Improve Your Closing Style: Little Things Mean a Lot
As we study the steps of greeting, qualifying, demonstrating and closing that lead us to a sale, I am sure that each one of us can identify one area or another where we can improve.
With today’s market tightening up, interest rates rising and home buyers becoming more hesitant, onsite salespeople and sales managers need to review their techniques and style so that they can become better sales representatives and compete more successfully.
I am not suggesting that you abandon what works for you or that you adopt a completely different approach. Instead, I am suggesting that you keep what works — and then kick it up a notch.
Several years ago Tom Peters wrote books on management that quoted numerous executives about how excellence in everything they did helped them to create successful companies.
One of the most memorable quotes came from Jan Carlzon, former chairman of the board of Scandinavian Airlines, who, in explaining the fantastic turnaround of his company, said his company did not seek to be 100% better at any one thing. Rather, his company worked to be 1% better at a thousand things.
That’s all it takes to become more successful.
Just be a little better than your competition, offer a little more, spend a little extra time with your prospect and ask for the sale just a little harder.
Kicking It Up a Notch
Below are some steps on improving your overall sales process — one step at a time:
- A Warmer Greeting — How can you do a better job with your greeting?
Do you make prospects feel welcome and comfortable when they arrive at our model home? Do you introduce yourself and then remember and use their names during your conversation?
A More Thorough Qualification — Are you afraid to ask the important little questions?
Don’t be afraid to ask prospects about their price range, downpayment expectations, the type of mortgage they would be most comfortable with, whether they need to sell another house before they buy and how soon they want to move.
If your prospects feel comfortable with you, these types of questions will never seem out of place.
Ask a few more qualifying questions than you are currently asking.
A Better Demonstration — During the demonstration phase, go beyond just showing the home.
Make sure you emphasize how the features of your homes will benefit your customers. Show your prospects what the floor plan, room sizes, closet space, countertops, appliance package, master bath, low-maintenance exterior siding and overall construction features will do for them.
For example, show them how they will be more comfortable, save time and energy costs and feel more secure with a quality-constructed new home.
A More Successful Closing — Do not be afraid to ask for the sale.
You have earned the right to ask your prospects to buy if you have successfully and effectively completed the previous steps.
Competing for the gold medal is so much more fun when you achieve victory, and it can be yours if you continue to do a thousand things 1% better.
Jack Gallagher, MIRM, is president of GMG. Inc., (Gallagher Marketing Group), a Raleigh, N.C.-based consulting firm that helps builders, lenders and Realtors® develop new business through individualized marketing strategies. He has held positions with a national mortgage company, a regional real estate firm, a builder marketing company, a downpayment assistance company, golf course community developers, a national production builder and a national home automation company. Gallagher is a former trustee of the Institute of Residential Marketing and a multi-term member of the Board of Trustees of the National Sales and Marketing Council of NAHB. For more information, e-mail Gallagher, or call him at 919-656-7276.
This article appeared in the July/August 2006 issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine.
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