Some of you may get the reference made in the title of this post. 100 percent of those in real estate sales should get it, because it’s a classic bit of advice offered by the cut- throat motivational salesman, Blake (played by Alec Baldwin), brought in to fire up a group of underperforming real estate salesmen in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.
While selling homes isn’t always the bleak, do-or-die lifestyle portrayed in the movie (some sales people might disagree), it is a high pressure environment and one that requires lots of training and people skills.
The May 2009 issue of Professional Builder included a great article on the importance of sales training. To uncover salesperson flaws, Pro Builder asked three secret shoppers to pose as potential home buyers and report their feedback on what the sales teams could be doing better.
Some of the best insight (you can read the entire article here) revealed that many sales pros have lost some of their skills now that the housing market has slowed down. The reasoning is, they’re not using the skills as much, so they’re not staying sharp. It’s ironic, considering now is precisely when your sales team should be at its sharpest.
Pro Builder also points out the need for increased oversight and involvement by sales managers and the need for sales staffers to come right out and ask potential buyers for the sale. In other words, plainly asking customers if they’d like to buy the home. 19.6 percent of sales people observed by one secret shopper did that in 2005, compared to just 13.2 percent in 2008.
Of course, we believe a strong sales staff is the key to the success of any home builder (followed closely, or tied with, a strong product). We’re sure Alec Baldwin would agree.