SUCCESSFUL SALES HABITS FOR 2022
By Roland Nairnsey
President of New Home Sales Plus
Happy New Year to everyone out there in the world of Real Estate and New Home Sales. Typically, at the beginning of the year we all sit down and make our goals for the upcoming year. This is something that I have done for a few decades and believe that it is a healthy habit to engage in.
However, once these goals are written down, what are we doing to make them an actual reality? Are they just a pipe dream, or something that we are actually moving towards on a daily basis?
With the many sales team that I coach monthly, we always start the New Year with an in depth business goal setting session. I have learned to break this down into a few meaningful parts. Firstly, what are we grateful for in the past year, that we would like to continue and encourage to flourish? Then we focus on financial goals sales and sales conversion ratios and take a realistic look at what we need to accomplish weekly, and monthly to attain our goals. Lastly, how do we get there in terms of activities, from managing our own business, to prospecting and follow up? We cover all of this in depth.
This is where Habits come in. If what we are discussing is new or occurs intermittently, then what would suggest that things will be any different in 2022. So my challenge to you as a coach, is to embrace what you want to change and turn it into a bona fide habit.
Let’s be frank about what a habit really is. Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers discussed how to influence citizens and stated: “Man is very much a creature of habit.” A hundred years later, the philosopher William James in a treatise called Habit, wrote: “When we look at creatures from an outward perspective, one of the first thing that strikes us, is that they are bundles of habits.”.
Please think about elements of your life that are almost on auto pilot. For example, (when I am home and not on the road coaching) I am always the first up in my house usually around 6:30 AM, I make the coffee, and prepare breakfast and daily vitamins for my lovely family. I love this personal quiet time to reflect and think about creating a wonderful day. I used to go to the gym occasionally but learned during covid to go for a long walk every morning instead and listen to helpful podcasts or audibles. It has been over a year of doing this, and I am addicted to this healthy routine for both body and mind. When it comes to my wardrobe, I have taken a leaf out of Einstein’s personal play book. He had the same exact suits lined up, so he could free up his mind and focus on more important subjects such as relativity and time. I am not comparing myself to dear old Albert, but I only have blue shirts, they are lined up according to type and shades, so they are easy to find. I know this seems like very compulsive behavior, but it means that I spend mere seconds thinking about my clothes every day. I hope these insights into my daily activities daily habits haven’t scared you too much. However, the experts have proven that when you ritualize your daily activities this frees up your mind for the larger activities, that require deeper concentration.
The epiphany I had recently as a sales trainer, is that as much as we may preach the fundamentals of a sales person’s routine, what are doing as managers and coaches to ensure that these essential activities become an actual habit, and part of their routine. People argue about the length of time it takes to create a habit; differing experts say from thirty days to three months. I would suggest this may be the case with a brand new activity, but it takes longer if you are changing old habits. Worse of all, unless you fervently protect the routine, these new habits can be broken easily and we can relapse into the old habits we are trying to change.
Let’s explore some of the habits that I would suggest are essential for new home sales people to create consistent and long term success.
My point is, are all of these activities just things that you think about occasionally, often with a twinge of guilt that you can’t focus on them with the dedication you know they deserve; or have they become a habit? I was fortunate to have worked in a very large community with over 2,000 homes to sell for a decade. This allowed me the opportunity to create ritualized sales activities, that led to my consistent success.
For example, three days a week for ninety minutes, I focused solely on follow up. I marked my calendar as this was sacred time for me to bring back all of those folks that hadn’t bought and didn’t have appointments yet. Twice a month, I would walk all the homes that I had sold, so I could come back and contact my buyers with updates. Occasionally, I would find mistakes, which I could chat with construction about, and remedy way before it became an issue for the clients. The first Wednesday of the month I would visit the dozen Realtor ® offices, which I had made into my “Realtor ® Farm Base”. And Once a month I would either host a Realtor breakfast at my model or a Realtors ® office. Once a month on the second Wednesday, I would go and visit our competitors and look at exactly what they were doing in terms of models, move in ready homes and incentives.
All of these activities, I had turned into habits to both ensure that they were accomplished, but also to free my mind up for other much needed more complex activities that needed my focus and attention.
As managers the same methodical planning concepts are still valid. In my monthly management huddles one of the consistent topics is always meetings, from type, length, topics, and cadence. In my January meeting with Beth Byrd, Director of Sales and Marketing for Beacon Homes, in Oklahoma, Beth dedicated herself to setting up three months of sales meetings at a time. The where and when is easy, but the what and the why take more planning. So Beth will literally create a meeting plan for each week, which includes topics, training, trade partner attendance, salesperson competition shops and some fun and games. By doing this Beth just freed up time every week that was being needlessly spent on this, now to be used for other far more positive and meaningful activities.
To paraphrase Wendy Wood in “Good Habits, Bad Habits”: “Overthinking things can lead to anxiety and become a challenge to getting things done, whereas Habits lead to a better life, it’s not just about productivity.”
So in order to break through in twenty two, go ahead and focus on the areas of your business and sales process that you would like to improve and dedicate yourself to cultivate the activities to turn them into the Sales Habits for your prolonged and sustained success.
By Roland Nairnsey
President of New Home Sales Plus
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