Friday, July 8, 2011

Sales Tip 127: “Great Ideas for Realtor Open Houses”

I have staged many Open Houses over the years for all different types of product. There are three key ingredients that have been utilized to draw decent crowds: 1) Make sure you have some inventory that can be sold and closed quickly - a realtor does not want to wait for a commission check. Clearly state your referral policies and plan for making prompt payment. 2) Don't settle for an invitation or flyer to bring people. Visit some Realtor office meetings and extend a personal invitation along with a product preview - invite the agents to bring a prospect along. Follow up with telephone reminders… just like your doctor’s office does. 3) Food!

Here are some ideas from around the country that have garnered success. Try incorporating some of these ideas into your next Realtor Open House:

1. We did "A Taste of the Town" in our model home. We sent out nice invitations, paired wine with very fancy hors d’oeuvres,  and  featured a high end art gallery. It was a packed house and a BIG success!

2. In my new community I am hosting a Realtor Dusty Shoe model preview and so far have a good RSVP list. I will serve lunch and take them to a model under construction.

3. Hold a “ PICTURE PERFECT” Luncheon for a top-producing Realtor Office.....We had a Professional Photographer present who took pictures of all of the Realtors so they could update their Business cards and Websites was a real big hit!!!!

4. We have found that many local retailers or restaurants are willing to offer discounted or free products to reach the audience - many times it is good to contact the public relations firms in the area who specialize in restaurants for coordination. This can help with offering food or a raffle with a limited budget.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sales Tip 126: "Earn the Right to Close"

Closing is not just a moment in time when we ask for the check or sale. It is the total process that leads the customer from one decision to the next. Earning the right to close is an important ingredient in the sales process. We must successfully complete the stages that set up the close in order for the close to be natural. We want to create an atmosphere where the customer would be surprised if we didn’t ask for the sale. The more decisions we get from the customer along the way, the more natural the close will be. Three things that must happened before the close can occur:

Rapport: A comfortable trusting relationship must be formed before closing can take place

Enthusiasm: You must believe in your product and love what you are doing

Qualifying: Before you close you must determine the following -
 Do they need it?

 Can they afford it?

 Can they use it?

 Do they want it and are they willing to make the sacrifices to get it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sales Tip 125: “The Power of Thoughtfulness”

Think about the one who got away. They came into your community with certain expectations that you were not able to offer, say, a wooded homesite. After the prospect saw you he went to a competitor who told him you are sold out of wooded homesites so if that’s what he wants he needs to buy from him. When you call to follow-up 3 days later the prospect is not inclined to even answer the call because he knows you do not have what he wants. By now he has received your card with a great relevant article you were previously discussing. He feels bad just letting you go to voice mail after all the work you have put into this sale, so he picks up to tell you he’s decided to buy from the competitor. Now you have another opportunity to sell that prospect a home that you never would have had if he didn’t feel he owed you a conversation to tell you he was buying someplace else. This is a powerful concept and it’s easy to put into motion. Here is a sample of things you can do for your prospects that they would appreciate enough to reciprocate the gesture:
• Send a picture of their favorite room in the model

• Doing research in the area for them. Are they into adult softball leagues? Do they need a short term rental? How about info on gym memberships? You do the leg work for them

• Send a birthday card or get well card if one of their family members is ill

• Congratulations cards if they were recently engaged

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sales Tip 124: “Listening Keys in Negotiations”

• Give your full attention – you can’t listen and do anything else at the same time

• Don’t interrupt or do all of the talking

• Discourage side remarks and distractions in the conversation

• Don’t cut off listening when something hard comes up

• Practice listening to ideas you consider uninteresting – try to repeat what you’ve heard

• Summarize the speakers main points, the details will fall into place

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sales Tip 123: " Tables Turned… Your Turn to Teach”

Have you ever been asked to give a presentation or teach a class for your colleagues? It is known that the best way to learn something is to teach it. So pick a topic you know a little about and ask your manager if you can teach it at the next sales meeting (allowing 2-10 minutes for this topic). The advantages are phenomenal:

• You simply learn better when you teach. As a teacher your take a far more responsible attitude towards learning

• When you teach something you feel good about, you increase the likelihood of living it. Teaching creates a social support system, a social expectation for you to “walk the talk.”

• When you teach what you learn, you promote bonding in the relationship. Every time you have an authentic teaching experience with another person and good comes of it, that new learning experience causes teacher and student to become bonded.

• When you teach something that you are learning, it hones the change and growth process for yourself. It makes change legitimate. You see yourself (and others see you) in a new light; and when you see yourself in a new light you experience more and faster growth.

So go ahead… take a step up and share your good knowledge with those around you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sales Tip 122: “Avoid Information Gaps and You’ll Get the Sale”

Don’t let yourself get caught not knowing the following:

• Do I have all the information about  the buyer's needs?

• Do I need information about the customer’s buying procedure?

• Do I need information about the competition including a “No Buy” option?

• Do I need information about potential resistance?

The last question is the most important. Remember that people don’t resist their own ideas…only ideas that someone else is trying to foist on them – ideas that they don’t own. The most successful sales people are the ones that have answers to all of the above questions and successfully gets the prospects to “Own” the idea of buying a new home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sales Tip 121: “Testimonials – How to Get Them and Use Them"

• Ask

• Say “thank you” for their testimonial and let them know how much it means to you.

• Community Surveys – send out your own

• Extraordinary customer service – give it

• Make copies of your surveys and have them available for prospects to check out

• Make a Community Fact book about your community and put testimonials in the book

• Leave Community Books out – Leave them in places in model other than in Sales Office for customers to peruse

• If you plan a community event, invite happy homeowners to attend… watch them talk up the neighborhood! Introduce neighbors to each other to create a sense of community

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sales Tip 120: "How to Increase Communication and Follow-Up with Your Customers"

• Alert them to development and construction milestones

• Let your unsettled customer know about upcoming HOA meetings

• Host a “Meet your Neighbor” party and invite them to come and get to know the current homeowners and others who are also building in the community

• Call every week whether you have news or not – people are nervous – keep them in the loop

• E-mail to customers to announce community updates, sales updates, etc.

• Ask your customers weekly for referrals… you never know /things may change at work or with friends and family and know is the chance for their friends/family/co-workers to see if they too, would like to move to your community

• Prospecting – Have a regular direct mail campaign integrated into your marketing plan

• Reach further back into older prospects and contact periodically to see if their status has changed

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sales Tip 119: "How to Tell Buyers from Lookers"

Do a Quick Assessment and Watch for Positive Body Language
  • Ask "What are they hoping to Accomplish?"  Good Answer: "We're in the market for a new home and this if the 1st place we've looked."  Bad Answer: "We've been looking on and off for the past 5 years."
  • Ask "Does this location fit into your geographic preferences?" Anything other that a "No" is worth pursuing.
Do Not "Sidewalk Qualify"!
  • Do not pay more attention to those nicely dressed with flashy jewelry and expensive car.  Chances are they are up to their eyeballs in debt! Rather pay attention to those in grubby jeans ans sneakers.  You never know who manages their money best.  Buy "The Millionaire Next Door " to read!
Do a 5 minute Presentation with everyone

Look for Family and Friends that tag along- people like to have the support of others

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sales Tip 118: "Tackling the Customer Stall"

There are times when a customer may sound interested, but postpones making a buying decision by saying something like this:

• "Things are a little crazy right now. I'd like to hold off on my decision for a while"

• "Sounds good, but it's too early in the searching process to make a decision"

When a customer seems reluctant to move ahead, probe to find out why by saying something like this:

• "Can you tell me what your hesitation is?”

• "What needs to happen before you'll be ready to make a purchasing decision?”

If the customer is willing to move forward but at a slower pace, you can propose a lesser commitment than what your originally proposed. Try to get the best commitment the customer is willing to make that day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sales Tip 117: "Getting the Customer Back Out"

Once your prospect has signed in with you, the contact information on their card becomes critical in your ability to get them to become a "Be-Back". Here are some suggestions for turning a prospect into a "Be-Back".
Review the prospect card before calling:
  • Smile - A smile can be seen, even over the telephone. Be enthusiastic!
  • Be Creative - Have a reason for calling. You can even prepare a script to follow
  • Talk about the prospect - his/her needs/desires/problems
  • Identify yourself to the party to whom you are speaking (state your name and company). Ask if he/she has a moment to talk with you
  • Schedule appointment when he/she can return to the sales office to learn more about your community
  • If customer is totally uninterested, determine if you can get a referral. Remember to always ask for a referral at the end of every presentation

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sales Tip 116: "Making the Most of Feedback"

How do you react when your manager provides you with your self evaluation and schedules your performance appraisal? Are you excited about the opportunity to have an open conversation with your manager? Are you anxious about it? If you are anxious about your appraisal, think about why this is so. Is it because it is hard to hear that your aren't perfect - that there is room for improvement? If you can learn without becoming defensive, you can potentially improve your job performance and advance your career. Ask clarifying questions, wait til the feedback has been given to paraphrase major points, fully understand the feedback, ask the evaluator to give you specifics, avoid being argumentative, avoid explanations of your behavior unless asked.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sales Tip 115: "Relax to Succeed"

I learned a long time ago that a customer has to want to buy a house more that you want to sell one. If a sales rep comes across too desperate, the prospects will pick up on that and bolt. So, sales reps, while anxious to sell a house, need to learn how to relax and project an image of self confidence. How to do this? Practice Acceptance of what you can control and have an influence over. In other words, don't sweat the small stuff!

  • Avoid perfectionism. You don't have to know all of the answers. Getting the correct answer gives you the chance to re-contact a prospect.
  • Limit self-criticism. You do the best you can do most of the time. Value yourself for your own uniqueness, not in comparison to anyone else.
  • Be realistic about your own abilities, including strengths and weaknesses. If you are lacking vocational skills that will make you a better sales rep, make a promise to yourself to improve in 2011.
  • Be flexible. You only have so much control over outside events and other people.
  • Think rationally. Not every problem is a catastrophe. Brainstorm with others around you how to get though the rough patches.
  • Don't forget to breathe!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sales Tip 114: "How Much Traffic Should You Generate?"

Many Sales Reps are at a loss to come up with an appropriate number for the amount of traffic they should be able to generate. Some take the position that is it not their responsibility, but rather that of the builder. WRONG! Yes... the builder does have some obligation to advertise their community, but the responsibility for generating the majority of it rests on the individual sales rep. Lets say for instance that you are averaging 6 traffic units per week. If you builder has their community looking in tip top shape, has adequate signage, is well positioned with the right product at a competitive price, it would be safe to assume that 1/3 of your traffic will happen to find you. What about the other 4 traffic units? At least 2 of the traffic units should be the ever valuable "Be-Backs". These are folks that have already visited you and through your follow-up efforts they return to learn more about your opportunity. That's leaves 2 traffic units for you to generate from scratch. How to do that? Here are a few ideas:
1. Reach out to Realtors
2. Door Knockers to local apartments
3. Business cards left in local business establishments
4. Visits to local business HR departments (make sure to bring along some brochures)
5. Establish an internal referral system with current homeowners