Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Who Wants It More?"


When you watch a  football game or other sporting contest, you'll often see a team that supposedly is outmatched physically by their opponent, but they somehow win the game - even convincingly.

The difference maker many times is the desire or will to win. That won't always carry the day, but when one team wants it more than the other, they do seem to find a way to prevail - regardless of physical ability or other factors. It's a case of which team wants the win more than the other.

This desire to win creates extra effort, more drive, greater intensity, and a better execution of fundamentals.

When someone says 'no' to us - whether it's to a closing question to signify a purchase, agreeing to an appointment, or trying to save a cancellation - who wants to prevail more than the other? Do we want to convert that 'no' into a 'yes' more than the customer wants it to remain a definite 'no'?

So how do we convey to the customer that we want it more than they want to stop us? Perhaps an emotional argument that connects with their original reason for saying 'yes.' Maybe a factual one that really establishes a strong case for going ahead with the decision. Possibly it's believing that this is truly a good outcome for the customer and we strongly make a case for that.

If the customer is able to convince us that they need more  time, that they were being hasty, that they just aren't sure anymore, or anything else that gets us to agree with even one of their points, then they have shown that they want it more than we do.

This is not meant to be a battle of wills. It is meant to illustrate that whoever has the strongest believe that their position is correct for this situation that they will prevail in the moment against the other. Of course it is subject to change in a "rematch" later, but for now, we can see who wants it more.


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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"When You Win Out Over Football"

Tomorrow as you wait in your new home sales center on a beautiful fall Saturday, it will be very easy to spot the serious home shoppers. They are the ones who will turned their back on a local college match or televised football game to meet with you.

Some people be visiting you who are indifferent to football. They will be easy to spot also and won't necessarily be visiting you instead of home watching the games - or seeing them in-person at the stadium.

The football fans who do visit you - and they may be wearing their team colors, tee-shirts, sweatshirts, or caps so it will be easy to notice who they are - must be serious about buying a new home. Why else would they be they in lieu of watching their favorite team on TV? 

I know there is DVR, Hopper, and TiVo, but that's not quite the same as seeing the game when it happens. Be ready for people getting alerts or checking their phone for updates during the presentation. Show some understanding if things aren't going well for their team and some excitement for them if their team is winning. Promise to get them on their way as soon as you can.

They are taking a great risk in giving up watching the game live to meet with you. Take advantage of this intensity and make it work for you. Purchasing a new home must be pretty important for them to give up the game or games to visit you and possibly other builders.

Show your concern and compassion for their sacrifice. Vow to help them find a home, approve the paperwork as quickly as possible, and get them on their way. This is no time to draw out the process with a lot of small talk or unproductive activity. You might even set a time for them to come back and do their selections in a day or two when there is no game

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Website Visits Don't Count"

You may have heard people tell you that you should count someone who visits your new home sales center after they have been to your website (earlier that day, the day before, a week earlier, or whenever) as a returning visitor. I'm sorry, I can't agree with this.

When someone walks through your front door for the first time, they are - by definition - a first-time visitor. Website visits are nice, but they don't count - except for getting a person to visit.

Sure your website is a great reference tool and introduction to what you are offering. It may have photos, floor plans, videos, virtual tours, and more, but it is not the same as seeing and experiencing what you have first hand. Nothing can replace that. Watching a TV show or documentary about Paris may help you recognize the scenery when you get there and have an enhanced appreciation for it, but it's not the same as being there. You would never tell someone that you had been to Paris just because you had seen a movie of it.

So, use the fact that your customers have seen your website (when you learn this through some of your early questions, or perhaps they volunteer it) and use it as a way of reinforcing what you are telling and showing them. Use your website to anchor your presentation, not replace it.

If we subscribe to the notion that a website visit counts as the initial visit, then you do not need to show your models or amenities like you typically do on an initial visit -- they already would have seen them. All you would do is verify which plan they have selected and help them pick out a homesite. Obviously, this is presumptive and further evidence that we can't really count the website visit as the initial visit.

Treat all first-time visitors to your sales center the same in terms of orienting them to your community, your homes, your location, and what you have to offer. If they have a good working knowledge of what you are telling them because they remember it from the website, tie it down and use it to strengthen your presentation, not abbreviate it.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"A Columbus Inspired Day About Us"

Where would our new home sales presentation be without discovery? It defines the sales process. Without knowing what our customers want in a new home (layout, style, number of bedrooms, or one level or more than one, for instance), what they have experienced in the marketplace (looking at other new homes, rentals, and existing homes), where they are in the sales process (from just getting started to ready to make a decision), and so much more, we can't be effective at helping them to make a decision.

Why the emphasis on discovery today? Why not? It's always an important topic. True, but actually it's Columbus Day - a day devoted to annual discussion and debate over who should credit with discovering America.

Discovery is so important in new home sales that we cannot be effective without it. Who tries to convince someone to buy a new home without knowing anything about their needs, desires, timing, price range, or economic situation? Where are they living now and what about that home or apartment? Do they want something ready to move into today or in six months?

The list of questions goes on and on. In fact, my book "Operation Discovery: The Who, What, When, Where, & More In New Home Sales" provides dozens of actual questions to use.
 
Imagine going into a clothing store and the clerk just grabs a shirt off the display and starts ringing it up for you without any regard for style, color, size, or personal preference. Silly isn't it? That's why we use discovery.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Make Sure Your Web Address Doesn't Lead You Astray"

Everyone needs a website today - and that means a web address or domain name. There is an old saying that all of the good .com names have been taken and that there is no choice but to go with a different extension. This just isn't true or necessary unless your name is the same as that of a very popular and prominent brand.

Even with that, there is punctuation and changing a consonant or two that still makes it work. Many words that actually are spelled with a "c" are successfully changed to a "k" for a web address - of an "f" for a "ph." Adding an internal dash, underscore or "." often makes a name work as well.

To me, the worst domain extension is the "co" for company when the .com has been around since the inception. The trouble with this (and it actually happened to me) is that people sometimes can't read the "m," don't know whether it's a "co" or "com," or inadvertently drop the "m" in com when recording the name on their forms or CRMs.

Then's there's the all new cutesy extensions - email, consultant, sales, business, radio, and more. Consumers and those who want to find us online or email us have enough issues with just spelling our names right and adding the .com (or occasionally a .net). Let's not make it any harder for people to find us than it already is.

Additionally, watch the spelling - two repeating consonants together (to end one word and begin the next) when used in separate words is fine, but becomes an issue in a web address. Do you use both or just one? Take Direct TV which is directv.com (missing the second "t").

Sometimes a weird or even unpleasant address comes from using an existing name as a web address without the spacing or punctuation. Take the store "Kid's Exchange" which becomes "kidsexchange."

Finally. avoid repetitive consonants like an "l" or "s" in the case of "sallysellsrealestate."

We need web addresses, but they need to be our friend and work for us rather than against us.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"What Makes Your New Homes Special?"

When someone visits your new home sales center, most of them are doing so because they are considering purchasing one of your new homes. They may never get past the consideration stage for a number of reasons, but this is where most people start. Some have no interest in a new home at all and visit your model center purely for the sport or entertainment value of looking at model homes.

However, some people are actually serious candidates to purchase a new home from you - or another builder that builds a home similar to yours.

The question you must ask yourself - and then have an answer you can defend -  is why someone should be impressed with the homes you offer and why they would want to own it - to the exclusion of other homes that might be available to them.

If you can't honestly and enthusiastically determine why your homes are a good value for someone, why they offer an excellent design, and why your particular community location (even though it might be right next to another builder) is something someone would want to own and live in, you are going to have a very difficult time of making sales.

You must believe - and then be able to persuade your customers - that your builder, design, quality, included features, and the total package is the best available in the marketplace for its size and price.

You have to be totally convinced - without any wavering - that you absolutely offer the best home and value proposition on the market for the size, price point, floor plans, and location you offer. As long as someone can use and likes what you offer, there should be no stopping you in your enthusiasm to help them acquire it.

You won't make a sale every time, but it won't be because you don't believe in what you are doing.


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Learn about my new home sales training programs or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Steve Hoffacker Captures Page One For Universal Design Sales Trainers"

Today, out of an organic search for "Universal Design Sales Trainers" that returned over 3.1 million results, Steve Hoffacker had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th entry.

Capturing the number one spot on a Google search is great, but essentially winning the entire first page is outstanding - especially with over 3 million responses.
 
I have two more "Universal Design/Build" courses and two more sets of the three "CAPS" courses scheduled for this year. Contact me at 561-685-5555 to find out about attending.



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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Happy 'National Coffee Day!'"

Coffee is a great beverage, and nothing says welcome to your sales center as much as the aroma of fresh coffee - even for the non-coffee drinker. Chocolate chip cookies, hot apple cider, and cinnamon are great sales office smells as wee, but it's really hard to beat coffee!

Today is "National Coffee Day" so it's an even better time to enjoy a cup for yourself and to look forward to serving your guests that have decided today is the time to look for a new home.

Obviously we don't - and shouldn't - limit this to just one day.



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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"Know When To Hold 'Em"

OK, it's fourth down and you're behind. You face two critical options. You can kick the ball to the other team and hope you can keep them from scoring again to put you further behind, or you can do everything in your team's power - possibly with a trick play - to gain the yardage necessary for a first down.

So do you hold 'em and go for it, or do you give up the ball and any chance of keeping your scoring chances alive? If you fail, they get the ball and momentum. If you succeed, you are energized. If you kick the ball, you concede your chances at this point in the game.

Before the closing minutes of each half, teams invariably kick the ball on fourth down, but they don't always need to do so.

In selling homes, there comes a similar time when we need to determine whether to go for it - keep pressing on even though there might be some objections or time constraints -  or whether to kick the ball so to speak to the customer and let them leave.

Fourth down situations are challenging - on the field and in the sales center. Sometimes a little courage and a little risk taking pay off.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 26, 2014

"Take A Cue From The Color Of The Season"

With the fall comes the cool air and the gorgeous display of colors - reds, oranges, russets, tans, yellows, purples, and more - with even some green held over.

The color is exciting to see and puts everyone in a great mood - except for those who know that winter is coming next.

Nevertheless, let's take a cue from the color of the season and remember to create very clear, colorful description of our products, community, features, and lifestyle. Paint word pictures with colorful adjectives and phrases as well as illustrating what your customers actually can see and experience.


Help your customer to vividly imagine how great it will be to own and live in one of your new homes. Then show them how to complete the transaction.


Steve Hoffacker, New Home Sales Trainer

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Finally, The Door Is Open"

All summer long, we have been looking down the road to that door that had sign admonishing that it not be opened until fall - the actual equinox. Since that has happened, the door has been unlocked and flung wide open. It's really fall!

Nevermind that it may have looked, smelled, and felt like fall for a few days or weeks prior to this. We weren't allowed theough the door until now.

Beginning today, we can decorate our sales centers and model homes with fall colors, pumpkins, hay bales, and corn stalks. We can serve hot cider and cookies. We can really get into a hospitality mode where we sincerely and warmly are welcoming our guests into our model center. Then, we can take it from there to explore their needs and begin addressing them.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Now Accepting Applications"

If you were going to be recruiting someone to fill your present position, and you also were a candidate, would you make the cut?

Some of us plug along doing our job without thinking very much (or at all) about the value we are leaving behind - just as long as the work gets done and we meet our sales quotas.


Others of us are intent on doing the best possible job each time - whether a sale gets made or not.

So, let's evaluate our performance in light of the ideal skills we look for in a salesperson - as if  we had submitted a resume for the position we currently hold.

How are our communication skills, people skills, conversation abilities, organization, time management. sales skills, closing ability, follow up techniques, and lead generation and referral abilities?

Is there someone who could perform our job better than us, or are we the best one for the position?

There should be no one who can take our job - not that we aren't replaceable at some point down the road - because we are getting top notch results and it would take some doing to replace us.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"The Wait Is Over"

Beginning tomorrow, fall will be here - officially.

Summer has been fun, and it's had its moments. But there are so many things about fall that just can't be matched by any other season.

This is when we see the explosions of color, the drop in temperatures from the summertime heat, and the harvest.

This is the time of year to share this happy experience with our customers. Invite them to your sales center or welcome them in and share your cookies, Halloween candy, hot cider, and beautiful decorations to put them in the fall home shopping mood.



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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"One Week Until It's Official"

Sometimes countdowns are fun and create a large sense of anticipation. Other times, they are sort of anticlimatic and go pretty much unnoticed. That's largely the case with the official beginning of fall - the Autumnal Equinox - which occurs a week from today.

Fall is an exciting time. There's college and high school football, professional football, other outdoor sports, the beautiful change of leaves and fall color, the cooler temperatures, the harvest, and so much more. It truly is a special time.

Labor Day has come - signalling the unofficial beginning of fall. Schools have started up again - another indicator of the fall season. Football season is well underway. The beautiful Harvest Moon (the last of three Super Moons of the summer) has occurred. Now, just the Autumnal Equinox remains before we can get on with the changing leaves and the bountiful harvest.


This is happy and joyful time of year so let's take full advantage of this season to help people make the home decisions they seek for the balance of the year and into the new year.


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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Never Be At A Loss For Conversation"

Football season is great for many reasons. I've already talked about some lessons we can takeaway from the game, and there are some more I'll pass along later.

A very practical thing that football season does for us is gives us instant conversation starters. When we meet someone in public, or they walk into our sales center, football is a great icebreaker. Nearly everyone can talk about football in some form or to some degree - even if they don't follow it that much. Someone in their home or office follows football even if they don't.

When you meet them, they might be wearing a tee shirt or jersey from their favorite team, They might have on a team cap. This is a great way to open the conversation - even if you personally support a different team. Just remember to keep the rivalry comments in good taste if you support different teams.

At any rate, you have something to talk about - specific teams, players, quality of play, trades, injuries, playoff prospects, Heisman and other trophy candidates at the college level, and much more.

After a nice conversation about football, you can get on with the business of learning why someone has visited your sales center or what you can do for them. They see you as less of a threat because you've been able to establish some common ground.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, get copies of my sales books for new home sales, universal design, or real estate sales in print or as eBooks, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker. All Rights Reserved.