If you want to freak out certain personality types, just start throwing around words like, process, systems, tracking, and accountability. It is like they are “4 letter words” to some people. Now hear me out though. Don’t walk away. We haven’t gotten to the juicy part yet. Everyone can master these properties, but some of us require more support than others to get there.
The definition of process as a noun is, “a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end.” Synonyms include words like, “action, course, development, growth, means, measure, mechanism, movement, operation, practice, procedure, progress, etc.” Those are all good words, right?
It is interesting that many of my builders seem to fall on one side of the spectrum or the other. Some are either completely process driven to the point where when an exception must occur, it becomes a major obstacle. Others are afraid to set policy and processes because they see each situation as something that requires individual decision(s). Either one of these is a barrier to growth and only works when the size of the builder is limited, but the latter is more so. Companies who grow the most are those who have processes in place so that when the hire more people or franchise out, the product doesn’t become diluted or distorted because the system holds it together and allows that growth to occur.
For our sales teams, you start using these words and most want to run for the hills. They say, “just leave me alone and let me do what I do”. Here is the thing though, you can’t improve something that isn’t replicable and measurable, which can’t happen unless you have processes in place and everyone is using them, including those “high performers”.
My son, who has just recently gotten into sales at 19 years old, illustrated this point for me exceptionally well this past week. He is in the toughest sales business of all right now doing door to door sales. Yes, you read that correctly, door to door sales. No preset appointments. However, his team leader is teaching him to measure key metrics and in doing so he has seen a 50% improvement in his conversions in just 2 short weeks. He knows exactly how many doors he must knock on, and how many people he must speak with, sit down with, etc. to get to a sale. He now understands his “critical path” and what happens when he varies from his consistent process so if a sale doesn’t happen, he can tell you why it didn’t. If a 19-year-old, on his first sales job can learn this, we all can.
Our business of new home sales or real estate is the same, but I wonder how many of us truly understand the key metrics to measure and are tracking them fully to improve and grow. Conversion rate is not a straight-line formula between the number of reported traffic to the number of sales. Are you getting the right kind of traffic? Are the ready, willing, and able to buy anything at all, but especially your homes? Where are the qualified ones coming from (demographics, marketing source, geographic territory, etc.)? Does your sales team understand that “drive by” doesn’t really mean “drive by”? What made them pay attention to your sign and turn into your community? If there wasn’t something, they would have just ignored even the best placed sign.
Then, once your sales team does get in front of a qualified prospect are they asking the right questions to build the rapport to build the trust to be able to help the prospect? If they can’t close the sale are they closing for appointments (a specific date, time, and place) to take it to the next step or are they simply waiting on the prospect to come back to them.
Although this seems like a long list, it really isn’t. It is about tracking the process of both the sale and the sales funnel. There is a process here and when each of your sales team members are following it, the buyer is the one who wins because they will have a great and consistent customer experience right from the beginning. All the items listed above, plus many other key metrics can be measured on a 1-page Planned Encounter form or incorporated right into your CRM to give you the visual reporting tools you need to grow your business. The same can be said from sales agreement to start, and from start to finish in construction. This isn’t about being complicated, it is about simplifying. Once you realize you can create a process, you can let go. Your team will have the tools they need to soar. You remove the guesswork and you remove the clogs in your funnel of only a few people being able to make decisions.
So, you see, words like process, systems, tracking and accountability really are not 4 letter words, but they do add up to one big one, and that is GROWTH!
Kimberly Mackey is the founder of New Homes Solutions, and has reputation as someone with real world SOLUTIONS in a competitive and rapidly changing sales environment–SOLUTIONS like “50 Sales per Year before Any Walk-in Traffic”. She is a keynote speaker and published author of many Sales and Leadership articles with 20 years of experience as an executive in the residential home building and real estate industry. She has a proven track record working with Builders and Developers of all sizes –from the local/regional companies to the publicly traded nationals. She also works with Brokers from across the country and is the architect and director of the highly successful Preferred Builder Partnership program with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group where she works with 32 builders and over 600 agents.
For more information, or to book Kimberly for your next event, visit www.NewHomesSolutions.com, or visit Mackey at LinkedIn,www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlymackey; Twitter,www.twitter.com/KimberlyDMackey; and Facebook,www.facebook.com/NewHomesSolutions or on YouTube, www.youtube.com/c/NewHomesSolutions