“Confessions of a Soccer Mom Mystery Shopper……(Part 1)”
1 –How many shops have you completed in new homes?
I have completed over 1000 video shops.
2-What are the things that impressed you the most?
I have seen the changes made by homebuilders to adapt to the needs of prospects. The recession took a toll, but pricing and product have evolved to provide a more economical product with a reasonable amount of quality. Many Sales Representatives have taken advantage of these changes and used advanced sales techniques to sell a good economical product in this recessionary climate.
3-How are you made to feel welcome and at ease?
A smile and warm greeting go far to disarm even the toughest prospect. I love to walk into a sales office and find a human who wants to help me, rather than a sales person who immediately goes into “sales mode.” Offering a beverage is a great way to do this.
4-What has been an example of how SR’s built rapport with you?
Building rapport should be a natural uncovering of a commonality between the shopper and the Sales Representative, not a third degree. This can be as simple as building a bond over the terrible weather, or commiserating about being the parent of a teenager. Some of my best shopping experiences have been with Sales Representatives who are real and honest. The bottom line of commonality is that I represent someone who is in the market for a home and the Sales Person is in the position to facilitate that. If all else fails, agree with the prospect about the difficulty of searching for a new home. It is not an easy process. Build the rapport by showing how easy you will be to work with!
5-What are some examples of major turn offs?
The most common “turn off” I have seen is an aggressive qualifying of a prospect before any rapport is built. Many times, it seems, I am met at the door by a Sales Representative who immediately asks me how much money I make or obviously begins to assess if I am “worth their time.”
Another real peeve is a lack of inquiry as to what I want in a home. Please ask me what I am looking for. Your time is precious. Frequently I am led from one model to the next without any understanding of what I really would like. Recently I did a shop and not one question was asked about what I wanted in a home. I had mentioned that I did not want to exceed a certain price point. After expressing earnest interest in a beautiful home that met my needs and after seeing 2 other models that would not have suited my needs, I was then told I had to see all of the models, “just in case.” I had to become irritable and restate my price point in order to not be taken to all 8 of the models. Ask and listen to what the prospect wants and needs.
Please don’t mention your recent romantic affair or unpleasant medical condition. I have run into many personal revelations that have no place in casual conversation with a virtual stranger. When in doubt, don’t talk about yourself, ask about your client.
Part 2 coming up…stay tuned!!!