Create Sales Urgency Through Personal Enrichment
In today's challenging market, being proactive and working with urgency is the difference between being a really great sales agent and just showing up.
As a sales trainer and coach, I consider secret shopping my way of taking the pulse of the market and determining what agents are doing right — and what they’re neglecting to do.
Sadly, one of the most prominent issues that I see in sales offices today is a lack of urgency.
While there is plenty of information available on how to create urgency in clients and prospects, I believe sales agents have to create some urgency in themselves first.
I have seen plenty of evidence during the past few years of agents simply relying on the same routines and techniques that they used when the market was strong — and that is stifling their urgency and any that they might cultivate in their prospects.
For instance, many agents today are:
- Keeping to the Same Game Plan. Based on my company’s research, only two out of 45 agents we shopped came with us as we toured their models. Most simply handed us a brochure, pointed us towards the models and left us alone.
- Failing to Follow Up. Too many agents we came in contact with don’t have, or are not using, adequate selling skills. They need to learn how to develop a rapport with prospects, ask great questions, follow up and market. We found that only one of every 30 agents we shopped found a reason to follow up with us — and actually did — after our visit.
- Missing Opportunities. Letting prospects walk in and walk out without getting to know their needs and wants — and never following up — is not the way to sell houses these days. We found that only one in 20 agents stood out from the rest by getting to know us and our needs and by asking great questions.
- Waiting Too Long. Many agents we shopped lacked proactive strategies. They sat and waited for prospects to come to them instead of creating proactive marketing that would give prospects a reason to come through their door.
Even beyond our shopping, there seems to be a sense that many in the industry are waiting for the market to change — instead of finding ways to change their local markets, their attitudes and their own tired habits. The problem with all this waiting is that there really is no time to waste in this market anymore.
To be great, agents need to work through a plan that lists everything they want to accomplish that day. The list should include marketing their community and honing their skills and attitude.
Four Tips to Help Create Urgency in Yourself
The following tips will help you create a sense of urgency in yourself and your prospects:
- Create Goals and Aspirations. Develop goals you want to achieve for the year, not only for your community but for your life and career. Take the time to do this and spell out all the action steps it will take for you to achieve these goals and aspirations. Then, put the action steps on your calendar. Make a promise to yourself to fill each minute of every day doing something to achieve your goals — and, ultimately, get more sales.
- Evaluate Yourself. Sit yourself down and give yourself a reality check. Are you a positive person? Do people want to be around your energy?
How good are you at what you do? How hungry are you? Are you constantly striving to make the sale doing whatever it takes? Are you really trying every day and giving your job your absolute all?
Are you stagnant or thriving? When was the last time you took a class or perfected a weak skill? When was the last time you did something out of your comfort circle? Are you doing something new and different each day to sell more homes? Are you doing things that you didn’t consider to be part of your job description three years ago?
Be honest and take good notes during this self-evaluation. That way, you’ll have some takeaways that will help you improve and create urgency.
- Write Yourself a New Job Description. Wipe out the old and bring in the new. Your new job description should include all the things you need to do and change to be a number-one producer. Make sure that 80% of your list includes duties, techniques, tasks and objectives that you haven't done before so that you are better equipped to sell in today’s market.
- Perfect Yourself. Constantly strive to perfect your art of the sale by reading, scripting, role play and participating in seminars and webinars to perfect your sales skills. There is so much free information out there, especially on the Internet. You should be doing something every day to help you become the best.
Also after each prospect visit, evaluate that visit and think about what you could have done differently to achieve a better result. This is a great tool to improve yourself, and it’s so easy to do.
Once you’ve taken the steps to create urgency in yourself, put that urgency to work. Here’s how:
- Develop a Marketing Plan. Come up with a marketing plan for your community that encompasses past visitors, current residents, residents’ families and friends, surrounding communities, your builder’s move-up communities, area employers and businesses and, of course, area Realtors®.
- Become the Expert. When people think about real estate, you want them thinking about you and your community first. So, become involved in organizations and events in and around your community to make sure everyone knows that you are the one to see when it comes to real estate.
- Be Ready, Every Day. Don't ever tell prospects, “It’s a slow market.” That excuse will strip you of all your energy and strategies. Instead, come to work each day wearing your successful, positive and eager salesperson persona. You and your product must look — and be — ready to go, so be sure you are “on” and look fresh at all times. With that attitude in place, you will create and project urgency whether you've made a sale during the month or not.
Creating urgency starts with the salesperson. Start by arming yourself with the skills, knowledge and confidence to sell homes each day. This will create a sense of urgency and excitement that will be easy to project and transfer to your prospects and buyers because it’s contagious. Your buyers will feel your energy, react to it, remember you above your competition — and they'll buy because of it.
Shirleen Von Hoffmann is president and sales coach of Home Builder’s AdvantEdge, which specializes in sales agent secret shopping, sales training, seminars, one-on-one onsite training, sales coaching and builder consultation. A published author, keynote speaker, sales trainer and former top producer, she has closed more than $1 billion in new home sales during her 28-year career. For more information or to contact Von Hoffmann, visit www.homebuildersadvantedge.com or www.thequeenofsales.com.
Web Site Is One-Stop Shop for Tax Credit Info
Builders and other industry professionals can help spur home sales by referring prospective home buyers to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The NAHB Web site provides detailed information on both the extended $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the new $6,500 repeat buyer tax credit signed into law by President Obama.
Consumers can use the Web site to find information on both tax credits — including frequently asked questions and links to social media sites that provide updated information as it becomes available. It also includes a number of home-buying resources for consumers.
Industry professionals are encouraged to highlight the tax credit Web site when marketing to their potential home buyer market.
‘Social Media for Home Builders’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think,” available at BuilderBooks.com, demonstrates the power of social media through case studies and online outlets created specifically for the home building industry.
Learn how to use social media sites to build your brand, engage new and existing consumers, manage your online reputation and sell more homes.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
In Today’s Market, 'Think Sold!' With Help From BuilderBooks
“Think Sold! Creating Home Sales in Any Market,” available at BuilderBooks.com, is a practical, how-to guide for developing the self-awareness, knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the competitive field of new home sales.
The book covers everything from the home buying process and new home financing to strategies for making better sales presentations and sizing up the competition. It teaches readers how to overcome customers’ concerns and provides specific examples of how to explain the benefits of new home features in customer-friendly language.
“Think Sold” provides insights on how to approach sales and life from a position of optimism that will create successful outcomes; how to improve upon potential customer prospecting and follow-up skills; and how to communicate effectively with various types of buyers and learn how to adjust communication strategies to increase rapport and alignment with buyers’ motives.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.