Tuesday, July 26, 2011


In our industry, whether you are a sales rep for a factory or the builder, the end goal is to make a sale which in turn keeps the factory working and employees working.  How you do that is the subject of many books, seminars and workshops.

But you can boil it all down to these five essential ingredients that are needed to turn a lead into a sale.  For factory sales reps, that means sale after repeat sale.

You must have a planned response when a prospect (lead) asks for more information.  This may sound obvious but very few reps or builders do more than just react.  In order to move prospects you must have a call to action, education plan, and filter that helps qualify and direct leads to the next step. This is a significant step and one that can help you stop chasing the wrong leads while also giving your an opportunity to create a unique experience.

One thing that is important to remember is that the lead wants more information from your company, probably after seeing your website, and how you prepare for that inquiry is the most important part of the selling cycle.

Once a prospective new home buyer determines they need to know more about your company, it’s important to have a set way to present your homes.  Establish a list of 10 things that every presentation should include like how long your company has been in business, a list of homes that a prospect can see, construction techniques and anything else that sets you apart from your competition.  Rehearse your presentation until you can remember every point and use them every time. This is part scripted, part art, but it should be practiced consistently across the organization.

This is a point where many sales folks go out and try to answer the questions that prospects have. The problem with this approach is most prospects don’t know what questions they should have; so it’s really up to you to start adding value in the relationship by presenting what you know is useful, while also discovering their unique challenges.

This is another area that often falls through the cracks.  A lot of sales reps and builders think that sitting down with a prospect or mailing them additional information is the goal.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  This is where you have to water and feed the prospect on a continuous basis.  If you do this through a system of active follow up emails, phone calls and meetings, you will get their undivided attention.

You have to remember that your competition is probably not doing a good job of keeping in touch and that gives you the advantage.  This is a huge purchase for your prospect and they want to know that you are aware of it too.

If you are a new home builder, you might think that your job is done when you hand your new homeowner the keys but in a lot of ways you have to keep going back and keep them satisfied and happy about putting their trust in you to build a great home.  Do the minor repairs quickly without giving them a hassle.  Actually check with them for their 6o day, 6 month and 12 month warranty review.

If you are a factory rep, use each delivered house as a way of teaching and reinforcing the benefits of buying from your factory.  The best way to do this is through a planned orientation process where you continue the educational approach by teaching the builder how to get the most from your factory.

Your selling system won’t be complete until you create a process that allows you to measure the results your customers are experiencing.  You need to set expectations for yourself and use it as a benchmark to continually keep track of how well you are doing.  Your builders will appreciate it and if you are a builder, your next customers will reap the rewards of your efforts.


Anonymous said...

OH, if it were only that easy.

Sales Manager in NE PA said...

Coach, why do sales people always think that this is too much work. If only I could get my sales people to do every one of those things with a 50% effort, our factory would be running at capacity.
I try to introduce procedures and systems into my sales department and all I get is people looking bored and rolling their eyes. I could accept that if they were actually making sales but they're not. I'm thinking it's time to clean house and start over with a fresh batch of untrained sales people that are eager to learn how and what to sell.
But I wouldn't be given enough time to train them and then I would be looking for a new job. What an industry.

Anonymous said...

Sales Manager. Be lucky you even have a job. My factory closed its doors forever last month. I still blame the sales department.

Anonymous said...

With al the sales folks reading this, heres a good one-

I contacted a mod factory who is on the sidebar and a nice lady referred me to my regional sales guy with-in hours. Salesguy contacts me 5 days later, I ask for his builders and some refs. Two weeks later, I've heard nothing back.

Its hard to believe factories cant find good salespeople