Wednesday, October 17, 2012

7 Things Sales Reps Should Never Say to a Builder

There are certain things that sales managers forget to tell their sales reps. Things like how to manage their time better, where the best restaurants are when they are on the road and most importantly; the 7 things to never say to their modular home builder.

So, here are my top 7 things to never say to your builder:

1. “Now just calm down.”
Has there ever been a situation where this has worked? You have never heard you builder say “Oh thank you so much for helping me realize just how crazy I’m acting. Good thing you were here to help me behave like a good person.” Yep, that never happens. More often it will make them crazier, energize them and escalate the situation. Just let them vent but never tell a builder to clam down.

2. “I didn't do that, someone else did.”
It was the engineering department or shipping or production, etc. Never pass the buck because you are part of the factory team. You won’t look any better to the builder. You will have better success helping solve the problem rather than blaming someone else.

3. “You made a mistake.”
We all know builders make mistakes. Heck, everyone makes mistakes. Baseball players that only get on base 3 times in 10 are considered great. When you point out in a direct and blatant way, you risk offending, embarrassing and potentially losing your builder. You wouldn't like it and neither do they. Focus on helping them understand the way your factory likes things done.

4. “I’d like to help, but it’s our company policy…”
If you really would like to help, then find a way. Don’t hide behind a company policy. And if you can’t work around the policy, offer an alternative or escalate the matter for the builder. If your builder sees you trying to help, they will be less disappointed even if they don’t get exactly what they want.

5. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Sales reps often use this as an apology, but it’s not because it puts the blame on the builder. If you’re sorry, say so. Don’t qualify it.

6. “You’ll have to talk to the owner or my boss about that.”
If your builder has feedback, a request or a complaint, they don’t care who YOU have to forward it to. They don’t care that someone else at the factory will have to deal with it. What they want is for YOU to get the ball rolling. It’s not your builder’s job to go on a wild goose chase trying to find the exact person who should handle their situation. That’s YOUR job.

7. “No one else has complained about…”
This one always floors me. Are you taking a survey? Are we voting on the situation? If enough other builders have the same problem, then you’ll listen to me? Of course, that’s ridiculous!
But we’ll all heard sales reps and even sales managers say this way too often. The problem is the sales rep is focusing on their perspective instead of focusing on the builder's and helping solve the problem.


Anonymous said...

Coach, you forgot one.
"We never promised you a delivery date."
I can't tell you how many times that was told to me by my old factory. My new factory hasn't told me that yet.

Loweise said...

Those things listed are very true. I enjoyed reading the entire article. Thank you for sharing it out.