Myers Barnes Blog

Blog Category - Leadership

“No” is the start of a discussion, not the end.

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development | Posted: June 13, 2017

When someone tells you, “No”, do you take that answer as final?

Your computer doesn’t accept it. Think of all those times you click on a button and get the query, “Are you sure?” in response.

Your kids don’t accept it. They’ll push and whine in order to convert your “No” to a “Yes”, a “Maybe”, or even a “We’ll see”.

As sales professionals, we should feel energized by the word, “No”. It should jump-start our sales skills to deal with the reason behind the negative response. Does it mean “not ever”, “not now”, or “not under those terms”? You owe it to yourself AND your customer to probe more deeply. There could be a miscommunication about the offer, the details, the timing, the product—whatever. The buyer might be experiencing a déjà vu from a previous experience that has made her hesitant to say, “Yes”. She might also not be ready for your close at this moment.

You should pursue the discussion to clarify the meaning of the “No”.

Is there something more you’d like to know about this property, builder, or community?

What is holding you back from making the decision? What’s missing from this?

What would make the timing right for you?

I don’t want to be overly pushy. I want to make sure you’re not missing out because I haven’t communicated effectively.

This last statement is a great way to build the rapport. By taking responsibility for the “No”, the buyer is not on the offensive. They might even feel they owe you an explanation!

Use the “No” to learn more about your homebuyer—needs, timing, budget, concerns, likes and dislikes. Remember, the word “no” is part of “know”. If you don’t want to hear “no” more, then KNOW more!

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

Toxic employees: Why YOU might be the real problem

Categories: Leadership, Personal Development | Posted: May 30, 2017

No matter how carefully you screen candidates, some of them will turn into bad employees. They show up late, leave early, complain about anything and everything. These people fail to meet their goals, and always have an excuse for coming up short and the promise to do better.

You might overlook the problem for awhile. Maybe you take the person aside and extend a pep talk or mildly suggest an attitude adjustment.

When the behavior persists, however, the problem is not the difficult employee, but YOU. By ignoring the situation, you allow the unhealthy environment to continue. Your productive and valued team members undoubtedly recognize the flaws in the toxic employee. While they are first annoyed by the errant co-worker, the frustration will turn to you, as the “leader” who is allowing this individual to continue to disrupt the workflow and environment.

What does this say about you?

You’re an enabler. Your tolerance of the behavior allows it to continue. The weak link is not going to change unless you demand it. By not doing so, you’re indicating that the performance is acceptable, and, therefore, enabling it to continue.

Your standards are inconsistent. If you expect some people to meet (or exceed) their goals, while others can get by with less, the standards you think you’ve set have no credibility.

You accept mediocrity. This toxic environment will indeed fester when you let it. Otherwise good team members will see that mistakes are ok. Putting forth a partial effort is fine, because they see it happening, without any repercussions.

You don’t value your good employees. Undoubtedly, someone on your team is working harder to make up for that bad employee. Someone is correcting the mistakes and finishing the details. You’re allowing that to continue, which indicates you don’t mind others doing more than their share.

I’ve always believed that you do not fire people; they “de-hire” themselves. Those individuals who choose not to perform their jobs have made a decision. You simply need to take action in response.

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

Next Steps

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach | Posted: April 25, 2017

In 1966 Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech that included a Chinese proverb which says “May he live in interesting times.”

Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.

Transitioning

In many ways, the quote above resonates with me as I begin the transition out of my Myers Barnes sales training & consulting and into my role as president of Builder Designs. For the past 20 plus years, I have had the privilege and honor of working with some of the best and brightest home builders in the US and Canada. During that time we’ve made significant progress not only in the sales training arena but in general business model progression and enhancement. I truly feel blessed to have been part of that.

Looking Forward

I start my new role as President of Builder Design in June, and as I wind down MBA I have been asked the question: “are you still going to be doing sales training and consulting?”. The answer is yes, but in a limited, private capacity. Starting in June my sales training and business consulting will be limited to just Builder Designs clients. Builder Designs will offer complimentary seminars, webinars, and consultations for just their clients, and they’ll all be centered around the web – digital marketing – sales and sales management training for a web savvy homebuyer.

More to Come

I’ll be bringing my passion and experience to the Builder Designs team and to Builder Designs clients, and together we’ll be offering an integrated solution that’s unlike anything in the industry.

There’s so much coming that I want to share, but you’ll have to stay tuned for all of the new things we’ll be bringing to the table.

#disruptor

 

Motivate Your Sales Team With Optimism

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, Personal Development | Posted: April 4, 2017

A sales career is difficult. You have to work through rejections that far outnumber your successes. At times, it can be tough to keep pushing.

That’s where effective sales leadership comes in.

I recently wrote an article about “learning optimism”. A good sales leader possesses the valuable quality of positive thinking, and passes it along to the team.

Retrain and refresh.

I’ve seen dejected sales professionals who have heard a few too many times about a competitor’s homes, and has maybe lost sales to the other builder. They start to question themselves and the product.

This is when the sales leader steps in. Take the associate away from the sales task for a bit. Engage in re-training. Talk about the new homes that the buyers seem drawn to. Discuss the objections to the homes you’re selling. Remind the sales person of the positive aspects of these homes. If a customer feels the price is too high, then the sales associate hasn’t sold them on the value.

Maybe you need to sell the sales person first!

Demonstrate the real-world value.

Connect your road-weary sales professional with two or more satisfied homebuyers. Suggest they visit the homes and let the owners gush over the features they love, and how easy the building process progressed. Ask them what mattered to them, what influenced their decision, and why this builder is so exceptional. It’s a good refresher for your sales team to rediscover the true value of the buying experience and the product they’re selling.

Share success stories.

Ask your team members to talk about how they turned adversity around. They should explain the challenge and how they faced it down. It can sometimes be disheartening to hear about others’ success when you’re down, so be sure to highlight the challenge and how the sales associate overcame it. They need to relate to the struggle, not simply envy the outcome.

Put the responsibility where it belongs.

Sit down with your sales associate and explore the individual obstacles. What is good about the job? What is difficult? What would you like to do better?

Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals—not necessarily in terms of sales, but in process improvement. For example, rewrite your script for the initial conversation today. Tomorrow, make a list of common objections and script your responses. Identify a weekly goal for follow-ups.

A leader motivates others to achieve their potential, but, ultimately, it’s up to the individual to put thoughts into action.

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

The Mindset of an Entrepreneur

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Training | Posted: February 14, 2017

 

The word entrepreneur has become a reflection of the American dream.  From a high schooler’s lawn care business to Bill Gates’ empire, we tend to hear the word more and more these days.

In the world of new home sales, an entrepreneur is the savvy individual who sees possibility. Rather than take a prospect’s word at face value, they realize the potential for a sale the minute that person walks through the door.
Life is filled with opportunity, so your mission of commission is to embrace the mindset and lifestyle of an entrepreneur. Learn what it really means to turn nothing into something in new home sales.
Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

What leadership lesson did we learn from Super Bowl LI?

Categories: Leadership, Personal Development | Posted: February 10, 2017

As a Tom Brady fan, I was heartbroken as I watched the New England Patriots fall farther and farther behind in the first half of Super Bowl LI. It seemed like an insurmountable challenge. They were trailing the Atlanta Falcons 28-3 in the third quarter, and no team had ever come back from more than a 10-point deficit, let alone 25!

I’ve learned never to rely on odds. As a cancer survivor, I am living proof that statistics represent what has happened in the past, and not what can be achieved.

As the third quarter was winding down, Tom Brady made his move. Play by play, the closed the gap and scored the 25 points they needed to tie the game, while keeping Atlanta from increasing their own.

History was made by the comeback and the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. In a stunning turnaround, the Patriots scored a touchdown in overtime and took their fifth Super Bowl title.

It was the best Super Bowl ever played, pitting the league’s two most powerful teams against one another. It was also the most exciting example of fighting for a goal—figuratively and literally—I’ve seen.

Every player on the team contributed to this win. Offense and defense did their jobs. If any one of 16 plays weren’t correctly executed, the Patriots would have lost. But they rallied as a team, ignoring the heavy weight of the odds, and persevered.

“You’ve got to believe,” said Pats’ wide receiver Julian Edelman, who made the game’s most incredible catch late in the fourth quarter. He also said that the team stayed focused on the game, not the score.

You will always face obstacles on the road to success. It’s how you deal with the pressure, the odds, and the hurdles that ultimately defines you. When you allow your team to to give in and give up, you will never achieve your potential. You will never experience the extreme satisfaction that comes from overcoming.

When everyone counts you out, count yourself all the way in.

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

Life Feel Like A Pressure Cooker?

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Process, Personal Development | Posted: January 17, 2017

What’s a pressure cooker have to do with selling? There’s always pressure to be successful; financial pressure, family pressure, pressure from ourselves.  As we reach a new level, expect a new devil. In other words, when you climb out of your comfort zone, you will be subjected to greater challenges. The reason everyone isn’t meeting their potential for success is because not everyone is up for the challenge. If it were easy, everyone would do it! The key is to embrace the pressure, and not let it outweigh the positive aspects of the process. Just like a pressure cooker, you must keep the positive internal pressure greater than the negative (external) pressure. If you do, you’ll win in this game called life.  

Bottom line: When the pressure on the inside is greater than the pressure on the outside, you’re winning.

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

Business – A War Without Bullets

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development | Posted: December 27, 2016

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In 1964, two men shook hands and formed Blue Ribbon Sports, a running shoe company, inspired by a Japanese company.

Five years later, on the suggestion of a friend, that company became Nike. And it revolutionized the world of sports and athletic clothing.

One of those two men was Phil Knight, who ran track at the University of Oregon, under legendary coach, Bill Bowerman, the other man in the business agreement

Nike’s pioneering approach to shoe design launched a flood of competition, as companies like Adidas, New Balance, and Puma sought to steal their share of the burgeoning market that Nike created.

Phil Knight once said, “Business is like a war without bullets.”

In business, we battle for territory—whether that’s mastery over a geographic region or a particular vertical market. We study the competition’s strategy, learning their winning ways and identifying their weaknesses. We take aim at conquering their territory. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been at it for years, introducing new ad campaigns and new brands to take consumers away from the enemy. Both have had victories and epic failures. Yet, their battle wages on.

How are you fighting the war with and on your business? Are you strategizing ways to better define your value proposition? Are you identifying aspects about your homes, properties, construction, and service that differentiate you? Have you tried different approaches to overcome potential threats from your competitors?

You will not succeed in a stagnant position. The enemy will know where you are, who you are, and exactly what and how you sell. You’re an easy target.

The dynamic business with visionary leadership thrives. They are finding ways to invade territory that has been “owned” by other companies. They’re adding new designs to their arsenal. They’re looking at under-served markets that present sales potential. And they’re examining the way they manage their own troops—their sales force—to ensure that these front-line soldiers are armed with the knowledge, product, sales training, and ammunition to be successful.

The housing industry is rebounding from the housing bubble that burst about eight years ago. The survivors of that horrific devastation adjusted to the drastic downturn that crippled many developers. They fought through the tough times, having learned how to be agile and adapt.

Yes, the housing market is improving, but you still must be prepared to be tough and vigilant. Every sale you lose is a battle lost.

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

Selling Is A Contact Sport

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Process, Personal Development, Uncategorized | Posted: December 13, 2016

contact-sport-236x300We have evolved into a culture that expects instant gratification. We want Wi-Fi everywhere so we can access anything we want, at any time—and we don’t want a slow connection. How many times have you groaned while waiting for a file to download?

We have DVRs and On Demand television viewing so we can catch the shows and movies we want with the push of a button. And we want express shipping without the express price.

Email used to be a great way to quickly communicate with people…until text messaging came along. Then, email became the equivalent of snail mail, because we want an instant reply. Who wants to wait for an email response?

Let me tell you, though, you have to tame that addiction to super-speed when you’re in sales. As much as the general public wants fast response, they don’t necessarily give one in return. You’re competing with all of the other distractions in their lives. Your customers will reply when it suits them. It’s not their responsibility to respond. It’s your job to make the connection.

Far too often, I see new home sales professionals give in and give up after just a few attempts to follow up with their prospective homebuyers.

Really? These buyers are preparing to make the largest investment of their lives and they should hand it over to someone who isn’t committed enough to them to follow through?

The strength of your efforts contribute proportionally to your results. A phone message and an email is not enough to spark a relationship with a busy buyer. That’s s first date, not a relationship. A form letter without personalization is lazy, and won’t get you anywhere either.

A friend of mine is currently in the market for a new home. She visited one community, spoke with a sales associate, and learned about another community by the same builder, one that was more family-friendly in terms of amenities. This homebuyer didn’t visit that second community, but was contacted three times by another agent from that community. This person she never met thanked her for her visit and interest, and even asked her to complete a survey about the community.

She told me she even replied to the agent to advise him of the error and received yet another form letter in response.

Build a process for building connections.

The undeniable truth is that most home or homesite sales occur as a result of multiple, quality contacts. Persistence and consistency are the keys to strengthening the relationship that is essential in making the sale. The moment you stop calling or writing, you give up the sale, and another sales professional picks it up.

When you forget them, they forget you. It’s that simple.

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

Rethinking the Sales Process

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: November 1, 2016

transferring-innovation-from-science-to-businessThe new home sales process is a science and, as with any scientific field, gut feelings and hunches do not play a role. A good business plan should be developed with a solid strategy and an understanding that selling and marketing new homes consists of four components.

Labeled the Four Ps, they were popularized by Proctor & Gamble and are utilized by industry giants such as General Electric and Microsoft. The Four P’s are effective because they break the sales and marketing process into four parts: Place, Product, Price & Promotion.

PLACE. You’ve heard the old adage: The three keys to buying real estate are location, location, location. It’s absolutely true.

The successful builder/developer understands that people don’t just live in homes. They live in a particular area, within the confines of a neighborhood in which the homes are located. Location is the factor that separates one neighborhood from another. Any builder/developer can, for the most part, construct homes at approximately the same cost per square foot, provided comparable materials are used. But the one single factor that changes the perception of value is where one home is located over another.

PRODUCT. Who is your competition? It is either other builders, or, in the case of an established neighborhood, your competition may be the resale market. You should only enter a market when your product has a perceived value that surpasses your competition.

When evaluating housing designs and floor plans, study the area’s past 12- to 24-month sales history. If a distinct market-share has been established with three-bedroom, 2.5 bath homes, then do not attempt to reinvent the wheel. Enter the marketplace with a proven design and simply add enhancements such as vaulted ceilings, spa baths, walk-in closets, or a better use of square footage. Then, you are sure to gain your fair percentage of market share.

PRICE. Again, gut feelings and hunches play no role in determining the price point for your homes. Price cannot ultimately be determined by your desire for a certain profit margin, but rather by what consumers have paid in the past.

Price is easily determined by comparable values, which can be accessed through MLS. To disregard historical pricing data and produce a product at prices that are not proven in the marketplace is writing your own invitation to disaster.

PROMOTION. Contrary to popular belief, promotion is not limited to just a good “sales process.” To reach a target audience, you must effectively plan and budget. My personal belief is that your marketing, merchandising, and products should be so good that they could almost make you, as a salesperson, obsolete.

Today’s great salespeople have developed a new mindset: They recognize that success no longer depends on communicating the value of the offering, but instead rests on the salesperson’s ability to “create value” for customers. Builders and developers who delude themselves into believing that selling is easy and strictly a function of building houses will be beat like a drum in the marketplace. It is important to grasp this truth: A sales process is a series of actions and systems directed toward the end result, which is creating a sale on purpose.

In most cases, failure in the marketplace is the result of poor planning. The Four P’s – Place, Product, Price and Promotion – are like a four-legged stool. If each is not weighted proportionately and backed with a proven sales process, the stool will wobble and become unbalanced. If the four areas are not balanced, you may see your sales topple just like a lopsided stool.

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