Monday, May 31, 2010


With all the comments on both this blog and on the bulletin board about the lack of professionalism from modular factory sales reps, I sat down and tried to figure out just what goes into making a professional sales person. Each of the following items is important and if a sales rep strives to improve in each area the results will be quickly noticeable. In the end however, none of these matter if they are not developed and encouraged by the factory’s Sales Manager. They are the key component in improving sales and that means they must work to improve the Sales Rep.

Here are some of the traits that will set you apart from your competitors.


You are selling a high priced product, perhaps the largest purchase the builder’s customers will ever make. Your builder expects you to be committed to delivering the highest value possible, as defined by their requirements. Commitment to your company is also essential to your success, as your builder and potential builders will ask you, "Why should I choose your factory over one of your competitors?" You must focus on providing a succinct but persuasive answer that question. Finally, you have to be committed to your own success--committed enough to be highly disciplined in your investment of time, energy, training, and other resources to your own ongoing development.


Your builders expect and deserve to work with someone who is professional in knowledge of both the builders’ needs and what the factory has to offer. Professionalism also assumes well-honed organizational skills that make all contacts with the builder a satisfying experience rather than an annoyance.

Work Ethic:

Developing and maintaining a good work ethic means that you develop efficient and effective work habits and then stick to them day in and day out. This includes a regular schedule, standard operating procedures for the repetitive tasks you must perform, a simple but effective record-keeping system, and the self-discipline to keep going no matter what. It’s not how many hours you work, it’s how much of that time you focus on your objectives.


Charisma is not a gift you were born with, it is a skill that is learned and honed. It is a competence that all sales professionals need, and most are able to learn. It is that seamless combination of vision, empathy, self-confidence, enthusiasm, optimism, and focus that often makes the different between closing a sale and closing a door--right in your own face. It involves the consistent ability to build rapport instantly and maintain it subconsciously so that you and your builder are never adversarial, but on the same side. Yet if your charisma comes across as contrived or artificial, it will do more harm than good.

As Zig Ziglar says, "It's your attitude, much more than your aptitude, that determines your altitude." Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Are you enthusiastic or lethargic? Do you look at the problems or for solutions? The right attitude is something we can develop, improve, and fine tune. Your mind will believe whatever you tell it about yourself.


Have you ever wondered what distinguishes your factory from other factories that sell houses that are similar to yours? consider this: to the client your two companies may be indistinguishable, you may both be selling a superior product or service, and each of you may be delivering your presentation and maintaining contact in a truly professional manner. Your creativity might well become the sole differentiator that makes you stand out from the dozen cookie-cutter sales representatives your client has encountered. It may be a remarkable turn of phrase, a humorous leave behind, or an unforgettable story. What ever it is, creativity can easily become a factor between gaining an order and losing one. Creativity can be learned, developed, and enhanced.


Anyone who has been in sales for very long has felt the pain of losing a close one. You may have invested many hours, days, or even weeks developing a relationship with a builder, gaining an opportunity to quote a home, and earning your builder’s loyalty. Then the floor drops out, and you find the order has gone to a another factory or has been postponed indefinitely. Your ability on such occasions to bounce back not only to where you were before, but having gained from the experience, is one of the essential keys to sales success. If you are able to learn something from each loss and then put it behind you, your next opportunity has a higher likelihood for winning.


Every sales professional knows that success in selling is not simply a matter of following a checklist of do's and don'ts. You have to learn how to be flexible. In other words, you must develop an outstanding ability to read the builder’s particular needs, preferences, and personal idiosyncrasies, and then tailor your interaction, presentation, and closing tactics to custom-fit that builder. Employing a "one-size-fits-all," learned-by-rote system is one of the quickest ways you can find to convince your builder that they don’t matter to you or your factory


Anonymous said...

If you think that any modular home sales rep can be all these things, I've got a sure-fire way to win the Powerball lottery! It will only cost you $100. Fat chance any of us will ever meet this dude.

ibgreen said...

I think the term "dude" sums this response up. Watch that term Spicoli! (Fast Times At Ridgmont High)
Seriously, I have yet to meet any sales professional that truly believes they cannot improve. I think what Coach is listing would be considered by some as the perfect salesperson. Identify where you need work and measure against perfection (if there truly is such a thing)