There are lots of skills and habits that contribute to success as a new home sales professional. Have you evaluated your proficiency recently? Rate yourself on these 13 essential sales skills on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a superstar and 1 indicating room for major improvement.
1. Trainability. First and foremost, are you open to change and growth? Whether you want to expand your knowledge in a particular area or hone skills, you should welcome any opportunity for sales training. If you don’t, you’re leaving room for other sales pros to pick up and run with the ball you just dropped. Your Score: _____
2. Discovery. The discovery process in selling is asking the right questions of your prospect. Dig into what they want and uncover the “why” that influences their decision. If they tell you they like a certain location, ask what appeals to them about it. When they tell you a feature is low priority, determine why. All of these answers contribute to a detailed profile of your buyer that enables you to guide them to the right home without wasting their time. Your Score: _____
3. Communication. Verbal and written communication are essential. Stay on top of your follow-up and follow-through. Respond quickly. When you tell a buyer you’ll get back to them within a particular time frame, stick with it. Preferably, be early with your response. Your communication demonstrates your interest in their needs and your professionalism. Use your CRM to provide the reminders you need and streamline your customer communication. Your Score: _____
4. Problem solving. Does a problem derail you? Focus on keeping your problem-solving skills sharp. When you can efficiently untangle the situation and build an effective solution, you limit the damage and delay. Your Score: _____
5. Handling objections. This is a tough lesson for many new home sales professionals. Objections should never come as a surprise. They’re predictable. And negative responses are opportunities to learn more about your homebuyer. By handling objections correctly, you can turn a “no” to a “yes”. Your Score: _____
6. Active listening. It’s a lost art. So many are framing up their next statement while another person is talking. Pay attention to the conversation. Be IN it. Train yourself to stay focused on the speaker. If your mind wanders off, rein it back in. A good way to demonstrate that you’re actively listening is to paraphrase what the buyer just told you: “So, if I understand correctly, you’re looking for this.” Your Score: _____
7. Storytelling. No one wants a litany of facts and features. Tell your homebuyers a story about the home, the community, and the builder in an engaging manner that doesn’t seem like a recitation. Each story is a chapter in the story of them living in the home you’re showing. Practice the skill of storytelling—the cadence, the details, and the length of the tale. Your Score: _____
8. Presentation. Even though you’re following a carefully crafted sales process, which includes the presentation, your buyer should never feel like it’s all pre-recorded. Learn how to do a differential demonstration without looking like Vanna White flipping letters. Then practice, practice, practice. Your Score: _____
9. Time management. Are you fluttering through your day, trying to get everything done? There’s a difference between activity and action. Track your time every day for a week. Write down every task, every meeting, and every call. Note how long it took. At the end of the week, review your activity and determine how you can better allocate your time for more productivity. Your Score: _____
10. Relationship building. Selling doesn’t happen without a relationship. Homebuyers work with people they trust. You need to be able to prove your value to a prospective customer. When you promise to do something, do it (integrity). When you can’t meet an expectation, own up to it (accountability). And when a customer reaches out to you, reach back (respect). This sales skill will serve you well in all facets of your life. Your Score: _____
11. Product knowledge. You should know every feature and option of the homes you’re selling. You should embrace the value and effectively communicate the benefits to your homebuyer. Your passion and enthusiasm are infectious. Invest the time to learn everything and why each point differentiates the home and the builder from all the others. Your Score: _____
12. Technology proficiency. Are you using all the tech tools available to you? From iPad presentations to Zoom meetings, you can communicate with your customers from wherever you are. Social media presents numerous ways for lead generation: promoting events, sharing news, and even tout yourself as a knowledgeable resource. Younger buyers expect you to know the technology they’re comfortable using. If you haven’t yet learned it, start now. Your Score: _____
13. Collaboration. Do you work closely with other team members on behalf of the customer? Are you available to those co-workers when they need your help? No sale happens as the result of one person. Your Score: _____
A perfect score here is 130. Nobody’s perfect. So use this checklist of essential sales skills to improve your selling skills. If you need help with sales training, contact me.