The ‘7 Deadly Sins’ are religious transgressions we were taught not to commit. These transgressions are known 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 over the years. I would also guess that most of us have made corrections in our lives to move us forward on a positive path. 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!

So what would be the 7 killer sins for our sales professionals? None of the above religious transgressions, 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. In a previous edition of Smarter Selling we addressed communication skills. What we find in our day to day review of video shops is that most agents’ sales conversations could be better. And some agents need significant improvement. 

For this edition, let’s look at 7 sales killers:
1.    Verboseness:  The agent’s mouth is over engaged. Instead of speaking efficiently and creating a comfortable conversational environment, all we hear is the agent droning on. 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 the questions! 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 show how they can help 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 brusqueness 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. Gifting is defined as something given voluntarily without payment in return. Agent’s sell price and incentives at the get go 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.

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 adjustment 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 baffling. People visit your sales center because they want or need a home. Create the match and ask them to purchase.

7.    Neglect:   The agent does not pay full attention to their buyer, allows them to wander the models on their own and assume if the buyer is interested, they will ask questions. Unfortunately, too many agents also neglect to conduct a personalized follow-up campaign assuming the buyer will return on their own.

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. Reviewing your video shop is a priceless tool towards working on self-improvement. But agents should also self-evaluate as often as possible. 

In the end the agent must ask themselves three important questions:

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

Managers- don’t commit the deadly sin of neglect. Our Video Profiles are a highly effective tool to correct and reinforce effective sales skills. Give us a call or submit an online request. We will be happy to assist you towards the path of sales success

Top 10 Most Business-Friendly U.S. Cities

MarketWatch looked at America’s 100 biggest cities to see which were the best business and commerce hubs. Nine of the top ten cities were west of the Mississippi, including two each in California and Texas. Here’s the full list:

1. Dallas, TX High profits; income & labor growth
2. San Fransico, CA High education; great companies
3. Seattle, WA Microsoft & CostCo; pay growth
4. Des Moines, IA Low business costs & cost of living
5. Raleigh, NC Tech & medical companies
6. San Jose, CA Tech companies; income growth
7. Houston, TX Biotech & oil companies; seaport
8. Provo, UT Low business costs; pay growth
9. Oklahoma Strong companies; low business costs
10. Denver, CO High education; vitality