This is a MUST READ for all!!!
Recently, we had a lively discussion in the office. It centered on a simple question - What is your personal sales philosophy?
There seemed to be two schools of thought:
Property First: The first school of thought centered on the property. The general view was that it was the sales associate's goal to convince the prospect that they had the best property, the best location, the best neighborhood, the best price, etc. It was a feature based approach and it focused on the property.
Customer First: The second school of thought centered on the prospect. The general view was that it was the sales associate's goal to assist the prospect in every aspect of the buying process. It was a needs based approach. It focused on the prospect, their housing needs and desires.
To settle this issue, we then looked at our customer comments from the last 10 sales. The comments were significant insofar as their overall satisfaction was based not on the price, neighborhood, etc. It was based primarily on the relationship that was developed between the customer and the sales associate.
Here are some common themes or thoughts from those customers who provided the highest satisfaction ratings:
The sales relationship was based on mutual trust. The common thought expressed by the customers was that they had developed a meaningful rapport with the sales associate. It was not a confrontational or adversarial relationship. It was a collaborative relationship.
The sales associate fully participated in each step of the buying process. The common thought expressed by the customers was that the sales associate was knowledgeable, anticipated issues, and provided guidance that "added value" to the transaction. It was not simply taking an order and was not simply reacting to situations as they arose. Rather, the approach required active participation and was proactive to identify and avoid potential problems before they become real issues in the transaction.
Not Just a Sale - Customer for Life
It wasn't a single contact or a single transaction. The common thought expressed by the customers was that there were multiple contacts. The goal wasn't just to sell the prospect this home. Rather, it was to convert the prospect to a customer for life and sell them all of their homes - now and in the future.
It was a sincere approach. The common thought expressed by the customers was that the sales associate was an advocate for the prospect throughout the buying process. The sales associate wasn't just making a sales pitch. Whether identify the right property, reviewing loan terms or title costs, or negotiating the price, the sales associate had a genuine concern for the well being of the customer.
In conclusion, every customer wants the best deal. However, more importantly, customers want a trusted advisor to guide them through the buying process and to make it easy for them. Prospects want assistance; they don't want to be sold. If you want a customer for life, then change your sales philosophy from selling property to assisting customers.
Note: The opinions and statements contained herein represent my personal opinions and observations. These blog entries are not reviewed, endorsed or approved for publication by Gilded Age, L.L.C., Gilded Age Sales, L.L.C. or Preservation Real Estate Advisors, L.L.C.