Video Mystery Shopping Tip: My ‘world-famous’ Thanksgiving stuffing FLOPPED! (Or, why your top producer didn’t score well on their Video Mystery Shop)
Last week was Thanksgiving, and as is tradition in my family, I am in charge of making my world-famous Thanksgiving stuffing each year. It is YUMMY and my family loves it! I take great pleasure and pride in my stuffing, so you can imagine the horror and shock I experienced this year when my stuffing was a flop!
I am not sure what happened. I used all of my normal ingredients, cooked it the same way I have for YEARS, and yet something wasn’t quite right….instead of fluffy, melt in your mouth stuffing…I had spongy, stick to the roof of your mouth stuffing! What went wrong??
This experience reminded me of what I oftentimes hear from new home sales managers when they review the shops of their top sales associates and discover that they scored extremely low……they always ask: What went wrong??
So, let me explain a couple of things. We will start with some basic definitions. A ‘top producer’ has the ability and skill set to sell ANYWHERE. A ‘sales associate’ can sell as well, as long as they have an excellent PRODUCT, with great a great PRICE, in an ideal PLACE (Location), and with a nice PROMOTION tied to it. In other words, the product sells itself. Or, as I like to say, even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn.
So many times, new home sales managers confuse their ‘top producer’ with a ‘lucky sales associate’. So, how can you tell the difference? One of my clients puts his top producers in hard-to-sell situations and offers them an increased commission. A ‘hard-to-sell’ situation might be a community that isn’t ideally geographically located, or a close out community that isn’t generating a lot of traffic. He typically experiences great results with this strategy because a top producer can sell and close anywhere, not just in an ideal environment.
Understanding the difference between a ‘top producer’ and a ‘lucky sales associate’ will help you evaluate the scoring from Video Mystery Shops much more effectively. A video shop is a snapshot meant to give you an overall idea of what is happening in your sales offices. It scores a sales person on the basic skills and techniques needed to sell new homes in this market.
Most true ‘top producers’ WELCOME video shops and look at them as a way to showcase their talents and improve their overall sales performance. A ‘lucky sales associate’ may become offended or insulted by a bad shop, because in a sense, they are being ‘exposed’ to the truth for the first time. A ‘top producer’ can sell and close anywhere and anytime. A ‘lucky sales associate’ cannot.
So, if you get a video shop back for one of your ‘top producers’ and the score is low, I encourage you to dig a little deeper and see if there are certain things happening ‘behind the scenes’ that you may not be aware of. My guess is that your ‘top producer’ is not a ‘top producer’ after all. It may be that they are lucky and have found the proverbial ‘acorn’. If this is the case, it isn’t necessarily a lost cause. Training, coaching, mentoring and additional shops can help to improve the situation.
By using Video Mystery Shopping as a sales and coaching tool, you are giving your top producers and your lucky sales associates a gift. In most cases, how they receive the gift can be very revealing.
PS – in the case of my ‘FLOPPED’ stuffing, I later found out that the oven I used to cook my stuffing was not working properly and it never heated up to the temperature necessary to create my culinary masterpiece…..I guess it is time to find a ‘new community’ for my world-famous stuffing! It wasn’t quite the ‘top producer’ I thought it had been for all the years!