Recession Selling 101: Tips to Overcome the Pressure
Marketing and selling new homes during a recession requires overcoming a whole set of pressures that don’t surface during boom times.
During tough economic times, every sale — maybe every lead — can mean the difference between profitability or loss and, quite possibly, your company's survival.
Selling is tough enough when times are good, but trying to sell with this kind of pressure bearing down on you in this market can affect your ability to sell — unless you prepare yourself to be at peak performance during the sell.
A client of mine, one of the most successful custom builders in his market, was overly nervous recently when he was about to make a presentation to clients who wanted a one-of-a-kind, multi-million-dollar home.
Until that point, presenting to clients had become fairly routine for him. He had made similar presentations for more than three decades. But this time, the pressure was getting to him.
He was fearful that if he didn’t get the job, he would be forced to lay off loyal employees. Compounding that, he worried that he wouldn’t be able to hide his anxiety when talking with the architect and his client and that they would interpret his anxiety as desperation.
He was afraid his fear would get in the way of the sale.
How We Appear Is as Important as What We Have to Say
In 1967, psychologists Albert Mehrabian and Susan Ferris published a study about nonverbal communication in the Journal of Consulting Psychology that found that verbal communication was a small part of how we communicate. The study indicated that 55% of what we communicate is through our body language, 38% comes from how we speak — our voice quality, projection, pace and pitch — and only 7% is the actual content.
So, with 93% of how we communicate not even about what we say, how can we prepare ourselves to be at our best with so much on the line?
How do we find the confidence we need to avoid appearing too desperate and losing the sale before even asking for it?
Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance
I have developed a number of strategies that I follow before every talk I give to maximize my chances for success. They are strategies that can help boost your confidence — even during this downturn.
- Know the Environment and Lay of the Land.
Eliminate any surprises beforehand so that you can concentrate on the sell. When possible, get a sense of the physical space where you’ll be presenting. Know how many chairs you’ll need and whether you’ll need a white board, table, AV equipment and other supplies.
By knowing the possibilities and limitations of the physical space, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments before you show up to present and be that much better prepared.
- Handle Your Personal Logistics Well in Advance.
Develop a checklist of all of the materials, note pads, computers and anything else you’ll need during your presentation. If possible, get the logistics out of the way well before the presentation — ideally the day before.
- Get Exercise, Oxygenate Your Brain, Clear Your Nerves.
What you want to do is get the blood flowing so you’re fully alert when it’s time to meet with your prospects. Exercise or take a vigorous walk.
Whatever you do to get oxygen to your brain, do it an hour or two before your presentation, or earlier if need be.
However, don’t overdo it. You want to project vitality, not be spent before you even begin.
- Be Clear About Your Purpose and Intention.
My purpose and intent is to make a positive contribution to the lives and businesses of every attendee at my speeches and training.
What gift do you and your business have to give? Will you open up new possibilities for your prospects? Provide them a unique service or product? Enhance their life or lifestyle?
Be clear about it in your mind so you can project it when you speak.
- Review Your Presentation.
Go over your talk or presentation an hour or so prior to delivery.
- Take Quiet Time to Visualize Your Desired Outcome.
This is important. Visualize your presentation going smoothly and well. Visualize your prospects being receptive to you, your company and your offer. See the big smiles on their faces. This will help get you in the proper frame of mind.
Finally, and above all else, have a good time. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, your prospects and the sales process.
Dennis DuRoff is a business coach, speaker and author whose clients include builders and remodelers. He also offers a low-cost, turnkey newsletter program that helps builders and remodelers stay in-touch with prospective customers and past clients and maximize referrals and increase sales. For more information, e-mail DuRoff, call him at 206-722-6067 or visit www.thebuildersnewsletter.com.
Tax Credit Web Site Looks at Opportunity of a Lifetime
Builders and other industry professionals can help spur home sales by referring prospective first-time home buyers to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The NAHB Web site provides detailed information on the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers included in the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama.
Consumers can use the Web site to find information on the tax credit – including a detailed question and answer section. It also includes information about other housing-related and small business measures in the legislation and a number of home-buying resources for consumers.
Spanish Version Also Available Online
A Spanish version of this increasingly popular Web site is also available to provide detailed information on the tax credit to Spanish-speaking first-time home buyers.
Industry professionals are encouraged to highlight either tax credit Web site when marketing to their potential first-time home buyer market.
‘ValueMatch Selling for Home Builders’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“ValueMatch Selling for Home Builders,” available through BuilderBooks.com, presents a selling process that focuses on selling feelings and appealing to prospective buyers’ emotional need to buy a new home in today’s market rather than product.
Learn how to build rapport with prospective home buyers, meet their needs, make powerful presentations that are focused on their values and go for the close.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.