Video Mystery Shopping Tip: Shop Til You Drop

“Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer” – Sun-tzu, Chinese General and Military Strategist (400 BC)

How many times have you been in your sales office and a prospective client walks in and the first thing they do is start talking about the EXCELLENT deal that ABC Builder down the street is offering, and then they ask YOU if you can match it? Or, if not, what types of deals you ARE offering.

People, by nature, are bargain shoppers! They love a DEAL. I do too! I have personally told at least 25 friends about the awesome deal I got last week on a pair of pajamas at Kohl’s!  But, buying a pair of pajamas is NOT the same as buying a new home.  Had I not found the deal I was looking for at Kohl’s, I seriously doubt I would have spent my afternoon hitting all the malls and retail stores in Orlando looking for a better deal.

However, in new home sales you have to accept the fact that your buyers are going to be shopping your competition and when they walk through your door, they KNOW what your competition is doing. The question is: Do YOU?

Each week as I watch numerous Video Mystery Shops, one of the biggest challenges I see with new homes sales associates is the struggle with overcoming objections, but they have an even harder time when those objections are caused by what their competition is doing. In most cases, the new homes sales associate doesn’t even know what product the competition is selling, how they are pricing, what incentives they are offering, and WHY they are better than their competition.

While knowing everything about your builder and your product is essential, it is just as important (if not more so) to know everything about your competition, because I can guarantee you that you will have to ‘sell against’ the competition. And, if you aren’t prepared, not only are you going to lose the deal…you are going to look stupid in the process!

So, how do you do this?  SHOP Your Completion! Use your day off and go to the sales offices of ALL your competitors, walk the models, pick up the brochures, ask questions about the buyer’s demographics then STUDY  and LEARN this until you know it as well as you know your own product! Here is my personal SHOP formula:

Sales – Find out how what type of sales activity your competition is experiencing.  Ask your sales manager for help obtaining this information. Or, develop a *professional working* relationship with your competition and ask them directly what type of sales they are experiencing and WHO their buyers are.

How are you different and better? This is the ‘overcoming objections’ part of the program! Learn to anticipate the objections you will be getting about the competition and develop a script to overcome them. If, for example, your competition is a gated community you may want to discuss the additional HOA fees associated with having a gated community. Be prepared!

Organize your findings! Create a notebook with all your competitions’ information and study it. This way when someone comes in talking about the great deal ABC Builder is offering on their Mulberry model, you can tell them about YOUR Willow plan, which is similar to their Mulberry plan, but has a larger kitchen, more open floor plan, etc.

Product, Price, Positioning, Premiums, Perks – You need to know everything your competition is doing in these areas. Because if YOU don’t know, how in the world are you going to be able to overcome the objections and get the deal?

Remember, what you don’t know CAN (and will) hurt you! Shop your competition!

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Melinda Brody & Co.

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