Cydne Combs is a devotee of “relationship selling,” striving to create a value-added relationship for the buyer regardless of the type of homes she is selling.
Company: Prudential New Homes, Irvine, Calif.
Awards: NSMC National Salesperson of the Year, 2001
2001 net sales units: 42
2001 net sales dollars: $11 million
Referral rate: 10%
Average number of appointments per month: 19 to close
Cancellation or bust-out rate: 14%
Cydne Combs is a devotee of “relationship selling,” striving to create a value-added relationship for the buyer regardless of the type of homes she is selling. Part of the value Combs adds is a first-class education on how to build a home, with an emphasis on the complexity and detail required by the builder and the buyer alike.
“A lot of people really don’t understand what goes into the construction of a home,” Combs explains. “It is upward of 200,000 pieces of material and upward of 85 people. It is really overwhelming. So when people come in and have varying levels of uncertainty, concern and doubt, I let them know that their builder is taking a tremendous amount of risk as well. I let them know that when they buy they will never be too far away from the vortex of all this activity, that all of this is centering on them.”
She explains codes, compliance, logistics, scheduling, material selection and how these elements fit with walk-through inspections. Combs’ buyers gain much more information to support their decision to buy. This approach is so effective that Combs has become the ace her superiors rely on to handle “the problem children,” as she puts it.
Last year she injected life back into a Corona, Calif., project that was treading water at best. The 50-unit attached neighborhood had been priced badly and was foreclosed on by lenders before Combs came on the scene to sell it for the bank. There were other challenges as well. The project was built with an 80-foot flood control right-of-way running through it. And Riverside County buyers were not used to the New Orleans design. Still, Combs managed “to sell the builder’s dream” and close out the project before the end of the year. That earned her the NSMC Gold Award for National Salesperson of the Year in 2001.
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