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April 2018

In our last edition we talked about referring to sales agents by other names. This month let’s consider the world of mystery shopping. It too is called by many different identifiers:   Mystery Shopping. Secret Shopping. Performance Evaluations.

No matter what you call the process, it should end up providing the same performance confirmation and documentation of your sales and leasing agents. Companies need to protect its brand, confirm its corporate message is properly conveyed, and verify the sales effectiveness of their front line staff. While many tools and processes can be used, nothing compares to a video shop to allow you to see into the daily window of your sales centers.

Whether our clients have shopped their agents before or it is a new venture for them, the who, what, where, when and how are legitimate questions to ask. 

 

Who

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Management must know the overall nature of who represents them. Are the agents friendly?  Do they make their prospects feel valued? Are the agents attentive and focused? Are they committed to your product and brand? Are they knowledgeable?

•    How about mystery shopping companies? Who do you select? With a multitude of companies to select from, you should expect the same qualifications as you require for your sales team. Experience. Expertise. Trust. Reliability. Ease of communication. For LeBlanc & Associates, our expertise and sole focus is housing. We understand your needs. We make every effort to insure the end product provides something of value for both management and their agents. 

 

What

Management must know what agents are saying about their product and community. Do the agents convey the correct information or are they just winging it? If the agent states they will get back to a prospect about some information, do they actually do it? Do they even bother to create a community and home match?

•    Hands down the most valuable process to evaluate your sales team is the use of the hidden video. Our Video Profiles offer the undeniable documentation of what was said, how it was said, how the facial expression and body language conveyed the message. The Video Profile also provides the visual snapshot of how the agent utilizes the sales center and expensively decorated model homes. Our reports are relevant, easy to understand and cover both the factual and grey areas of sales.

 

When

•    Sales is not a 9-5 job. Management must know if their sales staff is open and ready for business at their posted hours. Are your agents ready to greet their first visitor at 10a.m. or are they just arriving to open the sales office? Are your agents rushing people out the door at 4:30 if the posted hours state open until 5?

•    Companies should utilize a mystery shopping program as frequently as your budget allows.  Once a year is good but twice a year is better. One day out of a whole year does not necessarily provide an accurate portrayal of your agents selling ability. Like all of us, agents do have “off” days for valid reasons. When planning your annual shopping/training program, factor in at least 2 shops a year. The first shop should be your benchmark for future performance. The subsequent shops will document the agents’ growth, consistency, and provide confirmation for targeted training.

 

How

•    If companies are spending time and money training their sales staff to sell a certain way, you must document and confirm if the agents are actually selling as they have been trained.

•    When selecting a mystery shopping company, know how that company will communicate with you and provide you with both the report and/or audio-video recording. You also will need to know how that company rates your agents. Do they offer an objective report format that is easily understood? Who rates the agents-the mystery shopper or trained professional staff?

 

Why

•    True sales professionals accept the process as a valuable training tool. The professional agent learns to look beyond their bad hair day or wrong outfit day to objectively analyze their sales presentation. They will see their strengths as well as areas where they need to improve.

•    Sales staff is your financial life line. Even in a strong demand market, you should not assume all is well in your sales offices. LeBlanc & Associates receives many competitive shop requests to determine why they are losing sales to another builder. Do the other agents sell better? In a demand market incentives and giveaways are far and few between.

 

By selecting LeBlanc & Associates there is no mystery to our high level of service we provide our clients. The secret is in our expertise. Our performance is measured by our loyal clients. Ready to document what is happening in your sales centers? It’s easy! Call, email or submit an online request.

 

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Top 11 Places In America For Cherry Blossom Viewing
Cherry Blossom viewing or Hanami is a popular cultural pastime in Japan but if you live here in the US where can you go (besides Washington DC)?
1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY
2. Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
3. Japantown, San Francisco, CA
4. Central City Park, Macon, Georgia
5. Branch Brook Park, Newark, New Jersey
6. Cherry Blossom Walk, Nashville, TN
7. Capitol Mall, Salem, OR
8. Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA
9. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO
10. University of Washington, Seattle, WA
11. Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego, CA
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