Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Your New Home Sales Staff Need an Attitude Adjustment?
The importance of a good attitude goes beyond management; a homebuilders sales staff needs to have one, too. Columnist John Rymer details the right approach to the right attitude.
Everyone agrees that a sales team with a great attitude is essential to maximizing your sales. Yet, in a slow market, it is not unusual to find both managers and sales professionals blaming each other for poor attitudes.
Senior managers speak of the poor attitudes their salespeople have, while their sales team tells me they have quit sharing concerns with their managers for fear they would be labeled as excuse makers or simply having poor attitudes.
Great attitudes begin with proper expectations. Let's talk about the major areas of conflict when it comes to expectations.
When it comes to management, the biggest culprit is viewing your budget as the only sales number that counts.
If your budget doesn't reflect current market conditions and you continue to blindly push ahead with budget numbers that seem unrealistic to your sales team, you will lose their confidence and then their ownership in meeting your goals. This doesn't mean you should lower sales goals to match performance; it means you should be vigilant in measuring competitor sales and setting the expectation in terms of "fair share" rather than budget. This concept should also be applied in a strong market to make sure your prices and sales pace reflect fair share.
When it comes to sales people, the biggest expectation to overcome is getting buyoff on the following: (1) You will need to work harder and (2) You will make less money than you did a couple of years ago. You often get buyoff on one of the above, but it is an unusual sales professional who tells you they understand the reality of both.
Many builders expect their sales team to understand what it means to work harder without establishing processes to measure success.
The bottom-line attitude among your sales team can be summarized with answers to three simple questions:
- Do you believe you are surrounded by the best people and the best new homes in your marketplace?
- Do you believe buying a new home is one of the most important decisions your customers will ever make and therefore requires an enormous amount of diligence, participation and follow-through from their sales professional?
- Are your customers lucky to be working with a new-home sales professional who is extremely knowledgeable, hard working and willing to put forth extra effort to make the dream of home-ownership come true for their customers?
If each member of your sales team can't answer yes to all three questions, you are missing out on sales and it might be time for an attitude adjustment.
Outstanding sales without outstanding attitudes are simply not possible. Each member of your sales team, as the saying goes, needs either to step up or step out the door! And remember, attitudes are contagious; is yours worth catching?
|John Rymer is the founder of New Home Knowledge, which offers sales training for new home builders and real-estate professionals. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.|