My friend Tammy Blount at Impact Marketing provides critical information concerning Video (Mystery) Shopping. Impact Marketing is one of the country’s leading firms specalizing in Video Shopping:
In my experience as a sales coach, my most challenging task was to find an unstaged scenario to personalize coaching for my sales team. Role playing is valuable, but what happens without assistance or supervision is what happens every day in the field, and that’s really where the help is needed. I found the most powerful way to measure the effectiveness of our training and help sharpen sales peoples’ skills was to utilize video mystery shops. Here are some tips:
For the Sales Coach:
Let your team know they may be shopped at any time. This will help your team treat EVERY prospect as a buyer — to expect each person in their sales office to be someone that can, and will, make a decision TODAY.
Understand your own expectations. Know what you hope to uncover by shopping your sales team. Are they performing the skills they were recently trained on? Are they prepared for a buyer? Does their appearance represent your company well? Are the models open, lights on, ready to show? Is the sales person sending consistent verbal AND non-verbal messages? Is there eye contact with the prospect? Is the sales person truly interested in selling a home, or are they just making conversation?
Work with your video mystery shop company. Give them not only schedules, names and locations, but also typical buyer profiles, scenario ideas, even names of current buyers to help the shopper be credible. You are making an investment in your training program with video mystery shops — make the most of it!
Help your team prepare for shops by ensuring they know your expectations. Have a customized score card that you distribute and review regularly so they know what is important to you! If you’re not sure where to start, ask your video mystery shop company to help you. Do you give more points for the close than the greeting? Share your expectations with them, attach a point value to it, and you will find they rise to the occasion!
Invest in the time reviewing the shops with your team. Celebrate the appointment to make it a positive learning experience! Sit with each sales person and view their shop with them. Reinforce what they have done well, and help them see the opportunities they have missed. Use the shops as a positive learning tool.
Consider having a contest. Try rewarding the top score, or the most consistent sales person, or the most original presentation. Any prize is worthy — if your budget prohibits a trip or cash, make up a certificate and give them a “Payday” chocolate bar!
Continue the process. Train, evaluate and coach consistently to give longevity to your success.
For the Sales Person:
Treat EVERY prospect like a shopper. If you think you might be filmed at any time, put on the full show for every person that walks in your door — they’ll buy, really! Don’t look for the camera — it is hidden. Look for the SALE.
Know what is expected of you. If you’re not sure, ask! Don’t assume — be clear on expectations. If your coach has difficulty explaining it, be proactive — draft up some guidelines and submit them, or brainstorm with your colleagues.
Know your product. Know your floor plans, availability, inventory, upgrades, community and surrounding area. Knowledge is power, and most importantly, gives you confidence.
Know your competition. Make sure your customers are aware of your competitive advantage. No need to negative sell or mention any names, just be clear that you have what your buyers want and need.
Know your buyers. Appeal to their motivations and requirements. Make sure you sell the benefits of the features, not just the features of themselves. A large back yard is so much more appealing if your buyers can picture their kids or pets frolicking in it! Help them see themselves, their family, their friends, their hobbies and their belongings in the new home they are going to buy from you.
Draw on the experience of those around you. No matter how long you’ve been in this business, you can always learn more. Be curious — ask your coach, manager, vp, president, fellow sales people, even your competition — what makes them successful? Shamelessly steal great ideas.
Practice. When you don’t have customers, use the time wisely. Practice with a colleague, or a mirror, or a tape recorder in your pocket. Have a friend film you when you practice so you see yourself doing things you don’t know you’re doing, like chewing gum with too much enthusiasm or messing with your hair. Practice dealing with objections — without objections, there are no sales — you need to draw them out and deal with them. Practicing greatness is for YOU: greatness = more sales, and great shops are a by-product!
Be fearless. Don’t hesitate to be original. Think outside the box, be creative with your approach. Be memorable. YOU are what sets your homes, community and company apart from your competition!
Have fun! You are making the American Dream come true — enjoy that! Have fun, and your customers will enjoy the experience. Consider this more than a job — this is a fabulous profession with the privilege of making a difference in people’s life decisions.
Own it. When your shop is ready to be viewed, take it seriously. Watch it more than once so you can get over “Oh gosh, I was having a bad hair day” and other distracting thoughts. Look for areas to improve. Study the shop. Share it with others. Ask for constructive criticism and take it to heart. Be thankful your company has invested in you this way and use it fully!