific home or homesite.
The only way to accomplish this is to create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for each home or homesite. Take a look at the following list of ways to distinguish your individual homes or sites from one another:
3. Style (flat, LO, WO)
5. Location within neighborhood (near park, amenities, larger homes)
6. View (trees, water, green space)
7. Orientation to sun
8. Easements (utility, drainage, conservation)
9. Cultural preferences (address, cul-de-sac)
10. Limitations (width, depth, water table)
Use this list to give every home/homesite you are selling some unique characteristics. The idea is you don’t have 20 sites available, you only have one or two that will work for your prospect. For more information on creating urgency, click here Creating Urgency.
I’ve got a great article on objections here Objections but today I wanted to share my favorite technique for dealing with objections in today’s market. It’s called, Just Suppose and here is how it works.
The next time you have selected one with a prospect and now you are moving into the objection phase of the sales process, try this.
Prospect: “We would buy from you if we could afford it,” or “If the (road, power line, gravel pit, etc.) weren’t there, we would buy.”
All Pro Salesperson: “Mrs. Prospect thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. In addition to (list objection), is there anything else that would keep you from owning today?”
If the prospect gives you another objection you say, “Besides that, is there anything else?”
If the prospect says “No, that is all,” you use the Just Suppose method.
All Pro Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, just suppose (the road/view/power line) wasn’t there, would you want this home?” If they say yes, it’s a legitimate objection and you move to changing the base of the objection (list out all the positives of the home/neighborhood/community) and simply ask, ‘what is more important, you getting all the amenities you want at the budget you’ve determined or the fact that the view could be a bit better?”
Now, if they still say ‘no’ after you have removed the objection you have a smoke screen. Something else is wrong that they are not telling you or they are not a ready, willing and able buyer. It’s time to dig deeper!