Archive for April, 2010

Good Shop, Bad Shop!

April 13th, 2010

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach Homebuilders AdvantEdge

I always get asked about our Secret Shopping and some of the best and worst cases we see.  I think it’s a great idea to let Builders, Agents and Managers know what we are seeing in the field. Even when it’s not your shop…or is it?

Last week we preformed two competition shops for one our national builders. The competition was two other national builders.
The first is a brand new subdivision, with only two sales posted, in a competitive area, just outside the bay area of California.  Our shopper was the only visitor the entire time she was in the office.  Upon entry, the Agent was in her office on her personal cell phone, in the middle of what sounded like a personal call.  Our shopper waited around and then finally announced “Hello” from the lobby, as the Sales Agent didn’t hear her enter.  The Agent promptly told her caller she would call them back and came out.  She apologized for not hearing her enter and proceeded to tell her all about the homes she had available.  She was nice and had a pleasant attitude. She then gave her a brochure and pointed her towards the models, for viewing.  When our shopper viewed the models and returned to the office, the Sales Agent was back on the cellular phone finishing her conversation, again not hearing our shopper re-enter the sales office.  The Shopper waited around for a bit, made some noise and then finally left, while the Agent went on with her conversation.  We were able to tell our builder client that this competition shop was not much competition to worry about.
I probably don’t have to spell this one out, but I will anyway…

  • You could hire anyone to do what this Agent did.  Anyone, even one with no sales skills might do a better job.
  • Agents should always have a clear view of their sales office lobby area to know who is entering
  • Agent never introduced herself or got our shoppers name.
  • Personal phone calls can always wait until a time when no prospects are present.  She should have been off that  phone and on the model tour.
  • Agent asked no questions of our shopper, not even her name, she just dumped her information and pointed her towards the models.
  • Agent did not go on a model tour with our prospect to discover her needs and build rapport.
  • This Agent does not realize the value of a prospect or a paycheck, especially with only 2 sales on the board.
  • Agent didn’t get a registration card on this prospect.
  • Agent didn’t get to exit interview or close our prospect because she was back on the cell phone finishing her personal call. I won’t go on…

Shop rating;  Poor Shop


Now the second competition had a more attentive Agent who was with clients but took the time to excuse himself and come out to introduce himself, discover a few needs and point her towards the models, while he finished up with his clients.  When our shopper returned from the models, he was done with his clients and gave her his full attention.
Now here is the direction this shop went.  Our shopper asked about the surrounding communities and how they compared.  Instantly this Agent went negative on his competition.  Actually saying that the other national builder wasn’t disclosing some of their taxes accurately.  When my shopper acted surprised by this accusation and said, “Well I hope a builder the size of _____ is an honest builder”.  This Agent made some frowning facial gestures and negative body language and then said, “Not according to what I am hearing!”  My shopper was shocked and said she could not believe the way he handled the question.  She said that if she were buying, she would not buy from him just because of the way he talked about his competition.  This is not an admirable quality and should not be done amongst professionals. It really makes you look bad when you have to result to this kind of foul play, especially when it is not true.  This Agent wasn’t telling the truth by any means.

I informed the Builder who hired us of this Agent’s actions and I have to tell you, I think this Agent’sSales Manager deserves  to know what her Agent’s  are talking about in the field.  Not a good way to do business, at all.
Shop rating:  Poor Shop

How are you coming across to prospects?
You should know, because every prospect could be a sale for you or a sale for your competition, depends on who has the better sales person.

Happy Sales!

Selling in the Moment!

April 8th, 2010

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach Homebuilders AdvantEdge and Creating VIP’s copyright 2010

Selling in the moment means staying in the moment while you are selling and not going off into a checklist of things you should be doing instead of selling.  Here is the bottom line; there is nothing more important than the person standing in front of you.  They are “live”, they bothered to find you and drive to your community, so they must have a compelling reason for being there.  That reason is for you to sell them.

By giving the prospect all of your attention you will, in turn, win the prospect’s undivided attention.  You also show the prospect the respect they deserve and honor the fact that they came out to visit you and your community.

When you get distracted during a sales call you will distract your prospect and your sales routine.  If you start thinking about what other duties you should be doing, or what call you should be making or what paperwork needs to be prepared, you may miss buying signals and great conversation that will be taking place with the “golden goose” you have in front of you.  With traffic counts being so low, you have to make every piece of traffic count, it is what is most important.

It is proven that the average sales person actually sells for less than five hours a week.  The rest of the time you are busy doing all of your “other” duties.  So if you spend so little time actually selling, then it is very important that you make every second count.  By giving the prospect your full attention, you are more likely to ask great questions, get great answers, build rapport, show the models, trial close and stand out among your competition.  Always remember for every 30 minutes with a prospect you increase your chance of a sale by 35%, so spend lots of time with them.  In addition, do not forget, to take notes documenting all of the great things you learned about your prospect so you can smartly follow up with them once they have left.

So it works like this…

  1. Give the prospect your full attention so you get to know them and their needs,
  2. Make notes about them and their needs,
  3. Then sell them what they need.

It’s that simple, easy as 1-2-3!


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