Whether you’re an experienced salesperson or brand new to the business, selling new construction for a builder presents a unique experience. I’ve trained thousands of sales pros over more years than I want to count. Here are my tips for the new home sales newbie.
See your customers as people, not numbers.
Buying a home represents the largest investment most Americans make in their lifetime. As a new home sales professional, you’re the conduit. Your objective is not to sell a home but to pair your buyer with the right home. In order to do that successfully, you need to see them as a valued customer, not a potential sale. Respect the opportunity they are giving you and not what you think you are going to get from it.
Practice the process.
Successful selling follows a sales process. It’s not a matter of “just winging it.” The sales process has been developed with a lot of experience, knowledge, insight, and statistics. Each step has been proven to work, when followed carefully and in the right order. There are no shortcuts to the sales process.
Learn your product.
Every builder, community, and home has its unique features. Learn all of them. You never know when you’ll need to pull one out to influence a buyer. Understand how the construction process and materials distinguish the home. Be prepared to share how the home can be personalized to someone’s wishes. Know the floor plans and the options. Talk to the project superintendents about the ways they approach their jobs. Your vast knowledge will impress your prospects.
Know exactly what you’re selling (hint: It’s not a house).
You’re selling an experience, a future, a new way of life. You’re selling the convenience of living close enough to everything the buyers need and want, including the brand new cafe just a few minutes away and a really great park down the road. You’re selling the value of great schools serving their family. You’re selling a soak in the bathtub after a hectic day and hosting a big holiday gathering after so many years of going to the sister-in-law’s home. You’re selling a quiet morning gazing out over your backyard when no one is home or sharing the sunset view with the most special people in your world. What you’re not selling is a house.
Ask the right questions.
You want to introduce your buyer to homes that will deliver the lifestyle they want. So, how do you know what they want? Ask the right questions—lots of them. This is the “discovery process”. Use it to find out what they want and why they want it. Understand their motivators so you can target your presentation specifically to them. “Why is that feature important to you?” Keep a mental checklist of their responses because you’ll come back to sum it all up. “We’ve agreed that this location is ideal, and you wanted a home with these particular features. The home is within your price range, so are you ready to make this home your own?”
Practice your response to objections.
An objection is not an end to a discussion. When a customer balks at a price, you don’t need to cave in. Objections are both inevitable and predictable. There’s a lot at stake for the homebuyer and they need to be as certain as possible they’re making the right choice. So, yes, they’ll tell you the price is too high, certain features should be included, and the lot isn’t ideal. As a new home sales professional who is just getting started, ask your colleagues, sales manager, or trainer about the objections that could come your way. Find out how to handle them, and then practice, practice, practice.
Ask for coaching.
New home sales training should be part of every builder’s selling system. Before you accept a position as a new home sales professional, ask about the training process. “On the job” training is unacceptable because it leaves too much room for error. A one-off training program is insufficient, too. You should expect ongoing sales coaching to sharpen your sales skills as you continue to expand your experience. You will uncover new things to learn and more obstacles to overcome. Count on sales training to equip you with the tools you need to succeed.
Set your goals and measure your progress.
Set a target, not just in terms of the number of homes you plan to sell in a certain period. Think about how many leads you want to cultivate into prospects, the conversion rate of prospects into sales, building your referrals, using your social network more effectively, and improving your presentation. What skills do you want to improve? What knowledge do you want to gain? Determine your goals. Create weekly, monthly, and quarterly milestones that allow you to measure your progress. If you’re unsure about where you need to focus your energy, talk to your sales manager.
Welcome to the world of new home sales! It’s an exciting industry and a fulfilling career. If you need more tips for making the most of your career choice, get in touch with me.