Prepare Yourself for a More Competitive 2006
2006 will be more competitive than 2005. Prepare yourself for the challenge ― and the opportunity — to outperform your competition with the following 10 profitable tips:
1. Be Prepared. Take the time to know your product and your competition. Shop competitive projects in your price range and meet with your suppliers to learn the latest technology so that you can adapt all your newfound knowledge and give yourself a competitive edge.
2. Update Your Product. Don’t let your competitors pass you by with new designs, technology, craftsmanship or customer service. Search for ways to enhance your product, price points and incentives, and then incorporate these changes into your product as quickly as possible.
3. Survey Your Past Customers. Find out how your home, remodel or service has measured up to their expectations now that that have settled in and are living with it. This is an excellent opportunity to get valuable feedback because they’ll tell you how it’s “working” for them. What you learn will be helpful for product improvement. Implement any changes as quickly as possible.
4. Market Your Past Customers. Typically, sellers forget about their purchasers once the sale is completed and the home owners have taken possession of the house or service. Satisfied customers are one of your best sources of referrals. Don’t overlook them. Market to them — and always ask for referrals.
5. Follow-Up With Prospects and Previous Buyers. There are many reasons to follow-up with prospects and previous buyers ― price increases; sales; new product, service or inventory selections; financing programs; product changes; economic changes, etc. So review your prospect cards daily and assume that your prospects are ready to purchase. Follow-up with phone calls, letters, postcards, newsletters, direct mail, e-mail — whatever it takes to keep you in their minds.
6. Contact Realtors®. Realtors® do one of two things ― they either produce or perish. They’re in your marketplace creating new business every day, so help them and help yourself, too. Keep them apprised of your offerings. They may not have a buyer today, but they probably will tomorrow. Follow-up with them daily. Contact a minimum of 50 Realtors® a week. Offer competitive real estate cooperating commissions — and don’t forget to thank them for their interest and business.
7. Participate in Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Councils. Get to know your business community. There are many people looking for housing, and many leads out there. Mingle and ask. The more you let people know what you have to offer, the more sales you will make.
8. Professional Education. Study your profession. Attend seminars and workshops and read books about business and personal development. Develop a business network to exchange ideas and find two or three mentors to develop and create better business practices.
9. Develop and Maintain a Positive Attitude. Look for the positive in everything you do. We have no problems in our industry, only situations. Solve all situations fairly and equitably. Praise people. Thank people. Be enthusiastic. Enjoy your job. Act positive. Be positive. Smile.
10. Maintain Your Health. Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Be happy. Help others. Exercise and eat well ― in moderation. Learn to relax and rest throughout the day. Meditate. Enjoy hobbies. Take vacations. Be good to yourself.
In conclusion, be the best you that you can be. Review and repeat these tips as you sell your products or services and you will put yourself in position to have a profitable 2006.
S. Robert August, MIRM, is president and founder of S.Robert August & Company, Inc., a national marketing and public relations firm based in Denver that specializes in providing home builders, developers, Realtors®, manufacturers and lenders marketing/management consultation and sales training. August is an owner of Colorado-based RealtyWorks, Inc. a real estate brokerage company. He is also past chairman of NAHB’s National Sales and Marketing Council and the only person to receive the prestigious Bill Molster Award twice. For more information, contact August by phone at 303-220-8480 or via e-mail.
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For additional cutting-edge sales and marketing information, subscribe to NAHB’s Sales + Marketing Ideas Magazine (www.smimagazine.com). Click here to learn about membership benefits of the National Sales and Marketing Council and the Institute of Residential Marketing.
Earn Valuable Sales and Marketing Designations Through IRM Programs
The Institute of Residential Marketing (IRM) offers four designation programs for sales and marketing professionals:
- The MIRM designation programs for new home marketing professionals
- The CSP and MCSP designation programs for new home sales professionals
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