Wednesday, April 12, 2017

6 Rocks a Modular Home Builder Can Trip Over in Losing the Sale

Home builders are continually being told they need to do this to make the sale, close the deal, go for the close and “make it happen”.  You sit in crowded rooms listening intently to every word the sales guru says. You buy their books, their videos and many of you even sign up for their consulting services.

You promise yourself that as soon as you get back to the office you will put everything into practice everything you paid a lot of money to learn. Then you get to the office and Life Happens. You quickly put away all those things you were told to use to increase business because there are a lot of fires that need to be put out upon your return to the real world.

Even if you are one of the lucky few that actually does put into practice what you learned, you can still trip over one of those rocks that kills the sales process before it even gets close to the “make it happen” stage.

These are things the sales gurus actually do cover but rarely do they dwell on them as you paid to be inspired, not to have your flaws pointed out in a public forum.

Now it’s time to learn about 6 of the biggest rocks you may trip over (there are many more):

rock 1.jpg Focusing on yourself.

Being a modular home means that every new home contract is very important to you. It pays the rent and puts food on your table for your family. If you start a sales meeting with a prospective new home buyer thinking about how much you need their signed contract instead of what the buyer wants and needs, you will find yourself starting off on the wrong foot.

Your buyer doesn’t care about you or your company. They want to build a house and they are interviewing you and what you bring to the table.

Rock 2.jpg You talk too much.

You have two ears and one mouth for a reason—you should listen twice as much as you speak. If you’re talking about things that don’t matter to your prospective buyer, you may just be making noise.

I remember one instance when I was a Realtor (many years ago) holding an Open House in a new townhouse. Another Realtor brought in a couple and talked incessantly during his walk through. When the wife began telling her husband where they could place their furniture in the townhouse and what colors would work in certain areas, the Realtor simply kept right on gabbing and finally said to them “now I’d like to show you another townhouse.”

I slipped my business card to the wife without saying a word. Three weeks later I closed the sale with them and made a good commission.

rock 3.jpg Never asking questions.

Here’s a secret: If you’re asking the questions, you’re likely in control of the conversation. If you ask the right questions and listen carefully, your buyers may tell you everything you need to do to land them as customers and absolutely wow them. Find out what your prospects want, and then give it to them.

rock 4.jpg Pitching the wrong person.

It may not matter how brilliant you are at sales or how great your service is—if you’re not in front of the decision-maker. Don’t waste your time in hopes that the person you’re pitching will go sell for you. It’s unlikely to happen. Get to the person who matters.

Sears Home Improvements, once the largest remodeler in the US, had a hard and fast rule. If all the decision makers are not at the sales presentation, reschedule it. Absolutely no exceptions.

Each decision maker will hear something in your presentation that catches their attention. If only one of the two decision makers is there when you talk, do you really think the other will hear anything but what the first one found interesting?

rock 5.jpg Playing hard to get.

Some mistakes are fixable, but if a prospective client reaches out to you to ask for an appointment or a quote and you fail to deliver, then you’re probably sunk. Your responsibility is to be responsive and available when your buyer needs you.

Ignored emails, voicemails left with no return call, waiting for a quote or even a floorplan can sink your ship before it even leaves the harbor. This is a problem that many builders have told me they have with their factory sales rep as well. Playing hard to get is never acceptable in business.

I once sold homes to a  modular home builder that loved playing softball in a Summer league and was the team Captain. His home life and family took a back seat to it. So did his customers’ homes. He had a very good sales rep selling the homes but once the contract was signed, the sales rep moved onto selling the next house turning the customer over to the builder. You can guess the rest. 4 years in business before closing his doors.

rock 6.jpg Being needy.

Perhaps the single biggest turnoff may be a builder who begs for the sale. You should not be asking a customer to part with hard-earned money just so can build another house. Success often breeds success, and if you appear desperate, you are likely not making an effective sales pitch.

A recent article on this blog talked about setting yourself apart from your competitors making your company the one prospective home buyers really like. If can find that one outstanding feature you offer buyers and promote it, you will never appear needy.

If I had to sum up my very best sales advice in just a few words, it would be: Ask questions and take notes. If you focus your sales presentations on meeting (or exceeding) your prospects’ needs you may be far more successful, and your home buyers may be far more satisfied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've guilty of tripping over Roak #4 and #6 a few times. I will start watching my step.