Myers Barnes Blog

Three Skills That Identify Great Sales Managers

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training, Uncategorized | Posted: August 23, 2016

team-pulling-arrow-of-success

I’ve worked with sales managers around the country, in small businesses and large organizations. It’s not difficult to pinpoint those who are great at their jobs. You don’t have to show me sales figures. I watch them connect with their sales team for about half an hour, and I can see how and why these professionals have become great sales managers.

The great sales managers I’ve worked with share three skills in common.

#1. They are excellent mentors.

One of the most important jobs of a sales manager is to provide training. By mentoring their sales team members, they share knowledge and experience—both good and bad—and provide guidance, rather than deliver commands. A great sales manager cultivates a great sales team. They don’t jump in and fix things or criticize. Instead, they offer constructive advice for improving. Great sales managers are focused more on strengthening the skills of their team, because the success of the players defines the success of the coach.

#2. They give credit where it is due.

A true leader derives satisfaction from seeing others succeed with their help. Leave your ego outside, because if you want to inspire your sales team, you give them credit when they have earned it, never stealing the accolades for yourself. A great sales manager recognizes that acknowledgement is an incentive. It’s a reward that sparks a sales professional to go for the next win—and then another, and another.

The greatest coaches of all time cultivated winning teams. They didn’t put themselves in the spotlight. Their role was to build each individual into the best player they could be, and the best teammate. When they win the championship, they hoist the trophy together.

#3. They consistently follow a process.

While I appreciate ingenuity and the ability to improvise in a tough situation, I also believe that you can avoid many of these problems by following a process. From generating leads to cultivating prospects to closing the sale, a great sales manager has established and follows a clearly defined set of steps for every process. Sure, you can refine the steps as you find ways to improve, but creating this solid foundation gives your team parameters against which they can weigh options and make decisions. You must also give them the ability to shape the system to leverage their strengths, so that you encourage their desire to perform as an individual, not an automaton.

A strong sales organization grows from the right balance of talent and management. A great sales manager possesses the skills to cultivate the talent, and the whole group reaps the rewards.

 

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

The Business Traveler’s Guide To Healthy Living

Categories: Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized | Posted: August 16, 2016

 

34ec2f5

In an average year, I spend more time traveling for business than being at home. Anyone who is on the road frequently can appreciate how difficult it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Rushing from one flight to the next, and meeting to meeting, can push you to ignore your health.

I’ve had my own struggles in recent years, so I’m committed to maintaining my well being, no matter where I am. Some of my colleagues ask me, “How do you do stay trim when you’re constantly traveling, Myers?”

I smile and then recite my business traveler’s guide to healthy living. These aren’t tips. They’re choices. And here are all ten of them

#1. No added sugar or salt. Avoid the pastries at the hotel’s continental breakfast. Watch out for buffets that often tempt you into sugary and salt-laden foods. Remember, salt naturally absorbs water, so too much salt in your body retains water.

#2. No white carbs. You’ve likely heard about the evils of carbs. Actually, some carbs are healthy, like whole grains and the natural sugar that can be found in fruits and vegetables. You should avoid white carbs: potatoes, rice, pasta, and breads (yes, that includes bagels, muffins, and pizza). The processed carbohydrates cause a rapid bump in your sugar level. Your body then stores the unused carbs in fat cells.

#3. Consume healthy fats. Fats are like carbs. They’re not all terrible. Unsaturated fats and oils can actually help you manage your weight, as well as improve your healthy cholesterol level and reduce your risk of heart disease. “Superfats”—omega-3 fatty acids—have been proven to boost your memory, problem-solving skill, and emotional balance. Nuts (including natural nut butters), fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel), avocados, olives, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and fish oil are good sources of unsaturated fats.

OK, my one exception, barbecued ribs from Burn Co. Barbeque. Whenever I’m in Tulsa, I reserve a spot in my itinerary for a plate of sauce-soaked goodness at this restaurant.

#4. Drink water and green tea. Every day, I consume 40 plus ounces of water and green tea. Your body needs healthy fluids to lubricate the trillions of cells that keep you alive. Every cell lives in its own tiny water bath. When you don’t properly hydrate, those cells dry up like raisins, which leads to poor health, reduced energy, and myriad other problems that are easily avoidable by making this choice!

#5. Order salad when everyone else orders steak. Yes, you will be the butt of their jokes, but do you care? You’re making the smartest choice at the table, consuming less fat and more, healthy fiber and protein. And who says salad has to be dull? Add chicken or shrimp, fruit and nuts. It tastes like dinner and dessert, all in one dish.

#6. Stick to lean proteins. Fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, lean ground beef (90% fat-free), pork loin, and beans are high in proteins and low in fat. Low-fat dairy products, like yogurt, cottage, cheese, and ricotta feed the need for protein (building muscle). I also grab a snack of unsalted nuts, which are very high in protein and healthy fats. Egg whites have the most protein in the egg. I rarely have a problem getting an egg-white omelet in a restaurant, and when you add in veggies, it makes for a great breakfast!

#7. Grab all the veggies and fruits when served. Conference centers usually provide fresh fruit at break time, and salad with lunch and dinner. If there’s a buffet, I fill up my plate with the steamed or sautéed vegetables. Then I head for the fruit for dessert. It’s all about choices, my friends. You can choose the menu items that are tempting to the eye, but hazardous to the body. Or you can use self-control and steer your serving hand toward the tastiness that comes with natural foods, like fruit and veggies.

#8. Eat for fuel, not flavor. The purpose of food is to fuel your body’s functions. When you eat healthier, your body can easily process those foods, creating energy and vitality. Your bones are stronger, your skin looks better, and you have more clarity and focus—critical functions when you’re handling important business. Choosing correctly makes the difference between using a high-octane fuel designed for peak performance, and a cheaper, diluted one.

When you ingest foods with additives and chemicals, your digestive processes are trying to figure out what to do with the junk. It’s a foreign substance. So, it’s stored as fat or possibly takes the space of nutrients that are more needed. Before you put anything in your mouth, ask yourself what purpose it will serve in fueling your body.

#9. The body is a temple, not an outhouse. I’ve seen people make better choices in feeding their pets than themselves. They buy the grain-free, high-protein food for their cherished dog, and then wolf down a bag of chips and a hot dog for dinner. Have a little respect for the one and only body you were given. Take care of it. Stop shoveling junk food into this temple. Remember, you lose weight in the kitchen, not the gym.

#10. Break a sweat. After I settle into my hotel room, I head down to the fitness center to see what they have. I try to get in a daily workout wherever I go. In some cases, that’s a brisk walk or a swim in the pool. Thirty minutes of activity makes a huge difference in both your energy level and your body’s ability to burn fat and stay lean.

Traveling is a way of life for me. Sticking to my health choices is as well.

3170391D00000578-3457907-New_fo-m-69_1456122292192

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

The Best Lessons Are Caught, Not Taught

Categories: Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized | Posted: August 9, 2016

Several years ago I was in a house and saw a poster that was titled “Children Learn What They Live.” The beginning read: If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If they live with hostility, they learn to fight.

1438825350776

It concluded with: If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If they live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

 

If we are products of our environment, then shouldn’t we do all we can to make that environment nourishing and not negative?

 

In truth, we all learn what we live. And, in word and deed, we teach what we learn.

 

So, make no mistake. Children will mimic what we model.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

New homebuying has changed. CMAs should, too.

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: June 28, 2016

001ec9f

Not so long ago, when you were trying to communicate the market value of a home to a prospective buyer, you prepared a competitive market analysis (CMA). The report compared the home being considered with others in a comparable neighborhood, with comparable features. You compared a 4-bedroom, 3-bath traditional home with another of the same size.

And it worked well.

The problem is, today’s homebuyer isn’t just “buying” a certain number of rooms in a desirable neighborhood. They’re looking at value, not just as purchase price, but in long-term ownership.

“Big data” is a term that describes a gathering of data that is highly focused and in-depth. The politicians have been relying on big data to better understand voters in narrow segments—like college educated, minority women under the age of 30 who live in a particular state. Big data provides a deeper understanding of behavior by particular sections.

That includes homebuyers. You can no longer sell the value of a home by comparing its structure to another “comparable” one. You have to dig deeper when creating a comp for your new homebuyer.

Lifestyle preferences are more important than the number of bathrooms or the square footage. You need to calculate other factors, like the proximity to the best schools, the view, and the age of the property, to name just a few.

Can you calculate the value of an easy commute? How much is it worth to your buyer to be able to walk the kids to school? When reviewing comps, do you take into account that one home will need to make a major renovation in the not-too-distant future, like HVAC or a new roof? Just as when you purchase a new car, you consider the cost of maintenance, you need to look at a property’s value in relation to ownership, not just purchase.

Forget the way you’ve been doing CMAs. You need to do better to sell the value of a new home to a prospective buyer. A standard CMA algorithm doesn’t take into account enough of the criteria that matters to homebuyers now. They do more research than ever before, so they come to you more informed. They won’t be satisfied with a run-of-the-mill CMA. Use a CMA platform that gives you the ability to customize the report to deliver a value that accurately reflects the home, and not just its physical attributes.

“Value” is in the eyes of the beholder. What matters to your particular buyer? First, find out. Then enter as much data as possible into your CMA program.

Then, go farther. Look at the cost of ownership. In a ten-year span, what will it cost to live in this house? How much will the utilities be for one house without energy efficient systems as compared to a new one with the latest eco-friendly advances?

Let’s also estimate the cost for replacing the roof in seven years, and the commuting cost for 20 miles, as compared to five miles.

You add it all up, and the new home you’re selling presents a total cost of ownership that is $27,000 less than the “comparable”. Can you sell that?

The housing market isn’t the “way it used to be”. Your CMAs shouldn’t either. Technology is giving you the tools to better define “value”. It’s your choice whether or not to use it. Do you want that advantage to go to your competitor?

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Stop selling quality.

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Training | Posted: June 14, 2016

For the remainder of 2016, we will be hearing certain words far too much—like “pundits”. A few years ago, the word “guru” was used so frequently that actual “gurus” had to find another word to distinguish themselves from the wanna-be’s. I think “thought leader” took its place.

10eb113

“Quality” falls into the same realm of terms that are have been so trampled by the masses that it no longer has any life left. When you hear someone boast about the quality of a product or service, does the word conjure up visions of excellence in your mind? Are you so moved by the promise of “quality” that you can’t wait to acquire more of it?

Of course not. Quality has no quality any more. First quality. Top quality. High quality. Now you need qualifiers to add meaning.

Stop selling quality. Sell benefits that have meaning, that resonate with your buyers.

Quality is purely subjective.

Don’t talk about quality construction. What IS that? Quality is a perception, and its meaning varies from one person to another. What’s your idea of a quality night out? Some people might say an evening at the theatre, while others describe it as pizza and a movie with no kids.

Offer specifics of the exceptional craftsmanship, the superior materials, and the meticulous attention to detail. Demonstrate true quality in the homes you are selling by pointing out factors that contribute to their positive perception.

For example, before you boast about the “quality” insulation, stop yourself. Instead, offer this:

“Here is the R-value rating of the insulation we’ll be installing in your home, which exceeds the standard, so you enjoy greater energy efficiency.”

Don’t talk about quality service. That’s not a tangible feature. Show your new home buyer the unmatched level of personal service that you provide. Follow up and follow through. Give them more information than they ask for. Answers questions they haven’t thought to ask. Be on time. Be available. And don’t check your smartphone in their presence.

“Quality” has no value as a word. Stop using it. Start showing it.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Take A Deep Breath

Categories: Personal Development, Uncategorized | Posted: May 31, 2016

failure-on-the-path-to-success-1940x1199

A young man asked Socrates the secret of success. Socrates told the man to meet him near the river the next morning.

When they met, Socrates asked the young man to walk with him into the river. Once the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and swiftly ducked him under the water.

The man struggled to get loose, but Socrates was strong and held him there until the man’s face started turning blue. Finally, Socrates pulled the young man’s head out of the water. The first thing he did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.

Socrates asked him, “What did you want the most when you were down there?”

The young man replied, “Air!”

Socrates said, “That is the secret of success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it!”

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Differential demonstration: Sell the community along with the new home

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: May 17, 2016

I realize that all new home sales professionals recognize the importance of selling the community along with the new home. They know they need to sell the community in addition to the home itself, but many of them don’t know how to best succeed here.

Demonstrating a model home effectively is a skill, and one that can be learned. Differential demonstration reflects a presentation style that focuses on guiding the prospective new home buyer into the mindset of homeowner, not browser. You do this by helping them envision themselves at home, with their family, their furniture, and their pictures on the walls. They can see themselves cooking in the kitchen, enjoying a long soak in the tub, and entertaining friends in the back yard.

neighborhood

Part of being at home is the neighborhood—life beyond their yard and their driveway. What will it feel like to turn into the community as a homeowner, wave at your neighbors as you go by, walk your dog, and watch your kids play with others in the neighborhood? When you arrive at your home, where should it be with respect to the rest of your neighbors and the community? How about enjoying community amenities, like a clubhouse, pool, or walking trails?

Use differential demonstration to highlight community features that enhance the lifestyle for homeowners. As a new home sales professional, pose directed questions that will help you identify their location needs within this community.

Here are some differential demonstration questions to sell the community along with the new home you’re presenting.

Have you had an opportunity to drive through the community?

Was there something in particular that attracted you to the neighborhood? Are there any other details you would like to learn a little more about?

How important is neighborhood security to your choice for a new home?

As far as the location within this community, do you prefer the privacy of a cul-de-sac, or maybe the security an interior homesite, where neighbors surround you?

Have you considered a corner homesite? Do you know what makes a corner homesite special?

How close do you want to be to the amenities, like the pool, clubhouse, and fitness center? Do you want to be able to walk there or would you rather be a little farther away?

What direction would you like your home to face?

We do have a few green space/conservation/waterfront/pond front homesites. Of course, they are at a slight premium. Would that be of interest?

Ask questions—and lots of them. Every question should be designed to paint that picture of living in this home, on this property, and in this neighborhood. Practice your presentation questions in advance so you can ask them in a non-scripted way.

I welcome your ideas, suggestions, and experiences with respect to differential demonstration. Let me know what you’ve tried and the results. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Differential demonstration: The right questions to ask your new home buyer

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: May 3, 2016

A good interviewer knows how to guide a discussion to elicit more telling responses. You never ask a question that can be answered with just one word, because the conversation ends there.

When you are demonstrating a new home, you’re not merely showing a prospective homebuyer around, guiding them from room to room. Consider yourself a combination of a tour guide and a talk show host. Point out truly interesting aspects and engage the buyer in useful conversation.

Differential demonstration is distinguished from run-of-the-mill demonstration because it is more purposeful and, ultimately, more effective. Involve them in a discussion that guides their imagination. Encourages the buyer to experience the property, feel at home here, envision living the daily routine within this new home.

I’ve worked with superachiever sales professionals who practice differential demonstration with every presentation. Their conversion rate is consistently higher than those who just guide the buyer along a walk-through. Here are the right questions to ask your new home buyer.

Happy family is preparing a healthy dinner in the kitchen. Mother is cutting vegetables. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786778][img]http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/364/familyyv.jpg[/img][/url]

In the kitchen:

Can you imagine yourself preparing your family’s favorite meals in this kitchen?

Wouldn’t all this cabinet space and huge pantry make any chef happy?

In the living area:

Where you place your sofa in this room?

How would you situate your television and stereo in here?

In the master suite:

How would your bedroom set look in here?

Where would you place your bed and dressers?

Who would get the larger of the two closets?

In the children’s rooms:

Which of your children gets this room?

In the guest room:

How can you see yourself using this room? For guests? A home office? A craft room? Maybe an exercise room?

In the garage:

How would you use the garage space?

Would your workshop fit well here?

In the yard:

How would you landscape this yard?

Throughout the differential demonstration process, look for opportunities to spark your buyer to think about actually living in this new home. Rather than view it from the perspective of a visitor, guide them to think like the homeowner.

If you’d like to learn more about the differential demonstration approach to new home sales, please contact me.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Differential demonstration: Is your new home presentation on the right route?

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: April 19, 2016

I’m still en route to differentiating new home demonstration the right way. In this article, I’m literally on the route to success.

curb appeal

Differential demonstration is a process for showing a new home in a way that drives the vision in the prospect’s mind of living in this house—from the furnishings to the activity. It’s not just a matter of walking them through the new home and exalting its wonderful features, but rather finding the “touch points” that matter to this buyer and hitting as many as possible. Help them picture themselves cooking in the kitchen, relaxing on their own furniture in the family room, waking up to the sunshine streaming through the master bedroom window, and getting ready in the morning without having to share a sink.

A new home presentation is enhanced by these differentiating points but you can also up your psychological advantage by following a pre-planned route through the home. Yes, it matters not just where you go, but when.

Is your new home sales presentation on the right route? Here’s the tour I recommend to new home sales consultants:

  1. Start at the curb. Your presentation should begin with a full view of the home’s curb appeal. Stand as far back as necessary, even stepping into the street if you have to so your prospect can get the big picture.
  2. Pause at the entry. Distinguish the home by telling the homebuyer the name of this particular home design, also noting the basic features, like number of bedrooms and baths, and the square footage. This is the introduction, appropriately offered at the threshold.
  3. Enter the foyer slowly and intentionally. Look around and remind your prospect of this place where they will be welcoming their guests.
  4. Point out the formal dining room. If there is a formal dining room off the foyer, introduce this space first.
  5. Move to the family room. The family room is probably close to the kitchen. To give your buyers the best view of the family room, move into the kitchen, far enough so they can see the full room—but you’re not going to give them the complete family room and kitchen tour…not yet, any way. Instead, you’re building up the anticipation for this important room so you can present it later in the presentation. Just let them know you’ll come back to this area.
  6. Visit the secondary bedrooms. Remember, you’re rising to a crescendo in anticipation. So, never start with the master bedroom. That’s like presenting the main course before the appetizer. Show the buyers where the other family members or guests will stay.
  7. Return to the family room and kitchen. I bet you thought I was going to guide you to the master bedroom, huh? No. Take them back to most of the living takes place. Give them the details. Talk about family activities that would happen here—family movie night, enjoying a crackling fire on a chilly night, hosting friends at the holidays. Take your time here. Paint that image so clearly that they can see, hear, smell, and taste the experience.
  8. Save the master suite for last. You’ve teased. You’ve offered subtle hints. Now take your prospects to the master suite. Ask them how they would arrange their furniture in this space. Explore the “tv or no tv in the bedroom” debate. Have them linger here so they can create the image of “home” vividly in their minds.
  9. Walk back through the family room. Redundant? Certainly not! This is the heart of the home. Bring them back here a few times to feel comfortable in this space.
  10. Exit to the patio. Guide them to the entrance to the outdoor living space. Let them take it in a moment.
  11. Move from the patio to the corner pin. Just as you started from the farthest reach in the front to enjoy the curb appeal, walk to the end of the property in the back yard. Explore the activity that could occur here. Kids playing in the yard. Cookouts. Evenings by the fire pit. Ask them to envision how they would enjoy their outdoor living in this home.
  12. Re-enter through the family room and kitchen. Again, return to the core. Ask the potential homebuyer(s) if they would like to revisit any part of the home. Invite them to browse on their own. While they wander, stay in the family room, relaxing comfortably. That means no talking or texting on the phone. Show them how it looks to have a friendly visitor.
  13. Finish. When they return, present your close in a casual, conversational manner. Your goal is to gain some type of commitment before they leave. What is the next step in this process? What do they need in order to choose this house as their home?

Practice the differential demonstration tour of your home before actually guiding any prospective homebuyers. Finetune your presentation and know your touch points so well that they are reflexive and don’t come across as scripted. Train yourself to escalate your energy level so they feel your enthusiasm for this home.

Please feel free to contact me to learn more about the essential skills involved in differential demonstration.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

The key to new home demonstration: WIIFM?

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: April 5, 2016

In my last post, I talked about “differential demonstration” and the “Ta-Daaa Girl”. She’s the one on the game shows who waves her arm to show all the lovely prizes a contest might win. Yes, that’s a real job.

I want to explore differential demonstration a bit more, because I think there are many new home salespeople who still don’t understand how to effectively present a model to a potential buyer. The key to new home demonstration boils down to answering the buyer’s unspoken question:

“What’s in it for me?”—or “WIIFM?” as the marketing industry likes to call this approach to establishing value proposition.

whats-in-it-for-me

You can guide the buyer through the home and point out lovely features, but if you don’t connect the value to the prospect, you don’t gain any points. You haven’t effectively communicated to this person why they should care about that feature. You need to establish that connection and make it personal. Paint the picture of this individual, couple, or family living here in this home. They should picture themselves, with their furnishings, eating meals, relaxing in the living room, playing in the yard, working in the garage. Make no assumptions that they are having these visions. For all you know, they are overlooking a valuable feature, or are simply distracted.

Try this as you walk through the family room:

“This is where you and your family will spend most of your time. You can see, we move away from a traditional plan and have combined the family room and the kitchen in a manner that is both convenient and inclusive, meaning everyone in the family can enjoy one another’s company.”

When you give your buyers a tour of the kitchen, ask them to picture themselves preparing meals in this space. Don’t you love this kitchen? This open design allows everyone in the family to spend time with one another. How’s the kitchen design feel to you?”

In the master bath, communicate the value of the double vanity. “The design of double vanity is perfect for the on-the-go couple trying to blend two busy and sometimes similar schedules—getting ready for work or play at the same time. Also notice the enclosed, private toilet. It allows two people to access to the bathroom to dress, groom, or wash at the same time, while still affording privacy and space.

From room to room, plant the seed that converts their minds from browsing to living. Pull them into this home, rather than just showing it, like the Ta-Daaa Girl.

Before you demonstrate a home, differentiate it. Walk-through and create scenarios for buyers. Be prepared to adapt your presentation to the needs and wishes your prospects have communicated or might appreciate. Show them a room that would be ideal for a home office or media center, even if it isn’t presently decorated for that purpose. It’s your job to create the image of this model being a home to your buyer.

If you can’t answer their “WIIFM?” question, you haven’t done your job.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.