Archive for May, 2010

Beat the Summer Blues!

May 29th, 2010

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President & Sales Coach for Homebuilders AdvantEdge®, copyright 2009©

It’s 2009 and we are seeing an economy that our country has never seen before. Now as summer is upon us and people start vacationing, it can slow down your traffic. You have options, you can either sit around and do nothing or you can step up and take on the challenge! We don’t have to let the economy or season dictate OUR success. Selling during these times can be more challenging yet top producers are not feeling the pinch as much as others. How can you ensure you prosper during these times? With action!

Do you ever notice how top producers are busy no matter what? Even in tough times, top producers continue to sell as if there were no challenges. That’s because great sales people stick to their good habits no matter what.

Following are 10 key habits that will make your sales season & recession proof! The actions you take now are the ones that will make it a GREAT finish to 2009.

1. Set Goals
Do you ever drive to a place that you have never been without directions?
Then don’t start each day off without direction. You can’t get where you want to be if you don’t clearly know where you want to go. Write down your goals for income, work, home, family…whatever is important to you. Then write an action plan of what you are going to do to achieve those goals. You should be touching on these goals and actions to achieve these goals each and every day.

2. Always hone your sales skills
You can never stop learning, growing and honing your skills, no matter what. All top producers challenge themselves with sales training, reading, practicing their skills. Learning new skills and seeing them work on your prospects is what makes sales fun! » More: Beat the Summer Blues!

Find Reasons to Follow Up

May 19th, 2010

This is probably one of the most important, easiest piece of advice I am going to give you. Are you listening?

While you have the prospect in your office, find out all about their needs, their wants and their personal lives. Then make sure you write that information down. Why you ask? Of course the first answer is so you can sell them what they need but the second is, So you can follow up.

By knowing, what they are interested in and what their needs are just that alone will give you loads of reasons to follow up with them. In other words they have a problem, you have to find out what that problem is so you can sell them a solution to the problem.

They like golfing, send them your community info on golfing.
They like baseball for their kids, send them your community baseball teams.
They hate commuting; tell them why your community is so convenient.

It’s endless what you can do with great information you collect from your prospects.

When you follow up with valid, personal information that addresses their needs, it says, “They remembered me”, “They are different from the rest!”

Even if someone was totally turned off by your homes, you can follow up with a Thank You and a referral flyer for their family and friends. Who doesn’t want to make some referral money? » More: Find Reasons to Follow Up

My New Book for New Home Sales Professionals

May 19th, 2010

Available now at and fine bookstores everywhere.

You want to be great?

You want to be the best?

You must have a copy of this book?

It speaks directly to New Home Sales and in a language New Home Sales People understand.  It gives you step by step takeaways that you can practice and fit into your sales routine.  This is common sense, no nonsense, sales techniques that anyone can learn from.  When you mention you are a Queen of Sales follower, you will receive a special surprise with each book shipment!

Changes are coming!

May 19th, 2010

Change is constant in our lives.  It is a process and a transformation. It’s a way of life for a Sales Person. Change continually alters and reshapes our lives. The effects of change can be subtle, like climbing a ladder or dynamic, like riding a wild, river rapids. The way we process and react to change depends on how we perceive it and move with it.

One thing is for sure, we can learn vast wisdom from tranformation. Life asks us to ride the waves of change and is constantly altering and reshaping our experience. Life asks us to constrict and expand and we never know what is coming.

That is why you must be open to change and know that all things are possible and all things are meant to be. When change rolls your way, say to yourself, “There is a reason for this change, a reason for my greater good, not sure what that reason is, but I want to find out, bring it on!”

When you seek the alternative route and decide to fight change, many things happen. For one, you stop growing and transforming, you become stagnant and bitter. You become what some call, “burned out”. You also may look at it this way, once you stop changing or transforming, you are dead…or you might as well be.

So now is the time to embrace all change coming your way! It’s just a matter of changing your perception of change to a positive one and being eager to change. That is when others will notice your vitality and your joy. Others will want to be near you because you are not afraid and have this “positive, upbeat energy”.

I am good friends with many of the Sales Representatives I teach.  Some of them I know from many, many years ago. I am very saddened to hear of a friend who has been selling for a very long time and now is burned out. The only thing I hear is how negative he is these days. It is very sad because this person was a great sales person at one time, always upbeat and fun. But if others who know you don’t really want to be around your negative energy, how are you coming off to your prospects? Think about it.  I know it’s tough to do something for a long time and stay fresh but you either do it or you should find something else that makes you happy again.  Before your employer decides to do it for you.

Sometimes change means you need to make the change. Sometimes you either need to seek the new attitude that will make you happy again or seek a new career or employer where you can thrive.

Just remember Change is always coming your way, and it’s a very good thing!

My interview with Builder Radio

May 17th, 2010

My interview with Builder Radio (click here for Audio)


By Shirleen Von Hoffmann

Through secret shopping I get to see all kinds of things that builders only see on camera.  A lot of managers will only see what they see at a sales meeting, but they don’t see their agents in action out in the field.  In this market, when traffic is so slow, you would expect to see a lot of selling skills being used, but they’re just really not.

For example, when we do our secret shops, we’re finding that on only two out of 35 shops the agents will actually walk us through the models.  There was a study done a year and a half ago in San Diego where shoppers went through 50 model home communities and out of 50, only 2 agents walked through the models.  So, not much has changed in a year and a half except the market.

The problem is that a lot of agents are still using the same skills as when we had people lined up 20 and 30 out the door and they didn’t need to walk people through models because they were too busy writing contracts.  We need to get back to the basics of – the basics of a good meet and greet, the basics of a model walk where you develop rapport with somebody.

Rapport and trust  are 75 percent of the sale.

If you develop rapport with somebody and trust, you can ask them to do anything.  But if you don’t have it, everything is hard.  Negotiations are hard.  The follow up after a transaction is hard.  Everything is hard so I try and teach the agents to develop rapport first and foremost, and I like them to do it on the model walk.  That’s where you can listen to comments people are making.  You can  answer questions and talk about your products.  But mostly I like them to ask a lot of questions and develop rapport.  That’s the time.  You’re never going to spend 20 minutes with that client if you hand them a brochure and send them to models alone.

So the primary purpose of the model walk isn’t so much the demonstration, the goal is to develop that relationship with the customer and deepen that rapport.

If I go through a model walk with you and I have some questions about the granite, I’m going to ask you and you’re going to answer me.  You don’t really need to be Vanna White.  Now, if there’s no conversation going up, sure, you want to bring up things that your builder has done.  We teach agents how to do a proper model walk, but the primary purpose of the model walk is to develop rapport, ask good questions, and find out all about that buyer. » More: My interview with Builder Radio

The Power of YOU

May 11th, 2010

Have clarity about your individual power. Everyone has it. No one can ever take it away from you. No one can ever do anything “bad” to you. No one can effect your experience, unless you let them. Everything, without exception, comes only by your individual invitation to it.

Communicate your thoughts

May 10th, 2010

“When a client, spouse or friend is angry with you or you are angry with them, 90% of the time it’s based on poor communication.

If you want less conflict, be sure to speak what’s in your heart and mind, others certainly can’t know all the chatter you have going on inside.  Sometimes we stay too much in our heads and assume people know what we are thinking.  Have you ever thought of a problem over and over inside your head and made it more of a problem than it was.  Once you communicated your thoughts on “the problem” to the other person, it all worked out fine and you made a big deal out of it for no reason?  It was all head chatter.  You must communicate what you are feeling and thinking.

Always remind yourself to be a good communicator of your thoughts and feelings, you will notice a difference in your relationships.                       Shirleen Von Hoffmann

Increase Sales with Smart Marketing!

May 1st, 2010

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann, President – Sales Coach for HomeBuilders AdvantEdge Copyright 2010

Most Sales Agents hate follow up and many don’t do it at all. Nevertheless, the real fact of the matter is, if you’re not following up you’re missing out on a real potential for sales. Think of follow up as an opportunity to do something your competition isn’t doing.
When performing our secret shopping services for builders throughout the nation, we have found that only 2% of Sales People bother to follow up in any way.

The sad fact is the Builder is spending a lot of time and money to walk prospects in the door and unless that prospect should happen to return on their own momentum, there isn’t a lot of Sales People giving them a reason to return.

In an effort to mandate follow up and make it easier many Builders spend thousands of dollars for follow up marketing systems that again are not being utilized fully. These systems remind the Agents of follow up by letting them know they have a phone call, email or a Thank You to send, which is great however, what I want to talk about is Smart Marketing.

If you are going to bother sending marketing material to a prospect, it better be effective material that touches them on a personal level or why bother?

It’s the difference between a standard “Thanks for visiting,” printed on the corporate letterhead and a “Thanks for visiting, it was fun getting to know your little boy, Toby. Bring Toby back real soon as I have a surprise waiting for him.” Another approach would be to touch them on some hobby, interest or sport that means a lot to them. Agents should look for a good reason to follow up and do it. If you have a first time homebuyer, follow up with an article about the benefits of buying vs. renting. It means so much to say, I remember you, I valued your visit, I want you to come back. Touch people on a personal level and watch the difference you make in your marketing, your beback return rate and your Sales. It turns from normal and mundane to SMART. You can send 10 ineffective marketing pieces and you won’t get the positive response of sending one SMART marketing piece. It saves time, money and gets the result you want! » More: Increase Sales with Smart Marketing!

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