Knowledge Is the Key to More Profitable Sales
On-site sales consultants need to be helpful, courteous, compassionate, sensitive, friendly, intelligent, considerate, assertive, aggressive, kind, empathetic, sympathetic, personable, self-confident, believable, earnest, caring ― and knowledgeable. Every day they must be ready to handle new challenges and help solve the concerns of prospective purchasers.
Preparation is the key ingredient for a salesperson’s success. A friendly personality helps, but just as importantly, you need to blend it with knowledge.
In order to be at the top of the professional sales list, it is necessary to research the market.
There are 12 areas of consideration in which salespeople need to stay abreast of consumer wants and needs. Staying knowlegeable involves examing existing neighborhoods and the competition and contacting the industry professionals involved in new home construction, sales and lending:
- Existing Neighborhoods and Homes. By understanding the existing dwellings, salespeople can learn how people are currently living.
Products change. Neighborhoods and new home products constantly improve. Today’s homes are better built; more energy- and water-efficient; have more creative designs; more sunlight, larger bedrooms, closets and bathrooms; and utilize space better. In short, they are more modern.
By studying where people live, you can benefit by being knowledgeable about how much more improved your product has become and how it will better benefit the prospective purchaser. Also, if you are fortunate to sell one family from an older neighborhood, you also are more likely to sell another family or more from the same area.
- Developers. Developers study existing developments, attend conferences and meet with land planners, landscape architects and city officials to learn what works and then apply it to new communities. Homes along parks, water features, amenities, greenbelts and away from busy streets are usually the ones consumers desire the most.
- Builders. Builders learn what home designs work best mostly from architects and competitors. It is essential to tour product daily. The more you see and can learn about, the better you can design and create exceptional product.
- Realtors®. Realtors® could be your best resource. They are the ones who have actual, and the latest, data about your marketplace. They know what works best because they have to produce. Talk to Realtors® about trends and consumer preferences, pricing thresholds, incentives and style, design, specifications and name brands preferences. They would know. Contact Realtors® regularly.
- Manufacturers. Manufacturers spend a great deal of money on research and product development. Their representatives are quick to educate builders, developers and salespeople about the merits of their products. Obtain their research and study the benefits. Note special incentives that may be offered for your next purchasers.
- Suppliers. Suppliers work directly with the manufacturers. They can become realistic resources for salespeople because they need to be aware of the best products the manufacturers have to offer and provide them to the builders. They can be true barometers of builder and consumer preferences.
- Contractors. Contractors and subcontractors work directly with the builders. They know which products are easy to install, which products are durable and which ones really have the best warranties. These points are most helpful to salespeople and builders alike as they prepare for the next home they are going to build.
- Appraisers. Appraisers are another good resource. They participate in the marketplace daily with lenders, Realtors® and builders, evaluating existing and new homes in order to help analyze the true market value.
- Lenders. Lenders work constantly with developers, builders, Realtors®, contractors, appraisers and consumers. They can tell you what is currently selling, although they may not know exactly why. They also are quick to show where the new neighborhoods will be by virtue of the loans they make to developers and builders for their next projects.
- Economists. Economists study every aspect of commerce and consumer preference in order to predict future trends. They study mortgage banking, retail purchases, government spending, transportation, employment and unemployment in every sector of the labor market, the cost of durable and non-durable goods and consumer attitudes and confidence.
- Previous Buyers. Previous buyers are a wonderful resource. They can best describe how the product they recently purchased is “working” for them. In fact, they can help you design and sell the next housing product offered because they possess the overall knowledge of the product they are living in.
- Present Buyers. These people just bought. They have studied the marketplace thoroughly and probably have done as much research as you have. Because they have been so thorough, they will have more current knowledge about competitors than you may have. Purchasers can also tell salespeople where they were considering buying, from whom and what features were most important in their decision making process.
Salespeople are in the know. It is their job. If they don’t stay informed, they will not be able to compete. The more you learn to adapt and implement new knowledge, the better your product will be. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your homes will sell.
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 Molester Award twice. For more information, contact August by phone at 303-220-8480 or via e-mail.
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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:
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