Head-to-Head: The NEW Lessons Learned from This Years Video Mystery Shopping Benchmark Study

Head-to-Head: The NEW Lessons Learned from This Years Video Mystery Shopping Benchmark Study

Back by popular demand, Kimberly Mackey of New Home Solutions Consulting and Leah Turner of Melinda Brody & Co. recently got together for the 4th time on Head-to-Head to unveil the highly anticipated results of Melinda Brody & Co.’s benchmark study. Based on over 1,200 mystery shops conducted across 40+ builders nationwide, this study provides a comprehensive snapshot of how new home sales teams are performing against industry standards.

The benchmark study evaluates salespeople’s proficiency across six critical categories: Meet, Greet & Register (which includes Discovery); Builder Story; Model Demonstration; Homesite Demonstration; Asking for the Sale & Closing; and Follow-up. Remarkably, this year’s results revealed a decline in scores across all categories – a first in the study’s decades-long history.

While some dips were less significant, such as the 3% drop in Meet, Greet & Register (from 97% to 94%), others were more concerning. For instance, only 30% of salespeople delivered the Builder Story effectively, showcasing their company’s unique selling proposition. Equally alarming, just 45% asked for the sale or attempted to close, and follow-up efforts remained consistently low.

These findings underscore the need for a renewed focus on mastering both the science and art of new home sales. As Leah Turner emphasized, the mystery shopping process measures the scientific aspects – the tangible steps and processes salespeople should follow. However, true success hinges on the artful execution of these steps, which requires coaching, role-playing, and a deep understanding of the buyer’s unique needs and motivations.

One of the study’s most surprising revelations was the 10% drop in Model Demonstration scores from the previous year. As Leah noted, this category typically excels, as it’s where salespeople are most comfortable. The drop could signify complacency or a lack of focus on this critical step, where salespeople have the opportunity to showcase the builder’s craftsmanship, included features, and unique selling points.

Kimberly Mackey and Leah Turner offered valuable insights and strategies to address these performance gaps. They stressed the importance of sales leadership being present in the field, observing and coaching their teams. Too often, sales managers find themselves trapped in the office, mired in administrative tasks rather than nurturing and developing their salespeople’s skills.

Both experts emphasized the power of curiosity, empathy, and active listening. Salespeople should strive to understand their buyers’ unique needs, motivations, and hot buttons and tailor their approach accordingly. The Builder Story, for instance, should be delivered in a way that resonates with each buyer rather than as a canned, one-size-fits-all spiel.

Closing and follow-up were also highlighted as areas for improvement. The experts advocated for an assumptive closing approach, where the salesperson sets expectations and guides the buyer through the process from the initial meeting. Follow-ups should be creative, personalized, and purposeful rather than generic check-ins.

Throughout the webinar, Kimberly and Leah encouraged salespeople to embrace their authentic selves, recognizing that true mastery comes not from mimicking others but from developing one’s unique strengths and style.

The benchmark study serves as a call to action as the industry navigates challenges like declining traffic and economic uncertainties. New home sales teams can elevate their performance and drive better results by refocusing on the fundamentals, embracing coaching and continuous improvement, and fostering an environment of curiosity and empathy.

As Leah Turner articulated, the ultimate goal is to make people’s dreams come true—a mission that requires both scientific precision and artistic flair. With the insights from this annual benchmark study, builders and sales teams have a roadmap to achieve that perfect balance, setting the stage for success in the years to come.

Head-to-Head is not a podcast, nor a webinar. It is a live conversation that we record so you can join us and take part. Kimberly goes Head-to-Head with industry experts 6 times per year. To register for upcoming events, catch up on past episodes, and learn more, please visit https://NewHomesSolutions.com/head-to-head.

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