"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room!" Mastermind Philosophy
I formed MMG or Managers Mastermind Group in 2018, realizing that I am blessed to be surrounded by so many talented Sales Leaders, who are succeeding in the selling trenches every day; and have so much wisdom to share with each other. We hosted our lively and hugely beneficial quarterly Mastermind Group Meeting last week, and below are three top tips from this exclusive group.
Tip 1 - Q: Incentives. With Inventory low in most states, do we need Incentives to sell, and what is working for you?
The consensus from our Management Masterminds was as follows...drum roll please; we don't need incentives to sell new homes successfully. Instead, empower your sales team to have some room in their back pocket to negotiate a sale, if they need it, within pre-stated parameters. Here are some examples:
- Terri, Director of Customer Experience at Bosgraaf Homes in Grand Rapids, MI has up to $10K in Design Center Credits for pre-sales, used as a closing tool, not an opening statement.
- Alana, manager with Wayne Homes a successful "On Your Land" builder in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan is celebrating their 50th Birthday in business with a $5K "Use as You choose" incentive again as closing tool; such as a full tile shower, fireplace or gourmet kitchen feature.
- Matt Halloran Director of Sales with S & A Homes in State College, PA has trained his sales people to find out what each clients Hot Buttons or "Dominant Buying Motives" are, and then have the team put that in writing with a "If I could, would you go ahead?" approach.
- Blake and Cassie Sales Managers at Chesapeake Homes in North Carolina and Virginia Beach have the ability to work with clients depending on the community and situation with up to $20K, in "Use as you Choose" incentives
- Bob Williams, Director of Sales for Beechen and Dill in Chicago Land, IL has been deploying incentives topically, only in one collection of luxury Town Homes where he wants to ensure that he sells out, before moving on to the next collection.
- Reward Sales People - One of our managers in North Carolina, has an incentive of up to $10K per home if needed; however she rewards the sales people with a $100 bonus for each $1,000 that they don't give away to make the sale.
- Education "Give to Get" - Ryan, VP of Land Acquisition for Pacific Lifestyle Homes in Washington State, has a couple of unique Education based incentives that were greeted with enthusiasm by our Masterminds.
- Clients - With OYL clients, his team offer educational classes to clients to learn about the construction process. For attending these classes, clients earn an incentive towards luxury choices at the Design Studio. Turnout has been spectacular and conversion ratios extremely high.
- Realtors - Ryan's team have been providing Realtor education in exchange for incentives. When Realtors attend these new home sales training events they earn the right to provide a credit for their clients, and a bonus for themselves. One of his salespeople Stephen, even figured out how to get CE credits for his new home sales class, and had over 100 Realtors attend a three hour training event, and has made sales as a result. Drop Mic, exit stage left!
Tip 2 - Q: Interest Rates. How have higher rates impacted sales, and what can you do if Rates are an issue?
National Economist Kristine Smale, Senior VP of Zonda Advisory, recently shared that research shows that just over 60% of buyers in the USA, aren't making their buying decision over Interest Rates. They would rather they were lower, but its not preventing them from investing in their brand new dream home. This of course depends upon your value range, location and style of home; so what we do for those folks who are still impacted by higher rates?
Some of our managers have creative rate programs such as temporary buy downs, and incentives towards closing costs that have been moderately well received. However Scott, Sales Manager with Premier Homes in Colorado Springs, found a real solution. He worked with Cornerstone Home Lending and had his builder invest in what is known in the industry as a "Forward Commitment." This a special program where the builder invests up front in a pre-determined chunk of mortgage money, at a much lower permanent interest rate. Then as each sale is made, the builder pays points to buy down the rate permanently. Scott had over twenty townhomes in the mid $300's that were languishing, unsold for a few months, because the local buyers were impacted by rates close to 7%. However when Scott introduced an Interest rate of just 3.875% fixed for 30 years; he sold them all out in just two weeks! His biggest sales objection or "Butt", was clients and their Realtors asking in disbelief "What is the catch? The good news is that there is no catch, just great planning.
Lonnie Jenkins is VP for Cornerstone Home Lending , and was on our Zoom to explain his program. If you would like Lonnie's contact info, please let me know and I will be happy to introduce you.
Tip 3 - Q: Leads in CRM. How long does a salesperson have their leads in the data base Protected, and what do they have to do?
The consensus from the Mastermind Managers was that the salesperson needs to follow up in a tangible and synchronous way to earn the right to maintain their leads in the data base. Meaning they must follow up and actually communicate with each lead, so that if the prospect returns to the sale office, there will be a valid and well earned connection. Some of our managers manage the CRM proactively and will coach their sales people to be more effective with follow up in real time, while others said that 60-90 days was their time frame for retention, however if their was effective follow-up and notes in the CRM this could be extended. One of our delightful managers (who shall remain nameless) even said that she denied one of her salespeople vacation time, until they followed up and added notes in the CRM. I know, please don't call HR on us! However, the salesperson heeded the managers advice and sold three homes from following up and making notes in the CRM. Guess what, he had a much more enjoyable vacation, knowing that he had done his best, and had committed to embrace his work with full force and effect.
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, MAY 2023 MASTERMIND MEETING - SOLD OUT!
Meanwhile our annual visit to one of our MMG Builders is coming up May 11 & 12. We will be visiting Stevens Fine Homes and their sister company luxury home builder Michael Christian Homes, for a fun filled day and a half. After a day of visiting models, we will relax on a sunset cruise, before enjoying a delicious waterfront BBQ, and then half a half day of interactive Round Table discussions with our Masterminds.
Zoom in on May 12 from 9:00 to 12:00 Noon EST- We are sold out for in person, however if you are a sales leader, manager or owner and would like to join our round table discussions as our guest, then please email me, and we will send you an exclusive private Zoom link.
Watch this lovely video created by our talented and fun loving hosts Naomi Bellamy-Wright and Jenna Parker at Stevens Fine Homes. Meanwhile, please feel to reach out with any questions and let me know how we can help you in any way.
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