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Sales Demonstrations Can Help New Home Sales

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Sales Demonstrations Can Help New Home Sales

An often-summarized Aristotle quote reads: "What we hear, we forget. What we see, we remember. And what we do, we understand." Although those thoughts date back 2,300 years, the principle rings true today. The concept is essential to understanding the importance of demonstrations in new home sales. Surveys show 86 percent of what we tell customers will be forgotten within 24 hours.


By John Rymer March 31, 2007
This article first appeared in the PB April 2007 issue of Pro Builder.

An often-summarized Aristotle quote reads: "What we hear, we forget. What we see, we remember. And what we do, we understand." Although those thoughts date back 2,300 years, the principle rings true today.

The concept is essential to understanding the importance of demonstrations in new home sales. Surveys show 86 percent of what we tell customers will be forgotten within 24 hours. Approximately 50 percent of what customers see will be forgotten within a week. However, getting customers to participate in a demonstration could help them retain the information for weeks, months or even years.

Effective Demonstrations

Master these three strategies for every sales presentation and you've mastered effective demonstrations:

  1. Determine the amount of time the customer has to spend with you.
  2. Assess the scope of the demonstration.
  3. Focus on the customer's priorities in a new home purchase.
  • The Time Element

    Understand the importance of the time you have with each customer. This strategy is often overlooked as a key to determining where and what you will demonstrate. If you know your customer is limited to 15 minutes, do not spend 10 minutes of that valuable time demonstrating the energy efficiency of the home. However, if you have a customer with more time to spend, that customer might find the experience highly useful.

    Consider the Scope

    Do you think your sales demonstration should be limited to homes and home features? Nothing is further from the truth. Most customers consider other key decision-making areas in their purchase decision, including the location, the community, the home site, financing and the builder.

    As a high-performance sales professional, you should be adept at expanding your demonstration to any area that is a priority for the customer.

    Prioritize

    The final aspect of effectively demonstrating is to focus on the customers' priorities. Begin by becoming knowledgeable in all areas concerning your homes and communities. Sales agents who are only experts in advanced features of kitchen appliances will be of little help to a customer who is focused on construction quality. And articulating the details of your architectural standards will be of little use to a customer who is consumed by wanting the best technology available in new homes.

    Prioritizing means limiting your demonstration to those areas that are of important to the customer. Keep in mind the rule of three: you can typically demonstrate only three home features until the customer becomes bored and wants to move on to the next home or the next community.

    So use your skills selectively. No one likes "feature dumpers," the slick salespeople who are so proud of their product knowledge that they bypass the customers' needs and instead try to dazzle them with product knowledge. Today's customers don't want to be dazzled. They want to understand how your home's features solve a need, desire or requirement in their new home.


    Author Information
    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 john@newhomeknowledge.com.

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