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!
Think about a situation where you were touched on a personal level vs. some stock follow up from a Sales Person. It really makes a huge difference to take a little extra step and personalize your marketing material.
Now the only way you can do that is to;
• Get to know your prospects in detail, their interests, wants and needs.
• Write down that information so you can use it to market to them in a week, a month and even 6 months down the road.
I recently coached an Agent on a Model walk and asked her how many things she remembered from the prospect interview. She remembered 36 items about the client. Then I asked her, now how long would you remember those items if you didn’t write them down? She honestly admitted, she would quickly forget most of the information in hours. You must have a pre-done form that allows you to quickly jot down data you find out about your prospects so you can follow up with them and market smart. We provide such a form and call it our probe sheet. It allows the Sales Agent to quickly jot down all of the important facts they learned about each prospect and then they can enter these facts into their follow up program or simple attach it to the registration card so they can use the information for follow up in the future. And don’t forget this information is vital when it comes to telephone follow up and email follow up.
When your Sales Teams start utilize “Smart Marketing” it will be easier and more affordable marketing that will make a big impact on your bebacks. Smart Sales Agents love smart marketing because it is more effective marketing that saves time and money.