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Creating a Buying Atmosphere

 As you know, The Home Front primarily provides sales skills and technique insights for both management and our front line sales staff. You also know that no one should ever think sales is an easy profession. It takes a lot of hard work to become a true sales professional.

In my Front Porch articles, we have discussed the importance of being buyer centric. This time around let’s see if our front line sales professionals know how to create a buying atmosphere in their sales centers.

Sales success for any major investment, and housing certainly falls under that category, requires a buying atmosphere comprised of several components:

1.      Both parties know why they are meeting,

2.      Both parties feel comfortable to share open communication, and

3.      Both parties are focused on one thing: the best outcome for the customer.

To successfully achieve a productive buying atmosphere, the Boy Scout rule of ‘Always Be Prepared’ applies. So let’s address how one prepares for each of these components.

(1) Why You Are Meeting:   Whether working with a prospect by appointment or as a walk in, your prospect needs to know you are there to help them. The reason the prospect has contacted you is usually obvious…the need or desire for a new living environment. Once the face to face meeting begins, it is normal for a sales professional’s DNA to kick in and start selling. But we should take pause before we push the sales start button and assess each selling situation.

When you set appointments, if the preliminary telephone conversation was conducted correctly, you both know why you're meeting and what you're trying to accomplish. During that telephone conversation, you need to gather sufficient preliminary information so you are prepared for the onsite visit. You must know who your prospect is, know what they are looking for, and create sufficient rapport and trust to ensure you both can share open communication. This should all lead to both you and your prospect knowing something about each other before you meet.

When you are working with a walk-in, then you do not have the luxury of prospect specific preparation. This is a major challenge when you are alone in a busy sales office. Your discovery and assessment process can only be achieved through mutual conversation, interspersed with questions, and conducted in a relaxed environment built on trust. Therefore your preparation for working with walk-ins can only be the result of creating and practicing sales skills to get to know your prospect. Then these skills must be tailored specifically for the individual you are working with. As we have said many times, one size does not fill all in sales.

(2) The Comfort Zone:  If you and/or your potential customer don't feel at ease with each other you cannot expect sales success. To have an effective conversation and share open communication, there must be a comfort zone. All too often the potential customer isn't ready to really open up to you. While there are many variables, usually the reasons a prospect is not ready to have that conversation are (1) You did not do a good job preparing to help the prospect feel like they almost know you, (2) You're moving faster than the prospect is ready to go, and (3) You don't have a full understanding of what the prospect really wants because you haven't allowed them to tell you.

(3) Mutual Focus:  Your sales success will increase in direct proportion to your prospect’s belief and confidence that you're working together in their best interests. The instant you move into your presentation/ sales mode is when your potential customer begins to disengage. They no longer feel like it is two people working together sharing information to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. While the pressure to make sales is real, it is critical to stay focused on the prospect’s needs to make that sale stick.

While most people who visit your community hopefully will need and prefer what you have to offer, not everyone is ready to do something about it on your timeline. In your fervent effort to achieve a sale, combined with your strong belief that you can help everyone, you sometimes overlook that not everyone sees things the way you do. It is important that you see things from the buyer’s perspective. You may believe your 4 bedroom home with the great room and open floor plan is the best in the area. However, to achieve sales success, the prospect must share that same knowledge to fully understand that your product and community is a match and will benefit them. That is one of the key building blocks for sales success.

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Never wait and hope your sales team will figure out effective sales practices on their own over time. Some will but most won’t. Time costs both you and your sales staff. The best of sales professionals are always looking for ways to improve and are open to constructive recommendations. There is no room for anyone who is not open to improving how they sell. Let’s talk. Allow LeBlanc & Associates to help you identify which agents know how to engage and converse with their prospects. We promise to listen so we can offer you a quality evaluation program through our mystery shopping services. Give us a call!

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Top 10 Cities to Buy Instead of Rent

Is it better to rent or buy? A study looked at data for 100 U.S. cities to answer that question. They assumed a 4.8% rate on a 30-year mortgage and keeping the home 7 years. Buying was 35% cheaper than renting on average, but in many cities the gap was even wider. Six of the top ten were in Michigan and Ohio. Here's the list, plus how much cheaper it is to buy in each city:

PERCENTAGE CHEAPER CITY
1. 65% Detroit, MI
2. 58% Gary, IN
3. 55% Memphis, TN
4. 54% Cleveland, OH
5. 53% Kansas City, MO
6. 53% Warren, MI
7. 53% Dayton, OH
8. 52% Grand Rapids, MI
9. 52% W. Palm Beach, FL
10. 51% Akron, OH
 
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SEEING IS BELIEVING. Eliminate the doubt. No matter what the market conditions may be, a community’s success ultimately relies on the quality of the sales agents. Video Profiles from LeBlanc & Associates capture each agent’s sales presentation, the good and the not-so-good, through the eyes of the buyer.
CONFIRMATION:You must confirm your site sales staff is selling at peak performance. Accepting mediocrity or less is never acceptable.
TRAINING. Using a Video Profile from LeBlanc & Associates of your best agents demonstrates what you expect from the rest of the sales team. What better way can an agent learn than from the best of their peers? The training aspect is then reinforced with our self-evaluation guide.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING. To maintain the highest quality of final product, all our work is done in-house. Our clients receive two DVDs of each sales encounter. Each video is processed to eliminate non essential footage.
QUALITY. LeBlanc & Associates is established as the premiere company for sales agent evaluations. Our business is your business . . . new home sales. Our high level of training for our field techs provides the best capture rate of your agents. We know you are paying to see your agents – not the walls and windows of your sales office.
WHY LEBLANC & ASSOCIATES? Have you tried the rest and found ill prepared field personnel? Have you seen more walls than agents? Do ceiling shots make you dizzy?
THEN BE PREPARED FOR THE BEST. GIVE US A CALL!
LeBlanc & Associates
800.838.1779
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