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August 2017

Note:  As we are winding down the dog days of summer, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I thought I would revisit a previous article I generated a few years ago with a few modifications.

Most of us have heard of the ‘7 Deadly Sins’.  These are human transgressions, taught primarily through our religious learnings, identified as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. I would venture an educated guess that we all have been guilty of one or two of these transgressions throughout our lives. I would also guess that most of us have made lifestyle corrections to move us away from our wayward behaviors. Except for the holidays of course. Gluttony is a hard one when all those holiday meals and treats are paraded in front of us. Oh the challenge of self-discipline!

The sales process should be a very positive experience for all involved parties. So how could we have 7 killer sins in sales? Obviously none of the above religious transgressions apply; although at times I would certainly understand being tempted by wrath. But we do keep that in check no matter how justified, right? 
Most sales professional’s commit the sin of poor communication. What we find in our day to day review of video shops is that most agents’ sales conversations could be and should be better. And some agents need significant improvement. 

Let’s visit the 7 communication sins: 

1.    Verbosity:  This is when the agent’s mouth is over engaged. Instead of speaking clearly and efficiently to create a comfortable conversational environment, all we hear is the agent droning on with information dumping. Or stories about their personal lives. Remember that old adage, two ears and one mouth! 

2.    Interrogation: The agent conducts the sales presentation as if it were a cross-examination. The buyer can’t wait to escape! Agents need to learn to slowly pace their questions. They can obtain the same information through a mix of inquiries and casual conversation. Learn to create rapport for an open and relaxed sales environment. Not only do you need to uncover the prospect's housing needs, but also their preferences and desires. Getting the buyer to share these basics allows the agent to create a product and community match.

3.    Terseness:  Saying too little! Yes some agents are almost afraid to speak or cannot say or ask anything. The overall brevity of their encounter does not make the buyer feel they are valued. The end result of the agent’s reticence could be the buyer controls the encounter and places the agent in a responsive and sometimes defensive mode. Or worse…buyers leave your sales center thinking there is nothing there for them.
 
4.    Desperation:  The agent is too eager and anxious to move that standing inventory.  Most buyers can detect your desperation and that places them in the driver’s seat. It is difficult to play catch up once you lose the ability to direct and guide. Desperation leads to gifting (defined as something given voluntarily without payment in return). Agent’s immediately sell price and incentives before they have determined if the prospect is even interested or has any level of commitment to your product and community. The agent quickly caves when the buyer asks about incentives, discounts and offers without receiving a reciprocal commitment. Ever hear of ‘quid pro quo’?

5.    Ad libbing: The agent is not prepared and stumbles through the encounter with vague and incomplete information or responses. The level of trust with your buyer quickly erodes into thin air. Additionally, the buyer never receives a clear picture of your product in terms of value and how the home will work for them. Sales presentations must have a basic structure in place and then allow for adjustments as needed.

6.    Hesitancy: The agent is afraid to ask for a purchase commitment. You spend time with a prospect, gain their emotional commitment, walk home sites, and you don’t ask if they want to proceed? Why agents are so hesitant to ask for the sale is inexplicable. People primarily visit your sales center because they want or need a home. Create the match and ask them to purchase.  Too many times agents end the sales encounter with ‘….if you have any questions….’

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7.    Neglect:   The agent does not pay full attention to their buyer, allows them to wander the models on their own and assumes if the buyer is interested, they will ask questions. Beyond determining size, number of bedrooms and price point, the agent learns little else about their buyer. Unfortunately too many agents also neglect to conduct a personalized follow-up campaign assuming the buyer will return on their own. Bad assumption.

There are endless ways to slip up during a sales encounter.  While we all make verbal blunders, in sales you need to constantly work on communication skills. You must conduct your sales presentation clearly so your buyer fully understands the information you are providing. Sometimes ‘less is more’ and at other times, ‘more is less’. Great agents work on that balance. Reviewing your video shop is an invaluable tool towards working on self-improvement. We also recommend agents self-evaluate as often as possible. 
In the end, to address effective communication skills, the agent must ask themselves three essential questions:

•    Do I say what I mean?
•    Do I mean what I say?
•    How do I say it?


For management, don’t commit the deadly sin of neglect. Our Video Profiles are a highly effective tool to correct and reinforce effective sales skills.  LeBlanc & Associates will be happy to assist you down the path of sales excellence. It’s easy! Give us a call, send an email or submit an online request. 

Top Ten Most Playful Places
A recent study analyzed 50 metro areas in America and categories such as health and happiness, recreation, and hobbies to determine what places are the most playful. Here is what they came up with.
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
2. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
3. Denver-Aurora, CO
4. San Francisco-San Jose, CA
5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
6. Boston-Cambridge, MA
7. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
8. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

LeBlanc & Associates welcomes the opportunity to confirm your sales team knows how to complete the sales process. We are committed to follow-up and follow-through the performance evaluation from the on-site visit’s first hello to the post visit monitoring period. You will know if your agents send one or multiple emails or telephone calls. You will also know if our shopper never hears from your agent.

Connect with us. It’s easy!

Phone:  1.800.838.1779

Email:  info@mleblanc.com

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Copy of Outstanding Evaluation