“Of all the dangerous traits of celebrated leaders, one stands out: complacency, the idolization of things that have been accomplished – like alcohol it numbs their senses, blurs their vision, and makes them lose sight of the ‘Big Picture,’ the grand goals, the big dreams, and aspirations of the people they lead. In a rapidly changing world, leaders cannot afford to be complacent even if they are doing extremely well. They must always have the urgency of crisis and prepare themselves for the unexpected.” (Panos MourdoukoutasForbes.com)

Has complacency taken up residence in your office, among your staff and sales management? Are you succumbing to the view that low sales are due to the economy? Are you resting on the laurels of past accomplishments thinking things will turn around and be back to normal?

Wake up people! Our normal has changed! The selling environment we have today is different from yesterday and if we don’t adapt, we will be left in history’s dust. Too many of our comrades in the housing industry could not adapt to the new world and are no longer in the housing business.

Sales managers, you need to be in the field conducting Planned Encounters with your sales staff. You need to be training them how to discover the buyer’s agenda, how to handle objections and negotiations, how to properly present the housing product, how to follow-up with prospects. if you don’t know how to train these skills into your people, you cannot expect them to do it.

Evaluate yourself against this standard. Do you:

  • Have Planned Encounters with the sales people at least weekly?
  • Motivate to keep raising the expertise of your sales people?
  • Set goals, monitor results?
  • Insure that adequate time is available for Planned Encounters in the field?
  • Resist loading up the your job description with sidebar tasks?
  • Provide leadership by knowing when to empower and when to direct?
  • Insist that training is a continuing discipline?
  • Emphasize customer service in all transactions?
  • Constantly evaluate the talent and performance of the sales people?
  • Know when and how to exercise probation?
  • Have a termination exit plan that is litigation proof?

Sales people, you need to be honing your presentation skills your social skills via discovery and questioning. You need to be fluent in objections handling, dealing with negotiating prospects, and skilled in all the financing aspects of a sale.

Take the following quiz to determine your level of expertise:

  • Did I have a  planned presentation?
  • Did I take command with sensitivity?
  • Did I conduct a tour of the model and/or home of the prospects’ preference?
  • Did I take prospects into inventory?
  • Did I close in inventory?
  • Did I do a financing set up?
  • Were sales aids used effectively during the presentation?
  • Was I well-informed on location, community, product, financing, and competition?
  • Did the presentation close?
  • Would I buy a home from myself?
  • If yes, why?
  • If no, why not?

Only the strong survive. Only the great thrive!