Order-taker or order-maker: Which do you want on your team?

Myers Barnes order takerIn any sales situation, there are two kinds of people: the order-taker and the order-maker. Which do you want on your team?

Picture this. You go into a diner, enjoy your meal, and take the check to the cashier. She’s propped up on a stool—with her feet not touching the floor—and has a pencil stuck behind her ear that has probably been embedded there for an untold amount of time, held in place by the entire contents of a can of hairspray. She takes your check and your payment, barely making eye contact. The transaction is done and you walk away.

This is the image I get when I work with some “salespeople”. They take your order and move on. The interaction is minimal, and it’s completely controlled by the buyer. In the diner, I ordered my food and received what I asked for, nothing more. I paid and left. Had I been encouraged to try a dessert that was highly recommended or offered a coffee to go, I would have left feeling more content with my experience.

An order-taker sits in a model home and waits for buyers to come in. With a prospect, they ask enough questions to feel as though they understand what a buyer wants. Guide them to the home and close the deal. That’s the job. Done!

It works great if the buyer is fully ready. That customer knows what they want and how much they want to pay. The order-taker merely processes those needs.

“Oh, you’re looking for a first-floor master suite? I happen to have one right here on this floor plan.” 

“You want to build rather than buy a move-in ready home? Great. Let me show you some.”

“You don’t see any need for the upgrades? No problem.” 

What happens while the order-taker is waiting for the next prospect who is on the verge of signing a contract for the right home at the right price?

The order-taker waits.

Here’s how this conversation goes with an order-maker in charge.

“Oh, you’re looking for a first-floor master suite? Is that for your comfort or are you sharing your home with someone who doesn’t want to navigate stairs? If that’s the case, let’s also look at some of the other details that support aging in place.” 

“You want to build rather than buy a move-in ready home? What’s your timeframe for moving in? What about considering homes that are under construction and still provide the opportunity for you to choose your finishes?”

“You don’t see any need for the upgrades? I can understand that. And we include so many features as standard because we don’t see them as optional. Still, you mentioned some preferences about the master bathroom that we should at least review before you decide….” 

The ORDER-MAKER makes it happen. The order-maker never assumes that a prospect is going to buy. They work on cultivating the relationship with the potential buyer, getting to know the priorities, and then crafting the solution. 

Selling a home is not a transaction. It’s the solution to the buyer’s challenge: “I need a new place to live.” As a problem-solver, you not only make the sale, but you also gain a relationship, one that will generate referrals. And it happens just by asking questions and seeing your buyer as someone who needs your help, not your order pad.

An order-taker can make a sale when everything is exactly aligned for it to happen. How often does that happen?

An order-maker is an action-taker, a creative, energized professional who recognizes the importance of getting to know the buyer’s needs, both spoken and unspoken. The order-maker isn’t pushy, but helpful, inquisitive, and resourceful. When the sale is made, the buyer is actually thankful to the new home sales professional who made their dream come true.

So, I ask you again. Who do you want on your sales team, the order-taker or the order-maker? And how are you going to make that happen?

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