Getting Out of the Rut

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I was sitting at my desk plowing through the never-ending pile of paperwork when it struck me how easy it is to get stuck in a rut concerning how we do our work. This report is the same report I’ve done hundreds of times before. This issue is the same issue I’ve dealt with many, many times before. How do we get out of our rut and see the world differently?

This dilemma reminded me of Sally, who saw her world with fresh eyes and thus created a fabulous opportunity for herself.

Sally noticed an Orange Julius  vendor in Southern California who marketed to employees of the giant TRW Systems Company. He sold his Orange Julius drinks from a small, nondescript soft drink stand right at the entrance and exit to the plan. Sally, an enterprising new home salesperson, thought since he was right in the main stream of traffic when the shift workers entered or left the plant, what a great place to put her brochures. So, she visited the Orange Julius man and asked if he would put her brochures on his counter and motivate people to visit her homes. She would stamp his and her names on the brochures and reward him when a sale was made. What kind of reward would make him happy?

The Orange Julius man thought for a moment and then said, “Well, don’t tell my wife, but from time to time I like to take a little nip of Vodka with my Orange Julius.”

So, Sally, the prospecting pro, said that every time a prospect arrived with her  brochure in hand and they bought a home, she would bring over a bottle of vodka. “What’s your favorite brand?”

“Smirnoff” was the answer.

Now Sally said, “I won’t bring you just a fifth of vodka, I’ll bring you a half-gallon. How does that sound?”

“That’s the best deal I’ve heard all day,” and the motivated Orange Julius man went to work.

A year later, the Orange Julius stand had generated fourteen sales to that enterprising sales professional and she had reciprocated with fourteen half-gallons of vodka! Rumor has it the Orange Julius man was the happiest vendor in Southern California.

What is your Orange Julius opportunity? As for me, this next report is an opportunity to motivate a builder to change his emphasis which will result in a better trained staff, which leads to more sales for the builder, which leads to a growing economy, which leads to a more healthy housing industry, which leads to a stronger United States of America. I am changing the face of the United States of America by this report!

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Creating Your Own Breaks

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Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get all the breaks in life and others insist upon taking the broken road regardless of all the encouragement NOT to go that way?

It is too easy to look at the top performing salesperson in your group and wish you were in their shoes without actually taking the steps they took.

Sometimes those steps will demand you getting out of your comfort zone, enthusiastically participating in role plays to refine your presentation, setting aside your hesitation and boldly asking for the referral.

The top performing salesperson did not get to the top by maintaining status quo. They shook things up within themselves in order to reach new heights.

I read an article about Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, and about how he turned Starbucks upside down from a sleepy little coffee roasting company to the mega corporation it is today. Do you think it was easy in the beginning? No. I’m quite sure many feathers were ruffled. But, look what his perseverance produced!

What will your perseverance produce? You could see sales increase, customer satisfaction soar, and your own satisfaction and joy about your career overflow.

What are you waiting for? Start taking those steps!

First step – Truly know the ins and outs of your business and why you are in it. No matter what obscure question a prospect may throw at you about your homes, are you prepared with the correct information? The only way that is going to happen is if you study, study, study. Educate yourself on all aspects of your home, your community, your builder, your financing, your competition.

Notice I added ‘why you are in it’ to what you need to know. The why you are in it is to sell homes. It’s not to make a lot of new friends, although that may happen. It’s not because you wanted a career that wasn’t behind a desk. The goal of our profession is to sell new homes. It is remarkable how many times I mystery shop a person who does not have that goal in mind.

Second step – Make an emotional connection with your prospect. Meet, greet, bond, and connect. Think about it from the customer’s perspective. They want a sales professional who is extremely knowledgeable, personable, and very sensitive to their needs. If they sense you are truly on their side, they will stick by you through thick and thick. You have to LIKE your customers. You have to really want to help them find the perfect home.

Third step – Tell your builder story. Tell the customer why your builder is the best, why their homes are better constructed, why the customer can count on your builder’s homes. If you cannot stand behind your builder’s homes, then perhaps you need to find another builder. After all, when you sell your builder’s homes, it is like you are putting your name on the contract as well. You have become the trusted advisor and you’ve given your endorsement to this purchase. If the home is not up to par, then your credibility is shot. They will not buy from you again even if you go to another builder.

Now, are you on track to becoming a top performer? It is as simple as steps one – two – three. The broken road part comes in when you ignore experience and wisdom and try to plow your own road. Reach out to that wisdom and experience so you can become the top performer in your group.

Questions for Profitable Growth

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Saw an interesting article on Forbes.com titled “The Three Most Important Questions for Profitable Growth.” The first question really challenges one to have a clear and focused strategy for achieving the desired result.

Do we still have a compelling mission, vision, and differentiated strategy that the entire company fully understands and accepts?

Keep in mind a good mission statement needs to include not only what you want to get out of the deal, but what you are willing to give as well. For example:

“My mission is to enhance people’s lives by helping them find the right home and home-site at the right price and terms and in the process consistently earn a six figure income.”

That is a mission statement.

A vision statement is: “My vision is to be the industry’s top producing sales professional through continual learning and refining of my sales professional skills.”

See how this vision statement fits hand and glove into the mission statement? How else will you be able to earn a six figure income unless you are continually learning and refining your skills?

Now to the differentiated strategy part. What are you going to do to stand out from all the rest? What makes you any better than the competing sales pro at the adjacent project? Ask yourself these questions:

  • When and what was the last book I read on any aspect of the sales process that would help me improve? (If it was more than 2 weeks ago, do you REALLY want to improve?)
  • What was the last seminar or training course I attended, and did I actually put any of the suggestions into practice?
  • Do I practice overcoming the various objections I hear?
  • Do I continue soft multiple closing after hearing an objection?
  • Have I worked hard at learning all the ins and outs of the mortgage process so I can assist my buyers?
  • Am I continually looking for new prospects as I move throughout my day?
  • Have I shopped my competition on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of changes and to have accurate knowledge in order to answer objections a prospect may have?
  • Do I try to work out selling ideas of my own?
  • Do I take time to analyze my success and failure after each and every presentation?
  • Am I continually improving my presentation by learning everything I possibly can about the construction, the style & design, the interior and exterior finishes, etc.?
  • Can I point to the differences between my product and my competitor’s product and prove why I have the better deal?

And the list can go on and on. The ultimate question is: Do you have a clear and focused strategy for achieving your desired result?