Statistics show that "Be back" customers — those returning for a second or third visit — are almost four times as likely as new prospects to purchase a home. What is the goal with "Be back" customers? Does the approach change for a first time customer? This month, we sit down with new home sales professionals Stacy Hair, Jeff Kaizer and Debra Dunaway to discuss "Be backs" versus new prospects.
Stacy Hair: When I have a returning customer I believe it is because I did my job the first time getting them to come back to the community. My goal with "Be back" customers is to focus on what is important to them. Whether the important thing is the home, the home site, the financing, etc., I make sure to narrow in on that important element. At this stage, I will either close on a sale or set up a second appointment.
Jeff Kaizer: For a new prospect, my closing ratio is 1:11. When I have a "Be back," that ratio narrows down to almost 1:2. I take a different approach when I recognize a customer as a "Be back" prospect. I categorize my "Be Backs" into two different categories: did they just show up or is this a planned visit that I have initiated? In the latter case, I know what we are trying to achieve and how much further I am trying to take them down the critical path to closure.
Debra Dunaway: It is great when a customer walks back in the door for the second or third time because you treat them like an old friend rather than someone that you are meeting for the first time.
When I have customers that have returned more then three times, I believe it is important to zero in what the hesitancy is to close. I like to ask the customer why she is having difficulty making this decision when she has found a community that has answered all of her needs.
I am straightforward with "Be backs." At this point in the sale, if you can't treat them like an old friend, then they are not going to open up to you. You need to just go straight to the point and find out is there something standing in their way of making this decision. And once they have opened up and tell you that, you will probably solve that and move forward.