Selling active-adult product in the suburbs of Hilton Head Island, S.C., at a price point from $120,000 to $220,000, Mike Martin has succeeded largely through a program that seeks to inform prospects about how to buy.
Company: Del Webb, Bluffton, S.C. (Sun City Hilton Head)
Awards: Numerous company awards
2001 net sales units: 29; 2002 (to June 30): 30
2001 net sales dollars: $6 million; 2002 (to June 30): $5 million
Average follow-up calls per month: 300, plus 150 e-mails per month
Cancellation or bust-out rate: 16%
Selling active-adult product in the suburbs of Hilton Head Island, S.C., at a price point from $120,000 to $220,000, Mike Martin has succeeded largely through a program that seeks to inform prospects about "how to buy." He also benefits from disciplined management of his prospect list, keeping potential buyers informed through regular e-mail updates and telephone contact. But above all, Martin says, he succeeds when prospects are made to feel comfortable from the outset. The goal "is to learn things about the customer, and that is what I use to sell," he says.
"When a customer walks in, we start with a nonbusiness approach. 'I see you are from Colorado. Do you ski?' We try to make it feel like they are walking into a house instead of walking into a business."
Once prospects are talking comfortably, Martin tries to ascertain as clear a picture as possible about what their new house will be and how it will differ from where they currently live. Then he tries to find out the unique things they don't have where they currently live or at other places they might be shopping.
"I help buyers create a shopping list - the must-haves for their new home - and then understand why these features matter to them," says Martin. It's important to commit this conversation to paper - to actually write a list - he adds, because nearly 80% of people absorb information better visually than verbally.
"Then if the process makes sense, if our offering matches their list, the sale comes easy," Martin says.
Mike on his sales technique Mike on realtors
Mike on time management