Written by Shirleen Von Hoffmann, President and Sales Coach of HomeBuilders AdvantEdge
A sale, when done properly, is an art form. There are many steps to perfect and many ways to present, lead, mold, manipulate, inspire and close the prospect. The best Sales People didn’t just wake up one day that way. They have practiced many techniques and perfected their craft. What I am seeing quite often in this market are Sales People so desperate to make their numbers they give it all away at the model walk.
Good Shop Bad Shop
We recently did a shop and the Sales Person was walking the client through the first model. He knew the client had said they were qualified up to $340,000.00. So as they were walking and talking the Sales Person says, “Now this model is $359,000.00… but I can probably get this for you at $340,000.00.” The prospect at this point didn’t even show interest yet nor did they ask about price. The Sales Person was using this tactic to bait.
Then as they entered the master suite the sales person says, “I can probably get you $10,000.00 to help with your closing costs as well.” Still the Prospect has not asked for anything and is just looking so far, they have been with the Sales Person maybe 2-3 minutes. Again using FREE money as bait, which is the wrong approach.
In New Home Sales, the Sales Person challenge is to know what his prospects bottom line is and the builder’s bottom line and do their best to achieve both. The Sales person who gives away the bottom line too soon without any thought, can ruin a sale in more ways than one.
When you give away too soon, you give away:
• Your value-The builder will quickly realize that you are the type that “gives it to sell it”.
• The value of the “thing” you are giving because you gave it and didn’t make them bargain for it.
• Your power as a negotiator and sales person
• Your bottom line-they now will keep poking you to see how far you are willing go.
• Your sales tools for later-You won’t have anything to work with if you need it later.
As someone once observed, “Any fool can make a sale by giving it away.” We may not be fools but many salespeople and, indeed, companies fall into the trap every day of making sales by giving the store away.
The Bottom Line
Many salespeople, both good and bad, simply don’t understand the basic fact that whenever they give away a dollar, they’re giving away a dollar of gross margin, and gross margin is what’s needed to keep the lights on in your business.
Secondly when you give away something too easily, it loses its value and you lose your value and credibility.
I tell Sales People to pretend it’s your personal money in your pocket. Your $10,000.00 and you are negotiating your own home. I doubt you would give it away so easily.
Keep it in your pocket, save it for negotiations or for emergencies along the way of the sale. You very well may need it. Also, don’t give it away all at once, give it away in increments. Start small and see if that is enough to make the prospect happy.