Taking a shortcut is a solution to being in a rush. But how many times have you chosen to take “the back way” to get where you’re going, only to discover it took longer? Like a quick fix that is often a temporary solution, taking the alternate route could create an even bigger issue. Here’s how sales shortcuts fail you in the long run.
Impatience is a common characteristic among sales professionals. You want to get to the close and revel in the triumph. But a shortcut frequently derails the sale.
5 common sales shortcuts
#1. Hurrying through the customer research.
The discovery phase of the sales process is your opportunity to poke around and gather information about your lead’s wants, needs, and pain points. Here’s where your impatience can cost you the sale.
Slow down. Listen to your prospect. Find those opportunities that are both spoken and unspoken. For example, the homebuyer mentions she’s not ready to buy just now and is just gathering information. Do you dismiss her, assuming that she’s not committed to moving further along the path to purchase? Maybe she’s just trying to avoid a sales pitch.
Use your sales savvy and finesse to demonstrate your value as a knowledgeable resource.
“Yes, buying a home IS a big decision. Let’s talk a little about what you’d be looking for so you’ll be informed about your options when you’re ready. Is that ok?”
As you collect more information about what she wants in a new home, be sure to identify the pain points. What is keeping her from buying a home now? What issues really concern her? Take the time to get to know this buyer so you can take the right next step.
#2. Rushing into the demonstration.
Buyers are often anxious to tour homes. If you give into their enthusiasm before completing the discovery phase, you could end up showing them homes that don’t fit their true needs. If you haven’t yet learned, for example, that a mother-in-law might be moving in eventually, you might skip over homes with a first-floor suite (or the option to add one).
When you take this shortcut, you’ll waste your buyer’s time. It doesn’t take long before they determine that you just don’t understand them. And they move on to another sales agent who invests a little extra time up front to maximize their time touring the right homes.
#3. Bypassing the cost vs. value discussion.
Every new home sales professional has run into price resistance. “We can’t afford that” or “That seems really expensive” are common comments when working with a homebuyer.
You can avoid this obstacle by having the cost vs. value discussion with your buyers during the discovery phase. If they haven’t yet ruled out buying a resale, explain the long-term value of buying new construction and the total cost of ownership.
For those buyers who want to buy a new construction home, prepare them for viewing the home by explaining how your builder goes to extra lengths to ensure quality. Give them a lesson in how to evaluate home construction. What is the importance of each detail? By spending a little more now, will they save more money in the long run? Will they avoid repairs and replacement? Then, as you do the differential demonstration, remind them of the points you had discussed earlier. “See? This is what I mean about the finishes.”
#4. Detouring from the defined sales process.
There’s a compelling reason why a defined sales process matters. Every step has been tested and proven to contribute to smoothly moving the client through the sales pipeline. Do not take it upon yourself to deem any step as “optional”. The sales process provides you with the direction and scripts that guide you from the initial contact through closing, follow-up, and referral. When you take a sales shortcut at any point during the process, you’re essentially detouring from the destination.
Look at it this way. You’re lying on the operating table. Do you want the surgeon to skip a step to save time? “Oh, I figured I could get by with fewer sutures” or “I saw that other clot but I had another surgery to get to so we’ll just deal with it later.”
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Stick with the sales system.
#5. Veering from the CMS.
I know many home sales professionals resist the Customer Management System tool. “It’s too time-consuming” is a common complaint. Bypassing the data entry here is one shortcut that will absolutely delay your progress.
The CMS is designed to keep you on track with your goals. By entering data into the system on a daily basis, you’re building a valuable resource. You can easily find information and get reminders so you don’t miss important dates and details. You have templates in place for communicating with your buyers so you don’t need to search through your mailbox to copy and paste an email.
Your builder CMS will remind you to reach out to buyers who previously said they were waiting till a certain date or for a particular site to be available.
Don’t rely on your memory. Invest a little time—15 minutes—daily to update the database with your notes.
Stop cutting corners
Time is a precious commodity for everyone. But when you take a sales shortcut, you’re only shorting your homebuyers and yourself.