Archive for March, 2011

Saying Goodbye to a Gentle Giant

March 25th, 2011

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach Home Builders AdvantEdge

Most of you knew Jerry Rouleau through his blog, podcast, webinars and  as the founder of BuilderRadio and The Selling More Homes Podcast, which he co-hosted with Scott Stroud. Jerry was involved in the housing industry for over 25 years as President of J. Rouleau & Associates, offering public relations, sales, marketing and consulting to Builders.  He was active in NAHB and a regular speaker at IBS and many other Builder events.

I had the pleasure and privilege of calling Jerry Rouleau my friend, as many of you do  I am sure. Last Tuesday Jerry lost his two year battle with cancer but he battled cancer long before that, in more ways than one.

Master Fundraiser

Many in business may not know what a huge contribution Jerry made to the cancer world.  He used his grief, from the loss of his wife Jan to make a real difference in combatting cancer. One of the many things Jerry created was Jan’s House of Hope, a fundraising project which involved building a 3,100 sq. ft. home on a barge – complete with 3 car garage, car in the driveway and fenced in landscaped yard –which toured seven cities on the east coast. The tour generated over $15 million of publicity for cancer awareness in a two-month period.He was also the creator of the National Cancer Awareness Foundation and sat on the boards of various foundations that helped cancer patients in need.   From my perspective, as the President of a Cancer Foundation, I can’t imagine raising this kind of money.  It is an unbelievable accomplishment in the name of cancer awareness and had to be a lot of work, time and energy.

I got a call from Jerry a few years back, stating he wanted to get to know me better.  He was my friend on Facebook and could see that we both had a passion for helping those with cancer.  We also had our own Cancer Foundations that helped people with cancer.  We chatted for the longest time and I remember hanging up the phone and thinking, man that was a nice guy! I had always known who he was but had no idea that he was so dang nice!  We ended up meeting in person for lunch at the IBS show in Las Vegas and really hit it off.  Our deep empathy and compassion for people with cancer gave us a common bond aside from the building industry.  I can’t think of a kinder, more generous person in the building industry. In fact, recently when I had a cancer patient who was in real financial trouble, I called Jerry to see if he had any ideas and he came to the rescue with some grants to help her immediately.  I consider myself to be a pretty resourceful business person and Cancer Advocate but I can’t imagine raising the funds Jerry did; it really is amazing!  I told him all the time that he was my HERO! I mean that on the deepest level.  I would die happy tomorrow if I could make an impact on the world, like Jerry Rouleau made.

Gentle Giant

In business it is so rare to find a person like Jerry Rouleau.  It is rare to find a successful business person who was so dang nice at the same time!  Jerry would talk to anybody and make everyone feel important and acknowledged.  Usually you find successful professionals to be full of themselves and they don’t look up very often to acknowledge others unless it’s to their benefit.  But not Jerry, he reached out and touched others all day, every day in every way.

When you read the comments on Builder Radio’s blog about Jerry’s passing there is one consistent theme…He reached out to me, he was gracious, generous, giving, kind, caring, optimistic, a Giant in everything he participated in, and a true Gentle Man.

Master Networker

But the one repeated verse you read is, “He was the first to reach out to me”,” he wrote me a kind note”, “he called me on the phone”, “he emailed me”…  I think I read at least 20 responses that said, Jerry was the first person to contact me… and that was also the case with me personally.  Jerry was the first of my peer group to pick up the phone, call me and just be nice.  Being a Builder Consultant can be a lonely business and unfortunately we all get so busy we don’t get much time to call each other on the phone and chat.  Jerry made that time…and he made that time with everyone.  We can all learn a lesson from Jerry and the life he created.

Jerry was a master at Business, Networking and at Life.  I am sure his Family will tell you he was a Master Husband and Father as well.   We all should aspire to his example.   His death leaves a hole in our industry and an even larger one in our hearts.  It is a true loss that cannot be replaced for the building industry but we are all better for knowing him.

Safe Landings our Gentle Giant; we are happy you are home but you will be missed here.  You made a huge difference in the world and made this world a better place by being in it.

Are you a Sales Master or a Sales Facilitator?

March 21st, 2011

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge Copyright 2011

After training and coaching Sales People for many years, I find there are two types of Sales People, those who take charge and those who wait.  It’s why 10% of Sales People do 90% of the Sales.  What I like to call…people who are Sales Masters or Sales Facilitators.  Here is a Wikipedia description of both.

Facilitator: one that facilitates: one that helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance.

Master: a powerful person who controls or influences what other people do: a person who leads a group, organization, country… someone who has control or power over others: a person who has become very skilled at doing something.

When I think of a Facilitator I think of Vanna White.  She swings her arm in front of whatever prize she is showing as if to say, TA-DA!!  She is a shower, as if you didn’t know that was a car she was presenting.

When I think of a Master I think of Tony Robbins or maybe Donald Trump.  They both have created sales empires for themselves through hard work and dedication.

Sales Facilitator  or Sales Master?

Facillitator: Gets depressed when they hear bad market news.

Master: Doesn’t listen to the news, too busy marketing.

Facilitator: When no traffic spends time on phone with friends.

Master: When no traffic spends time calling prospects.

Facilitator : Sits in the community waiting for prospects to come.

Master:  Out and about, networking businesses to drive traffic.

Facilitator: Makes minimal money in down markets.

Master: Makes money in all markets.

Facilitator: Writes down how much they want to make each year.

Master: Goal sets, stating when, why and how they will achieve.

Facilitator: Shows up to work and waits for clients. » More: Are you a Sales Master or a Sales Facilitator?

Tune in Prospecting and Turn on Sales

March 15th, 2011

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge Copyright 2011

There is change in the market, do you feel it? No I am not talking about the market, foreclosures or the recession. I am talking about Prospecting and the way you do it in the year 2011 versus how you did it in 2005 or 2000. So much has changed, have you?

With the invention of computers our world has changed dramatically and continues to change at rapid paces. With the invention of social media our prospecting and so much more has changed. To be a Top Producing Agent you must change with it and utilize these tools to benefit your sales and save time.

Here are three keys that will change your prospecting and tune it into the year 2011.
QualitySpend most of your time with your prospects discovering. Discover everything you can about them. The time you are with the prospect is as precious as gold, because once they leave your sight, you will have to work harder to get them to come back. Don’t ever forget that.

Quantity-You must have a consistent quantity and a stream of qualified leads to work with. You cannot depend on what is walking in the door when traffic levels are so low. You must do what you can to help drive more quantity. This is real change from the past that you should embrace.

Consistency-Consistent contact with qualified prospects can enable you to avoid market slowdowns, income plateaus and bring you confidence that you can’t buy. Prospecting and follow up with prospects should be your first choice of spending your time, when you are not with LIVE prospects. You should look forward to prospecting because it gives you the power to increase your sales, your income and your personal empowerment.

Use Tools, stay organized and stay focused. Here are twenty useful tips:
1. Use a contact management program, to stay organized and reach all of your A prospects with one touch.
2. Keep organized notes on prospects for smart, meaningful follow up.
» More: Tune in Prospecting and Turn on Sales


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