October 2016

Every generation uses their own phrases or words to replace standard English that parents and adults use. Back in the day, we had a lot of them. One phrase we used was ‘keep on truckin’ which loosely meant to keep going. Some of us might still use it as we all are influenced by the culture of our formative years.

This remembrance was triggered by our delightful freeway driving experience in California. Observing the myriad types of trucks and how they maneuver traffic and obstacles is an exercise in wonder and fright. How do those drivers manage to keep truckin along? Then there are different types of truck drivers:  local, short, and long haul. I started to then think about the correlation to the sales profession. Yes, I have been told that my thinking could be my demise. 

What could truck drivers and sales agents possibly have in common? Before you think I have totally lost my marbles, yes, I do consider sales agents to be highly skilled professionals. The comparison to selling? Sales agents too can be local, short haul or long haul. It depends on their level of professionalism. Both a truck driver and a sales agent possess some common skills. Each must deal with high traffic situations. Each must determine how to best handle and prioritize that traffic. Each must deal with being ‘cut off’ by rude people. Each must plan and chart their course of action. Each must meet deadlines and goals to make money and meet employer demands. And each must possess the right attitude to succeed. 

    The local sales agent is in the business for the here and now. They don’t seem to think beyond the community they are currently selling.  In our current demand driven market, local sales agents can financially succeed in spite of themselves. The local sales agent will not invest the time and effort to progress their selling skills to a level of the true professional. Subsequently, they will always be local.

    The short haul agent does a little better. They will anticipate the next company or community. This level of sales agent does go for the sale, but they tend to take shortcuts to reach their short term goals. Offer a full sales presentation? Why bother? The short haul agent still succeeds in spite of themselves under demand driven market conditions.

    The true sales professional is in it for the long haul. They have determined that new home sales is their chosen profession and they will do what it takes to become a professional in every sense of the word.  The long haul agent sees beyond the current community, company and market conditions. This agent invests their time, energy, effort and money to continually fine tune and improve their selling skills. The long haul agent treats every prospective buyer with courtesy and never fails to offer a high level of personal service. The long haul agent creates a reason for a prospective buyer to want to buy a home from them, or at least wait on a priority list for the remote possibility of buying a home.

Of course, the key to a successful sales team is to determine if you have sales professionals who are in the business for the long haul. This can only be accomplished through an environment of mutual respect, support, training, continual evaluation for skill enhancement and of course, the appropriate rewards. No manager should accept less than excellence from his or her sales team. But it is a two way street. Without the proper support system in place, you cannot build a team of true professionals. 

Builders can be lulled into complacency during a demand driven market. It is easy not to focus on the sales team when people are lining up to buy your homes. It is easy not to invest in your sales team when the sales keep rolling in. But it really is the Déjà vu story isn’t it? We soar through the good times and then sometimes come up short when the market changes. The smart companies make that continual investment in their front line so when the down market eventually arrives, and it will, their team is ready to take it on.

I join all of you in hoping that our strong selling market will continue for quite some time. But we do have to be realistic. The market will change at some point and in some markets it is showing signs of softening. In some areas price points are being reached. Are your sales teams prepared to meet the challenges of a slower market?

Remember that your sales team is your lifeline. LeBlanc & Associates will be your partner to keep your sales team positively focused. Through our quality Video Profiles and comprehensive evaluation reports, we will help you keep on truckin towards sales success.

Top 10 Cities to Retire in the US
We all have different requirements for our own ideal places to retire. Each location has its own pull, here are some of the reasons each location was chosen: affordable housing, beautiful outdoor areas, comfortable climates, history, beaches, lots of activities, golfing, and more.
1. Prescott, Arizona
2. Venice, Florida
3. St. Augustine, Florida
4. Beaufort, South Carolina
5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
6. Abilene, Texas
7. Oakland, California
8. Boise, Idaho
9. Palm Springs, California
10. Salt Lake City, Utah