Stop ignoring the negative and start handling the negative.
In the homebuilding space, every sales warrior knows the why behind this thought almost immediately. The market is turning. Slowly, but it’s turning. Sales are starting to slow from the fast times of the last couple years. Traffic is thinning out. Cancellations are up. We may not be in a winter economy yet, but the fall has arrived. And we all know what comes after the fall.
On my recent webinar around finishing your 2018 strong (watch it here), I led off with this concept of handling the negative instead of ignoring it. Whatever negatives you’re dealing with right now are a gift. All they’re doing is weeding out other salespeople who don’t have your fortitude, grit and tenacity. The sales are still there, regardless of the market. You just need to be a warrior to close them.
I want to take you through my favorite moments of our webinar. We focused on this concept of one step, one decision, one customer at a time. Just focus on the next thing in front of you and you can’t lose; regardless of the circumstances.
Here are three tactical takeaways in particular from our time together that I want you to carry forward over the next six months. Whatever happens with the economy, you’ll be ready to meet and beat the challenge.
1. Sell through the media. Do you have prospects who walk through your doors worried about these troubling media reports they’ve read? They’re everywhere. “The housing market is ready to crash.” “Don’t buy now – you’re destined to regret it.” Whatever headline you can think of, they’re coming.
And your prospects are reading them. But here’s the thing – sales warriors know how to sell through that objection. On the webinar, I picked out a couple headlines about the inevitable housing market crash, only they were from 1986 and 1997. If you’d followed the advice of those two particular articles, you’d have missed two of the great housing booms of the 20th century.
So what’s the key? Do your research. Know what the prevailing winds of the media are saying, and read up on the reality so you can counteract them. You can only fight misinformation with truth. The moment your truth meets their misinformation, you’ve immediately dissolved the leash.
2. Follow your process. I got one question I loved: should any part of our 7 Steps of Starting Strong (that’s our game-changing selling process within the first several minutes) change with the market change?
My answer? Not only should it not change. It’s never been more important to stick to the science than it is right now.
The only reason any successful person ever does anything spontaneously is because they have the backing science that allowed them to do that. For instance, I recently ran a 13-mile Spartan Race. I trained for months so I knew how to handle the sandbags, how to negotiate the obstacles, and how to deal with the mud. When the time came for the race, I didn’t have to worry about those obstacles because I already had them down. I could just focus on winning the race, not on all the small, minute decisions I had to make all along the way. That would have severely hurt my time.
Just the same, knowing the 7 Steps of Starting Strong allows you to be fluid in moments when the customer throws out an unexpected objection. When you know the process backwards and forwards (and this goes for all of your FPG processes, not just the 7 Steps), you can seamlessly defuse those objections and make the sale.
3. Burn their boats on the economy decision. Every customer you meet has a set of decisions they’re working through as they look to purchase a new home. And right now, the one giving salespeople the most anxiety across the board is probably the economy decision. And just to fill you in, the economy decision is based around convincing the customer that now is the right time in the economy to buy.
The most important thing for you right now is to know the financial side. It’s never been more crucial that you understand the monetary benefits of buying with you. Because again, your prospects are hearing a lot of noise. And the best possible way to shut down that noise is to fight it with facts.
You want to make sure that you understand the payment math behind your homes and what it means. You would use language like, “Based on today’s interest rates, if you buy today, you would be able to buy a home that has the following things in it.” Or on the flipside, “if you don’t buy today, then interest rates will rise and we’re going to have to remove these features that I know you wanted.”
So it’s, “If you buy today, then we’ll get you the following things. And if you don’t buy today, then we’re going to have to remove the following things.” I would actually have them select the things in the home they’d remove if interest rates went up. Naturally, they’re going to say, “Well, I don’t want to remove anything.” Then you’re going to use that emotional urgency and close it back circumstantially. You’ll say, “OK, if you’re not going to remove anything, what’s holding you back from buying today so you don’t have to worry about removing those features you really want.”
Again, make sure they see the life improvement your homes provide so you can focus on being the sales warrior no matter the circumstance.