ROLAND NAIRNSEY - NEW HOME SALES PLUS BLOG
New Home Sales Training Tips: All You Have To Do Is Ask
Interestingly, as a new home sales training coach, I have found that one of the hardest things for sales people to do is to simply ask for the sale. The great irony is that the one action that causes us our greatest success, and the only natural culmination of a well-planned process, is often the hardest thing for us salespeople to do.
I believe the salesperson’s inner dialogue may go something like this:
If this is how you think, then we need to help you adjust your mindset. We have to understand that clients walked into your retail space when there are many other things they could be doing with their time than looking at model homes and dealing with us eager home sales professionals. In the history of real estate, with the exceptions of grand openings during the height of the past boom or some really over-heated markets, I have rarely seen buyers close themselves. For some reason that only advanced psychologists could explain, we humans will rarely initiate a purchase, even if it is something we want, as we feel it is incumbent upon the seller to take the first salvo and ask us to proceed. My observation as a sales coach is that with many salespeople, the only thing preventing a sale was the failure to simply ask for it.
This was wonderfully illustrated to me recently at the gym where I belong in Naples, Florida. (On a side note, why do people always laugh when I say I go to the gym? I digress…)
To get back to my point, I have been going there for many years and have always marveled at the number of personal trainers I would see regularly, none of whom would say hello or even barely acknowledge me. I know it’s not cool in this day and age to make eye contact in a gym, as it could be misconstrued, but goodness, the absence of even basic politeness to me seems strange after so many years of seeing the same trainers. For the record, my main goal in working out is not to pump iron and build “Schwarzenegger” type muscles (not that there is anything wrong with that), but to be healthy, feel good, and release those famous endorphins that keep one happy and positive. In fairness, my “work outs” have been somewhat tepid affairs and I always felt I could get more out of them. For years I had said to myself that if one of the trainers asked me to work out with them, I would be very tempted and would be very interested in learning more about ongoing private coaching.
Finally, one Saturday morning as I was leaving the gym with a smoothie in hand after my usual routine of watching HGTV on the elliptical machine for forty five minutes and barely working up a sweat, something interesting happened. A tall chiseled young man with a friendly smile, who introduced himself as Rich, casually asked me how my work out went. I replied that it was okay, and he followed up and asked whether I accomplished my goals. Bingo, direct hit, with two well-planned questions Rich had immediately found my dissatisfaction! Being a sales coach, I knew what was happening and was ready to enjoy the ride.
Rich sat me down at his desk and continued his well-planned sales process. He asked many great, open-ended questions about my current routine, diet, and work out goals. He even measured and weighed me to show me how truly flabby and unfit I was, and we agreed on what my goals should be. He used features and benefits, and then involved me emotionally by asking me to imagine what it would be like looking in the mirror when I accomplished my goals. Wow, this guy was good and had been trained somewhere, I thought to myself.
Then he explained the benefits of a coaching program, without ever getting into specific pricing. Frankly, if he had “closed me” for a coaching session at that moment, I would have gladly agreed to one session to “try it out”. But Rich was too patient for that, knowing that he shouldn’t close me prematurely and if he followed his process, he would get a far more valuable commitment from me. Instead, he suggested that we make an appointment for a “free” work out. Obediently, I agreed, and came back a few days later for what I have to admit was one of the most fulfilling workouts I can remember. I worked up a real sweat and exercised parts of my body that hadn’t been challenged in many years.
After this, Rich sat me back down at his desk, confirmed that I was feeling good, and then went in for his big close. By now, we knew each other well. He knew details about my family, my work, and my travel routine across the country as a new home sales coach. Rich recapped my original goals and then showed me how I could easily accomplish them with a one year coaching program, training once a week at 6:30 AM. I was initially shocked as I had already committed in my mind to at least one session, if not one month, but a whole year seemed like a stretch and put a lot of pressure on me. Rich patiently managed my objections, which had more to do with the typical “What if I don’t like the trainer or can’t commit to the time?”. These were a piece of cake for Rich who had clearly practiced managing lame objections from middle-aged men, who obviously needed to get in shape and liked to go down kicking and screaming.
When the commitment still seemed a lot to me, Rich reduced the agreement from one year down to six months. Still sensing my modest push back, he shared his variation of the famous “Puppy Dog Close”, explaining that we could go ahead now and I would have a week to cancel if I wasn’t satisfied. We call this allowing the customer to “Try On the Sale”, and we teach making the agreement “Effective On” a date in the very near future. I went ahead and committed to six months, and as you can see from the pictures below, I am looking and feeling much better.
So, what did we learn from my very polished fitness salesman Rich that can be translated to our new home sales experience? Let’s review:
- Many time clients are ready to buy, but need to be taken through a process and be asked.
- First, you have to learn about clients and have the patience to find their hot buttons and current dissatisfaction, if one exists.
- You must prove that you are listening by repeating those goals throughout the process.
- You don’t close too early, but instead take clients through a more complete process to get the sales they want, and you deserve.
- When you have earned the right, you do close and Ask For The Sale.
- When managing objections, remind clients of their original goals, and when hot buttons outweigh objections, understand that the sale will be made.
- Practice your answers to objections and make sure you adjust them to the reason the client has them in the first place.
- Aim for the bull’s eye when asking for the sale, but be prepared to be flexible and adjust to arrive at a win-win. (Rich knew I would never go from a 6-month to one-year program, but going the other way was easy.)
- Find ways for clients to begin the buying process, and sometimes make sales “Effective On”, as a last resort. Research shows that more sales will be made if you write the agreement while buying temperatures are at their peak.
- Above all, make the positive assumption that clients come into your retail area for one reason and that is to buy your product, and make sure that you always, always, always Ask For The Sale.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
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