Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LOSING PROSPECTS IS EASY TO DO

Every home builder from time to time loses a prospective customer through no fault of their own.  And every builder from time to time loses one because of their own fault.  The difference is usually found in one of these effective ways to lose a prospective new home buyer.


Ignore me.  When a prospective home buyer asks a question, it's usually an opportunity to help the prospect along on their way to choosing you.  Ignore them and you won't even notice when they aren't there any longer.

Shut up and listen.  Your prospects don't care how much you know about everything.  They only want to know what they don't know yet.  If you're too busy telling them everything and don't listen to what they're asking, you're asking for them to walk out the door.

Do not answer email.  When a prospect takes the time to write an email and some of them are quite detailed, and you don't answer them because you have a "I don't like answering email" policy, you've just slapped them in the kisser.  Don't answer a couple of them at all and they will stop sending them.  You've won the battle but lost the prospects.

Irritable you.  Acting irritated with your prospects is a surefire way to turn them off to you and your company.  They don't care if you had a fight with your spouse, had to go pick up your kid after school or just got a tongue lashing from your mother-in-law.  They have their own problems, so buck up and smile.

Don't yell at your subcontractor in front of your prospects.  If one of your subs makes a mistake and it cost you a lot of money, don't jump on them in front of your potential home buyers.  They will interpret it as you not having control of the people that work for you.

Talk to me in a language I understand.  Your prospects don't care if you are the expert on green building techniques or low carbon footprint.  They want to hear about it in language they can relate to and not the scientific mumbo-jumbo that you and your fellow experts use.

Love me or I'll leave you.  That's what your prospects will do if they even get a hint that you aren't treating them with the respect they desire.  No amount of discount or free stuff in their home will offset the bad taste they will have for you if they think they haven't got your respect and love.

Don't treat me like I can't afford your home.  This is a classic mistake a lot of builders make over and over and then wonder why the prospect chose to build a $400,000 home with a competitor.  Maybe they can't afford your home but don't make them feel like crap because of it.  They may have a friend that can but you will never get to meet them.

Take me seriously or leave me alone.  Your prospects are ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with you.  They are taking this as serious as brain surgery.  If you don't have empathy for them, maybe it's time to get yourself a potato chip sales route. 

Don't forget to be polite.  Too often builders forget to say the two words that prospects like to hear..."Thank You."  Thank you for stopping by my Open House.  Thank you for allowing me to quote your house.  Thank you for signing my contract and giving me the opportunity to build your new home.  You can kiss the sale "Goodbye" without "Thank You's" as the mortar holding everything together.

I hate your website.  90% of prospective buyers visit home building websites before they call the builder.  Is yours outdated and looks like you did it yourself with one of those $1.99 a month website builders?  Buyers want the "flash."  They want to get excited about calling you for a new home.  Why do you still have out that dirty, worn out and dogeared mat you call a website?

Were you born with that bad attitude?  Nobody, especially prospective customers want to be confronted with a bad attitude when they talk with you.  They don't have to buy a house from you.  Maybe that's why you have a bad attitude in the first place.  Change your attitude and change your success rate.

2 comments:

Ft Worth Mod Builder said...

Coach, you are right about the reasons for builders losing customers. You should come up with two more lists. One about how modular factory loses builders and another about the problems faced by builders and home owners that part ways after the house is ordered.

Binary Computer Solutions, Inc said...

Coach,

I've been following your blog for a while now, and it's nice to see you mention the one thing that I've been beating the drum on for a while now. You mention how that $1.99 site builder website just doesn't cut it. As a website designer, I agree 100%. I have actually designed a website for a Modular Home Builder, which I continuously maintain and do email marketing for.

Honestly, I can't see why builders don't see value in websites. So I'd like to make an offer to any builders who need websites, or updated websites. I will design sites for anyone referred through this blog for 15% off.

Please feel free to email me support@binarycpu.com or visit the website for more information at http://www.binarycpu.com

I hope I can help someone out!