Posts Tagged ‘Mike Moore New Home Sales Training’

Most salespeople today are infected with an ‘anti-sales virus’ and that this ‘virus’ acts as a sales repellant. The ‘virus’ has been infecting salespeople for years and it’s unknowingly

Anti Sales Virus

The Anti-Sale Virus Infects Unknowingly!

handed out by their companies, sales managers and sales trainers? Even more importantly, when a salesperson is left alone they’ll catch this ‘anti-sales virus’ all by themselves, and even help spread it to other salespeople. This ‘anti-sales virus’ is the reason people don’t like, trust or believe salespeople today.

The good news is it can be cured, and must be if you want to increase your sales, achieve and build a thriving career in sales. It must also be managed daily buy sales leaders, business owners and executive if they want their businesses to grow and prosper.

Before we get to the cure you need to know that when sales are weak, or economic conditions get tough, the strength of the ‘anti-sales virus’ increases, more is handed out and it spreads rapidly though most companies? I have found most salespeople think, “Not me, I couldn’t be infected with this virus”. This virus has been growing for decades and if it isn’t treated with the ‘antidote’ it eventually makes salespeople very average. In fact, it makes them all look, sound and act the same. What if I told you the ‘antidote’ has been around for years and really works?  Wouldn’t you be the first in line saying, “Sign me up” and “Where do I get more?”  The cynical salesperson wants to know how much it costs. What if I told you it’s free and the supply is unlimited? Well, guess what, it’s real, you can take it all the time and it will not only increase your sales immediately but help you grow a large healthy customer base.

produit_Antidote_0

The Antidote…You’ll Needed It Daily

Remember, the supply of  the ‘antidote’ is unlimited and free! However, even when you know what it is and how to use it, you’ll have to take it every day and you’ll have to keep taking it every time you engage someone in a sales conversation. In short, the ‘antidote’ is simple to use but wears off easily because other people will be trying to give you the ‘anti-sales virus’. This usually happens unknowingly and if you aren’t careful it’s easy to catch this virus!

By now, I know you’re ready for the active ingredient…The ingredient that causes the ‘antidote’ to attract and the ‘virus’ to repel is a salespersons’ intention when engaging people in a sales conversation. Before a salesperson opens their mouth to speak, their intentions are felt (like the scent of a potion) by the people that are attempting to sell. People then decide unknowingly, preconscious, to connect or avoid the salesperson. The salesperson’s intentions create their demeanor, presence and attitudes and cannot be faked. What people feel, and salespeople communicate,  are the genuine intentions of the salesperson.

The effects of the active ingredient in the ‘virus’ the salesperson has is evident when consumers avoid talking to or opening up even when salespeople ask good questions and genuinely cares about the people they are trying to sell but is infected with the ‘virus’.

‘Trying to make a sale’ is the active ingredient in the ‘anti sales virus’. The ‘virus’ even sabotages skilled salespeople who believe in their product and company, care about the consumer, but unknowingly are infected! Even they will repel people more often than they attract them. You can’t hide the virus from people…it is always showing!

The best example of the effects of the ‘anti sales virus’, or intention to make a sale, can be witnessed in a new home sales office when watching the interaction between consumers and salespeople. If there is a salesperson and a temp in the sales office and a consumer comes in, they will most often engage the temp and avoid speaking to the salesperson. I’ve personally witnessed this and over the years had many new home salespeople confirm this behavior by consumers.  It’s amazingly interesting that people are attracted by the ‘antidote’ the temp has taken or repelled by the ‘virus’ the salesperson is infected with. People will engage the person that is not infected with the ‘virus’ from the intention ‘to sell them something’.

Most companies, sales managers and sales trainers want salespeople to say the right things to create a better conversation with consumers.  They want and teach salespeople to ask better questions and be better listeners. The problem is, when salespeople try to do this, while infected with the ‘anti sales virus’, consumers won’t engage them and the engagement or conversation stalls.  As long as a salesperson is infected with the ‘virus’, sales will continue to be difficult and the relationship between consumers and salespeople will grow more dysfunctional. In short, people will keep avoiding salespeople until they become extinct.

The active ingredient in the ‘antidote’ is found in the intentions to help, serve and do what’s best for the consumer. The intention to make customers, not sales, is the missing ingredient. In fact, the intention to sell is the spoiled version of the intention to make a customer. The ‘virus’ wasn’t and never has been anyone conscious intention. It just mutated over the years from paying to much attention to the desired results companies, sales managers, salespeople and sales trainers wanted to create, instead of paying attention to what would create the results. Too much concern over what we want and not enough concern over what customers want. It’s also obvious that in a difficult economy we spend more time worrying and obsessing over the numbers and less time concerned about the customers concerns so the effects of the ‘virus’ worsen and spread.

When the ‘antidote’ is taken, the missing link in the sales conversation happens…a connection between the salesperson and the consumer. This connection causes or allows a conversation or real dialogue to take place so a healthy relationship can begin. This is the power of the ‘sales attraction potion’; it makes the consumer/salesperson connection happen and allows the other ingredients in the ‘sales potion’ to be used to best serve the consumer.

The steps of a sale, which have been taught for many years in various forms, only happen when this connection is made. Consumers only engage salespeople who have taken the ‘antidote’.  When the connection is made, people are served, customers are made and sales increase while business grows. After taking the ‘antidote’, salespeople are free to enjoy the profession of selling as the noble profession of service it was intended to be.

Whether you have taken the ‘antidote’ and whether companies encourage their salespeople to take the ‘antidote’ will determine your sales success!  Keep handing out the ‘virus’ and you will keep struggling to make customers and grow your business. In fact your salespeople will look, sound and act so much like your competition all they can be is average at best.

The intention to help, serve and do what’s best for the customer is the active ingredient in the ‘antidote’ that attracts customers and increases sales. It is the ingredient that leads to your sales success and needs to be handed out daily!

By Mike Moore

Buying a new home isn’t as much about real estate or an investment anymore as it is about the new homebuyer’s desire to enhance their lifestyle. So, the Design Center isn’t just about options andFHD A World Class Customer Experience upgrades anymore! It’s about a Homebuilder’s transformation into a New Home Retailer who can meet the personalization desires and deliver the ‘New American Dream’ of living a luxury lifestyle. It’s about understanding today’s ‘new homebuyer’ and delivering the world class customer experience they deserve when making the most important purchase of their life! To do this a homebuilder must start with the customer experience first and work their way backwards. They must focus on the customer first and not the products or process, so they can make the product and process fit the experience instead of making the customer fit the process.

This article addresses subjects near and dear to my heart…Homebuilding, Design Centers, new home personalization and the customer experience. My passion for all of these began when I started working in retail and then moved to the floor covering and interior design industries and continued on to new home sales. I’ve been teaching, training and coaching new Homebuilders and Design Centers  for many years and that led to my co-founding Options Online in 1996 with one of my clients. Options Online became a nationally recognized, award winning, online design center and options operating system. In fact, it was the first of its kind and is still going strong today as Studio Chateau. I also develop Finished Home Design, a series of workshops, seminars and coaching sessions to help Homebuilder and Design Center professionals deliver a world class personalization experience to new homebuyers. I wanted to share the 5 first keys for a Homebuilder and Design Center to stop struggling with options and upgrades and become a successful ‘New Home Retailer’. These 5 keys include 2 Self-Awareness Issues and 3 Mindset Shifts that must be addressed to become a New Home Retailer who does deliver a world class home buying, personalization and customer experience. So here are the first 5 keys…

Self-Awareness Issue #1…You are not a production builder…You build personalized homes on a schedule!

Construction MeetingDo you build production homes? No, you build personalized homes on a schedule, and until a homebuilder gets everyone in their business on this page they will continue to struggle. Homebuilders everywhere just wish options and upgrades would go away. Owners, executives, purchasing, construction, customer service and accounting people in the homebuilding industry struggle with this attitude and will continue to until they realize personalization is a core function of their business. After they acknowledge this is true, they can embrace the changes it causes to their jobs as a vital part of the business, instead of a hassle they wish would go away.

Self-Awareness Issue #2…Most people in the homebuilding industry are ‘used’ homebuyers and do not think like a ‘new’ homebuyer.

How many people in a position of leadership in the homebuilding industry would only shop for and buy a ‘new’ home i stead of a used home? Even if they buy a ‘new’ home they usually get to break all their companies rules for homebuyers to personalize it the way they want it…So, they aren’t really a ’new’ homebuyer, they are a new custom home buyer. I ask because the New Homebuilding Industry, is an industry led by and sold by predominantly ‘used’ homebuyers! Acknowledging this is a beginning that will allow you to start making the changes you’ll need to make to align with your intentions and mindset with the ‘new’ homebuyers who are your customers.

Mindset Shift #1…The vast majority of ‘new’ homebuyers want to buy the latest greatest and want a finished home, not a fixer up or a remodeling project! They’re buying ‘new’ instead of ‘used’ for this reason.

They’re dreaming of the lifestyle their ‘new’ home will allow them to live! Once a homebuilder experiences the first two self-FHD Collageawareness issues they can better understand the mind of a ‘new’ vs ‘used’ homebuyer. When this happens, and works it way through everyone at a homebuilder, then the homebuyer engagement and customer services will start to improve.

There has been lots written and discussed about how Boomers, GenX and Millennial homebuyers are different, but I’ll tell you they’re more similarities than differences when they make the decision to be a ‘new’ homebuyer and not a ‘used’ homebuyer. As new homebuyers they’re more alike than different…It’s more about lifestyle, personalization and their finished home, than it is about their generational differences.

Mindset Shift #2…Personalization is the most attractive thing about a ‘new’ home to the vast majority of ‘new’ homebuyers…So, it’s the most valuable thing you have to sell. Oh, and your standards aren’t fabulous or what a ‘new’ homebuyer wants in their home, and the vast majority don’t want to fix up their home after they move-in.

Personalization and the Design Center experience is the greatest value added service to help a homebuilder sell more homes. Getting new home sales agents to embrace this and not be afraid of the money people will need to invest to personalize their home is vital to their success in selling more new homes today! New home salespeople who embrace and engage ‘new’ homebuyers with a respect and appreciation for the different between ‘used’ homebuyers and ‘new’ homebuyers will be the big winners going forward. Over 80% of ‘new’ homebuyers don’t want to buy a new home ‘fixer upper’ and are willing to invest to make their new home their own personal living space. Engaging ‘new homebuyers’ with this knowledge improves the communication, allows for accurate expectation and makes the experience of buying a new home more enjoyable.

Mindset Shift #3…The Design Center isn’t about options and upgrades, it’s not about products, it’s about a personalized finished home.

First, the Design Center experience is about helping homebuyers design a finished plan for their new home that reflects their personal taste and enhances their lifestyle. Second, the homebuyer will need your help staying focused on why they bought a ‘new’ home instead of a ‘used’ home. Yes, they buy for one reason and then sabotage their own happiness if they aren’t properly assisted and guided by a trained professional with the expertise to truly serve them. However, when this is done correctly, Design Center sales increase, homebuyer satisfaction soars and profits grow!!! The proper customer engagement at the Design Center makes sure the homebuyer’s expectations match the reality of the home they are moving into, and assures they haven’t turned their new home into a new home ‘fixer upper’, unless they’re one of the few who truly wants a ‘new home fixer upper’!

This can only happen when a builder takes the next steps to educate and training all their staff. Everyone must come to acknowledge the first two self-awareness issues and begin accepting the 3 mindsets so they can align their thinking and service to match that of the ‘new’ homebuyer. Then, they can all start working together to deliver the world class customer experience a ‘new’ homebuyer deserves as part of the most expense purchase of their life and a Homebuilder can become a New Home Retailer!

If you want take the next steps in becoming a successful ‘New Home Retailer’ who delivers a world class customer experience, contact me for more information!

By Mike Moore

I originally published this in 2011 but thought it would be great to revisit since it still applies today. We’ve all changed the way we live, from the way we communicate, to how we are entertained and gather information. Our shopping and buying behavior, habits Home Plansand experiences are shifting rapidly. We all acknowledge the world is changing but the new home sales engagement hasn’t kept up. In fact, it’s holding us back.

Shifting demographics, globalization and technology are creating a ‘new economy’. This brings us to a time that requires new thinking, attitudes and plans to use technology if we want to effectively engage, connect and convert shoppers to customers.

Our greatest challenge in making a successful transition comes from ‘normalcy bias’. Economic, process and sales ‘normalcy bias’ is holding us back from adapting and using technology effectively. It causes people and companies to keep attempting to add technology to their existing process.

Technology and our buyer’s behavior have now surpassed us and we must catch up.

The first obstacle to overcome in using technology effectively in the sales engagement is an understanding that adding technology to the traditional sales process is a bad idea.

This applies to the selling of homes; options and the design center experience, because to the homebuyer they are one in the same.

Options or interior design selections are often treated as a nuisance and presented as products and not an integral part of people’s home buying process. Our customers want a finished home, they don’t want a fixer upper.

Successful use of technology to convert shoppers to customers requires a shift in the way people; sales environments and technology are combined and utilized to enhance the homebuyers’ journey. This is New Home Retailing and it results in increased sales, homebuyer satisfaction and reduced costs.

Guido SalesmanPEOPLE

Current Situation

The buyer and seller relationship is dysfunctional.

Buyers don’t trust or believe salespeople. They respond to surveys by saying they believe salespeople care more about the transaction than about helping them.

Salespeople’s intention is to make a sale. This is a leadership issue as executives, sales managers and traditional sales training reinforces this intention.

This intention causes salespeople to look, act and sound similar…It makes them present to, rather than engage, people.

Alternate Solution

Shift salespeople’s intentions to connect and communicate with homebuyer’s and heal the dysfunctional relationship.

Provide a new sales process that aligns with the buyer’s journey. It’s their process not ours.

This connects people and allows for an extended conversation, especially when done in a new sales environment and with the use of technology.

Sales OfficeENVIRONMENT

Current Situation

Traditional sales environments look and feel the same.

They support a dying traditional sales process that’s focused on the seller, not the buyer or even the product the buyer cares about.

Doesn’t support the use of technology…Makes technology an add-on, intruder and distraction to the old traditional process.

Alternate Solution

Redesign the selling space around the buyer’s journey. The internet is a place, not media, engage and interact online as an extension of your physical selling environment.

Stop adding technology to an old process and environment.

Meet buyers where they want help, to enhance the personal connection and use of technology to extend the conversation and help home shoppers take their next step.

No fences…No sales office…Take advantage of technology, mobility and deepen the emotional connection. Meet them in the models, interact with visualization tools and make the buying experience informative, entertaining and an extension of their online beginning.

Increase buyer participation, interaction and conversation with technology.

Create the real possibility of selling all your communities from anywhere, anytime.

TechnologyTECHNOLOGY

Current Situation

Most builders have tried adding technology to their existing sales process, not using technology to create and enhance a new sales engagement.

Technology added to the old traditional sales process and sales environments makes it expensive ‘digital art’. Technology is ineffective as an add-on. In fact, it becomes a distraction or interruption to the traditional sales process.

In this format it’s ROI is weak at best or more often just an added cost.ld traditional sales process and sales environments makes it expensive ‘digital art’. It’s ineffective as an add-on.

Alternate Solution

Replace your existing traditional sales process with new intentions, environments and the use of technology. Engage, involve and connect with homebuyers in an interactive experience making the salesperson the buyers guide, on their homeownership journey.

Separate yourself from your competition for now… Allow your homes and the lifestyle they provide to become the destination of this journey.

Include technology engagement throughout the home tour in kiosk, tablets, flat screens and surfaces.

Connect online experience to the onsite experience, extending the engagement. Allow the journey to continue.

Using catalogs, visualization, animation, video and emerging new technologies to create a rich, emotion and visual experience…Last but not least, using live video and audio of the buyer and seller engagement to improve the engagement is long overdue if you truly want to improve the home buying experience.

Alternate Solution #2

Replace mediocre salespeople and the dying sales process with an interactive engagement that costs less and produces the same or more results.

This solution will always leave you vulnerable to companies who chose to do the first alternate solution.

With today’s broken, dysfunctional and dying sales process, what do you have to lose? Anything different will be the first step toward an improved sales engagement and result in converting more home shoppers to satisfied homeowners.

The use of technology is inevitable and has already begun. It will be most effective in a new sales environment but not fully effective until people are engaged by salespeople with aligned intentions. When all three are combined the ROI of technology is multiplied exponentially.

Make People, the sales Environment and the use of Technology your P.E.T. Project! Combining these three elements in the engagement of people shopping for new homes is the best way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It will enable your salespeople to connect with buyers to help them take the next steps in owning your homes.

By Mike Moore

LIVE VIDEO TRAINING AND COACHING

Salespeople

As performing artists, it’s time to grow up by taking responsibility for the interaction with consumers.  We need to take advantage of all the tools available to Video

We can continue to only read, talk and listen about how to sell, or we can begin to view our live performances and make the changes necessary to become sales professionals.  When we are viewing and listening to our live engagements, the reading, talking and listening we do becomes more valuable and magnifies our results.

This is greatly different than using mystery shoppers or roll playing.  Mystery shoppers and roll playing find out if you know the information about your products, services and company. This can be accomplished by written or verbal quizzes and tests.  Mystery shopping and roll playing changes the key ingredient to sales communication and interaction, which are the intentions of the consumer and salesperson.

Only when we view interaction between people with the intentions we experience in live selling situations, can we see, hear and know what we need to do to improve.  Without the intentions of both people being real in a conversation, negotiation or a selling situation, the practice is nearly useless. Mystery shoppers and roll players have no intentions of buying and salespeople aren’t selling.  Selling situations happen between consumers who are shopping with the intention to buy and own your products, while salespeople are under pressure to sell everyone they engage. These are the situations we need to see and hear with live video and audio recordings.

For years now, I have been teaching that salespeople practice their profession on consumers.  Unfortunately, this is an obstacle to self-improvement.  If we don’t start wanting to improve enough to grow up, take responsibility and use tools like live video and audio, we are doomed to continue being average at best.  We haven’t seen the best of the profession of selling or proper business intentions but we can if we are willing to use these tools.

Sales Managers

The time has come to stop worrying about how good your salespeople are and start finding out.  Live video coaching will expose what you may be afraid of but you can’t change and begin to improve until you find out. It is time to acknowledge that we need to grow up and begin being the professionals we profess to be.

Live VideoThe idea that we have tools to improve at our disposal and haven’t utilized them, is a shame. That said, let’s not look back but begin now to use live video and audio to coach and improve the relationship between consumers and salespeople.  I know many sales managers who have resisted using these tools and can only wonder what they are afraid of.  Nothing we do out of fear will ever be a best practice.  In the coming years, sales managers will use live video and audio to stay informed and coach their sales professionals.

Live video and audio is not intended to be a punitive tool.  It is a coaching and self-improvement tool.  Coaches have to be informed and pay attention to be effective. Live video with audio is the best way to pay attention.  You can’t coach what you’re unaware of.   It is also an accountability tool, as salespeople in all selling environments will be less likely to give less than their best effort to consumers when they know they are performing live all the time. Giving consumers your best effort is part of what is needed to grow sales into the performance art it needs to be to make customers.

Executives

When executives accept that decades of doing business with the intention to make sales has broken the relationship between consumers and salespeople, then they need to take responsibility for this broken relationship and lead their business with a new intention.

It is time to start making customers, not sales, and live video and audio is the best tool to make sure this new intention is implemented.  Too many years of talk and not enough action, has left the consumer believing businesses don’t care about them.

Executives have made too many decisions about how to operate their business and make profits without considering how it would affect their sales strategy and ultimately their customers.

The rewards of implementing the intention to make customers will be increased sales, lower costs, increased profits and growth.  Most executives believe that people are the driving force to improve their business and this new intention will also energize your people. Since these are the reasons executives run businesses, it is painfully clear that it’s time to change your sales intention , grow up your salespeople and begin caring about the customer, as the center of your business.   Live video and audio coaching is the best tool to make this happen.

You wouldn’t run a business that depended on athletes to perform without video for coaching and improvement. Don’t invest and risk your company’s money without using the best tools to insure peak performance to make customers.

Self Coaching

I wrote this to salespeople, sales managers, and executives because live audio and video coaching should start with salespeople, then be available to the sales manager, and finally to executive management in a company.

This is to keep the focus on self-improvement that serves and makes customers.  Live audio and video coaching should never be punitive or feel as though big brother is watching.  When we start with salespeople they quickly learn how valuable seeing and hearing themselves in real situations can be.  They even begin to use the information learned to build relationships through follow-up to make customers.  After the salespeople become comfortable with the self coaching, then sales management can begin using the audio and video as a coaching tool.  Executives are the last to view and listen as this is a confidence builder of how their salespeople are and why sales are increasing.

Without live audio and video we continue to manage sales in the dark. It is time to grow up and be our best!

By Mike Moore