Making Customers Orientation For New Home Sales and Design Centers


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Notes from the Making Customers Session at Chateau Interiors August 2, 2010.

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Making Customers Orientation For New Home Sales and Design Centers

  1. 1. You can’t hide these 2
  2. 2.  Our buyers feel what we feel Manage their attitude  They believe what we believe Always do what is best for them  They do what we expect Expect them to participate
  3. 3.  What do consumers think of salespeople?  What do consumers think salespeople care about?  What is a salesperson’s unwritten goal or dominant thought every day on their way to work?  Are consumers wrong about salespeople?  When the Sales Manager asks a salesperson “How are you doing?”, what are they really asking?  What do salespeople think of homebuyers? Don’t you think it’s time to change this relationship?
  4. 4. It’s all about us and what we do. (poor and selfish) It’s all about their experience, making them happy while they go through the process. (better-but incomplete and short-sighted) It’s all about the Customer; their choices, their lifestyle and their finished home. (best long-term result possible!) Where Is Your Focus?
  5. 5. Actions Attitudes Intentions
  6. 6.  has taught us our job is to sell the next person we talk to  has taught us to tell the prospect what we think they want to hear  has created mistrust between salespeople and buyers  has taught us to count sales as signatures and deposits, not loyal customers  has taught us we learn to sell by closing early and often If you look like a salesperson, talk like a salesperson and act like a salesperson, you don’t care about the buyer, only your commission!
  7. 7.  finds the next person who wants what we have  focuses on the end result (the finished home)  invites the customer to participate in their own satisfaction  always does what’s best for the customer  changes the way we look at the selling conversation (from pleasing to serving)  improves our listening skills  takes responsibility for what the customer understands  tells the customer what to expect in all circumstances
  8. 8. Definition - Telling customers what they need to know instead of what they want to hear Pleasing…  is our reaction to avoid conflict and be liked  is what we do to get something for ourselves, and often backfires and sabotages the end result we really want  may resolve the issue of the moment, but creates larger issues for the future Serving…  focuses on doing what’s best for the customer  is what we do when we care about the customer Professionals develop equal parts courage and consideration
  9. 9. Goal – an order, contract, Goal – lots of orders, longer term, commission do what’s best for them It’s about me… It’s about them…  My product …asking the right questions…  My product knowledge  their wants & needs  My presentation  their budget  My commission  their concerns  ‘My deal’  their lifestyle About the numbers…  their reasons for buying  how many calls It’s about listening…  how many appointments  based on their answers, do I have a  how many presentations product or service they can benefit  how many proposals from?  how many contracts  Conversational  Relationship building “Keep the funnel full”  Long term selfishness!
  10. 10.  Why should I buy from you? I’m an experienced professional Best Product Great reputation Excellent We Build Customer Service Quality Lots of options! Knowledgeable We do what we say I care about you Value for the dollar
  11. 11.  allows you to discover what the customer wants and needs  allows for open ended questions and dialogue  creates listening actively  responds appropriately HELPS YOU DISCOVER WHAT IS ON THE ‘BUYER’S LIST’
  12. 12.  Customers don’t want to be sold – they want help. (First aligned intention)  Change your intentions (or unwritten goal) to gain respect and trust Your intention should always be to do what’s best for the customer Doing what’s best is not always what they want at that moment but what we know is best for them  Focusing on the customers ownership experience will help you do what’s best for them Stop Selling and Start
  13. 13.  We aren’t responsible for what we tell the customer  We aren’t responsible for what the customer hears  We aren’t responsible for what the customer signs  We are responsible for what the customer
  14. 14. The Process…  When you are at work who do you talk to the most?  When you talk to a co-worker who do you talk about?  Which customer gets most of your energy and time?  Who creates the Company's policies and disclaimers?  By default who manages what we believe or our attitude? Key Questions…  As a result, is our attitude ‘customer first’ or defensive?  Does this create a positive environment to make a customer?
  15. 15. The Results… If non-compliant buyers manage your attitude:  You will treat everyone like a non-compliant  You will create more non-compliant buyers
  16. 16. 1’s, 2’s 4’s, 5’s 7’s, 8’s & 3’s & 6’s & 9’s 10’s
  17. 17.  1 - 3’s are easy, friendly and give you no trouble Temptation is to make exceptions because they are so nice!  4 - 6’s take work, they are more resistant and not quite as cooperative Temptation is to turn them into a 7, 8 or 9 if you are not patient!  7 - 9’s are tough and resistant, and they will challenge and test you Temptation is to weaken and give in, moving them to a 10  You can make customers of 1 - 9  Only 1 in 10 buyers is a 10  10’s can’t be satisfied by pleasing – have the courage to say “No!” Don’t make exceptions!
  18. 18.  Someone who won’t let you do what’s best for them  They challenge everything  It’s not about their attitude, at first  You can never make a non-compliant happy by pleasing them  They take more of your time  Profits suffer  We need to draw the line and create boundaries – just say “No!” If you have more than 1 ’10’ out of 10, it might be you! Don’t adjust your selling style to the lowest common denominator
  19. 19.  Almost all exceptions (83%) made for buyers turn into customer service complaints, issues, problems and litigation  We make exceptions to please, not serve  We make exceptions for us, not them  We make exceptions because we are making sales and not customers  This can only be changed with a new attitude… What you feel, believe and expect!
  20. 20.  Does the customer have expectations?  When are expectations set?  If the customer sets their own expectations can we meet or exceed them?  Who is primarily responsible for setting customer expectations?  Expectations need to be set during the new home purchase process before the homebuyer signs a contract or writes a check.  Expectations need to be set before the meets with the Design Center, Loan Officer, Escrow, Construction, Customer Service or anyone else. They have to be set to be met!
  21. 21.  “You’ll find that you will be as happy with your new home as you participate in the process. Let me explain…”  “We build personalized homes on a schedule. We can provide you the quality, luxury and personalization at the best value, or the most affordable price, but we must stay on schedule to finish on schedule.”  “Construction is a messy process of managing 40 trades and up to 400 workers to deliver you the finished home you want. You won’t like everything you see, but I want you to relax knowing we manage that process well.”
  22. 22. Everyone involved Design with the customer should surround them with reinforcing words, Ops attitudes Customer Sales CS and actions that support the homebuying decision they made for their family! Lender
  23. 23.  The Sales Agent and the Home Team (Designers, Construction, Customer Service and Management) are responsible for managing the customers perception of all the people and their processes involved in the home buying experience and homebuilding process.  Each team member is responsible for supporting the other.  It’s everyone’s ongoing job to constantly redirect how the customer feels, what the customer believes and what the customer expects.
  24. 24.  Customers are more demanding, have more information available, are more distracted and are more cranky.  People are more demanding, have more information available, are more distracted and are more cranky.  New Home Salespeople, Designers, Lenders, Escrow & office people are more demanding, have more information available, are more distracted and are more cranky.
  25. 25.  Do you have a reason for everything you do?  Some reasons are well thought out  Some reasons are habit – can’t remember the original ‘why’  We do things the way we do them because that’s how they ‘occur’ to us – it’s intuitive  You see me differently than I see myself
  26. 26.  We relate to each from the framework of our own ‘set of facts’  “This is so obvious!”  “Why can’t they see it?”  “Why can’t they understand…(and do it my way)?”  But everyone has their own ‘set of facts’  Their way is obvious to them  They don’t understand why you don’t see it their way
  27. 27.  What can we do?  Slow down, take a deep breath, pause  Assume the best  Give them the benefit – o Don’t judge, attack and blame o Don’t condemn and criticize o Don’t become defensive and overreact – making the situation worse  Realize they have a reason for their action that makes perfect sense to them – be understanding  Tell yourself - “If I knew what they knew, I’d probably do the same thing.”  Initiate positive communication and language
  28. 28.  After buyers purchase they shift their focus to and but maintain their expectations from the point of purchase!  While mortgage, escrow, design all have specific jobs to do, their main goal with the customer is to keep them focused on the goal – their Finished Home!  If the buyer stays focused, it will be easier for them to remain involved in the process  If the buyer stays involved, they will be much happier and satisfied
  29. 29.  Design dollars to budget  Homebuyers never finish their home before they move in  Design center appointments  Cut-off dates  Special requests  Pricing  Time and money The buyer’s level of satisfaction and happiness is in direct proportion to their involvement in the process.
  30. 30.  3 to 4 appointments per day, per Designer, 2 to 4 hours per appointment.  Designer expected to see 180 + homebuyers annually… 50 weeks is 875 appointments.  Focus on the process - final selections, cut-off dates and selling upgrades. Not homebuyer focused, but builder and design center process focused.  This model moves homebuyers through the process. But creates frustrations and low scores for response time, being rushed, not knowing the products (homes) and feeling sold rather than served by a Designer.  Overloading the Designers time sabotages their ability to finish the home, manage the homebuyer’s expectations and satisfy the homebuyers at the highest level.
  31. 31.  Two appointments per day…90-100 homeowners annually 500 appointments!  Focus on creating a finished design plan for each homeowner.  Focus on personal attention to each homeowner’s lifestyle and personal preferences to create a home that reflects their personal style.  Focus on setting the Homeowner’s expectations and managing their perceptions.  Focus on explaining the differences between the Homeowner’ choices and their expectations.  Allows each salesperson to work with each homeowner to complete their home or manage their expectation for what they choose to do before they installation. Increases customer satisfaction and sales!
  32. 32.  It is not about options, upgrades or products  It is about a finished design plan. It’s about their Finished Home and their homeownership experience after they move in  Ask and listen - the Designer gets the customer to express their expectations and reaffirm or adjust them before they start the design process! Feel, Believe & Expect!  The Designer then helps the Homebuyer to recognize the value of the finished designs that express their personal taste and lifestyle  The Homebuyer’s expectations of each product selected in their design plan are clarified by the Designer  Homebuyer’s choices (selections) vs. their expectations
  33. 33. 1. Serve, don’t please - always do what’s best for the Homebuyer 2. Practice responsible communication 3. Don’t let non-compliant homebuyers manage your attitude 4. Set expectations before they go to contract 5. Don’t make exceptions - you can’t be all things to all people 6. Homebuyers will be as happy as they participate in the process 7. Keep homebuyers focused on their finished home, not time and money
  34. 34. To assist you, not tell you To help you, not sell you To care more about what you get Rather than what’s in it for me To always do what’s best for you By Mike Moore