Myers Barnes Blog

Blog Category - New Home Sales Management Training

Ice Cubes To Eskimos

Categories: New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training, New Home Sales Training Video | Posted: March 15, 2017

Have you ever received a backdoor compliment? When I was once told I could “sell ice cubes to eskimos,” the context may have been genuine, but the meaning wasn’t accurate.
As a real estate professional, you’re helping people make one of the single most significant decisions of their lives.  You’re not only selling a product, you’re helping people select the environment that will shape their lives and the lives of their families.
In the eskimos ‘case, selling someone something they don’t actually need would mean you’re in it only for the sake of the deal and not the good of the customer. Learn how simply keeping the goal of service in the forefront of your sales will make all the difference.
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 Dialogue, Not A Conversation

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training | Posted: January 31, 2017

The concept of conversational selling may be a friendly approach to the sales process, but it’s not the most effective. Why? A conversation lacks a purpose. Alone, it is nothing more than a time filler or casual banter back and forth. And although this can still be part of your sales process, what you really need is a dialogue. Consider a dialogue like the screen play of a movie or show. It’s meant to guide you to a specific emotional response, having been constructed in a purposeful way. Like in most things, you won’t succeed without preparation. Don’t just engage in conversation, but create a dialogue that has a guided path with a desired outcome: the conclusion of the sale. Learn more about how crafting a dialogue will help your sales soar.

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

Easy Street Is A Detour Off The Road To Success

Categories: New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, Personal Development | Posted: November 29, 2016

bumps-ahead-should-i-stay-or-should-i-go

Scott Peck’s classic book, “The Road Less Traveled”, starts with three words:

“Life is difficult.”

Peck first published the bestseller in 1978—before the Internet, smartphones, and all the gadgetry that has been created, presumably, to make our lives less difficult. Has it? Or has technology given us the idea that we can get whatever we want, as fast as we want?

The road to achievement is less traveled, because it is marked with bumps and potholes—obstacles that can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Life not an easy trip. It’s not promised to be. Without challenge, we don’t grow. We don’t learn how to improvise and innovate. We merely move along, accepting the status quo.

Those who want a smooth ride can aim for the easy way out, but what will they miss along the way?

When I hit a bump in the road, I take it as a learning experience. Why did I end up here? Did I take a wrong turn or make a bad decision? Was I basing my choice on incorrect or incomplete information, while ignoring my instincts? What can I take away from this part of my journey?

As much as we would love to take the express route to success, there are no shortcuts. In fact, taking Easy Street is a detour off the road to success.

In his 2008 book, “Outliers: The Story of Success”, Malcom Gladwell presented his “10,000-Hour Rule”. He posited that achieving true mastery—not mere proficiency—of any skill requires 10,000 hours of practice. Becoming an expert doesn’t happen by reading a couple of books or attending a webinar. You have to put that knowledge to work, test it, refine it, and shape it into your own success. That type of achievement doesn’t occur quickly. It can’t.

When you choose speed over commitment, you compromise the outcome. You might even settle for “good enough”, which equates to “average”. Does average make you remarkable? Does average define successful people?

Imagine where we would be if everyone took the easy way out. Mediocrity might replace the exceptional. We would settle for what we have. People might attempt to strive for something more, but they would give up short of reaching the goal.

Easy Street is a dead-end road for anyone who desires true success. Don’t delay your journey with shortcuts.

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

The Power Of The Positive “No”

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development | Posted: November 15, 2016

e76b7c_44276ea2e67947fa924cd5b5babce44d

Former British prime minister Tony Blair once said, “The art of leadership is not saying ‘Yes’. It is saying ‘No’.”

Saying “no” to a request, an offer, or invitation doesn’t have to negative. We just need to learn how to say “No” in the right way.

Warren Buffett told William Ury, author of “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”, “I don’t understand all this Yes stuff. In my line of business, the most important word is ‘No’. I sit there all day and look at investment proposals and say, ‘No’, ‘No’, ‘No’—until I see exactly what I’m looking for. And then I say, ‘Yes.’”’

Even Ury himself said, “the main obstacle to getting to Yes is learning how to say ‘No’ properly.”

Why is it so difficult?

I think it’s because we perceive the word “No” as negative, limiting, and off-putting. So, we say “Yes” when we shouldn’t. We agree to terms that aren’t reasonable. We commit our time to things that aren’t worthwhile.

Then what happens? We grudgingly go through with what we agreed to do. We kick ourselves, and moan about “what I should have said.” So, let’s put an end to that pain.

Aim for a positive “No”. Rather than a blunt refusal, offer another possibility.

“I can certainly appreciate your needs here, and maybe we can find a different way to meet them that is more mutually agreeable.”

You’ve nicely said rejected the offer without ending the conversation.

“I’d like to do that for you, but right now, I can’t. Is there any flexibility in your timeline?”

You let the person know that you’re busy but still willing to help, if and when possible.

“I wish I could help, but I’m tied up; however, I might know someone who can.”

You provide an alternative, by saying “Yes” to helping, but on a different level—offering another resource.

The words “Yes” and “No” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The successful way to deliver a positive “No” is by finding a way to blend the negative response with a positive one. “No, but…” or “Yes, but…” provide a sturdy bridge.

Someone once told me, “Every time you say ‘yes’ to someone else, you say ‘no’ to yourself.” Remind yourself of that. Respect the value of your time and hone the skill of delivering a positive “No”.

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

Healthy Competition. How Will You Stand Out From The Crowd?

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, Personal Development, Real Estate Courses | Posted: October 18, 2016

healthycompetition_1000x500

As any U.S. builder knows, housing is a competitive business. But imagine for a moment if it wasn’t.

Think about Google. Google is a monopoly because it has no real competition. No other search engines—not even those from Microsoft or Yahoo—can come close to its level of popularity. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel told Business Insider magazine that Google is a monopoly because it’s “a kind of company that’s so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute,” a company that’s “10x” better at what it does than anybody else.

Google has no competition and thus does not compete with any other companies and needs no advertising or salespeople for its distribution. Sounds nice, right?

Now, back to reality. In an uber-competitive marketplace like home building, other builders are constantly breathing down your neck. Of course, ideas like sales processes, advertising, and model homes are important but in our industry price is king. A competitive building company must sell its homes at a market price and–like it or not– you don’t get to decide the price.

Price should be determined by comparable values, which can be accessed through MLS. The market dictates the price, and to disregard the market with prices that are higher than what the market will bear, you will swim upstream into futility.

One more thing: Because housing is so competitive, successful companies must differentiate themselves from the crowd in order to make the sale. And it takes more than just building a “quality” house to differentiate.

As you already know, the home building industry is not like Google. It is market driven, so pick your market carefully and have a solid strategy in place to stand out from the competition. In my next blog I’ll address the four pillars of successful sales and marketing.

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

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.

If You Want Great Salespeople, Be a Great Sales Manager

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training | Posted: July 7, 2015

Sucessful sales peopleIt’s always a joy to take pride when your sales team succeeds. You know that you played a part in achieving those results. Do you also give yourself the “credit” for their misses? Do you ask yourself how you could have helped them achieve better results?

There’s a simple truth when it comes to sales management. If you want great salespeople, be a great sales manager. Give them a role model to follow. Empower them with the skills they need to thrive.

Here are five traits I look for in a great sales manager:

  1. Self-awareness. A sales manager who is keenly aware of his own strengths and weaknesses demonstrates a valuable ability to be flexible, able to quickly adapt and respond to others. Self-awareness reflects an intuitive nature that enables you to tune into your individual salespeopple as well as yourself.
  2. Effective multi-tasker. Managing a team means you must juggle a variety of issues and challenges simultaneously. You don’t have the luxury of tackling one task at a time. You need to be able to pull the members of your team together and keep them coordinated at all times. When any member feels overlooked, you compromise that individual’s success, and frankly, you become less valuable to the team.
  3. Tuned in. In your role as sales manager, you need to know about the prospects that your salespeople are working with. You should be aware of any opportunities they might be overlooking so you can guide them to greater success. By educating yourself about their customers, you also demonstrate your interest in their work, which is a key motivator.
  4. A meeting master. Sales meetings can be a total waste of time that could be spent driving sales, but they are an essential communication and training tool. A great sales manager controls the sales meeting, ensuring it doesn’t wander off point. Be aware of the meeting’s objective at the outset—and make it clear to the sales team. When you stay on task, you show your salespeople how to maximize their time for best results.
  5. Goal-setter. Great sales managers understand that great salespeople thrive on meeting and exceeding goals. Work individually with your team members to set goals, monitor the progress, and evaluate the results.

No matter how great your salespeople are, there is always room to improve. Capitalize on these five traits to help them realize their potential.

Follow the Leads: Where Homebuilders are Failing Their Own CRMs.

Categories: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Process | Posted: December 23, 2014

The job of a website is to generate leads—to guide someone to walk through your door. What you and your sales team do with those leads is a different story. And if you don’t have and use a CRM, your lead nurturing has failed. And those builders who know how to more effectively cultivate a lead will get the sale that you basically gave away.

A successful builder has a process in place to manage leads. From the first inquiry to the point of closing, this process defines when and how to communicate with that new home prospect. How long do you want between contacts? How do you know when your customer doesn’t want to hear any more (I guarantee you that most sales people give up too soon)?

For the first 45 to 60 days, you should work that prospect with vigor. Use your online sales counselor to develop the relationship. Their job is to get and keep this customer engaged with your business. And a good OSC is enmeshed with the CRM. That’s how they keep all those prospects active, by using the prompts for follow-up, never allowing a crack to become a gaping hole where the prospect disappears. They have the email templates and scripts in the system, and they rely on the CRM to keep them on track.

Then what? The OSC turns the prospect over to the sales professional. How long do they commit to working with this customer? A month? Six? A year? If you know this homebuyer is going to make a commitment to some builder in the future, don’t abandon leads because you think too much time has passed.

Encourage your sales team to utilize the CRM. You will get groans about how cumbersome it is (which it isn’t if you stay on top). This precious vault of leads should be at the core of your sales strategy. It contains a treasure trove of potential homebuyers—people who have already made a connection with you. Do you ignore it and let those names become some other builder’s buyers?

Train your sales team to use the CRM. Give them weekly reminders. Encourage your OSC to keep them on track.

It may take a long time to turn a lead into a customer, but they will go elsewhere pretty darn fast.

Has Your Builder Website Gone Responsive?

Categories: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Marketing | Posted: December 9, 2014

I was sitting with a builder not long ago and a sales professional was talking with a couple. I overheard this couple mention that they had difficulty seeing the website on their smartphones.

The sales associate pulled up the company’s website on her laptop and turned it to show the homebuyers. She clicked through the site to shows the couple the various options in home designs and floor plans.

What happened when this couple left and wanted to look at the site again, on their mobile devices? Most likely, they didn’t attempt to look at your site unless they were in front of a computer. And that limits the ease of connecting with you.

Approximately 35% of your site’s views coming from a mobile device. Whether they’re checking you out on the smartphones permanently attached to their hands, or browsing on the tablets or laptops, today’s consumers rely on mobile technology for everything—including choosing a homebuilder. Since 2010, the number of Web searches done on a mobile device has increased 400%. And it’s going to keep going up.

According to BDX, 67% of people surveyed said a mobile-friendly website has a positive influence on their decision to purchase.

Have you designed your website to be Responsive? Responsive is a method of developing a site that is completely flexible regardless of device. Rather than detecting a specific browser type or device type, the website automatically orientates itself based on the screen size of the device. If you haven’t yet made this change to your site, stop now and take a look at it on your smartphone.

Can you read that tiny type? How fast did the images download? If you were your customer, would you be patient enough to work through these issues? Or would you find someone who better understood your mobile needs?

Make sure every page of your website has a call to action. Suggest your site visitor contact your online sales counselor, download a floor plan, request a brochure, or schedule an appointment. Make it easy for them to ask a question and find what they need, whether they’re looking at your site on a full screen or a miniature one.

With so much on the line, the question isn’t why should a homebuilder create a Responsive website, but why the heck haven’t you done it yet?

What’s Fit to Print? Print Ads and Collateral for Today’s Homebuilder

Categories: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Marketing | Posted: November 25, 2014

Before the tsunami-like surge of the Web, homebuilders spent a large portion of their advertising budget on print—both ads and collateral materials. But that seems ancient compared to our 21st century culture of online searching.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ research, 90% of homebuyers use the Internet in their home search. Compare that to 27% who look at newspaper ads and 18% who browse through home books or magazines. While it’s sad to see the decline of print media, you shouldn’t be throwing your marketing dollars in a direction that delivers a much lower ROI than online advertising.

When you’re evaluating your advertising options, you need to consider the cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions. With subscriptions and readership down, paid advertising is declining. So, how does this media stay afloat? The print ad rates go up. So, you’re spending more money to reach fewer people.

Let’s look at this example:
A half-page ad in a home book might cost $1,100 for one month. The ad rep tells you that they print 50,000 copies. That doesn’t matter. How many copies are actually picked up and read versus left on the rack and discarded? Let’s say that 50% are picked up by homebuyers—and that’s generous. More than half of those free publications that are picked up generate no interest whatsoever—the browser is killing time in a restaurant or in line at the grocery store. So, of the 25,000 “readers”, maybe 1,000 are actually looking for a home. Maybe. And how many are truly looking for a new home or a homebuilder? Even fewer. You’ve paid $1,100 to reach 25,000 readers, not buyers. Your CPM is $44.00.

Now, look at Zillow or Trulia, two of the top referral sites for homebuilders. You can pay $500 to advertise on the site for one month, but you’re hitting a market of active homebuyers. Remember, 90% of them are searching here, versus 18% who are looking in those home magazines. Your CPM is not only much lower, but the conversion rate is much higher—two numbers you need to be looking at!

Now, look at your collateral materials. There was a time when you invested tens of thousands of dollars in creating a beautiful, glossy brochure. You handed it out wherever you could. How many do you think ended up in the trash?

Today’s buyers don’t want clutter. They carry around a smartphone or tablet so they can have everything they need at their fingertips. They will look at your website, and download floorplans, elevations, and price lists. When they email you asking for a brochure, they expect a pdf, not something snail-mailed.

Don’t hand them paper. You’ll appear out of touch with the digital age. Sure, keep some on hand for those people who rebuff technology, but save the money and the trees by limiting your print advertising expenses.

How have you changed your approach to print advertising and collateral since digital technology has become so dominant? I’m interested in your experience, so please share!