With a qualified vendor in place, the selection of high quality components should be at the top of your list of priorities. Secondly, keep the interface navigation simple and intuitive. At the sales center, a guest is not judging the creative ability of a builder or the artistic and programming power of their design team. They are judging the builder, community and homes being sold at that development.
Touch Navigation Helps Remove ‘Tech Phobia’
The experience of a well laid out presentation that clearly communicates the brand and the community and all it has to offer the prospective customer is the most distinguishable memory that guests will take with them from the sales center.
- A touch navigation panel helps to remove any “tech phobia” from the display.
- Narration and audio prompts that guide visitors through the presentation and the offerings are also critical.
Sales Technology Should Invite People to Explore
The minute guests experience complexities or difficulties using a display, they will back away from it rather than attract attention to the fact that they are stuck. When planning, developing and designing a display, make every effort to incorporate technology that provides an “invitation to explore.”
The “invitation to explore” factor is critical. It not only triggers an amazing transformation, it fosters an exchange of communication or “pull marketing” that helps quantify a particular prospect’s interests. While engaged in a well-designed interactive display, the guest, with a touch of a finger, will drill down through the presentation and show the sales staff what interests them most.
For example, if a guest drills down a presentation in the builder credibility section, then based on pull marketing principles, they fit the "analytical" profile. A mid-20s guest drilling down the lifestyle section would have the profile demographic of an "expressive-creative."
In other words, guests will present their profile demographic when exploring the presentation and provide indications of the style required for a successful closing.
It Works in the Timeshare Industry. Why Not Home Building?
As one of the key tools being used to achieve sales targets within the timeshare industry (by one of the industry’s giants), the results have been successful closings for eight out of every 10 sales center guests. And to think that those results occur in an industry where prospects enter the sales gallery with the position that: “We are not here to buy anything today.”
Now imagine the success when applying this strategy/process to a guest who is actively searching for a new home.
In the majority of my experiences assisting marketing teams going digital, the results have been successful when incorporating the above-mentioned technology design and presentation development steps. However, there is no amount of technology that can replace good presentation content.
High quality visuals, video, audio and text are mandatory. Combine these with an “invitation to explore” and purge your sales center of “tech phobia" — and you have a foundation for creating successful sales office technology.
Touch Panel or Mouse? Forget the Mouse
To a guest, a mouse still represents a computer somewhere in the background, and that can be intimidating and discourage exploration.
A 17-inch flat touch panel, however, invites the user to touch your selections and retrieve information. It gives them the urge to explore their interests in your offerings.
A perfect case study is how gas stations have embraced touch panel ATMs at gas pumps across the nation. Young and old alike have adapted to using them with little or no intimidation.
The average cost of a good quality touch panel is around $1,000 and worth every cent of the investment toward a successful digital interactive deployment in a sales center.
I always close sales discussions by saying, “It’s not the Web site, presentations or pictures that sell the homes — it’s the sales staff.” But giving a skilled sales staff the tools to increase their ability to complete the sales process in a more informative and committed way is the real key to success.
Lino Hilario is the vice president and leading sales strategist for Toronto-based Imagenius® Inc., and has developed presales programs for North America’s leading home builders. For more information on digital real estate solutions, visit www.imagenius.com or call 888-439-4633.
Originally published in NAHB’s "Sales + Marketing Ideas" magazine ©2004.
Subscribe to 'Sales + Marketing Ideas' Magazine for Cutting-Edges Information
For additional cutting-edge sales and marketing information, subscribe to NAHB’s "Sales + Marketing Ideas" magazine. Call 800-368-5242 x8192 or visit www.smimagazine.com to subscribe or order a copy. Click here to learn about membership benefits of the National Sales and Marketing Council and the Institute of Residential Marketing.
The Institute of Residential Marketing Offers Courses and Designation Programs for Sales & Marketing Professionals
The Institute of Residential Marketing (IRM) offers four designation programs for sales and marketing professionals:
- The CMP and MIRM designation programs for new home marketing professionals
- The CSP and MCSP designation programs for new home sales professionals
For more information on these designation programs, click here.
BuilderBooks.com Offers Sales and Marketing Publications Online
BuilderBooks.com offers a variety of sales and marketing publications online. To view or purchase these publications, click here.
[ Go to Top ]