The 10 steps to avoid falling into that trap
According to a recent article from Lawrence Yun – Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®:
“Housing starts are projected to reach 1.6 million for all of 2021 and rise further to 1.7 million in 2022. This would mark the highest home construction activity in 15 years. It is not an overproduction, but rather an attempt to compensate for multiple years of underproduction that led to the current housing shortage.”
Building material costs have skyrocketed – in my 40 plus years in the industry, I have never seen anything like the current dynamics occurring in the marketplace. A robust economy, low interest rates, material shortages, multiple price increases, surcharges, Force Majeure …. etc. (Think of the Billy Joel song “We didn’t start the fire”) Bottom line, costs have increased; 20, 30, 40 plus percentage points.
Ok – so, look at your sales number’s. Because of all the above stated issues, if you (sales rep, sales manager, upper management) are looking at your sales numbers and seeing large sales increases – and saying wow – look at these great numbers – business is easy…I can take my foot off the gas pedal and coast…. well, guess what, if your sales are not above 40 or 50 plus percent, you may be losing market share!
Back to the point of this article, “Good times are a fertile breeding ground to develop bad habits.”
I believe we all agree that these are the absolute best of times in the building industry. How to combat the temptation of taking it easy and maintain discipline? To continue with all of the prospecting activities necessary to increase sales? (Any sales rep should be spending AT LEAST 50% of their time to prospecting, new relationship building and new business).
Here are the 10 steps to ensure that complacency does not set in:
- Every night is opening night. Don’t skip steps in your sales process.
- Attack your dream account target list.
- In today’s environment the gestation time is accelerating between initial contact to closed order. You need to be sure that YOU (sales rep) stay in charge of the sales process. Professional sales reps conduct and lead sales calls.
- Keep in mind, Top Sales professionals are expert problem solvers – your customers or prospects are not.
- Discovery is key – the pain points may be more obvious today…but make your prospect say it…find multiple pain points then – dig deeper into the pain points and finally, RUB SALT IN THE WOUND!! (“Oh Mr. Prospect, I see that your current supplier has dropped the ball…how many years have you had that relationship? XX – and they still won’t take care of you?”)
- Maintain discipline. To paraphrase the saying “Live like you are dying” Sell like your job depends on it – because it does.
- The. RELATIONSHIP. This needs to be repeated – BUILD. THE. RELATIONSHIP.
- At times, you may need to slow the process down – very hard to do but you must be sure that you do not miss a step in the sales process. Even if you have to close the sale “out of the typical sales process order” – an important step for long term relationship is again, building the relationship. You want a long term, loyal customer, correct?
- You have to keep our foot on the accelerator. Sales does not have an off button.
- You have to depend on your order fulfillment team to do their jobs. Don’t worry about the things you cannot control. Focus on your Circle of Influence.
In summary, you cannot miss any steps in the sales process – be sure and check all of the boxes. Maintain your discipline. Find multiple pain points – and close the sale. Most of all, have fun – we may never experience this robust market place in our lifetime.
Please share your thoughts and insights!
Copyright 2021 by Anthony A. Picciano All rights reserved
Tony Picciano is the founder of Top Sales Success Group. TSS is the result of the unique experience and lifelong ambition of Tony. For over forty years, Tony has worked in sales and sales management with a wide range of businesses from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Tony is not only a sales expert, but also a marketing practitioner with expertise in strategic planning, new product development, new business launches, and collateral material development.