During my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and training over 2,000 housing professionals in our industry. With that experience, I was able to develop traits of the “Best Of The Best.”
Here are some of the characteristics successful housing consultants all seem to have in common:
Simply put, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
People buy from people they trust. I specifically recall one consultant telling me how she helps customers solve their problems by showing them how she’s helped past customers with the same issues.
Think about this for a moment. Every customer who visits your manufactured housing community or sales center has a problem. It’s too big, too small, too expensive, they’re getting married, divorced, having more children, etc. Of course, many of them also have credit issues.
So, before trying to sell them a home, focus on building trust, comfort, and relationships. It will make working with your customers that much easier!
By the way, are you working with a reputable credit repair company? Across the nation, the “Best Of The Best” all have firms that work with their customers. It can be time-consuming, but you’ll increase your sales dramatically if you (and your customer) have patience.
Strong Work Ethic
Do you have a systematic program every day when you come to the office? In talking with housing consultants who consistently sell 100+ homes per year, they all have a strategy in place to start their day.
Across the board, here’s what these top professionals do:
1. Arrive at the office a minimum of 45 minutes early to avoid distractions. (many come in an hour or more before opening)
2. Prepare for the day by reviewing all the day’s activities in their CRM including appointments, follow-up, quotes, closings, etc.
3. Respond to all social media and e-mails from the previous evening.
4. Post all new social media pictures and video
This is not just spending more time with customers, although the top 10% of housing consultants spend an average of three hours MORE per day prospecting with potential customers (I suggest you reread this).
Also, those top 10% are working with fewer customers! This comes with learning who your real “Hot & Warm” prospects are and focusing on that group.
They’re also using everything they can to differentiate themselves from the competition. This includes handwritten thank you notes, video e-mail, text messaging, etc.
Here’s also something all these top-tier professionals are doing with e-mail. They use what I call the Go51 plan. It’s quite simple. Every e-mail you send should have no more than five sentences and only one topic.
So, if you have a customer that inquires about three homes, send three separate e-mails.
By the way, short video e-mail has an opening rate of 91% while regular emails attract only 17% of your prospects.
So, here’s the bottom line on prospecting and customer engagement. If you’re not spending 40% of your time on this critical area, you’ll never reach your full potential.
Greeting Your Customer
One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t become another me-too housing consultant.” When I first visit almost every retail sales center or community, I hear the salesperson saying the same things:
“What are you looking for, a single wide or doublewide?”
“How many bedrooms and baths?”
“How soon are you looking to move?
“Do you have land?”
You’ll notice that every one of these types of questions is called “Closed Probes.” They will bring a response from your customer that is only one word or sentence.
Learn to use “Open Probes” as they will have your prospective homeowner give you a response that is generally two or more sentences in length. It also lets them know you have an interest in helping them.
Earlier I talked about Empathy and Customer Engagement. Yes, it’s true you only have a few seconds for that customer to decide if they like you or not … so take advantage of those few seconds and engage your prospect.
Here’s the open probe that I recommend everyone use, both retail sales centers and communities, when first greeting your customer:
“Hi, I’m Ken Corbin, and welcome to XYZ Homes. So what are you trying to accomplish?”
This will cause them to begin telling you not only why they’re here but what they’re wanting. IMPORTANT: Have a clipboard available and begin writing down everything they say.
Next time we’ll share even more ideas from the “Best Of The Best.”