Company: Lee Wetherington Homes, Sarasota, Fla.
Awards: Numerous company awards, including a special Clean Sweep Award for winning all company sales awards in a single year (2001)
2001 net sales units: 52
2001 net sales dollars: $14.7 million
Referral rate: 10%
Average number of appointments per month: 16 to close
Cancellation or bust-out rate: 9%
Little more than three years ago this former cabinet salesman spent a vacation in Sarasota, Fla., visiting his brother, a new home sales professional. By the end of the trip, Barry Bright thought he could spot buyers better than his brother. Turns out he was probably right.
"I would come to the job with him and meet customers coming through the door and end up talking with them," Bright says. "They would spill their guts to me so much that I could pretty much tell my brother, 'That guy is going to buy a home.' They did not look at me as a salesperson. They looked at me as some guy in shorts on vacation."
Bright's approach remains two parts Zig Ziglar and one part Jimmy Buffett. He will try to convince you that his sales process is ad hoc, straight from the gut, but sales pros and consultants who have worked with him know better. His strategy is to put customers at ease and make them feel like they are among friends. He seeks to find first a point of shared reference - current hometown, favorite Florida destination, music, etc. In taking the time to create a personal connection, Bright puts real prospects at ease and eliminates visitors who have no intention of buying a home. Phase two: They talk; he listens. In short order, he has their life story.
Another key to Bright's sales strategy falls under the general category of "momentum selling" or referral business. His goal is to introduce as many prospects to as many buyers as possible so they can talk outside the sales center. "I let the customers sell for me," Bright says.
Bright currently operates without the luxury of models, or roads for that matter, and his friendly, disarming approach still works. In the first three weeks since pre-sales opened, he got 16 sales.
"Most of the stuff that I do right I do unconsciously," he says. "I think the key is that I am comfortable with what I do and I have fun doing it. This is the easiest job I've ever had, and it's the most money I've ever made."
Barry on his sales technique Barry on realtors