This year, I invested in my health and fitness. My walks extended into miles, my workout became both more intense and more frequent. And the more I pushed myself to a healthier self, the more agile I became. And I realized I could apply my actions toward tips for improving your sales agility.
Why do you need sales agility?
Sales agility is the power to adapt and respond with a combination of intelligence and speed. You’ve prepared yourself through sales training, on your own or with a coach. From a fitness perspective, when you’re in good shape, you benefit from greater flexibility. You move more easily. Bending and lifting isn’t a problem. Twisting, moving, and sidestepping obstacles comes naturally.
In new home sales, what does it mean to be in good shape?
You must be fully prepared to rise up and address changes in the market—like pricing, interest rates, products, customer buying behavior, availability, and timing. From 2021 to 2023, the housing market swung like a pendulum, and then stuck. But not in a good place. New home sales professional had spent two hectic years writing contracts and apologizing for delays because of the unprecedented demand. In 2023, it’s like that fire hose was shut off when mortgage rates went back to pre-pandemic levels and then kept going up.
Home builders weren’t prepared to handle the extreme demand for new homes during the pandemic. Many hired inexperienced new home salespeople. When the demand slowed, these untrained people didn’t know how to actually sell a home (as compared to just writing a contract for zealous buyers). No skill = no sales agility = no conversion.
When you’re “out of shape” skill-wise, you’re not selling. So, how can you improve your sales agility?
Tip #1: Do a selling skills inventory.
In order to become more agile in selling, you must recognize your stumbling blocks.
Where do you need to build up your selling strength? Is your negotiation skill out of shape? Can overcome objections swiftly? Are you effectively communicating with your homebuyers? How’s your organization and follow-up? Do you get in a good daily workout with your CRM?
Conduct an honest review of your abilities so that you can map out the route to exceptional sales agility.
Tip #2: Shake it up. Break it up.
Your sales process is your sales process. But the way you execute the steps might need a fitness check for sales agility purposes. Do you have some bad habits to break? Just like we can get lazy with some actions, it’s easy to pay less attention to daily tasks, maybe skip some entirely.
Just remind yourself that even though you’ve sent a particular email countless times, your buyer is seeing it for the first time. Give each buyer your full attention. Avoid making assumptions. Reset your behaviors. Then focus on developing each one to your fullest. Become a superior negotiator so that you can control any conversation. Prepare to respond to objections so you’re not stumbling. Whatever is keeping you from being agile in selling, work on it.
Tip #3: Listen before you respond.
You’ve been told over and over that active listening is essential to being successful in new home sales (or any sales, for that matter). This is one of the biggest problems I see when I’m conducting sales training. The new home salesperson jumps the gun. They’re so excited that they fail to listen for clues and cues. Never prepare your response while the buyer is talking. Instead, by having sharpened sales skills, you can listen to every word and be prepared to respond with agility!
Tip #4: Be accountable.
Learn from failure and adjust immediately. Don’t look for someone or something to blame. It’s a waste of time and will not change the outcome. But you CAN make a difference the next time.
Ask yourself what you could have done better. From qualifying the buyer to asking for the sale, think about ways you can learn from the experience in order to easily maneuver around a similar situation when it arises.
Tip #5: Don’t just sit there.
Are you a couch potato type of salesperson or a true professional? Procrastination is the enemy of sales success. Don’t postpone activities, like adding notes to your CRM or following up with prospective buyers. The agile salesperson doesn’t need to be prompted. They know what it takes to convert a customer. And sitting still isn’t the answer.
Tip #6: Use technology.
In addition to working on my physical fitness this year, I’ve put in time to become more adept with technology. We all became comfortable with Zoom meetings during the pandemic but are you continuing to exercise the value of digital selling tools, like video technology to cultivate buyers? Are you sending video emails and links to virtual tours, interactive floor plans, and drone videos?
And if you’re uncomfortable with writing, check out ChatGPT. This AI tool can provide you with ways to use ChatGPT for generating sales content.
Tip #7: Seek sales training.
You don’t have to do this alone. For physical fitness, people invest in a personal trainer. For sales agility, rely on an experienced sales trainer. As with any coach, mentor, or trainer, you need to find the right fit. Interview a few so that you connect with the professional who can make a difference for you.