In order to sell your community, YOU must be sold!

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Earlier this week a new employee, who we’ll call Jack, started in the office. I was under the assumption that Jack was familiar with the sales process as he started at a sister community several months ago so I asked him to follow up on a few guest cards.  The calls were more than horrific.  He began raising objections after I offered some advice on follow up techniques. His objections indicated to me that he definitely needed additional training. I began a conversation to essentially overcome his objections. He cut me off in mid sentence with “why are you trying to sell me?”. Through the shock and awe on my face, I managed to get out “In order to sell your community, YOU must be sold!”

When I was first hired on, I was asked to create a feature benefit analysis. During this process, I sold MYSELF on our community. Kudos to my manager, she knows who she is 🙂  Do you have your employees do a feature benefit analysis on the first day? If not, I suggest you implement this before any of them are allowed back on the phone. Something so simple may be the difference between a dead guest card and a new lease. Now this particular situation was based on follow up, but any person involved in the initial prospect interaction MUST be sold on your community to effectively sell your community.

Have you ever asked a simple question and been told “you will need to speak with so and so about that”? One community I call for a market survey each month has several employees to answer the phone, but they are not allowed to answer questions! They take your name and number EVERY TIME to have someone call you back. At a recent housing fair one even told a prospect to stop by tomorrow because no one in the office could help them that day. WTH?! This seems quite counter productive to me. Everyone in your office should be on the same page. Questions should always have the same answer and anyone who is interacting with the public should be able to help!

The moral of this story is two fold. You must be sold on your employees ability to close the deal and your employees must be sold in order to sell your community. Whether the above references are due to managers not confident in their employees ability to close the deal or simply that these employees are not sold on the community shouldn’t matter. Tomorrow starts a new week and new training opportunities. On the agenda should be a feature benefit analysis, market survey and maybe even some roll playing… Not sure where to start?   The Training Factor has courses you can‘t afford to miss!

~ Angela

“It is not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.”- Patricia Fripp

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5 responses »

  1. Excellent post Angela. It is pretty amazing the buy in you have to get sometimes from your team. To you and I the concept you describe is just simple common sense. People can read through a scripted pitch but if you are highlighting the community from your heart you will win those prospects over so much easier. Great reminders!

  2. I love this and YES, we have new employees do a feature benefit list. In fact, we make them list at least 3 benefits to each feature. We do this because not each feature will benefit each prospect in the same way. Thanks for sharing, Angela!

    -Lona

    • “We do this because not each feature will benefit each prospect in the same way.” So true Lona! Which brings to mind the importance of identifying needs and wants. Just because you associate a feature with a benefit doesn’t mean that each prospect will feel the same way. I posted not long ago about a prospect who found our security features to be negative. 98% of the students and parents I speak with love the security features at our community so it tends to become an automatic insert when we describe the community. Since that interaction, I have become much more sensitive to the specific needs and wants of each prospect.

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