ROLAND NAIRNSEY - NEW HOME SALES PLUS BLOG
Celebrate the Difference You Are Making in People’s Lives
We have to remember how fortunate we are to be in an industry where we have the privilege of helping people satisfy their dreams of owning a brand new home that reflects their taste and personality. In some of the very good markets that are being enjoyed around the country, we can maybe make sales by being technically correct and somewhat transactional. However, in most of the average markets, we have to do much better, and actually connect with clients and try to understand their real motivation and underlying needs.
Once we have mastered this art, we find that our clients relax, as they now trust us to help them navigate through the process of selecting and personalizing their dream home. Also, when we truly care about them and, once we have helped them accomplish this dream, it is only natural to help them celebrate this exciting new chapter of their lives. Connecting and celebrating don’t come naturally to everyone, so here are some basic tips on how to accomplish it.
“Connection is Involvement”
The more you involve clients and members of your own team, the more they feel connected to you. Having just watched the biographical movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, on the plane to Vegas, I learned that one of Queen’s concepts and reasons for their success was the way they involved their audience with both hand clapping and singing along with the band. This became an integral part of their live shows. In the video, you will see me clapping hands with the audience at IBS, having fun as I bravely tried to illustrate this same concept.
Finish these classic Freddie Mercury lyrics, if you can:
“Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes, gonna get you some peace someday
You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back into your place, do it!”
Let’s all sing it:
“We will, we will rock you, yeah, yeah, come on
We will, we will rock you, alright, louder!
We will, we will rock you, one more time
We will, we will rock you”
Of course, I was just having fun, but the transferable idea should be, “How can you think of creative and effective ways to involve your clients in a positive way?”.
As a teacher, I am always striving for simpler ways for my students to learn and assimilate proven concepts and winning strategies. So with this in mind, I find that acronyms can be a fun and easy way for us to remember important concepts. At my program at IBS, I unveiled this doozy: QUAL.
This is what it stands for:
Ah, it’s so obvious, when I give you the answers. Let’s look at each one in a little more detail.
Many salespeople will ask a few basic questions, but in order to truly connect, we have to go to a much deeper level. My favorite quote relating to this is:
“Be Interested, Not Interesting”
We probably all know by now that we should be asking the basic open-ended questions at the beginning. These are your “What”, “How”, and “When” questions. However, from my experience, for every basic question, such as “When are you thinking of moving?”, there is a potential down line of questions that a mastery level salesperson would insist are answered. Examples of these questions include, “Will you be selling your current home?”,“Is it on the market?”, “What is your situation?”, and more. The same concepts apply to the value range and home features they seek. There are simply a myriad of great follow-up questions that curious salespeople should be asking.
Two Way Street
Remember that, in order to connect with your potential clients through all of the Discovery process, you can’t just ask questions or take from them without giving back. After every meaningful set of questions, you should share how what they are looking for relates to what you have to show them. If you don’t practice this collaborative style then they will quickly shut down, feeling as though they are being interrogated.
Often, we share relevant features with our buyers and cap them with meaningful benefits, but we usually forget to take the time to pause and find out how our clients feel about what you have just shared with them. Now that we know that the average attention span of a human being has shrunk to a paltry 8.5 seconds, which is sadly less than that of goldfish, we have to have the courage to frequently stop and check in with our clients to keep them involved throughout the process.
We can’t afford to sell just one way. Most people sell the way they like to buy. As the poet Anais Nin famously said:
“We don’t see things as they are,
We see things as we are.”
Personally (let’s talk about me some more), I am a high Influencer (I) or Expressive, so I am fun-loving and outgoing. I get distracted easily by shiny objects and I like to make major buying decisions quickly.
For example, before buying our house in Miami way back in 2004, we did a little research online and then fell in love with the expansive lake view, high ceilings, and shiny counters when we toured the home, so we agreed to buy it within minutes of first seeing it. For my wife and I, it was an excellent gut decision and we still own it today, fourteen years later. For the record, it is also very well-built and energy efficient (for the Analytics [C’s] in the crowd), we got a good deal for it ( for the Drivers [D’s]), and it is part of a great neighborhood ideal for raising a family and very pet-friendly (here’s looking at you, Amiables [S’s]. Below is a picture of us from Christmas 2018, enjoying our fine view:
What was I saying, I got a little distracted… Oh that’s right, so as a trainer, I implore you to learn everything you can about your Homes, Communities, and Builders, and then please have the flexibility to adapt in how you communicate and decide what to share with your clients based upon their personality, style, and motivations. For many of you, this may require leaving some things out, if it really isn’t on the buyer’s agenda. I know, this is hard for us to do, as we have probably worked hard on our product knowledge and also have a great deal of pride invested. We may believe that if we leave items out, our clients may consider us to be unprofessional, or even worse, we could be accused of taking shortcuts.
However, cramming information down a buyer’s throat that isn’t relevant to their viewpoint is merely going to alienate them and make the sale harder. Challenge yourself to understand your client’s needs, and then adapt to give them the experience they seek. The same applies in sales management, let’s adapt with our sales teams, and coaching, let’s learn to adapt to ensure we connect with all of our students.
The number one complaint against all of us salespeople is a failure to listen to our client’s needs. There are so many wonderful listening skills we could discuss, but during the program, I selected two of them.
Make sure that you listen with your eyes and your body, and that clients know you are completely focused on them. Research shows that body language is more than 70% of how buyers perceive us, so it is essential that you help create the correct emotions by physically showing how focused you are on them.
The other major concept to ensure that you are focused and that clients know you are listening is to Chunk, or paraphrase, their needs back to them. This should take place after all of the essential Discovery at the beginning, during the middle of your Model Demo when recapping selections, and especially at the closing table, when you recap all of the yes responses you have stored in your “yes bank” before closing and asking for the sale. Here is an example at the end of the Discovery:
“So, if I hear you correctly, you are looking for a four bedroom, three bath home with the master suite downstairs, a big back yard for your 17 children, and you’d like to keep it in the mid-fours. Also, you’d like to move in around Thanksgiving. Is that correct?”
Talk to the Hand
As a reformed terrible listener, I learned to literally get my hand out in front of a client and fill my fingers and thumb with what I believed I heard them say and have learned. Here is a schematic to help you focus and stay on track:
By the way, it is okay if you make a mistake and forget a detail, as your clients will be happy to step in and help you. The most important thing is that you have a process, such as chunking, that will help you connect with your buyers every single time.
The last concept is to remember to celebrate with your clients. When you put yourself in your buyers’ shoes, you will realize that investing in a brand new home will be one of the top three to four most memorable accomplishments of their lives. So let’s shake their hand, congratulate them, and create a ceremony to help make this moment special.
For my own sales team, we would photograph the client’s either placing a sold sticker on a map or we would to the home and homesite and place a sold sign on their new home or homesite. With the client’s permission, of course, we would then place this photo on social media and tag them as a way to further celebrate their purchase. This not only allows them to continue celebrating their purchase, but it is also a fantastic referral tool and preventer of future buyers’ remorse.
So let’s all remember these tools for sincere connection and celebration and work hard to create the memorable buying experience that your clients deserve.