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Posts Tagged ‘ lead conversion ’


Leadership Summit 2011 Testimonials – Feedback from Ralph Smith

August 16, 2013

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Leadership Summit 2011 Testimonials – Feedback from Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith gives his testimony on the 2011 Leadership Summit.

Do You have Your Performance Juice?

August 15, 2013

Check out what Schumacher Homes is doing to inspire the best in their sales pros!

Performance Juice-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group-Increasing Sales-Coaching X Factor Sales Professionals-Leadership SalesWith the disclaimer “Warning: Do not consume if you are not prepared to increase your sales and your income.” printed at the bottom of the labels, each trainee is fully aware of the lifechanging path that lies before them. Should they accept, each sales pro gains the opportunity to take the reigns on lead conversions, hurdle objections, and close the sale on “just looking”/”be-backs”.

Schumacher Homes-Sales Success-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group-Sales Techniques-Leadership Selling-Hot Beliefs-Lead conversion

Schumacher Homes is taking ownership of their business one step at a time. Using something as simple and creative as inspirational labels attached to water bottles can be the juice you need to earn what you want to earn as a team now.

Schumacher Homes has their secret formula, what’s yours?

 

 

 

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.

Note from Jason Forrest: Take your Trash Talk to the Curb

January 25, 2013

Sales Pros:Business Race-Competition-Sales Pros-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group

You may not think you do it, but in new home sales, whenever you talk negatively about your competitors, it can come across like trash talk. And that only hurts you because:

1. It wastes energy:

Whenever you spend time focusing more on the competition’s flaws than on your strengths,  you are wasting your time and energy. Talking about why they shouldn’t buy from someone else brings the atmosphere down. On the other hand, focusing on why they need to buy from you brings the energy and enthusiasm up.

2. Trash talk counteracts your prospect’s motivation and hope:

Buying a new home is a big decision and buyers need to feel certainty in order to move forward. If they leave you with a vague feeling of negativity, then they will attach that feeling to the overall decision. They may not even understand where it came from, but if people leave your sales office saying they just didn’t have a good vibe, they’ll go right around the corner to a competitor.

3. The Law of Persuasion works against you:

Coming across as defensive ends up making the customer wonder why you’re so worried about the competitor, giving that competitor the edge. Your prospect thinks, “Wow, Mr. Sales Pro was really worried about Brand X, I better go find out why the other builder is so special.”

You’ve got enough working against you–don’t add your own trash talk! The solution? Just know every single reason why you rock and why people choose you. And talk about that.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason Forrest

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.

 

 

A Sandy Sale

October 31, 2012

Higher Red Arrow-Moving up-Success-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupOn the east coast, people are reeling from Hurricane Sandy–the Frankenstorm that sent high winds and flooding waters to cities  like New York City and heavy snows to nearby states like North Carolina. Our hearts go out to all those affected.

But while Sandy is on people’s minds near and far, one sales professional in Maryland is keeping his eye on the prize. His coach, Adam referred to the sales pro as “Hurricane Taylor” saying, “Rather than spending the day watching CNN and fretting about the weather, [Mike] worked the phones. Even though he lives an hour away from the model, and is close to the bay (aka, storm surge central) he tried to talk [the prospects] into meeting him at the model [during the storm].” They agreed to meet the next day and within a few hours, the deal was complete.

Now that’s an x factor sales professional right there. Congrats to Mike and Adam, for an x factor sale. As Adam said, “You made it rain and we couldn’t be more proud.”

 

Contributed by Jason Forrest
One of Training magazine’s Top Young Trainers of 2012, Jason Forrest is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, regularly featured speaker at national conferences and professional association events, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and a published author. His newest book, Leadership Sales Coaching, will be available later this year. Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Of power, discrimination, and the iPhone

September 22, 2012

The iPhone 5 came out today and loyalists are standing in line all over the world to get their hands on their very own. But there’s iphone5-front-back Jason Forrest Forrest Performance Group new home sales training sales trainer real estate creating urgency transformingevidence that salespeople are pushing customers away from the iPhone.

This highlights an x factor sales professional’s power to persuade. But, as Spiderman’s Peter Parker knows all to well, “With great power comes great responsibility.” In this case, are salespeople helping their customers find the right product for their needs or are they so motivated by money that it clouds their process? The difference between manipulation and persuasion is intent.

Sometimes companies give sales professionals a bonus for selling a particular product even though we also tell them not to be pushy salespeople. But does providing a spiff make sales professionals view every prospect through that lens?

I believe there’s a paradox of selling–the more you focus on trying to sell something, the less you sell. But the more you focus on understanding and accomplishing your customer’s mission to improve their life, the more you will sell. When you lock on to selling a particular product, it can make you unable to see the customer’s real needs. And if you can’t really see or hear the reason they want to buy, it sure makes it hard to persuade.

So it’s your turn to weigh in:

1. It’s been proven that spiffs like this increase performance. But is it sustainable long-term?
2. What would you do (either as a sales pro or a sales coach) if this was your organization?
3. As a sales pro, are you influenced by these types of spiffs? How much does your selling preference have to do with incentives?
4. Is steering customers toward a product other than what they’re looking for doing what’s right for the client?
5. And of course…if you have the new iPhone in hand…whaddya think?

 

Contributed by Jason Forrest, new home sales trainer/coach

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Note from Jason Forrest: The X factor’s fear factor

August 17, 2012

Sales pros: Just-Do-It-Now Note from Jason Forrest new home sales professionals new home sales training and development real estate Forrest Performance Group x factor beliefs x factor sales professionals

Does it surprise you to hear that the very top sales pros are driven by fear just like the average sales pros? The difference is just what they’re afraid of. The x factor‘s biggest fear is that the prospect in front of them is never coming back. And it drives them to give their very best and make sure they don’t leave anything on the table. The average are afraid of being rejected. And that drives them too. It just drives them the other direction–to pull back and disengage.

We have found that only 20% of registered prospects return for a second visit. So that means 80% eliminate you the first time they see you. The x factor sales professional is constantly aware of this and is therefore driven to either close them on that first visit or increase their probability of getting them to come back for a second look.

Coaches say, “Leave it all on the field.” They’re saying, “Don’t put yourself in position to regret anything or to look back and wonder if there’s more you could’ve done. Don’t leave this situation with a list of shoulda, woulda, couldas a mile long.”

So if the top 1% are driven by the fear that this customer isn’t coming back, they’re not going to leave anything undone or walk away saying, “I wish I woulda asked more questions. I wish I woulda asked what they needed to think about. I wish I woulda sited them.”

So get out there and act like that x factor…always. Operate under that x factor fear–that you may never see the prospect in front of you again. That this is your only chance to give everything you’ve got.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason Forrest

 

Contributed by Jason Forrest, new home sales trainer/coach

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Note from Jason Forrest: A man, a ham, and a pan

May 9, 2012

Sales Pros:

Man with Hand on Head-Questioning-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupI recently heard a story about a man, a ham, and a pan. Arnold said his mother always cut both ends off of her hams before putting them in the oven. So when Arnold noticed that his wife stuck the whole ham in, he questioned his mom’s practice for the first time. Until then, he had thought nothing of it–it was just the way it was done. When he asked his mom why she did it that way, she said, “The pan was too small to hold a whole ham.”

Maybe you can relate. Ask yourself why you do certain aspects of your new home sales process. Look at your process–your opening greeting, model tour, home site tour, etc. Then ask yourself, “Why do I do it this way?”

If your answer is “because it just feels right” or “that’s the way I’ve always done it,” or “that’s what I saw my partner do,” dig deeper.  If you can’t come up with strategic reasons (that it’s the most effective way of moving the sale forward, for example) then use it as an opportunity to make adjustments.

Consider what room you start your presentation in and why you go from room to room the way you do. This will force you to have conviction about the way you are doing things. If you don’t have conviction/swagger in why you do what you do, then you’ll be thrown off your game the first time a customer throws a curve ball at you.

But being introspective on your sales process and presentation will force you to have conviction around your presentation and process. That conviction will lead to swagger. And swagger? Well that’s 85% of the battle.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason Forrest

 

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Remember your first love?

May 8, 2012

Peeking-Confidence-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupOf course you do–the first time your belly got tingly and your hands sweat with anticipation when you might see the  object of your affection. And remember how you compared everybody you dated or liked to the first one who gave you butterflies and made your heart pound?

In new home sales, you can create that same effect with your buyers as they leave your office. Give them such a memorable and positive experience that as they go to the next home or community, they are constantly comparing back to you.

Get them asking each other, “Remember how the sales pro at [your builder] really took the time to listen to us and understand our needs?” Or thinking that your home was the one they could picture raising their kids in. And your neighborhood was the one that made them feel connected–where they felt like they would fit in and be part of a community.

If you do your job, you will get them to the point where they are always comparing the next home or builder to you.

For more on making them compare to you, see Dare 38 (“Give them an Assignment”) from 40 Day Sales Dare.

Contributed by Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Responsibility and Respond-ability

May 7, 2012

Success Failture Sign-Beliefs on Failure-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupIn new home sales management, we have more than a responsibility to our prospects–we also have a respond-ability.

I first heard of this idea at a Who’s Who dinner with my daughter, where the keynote speaker said that as leaders, each student had a respond-ability to their community.

Respond-ability, in a word, is a choice. The choice to either step up or to allow your fear; biases; or preconceived notions to affect your ability to respond. Each of us has the ability to step up. And if we choose to do so–we are accepting our respond-ability and choosing to make the difference and bring home an X Factor sale!

As new home sales professionals, we instinctively know that we have a responsibility to our prospects and buyers to lead them through the new home purchasing process but don’t we also have a “respond-ability” to those that come in to our sales office?

The X Factor sales professional has a strong sense of both and understands that they are the X factor (difference maker) that can make or break a sale for the “just looking” buyer. X Factor sales professionals are the ultimate stewards of creating urgency in a non-urgent prospect to show them why now is a great time to buy, why our home is better for them than any other home in the market and why our builder is one they will be proud to say built their home.

Sales Tip: Two sales people have the same experience, traffic, training and neighborhood. So why does one make twice as many sales? X Factor respond ability! Work on yours to Be Sales Ready today!
Contributed by Jeanne Conger

Jeanne Conger, J Forrest Group’s National Sales Coach, has 25 years in the industry; experience with public and private builders; and over 900 hours of real estate courses under her belt. She is truly an industry expert. While she has worked in design studios, marketing departments, merchandising departments, and sales management (she coached a sales team of more than 100), Jeanne enjoys nothing more than being in the trenches.

Jeanne specializes in turning around laggard communities, helping sales professionals generate traffic, providing hiring consulting for sales managers, and coaching design center sales professionals. Learn more about J Forrest Group’s new home sales training programs.

Coaching the sales process

May 4, 2012

Yacht-Boat-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” –George William Curtis

There’s nothing predictable about the ocean. The best a sailor can do is know every crook and cranny of his vessel; be as prepared as possible for every shift of the wind; and get a lot of experience under his belt so he candle what the deep blue sea throws at him.

You can’t prepare your team members for every sales situation either. But by helping them perfect a repeatable process, you can help them get as comfortable as possible to face whatever comes their way.

It’s all about consistency–coaching your people to perform at a consistently high level so that every customer gets the richest buying experience possible–beyond what they will get from any competitor.

Think about Elton John or Lady Gaga, who practice until each song and motion becomes instinct. It’s the work that happens behind the scenes that helps make sure that each performance is consistently phenomenal. You are a part of perfecting the process, which helps eliminate variables and increase confidence.

Average salespeople practice until they can get it right sometimes, but professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Sales pros: see more on the subject just for you.

Sales coaches: Watch for more on the subject in our upcoming Coaching Management book.

Contributed by Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn about our new home sales training programs at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

 

Bump, set, spike (for increased sales)

April 24, 2012

Running man next to cones-Increased Sales-Influence-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupGet your division president, superintendent, land department, loan officers, and designers on your team. If they’re in your office at the same time as a prospect, involve them in your sales process. Ask them for a third-party endorsement and then sit back and watch them sell.

For example, when your division president comes in, ask, “Why did you choose to work here?” or “What do you think is great about this builder?”  Or with your superintendent, say something like, “You could’ve worked for any builder, but you chose Builder Y. What is it about the construction quality that drew you here?”

If your land person shows up, get them to talk about the neighborhood and what unique niche they were trying to fill. Hearing why it was important for the land department to secure the property and what they went through to make it happen will reinforce the value for the prospect.

Facilitate the employee (your teammate) to provide that third-party influence. After they’ve made their sales presentation, make sure to step back in and capitalize on the conversation. When your teammate leaves, use their responses as a springboard and ask questions like, “Of all the things you heard, what stood out to you most?” Their answers will either uncover objections you can address or push the prospect to the point where they’re ready to move forward.

Either way–it’s a win. Go team!

Contributed by Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn more at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Note from Jason Forrest: Welcome to my home

March 27, 2012

Sales Pros: Welcome-Mat Jason Forrest creating urgency new home sales training and development new home sales trainer

What’s the first thing you do when new people come to your place? Do you say, “Welcome to my home…show yourself around?” Or maybe it’s more like the following: “Welcome to my home, let me give you a tour.”

It seems like a silly question, right? Because of course you don’t let people walk in and show themselves around and look through your underwear drawers, right? Because it’s your home.

But that’s the thing–the models are yours too. You’re doing your prospect a disservice if, when they walk through your door, you think you’re doing them a favor by leaving them alone. But they’re in your house. You know it best–you know the features, the layout, and the personal touches that make it what it is.

When a prospect walks into an average salesperson’s model, the salesperson feels like he/she is in the customer’s world. But when a prospect walks into an X factor sale professional’s model, they are in the sales professional’s world.
Each of you is capable of being that leader, you just have to change the way you’re thinking.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason Forrest

 

Jason Forrest (named one of 2012′s Top Young Trainers for Training Magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation); his ability to create urgency, and his focus on culture change.  Learn more at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Note from Jason Forrest: DTR

March 21, 2012

Sales Pros:

 Marriage Proposal-DTR-Follow Up-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupHave the DTR talk. Regularly.

The DTR is the “determine the relationship” talk. You know the one. In college, it’s the, “Hey, I feel things are going pretty well here and we’re ready for the next level. Do you feel the same?”

And it’s important to have that talk with your buyers. I’m not talking just one time—I’m talking before they leave the first day (and every day following), when you call and follow up, while the house is being built, and all the way up until they move in.

It may not be the easiest talk when you’re dating, but in selling, it’s a good thing to do. At the very least, have the DTR before they leave each visit. The goal is to find out where you stand; whether your home is a finalist; and how your options compare to what the buyer is hoping to find. Think of it this way—it’s a benefit to the buyers because you’re leading them to resolve in their mind whether they like you enough to go to the next level. And it’s a benefit to you because you get a better idea of whether the person is going to answer your call or call you back.

In order to DTR, ask your buyers what might be keeping them up at night or making them uneasy. Figure out where we’re at. For a confident salesperson, DTRing is about finding out where you stand and resolving any issues.

This week, have the DTR with each of your buyers under contract as well as each new prospect.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

How to Fail in Business Without Really Trying

March 20, 2012

Way to Everest-Trying-Success-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupReally trying means doing.  And saying you’ll try means you intend to fail.  It’s a cover for, “I don’t expect to have much success with this, but I want you to think I’m going to give it an honest go, so….I’ll try.”

I happen to know that new home sales professionals who are good about following up are more successful than those who aren’t, which is why I often recommend one hour of uninterrupted follow-up calls. Listen, I get that it’s not easy. People have a lot going on. But it’s also not impossible. So when I get push back from salespeople who say they don’t have time or never have one uninterrupted hour in a day, I push back.

I ask them to commit to making as many calls as they can for one hour. If a prospect comes in, I always, always advise them to take care of the prospect and then get back to making calls. And then, if they can’t get 60 minutes in straight it one day, then they do it again the next day. And the next. Until they succeed. I don’t accept, “I’ll try.”

How often do you “try?” How would your career change if your mindset changed to “I will do,” or “I must do,” as Geoffrey James describes in his post, Three Words that Guarantee Failure.

For more on similar challenges, see 40 Day Sales Dare. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Contributed by Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform builders into sales organizations that build homes. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market and 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales. As a consultant for many of the leading homebuilders in the United States and Canada, Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.  Learn more at http://www.forrestperformancegroup.com.

Secrets to Six Figures in New Home Sales

February 3, 2012

Contributed by Jeanne Conger

Many new home sales pros have a love/hate relationship with their paychecks. They love that they can control their income and earn a lot of money. And they hate that they can’t control or predict their monthly earnings.Stacks of Money-Six Figures-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group

Many of these folks are six-figure earners who understand that in order to make over $100,000 and consistently make sales, they must be mega-disciplined and trust completely in the new home sales process. These X Factor Sales Pros know that they (not the market) are in control of their income.

But sure, they’d enjoy a little more predictability in a career that admittedly has some factors beyond their control (such as build time). So how do we become more predictable in new home sales?

Set Goals:

Setting, tracking and achieving sales goals isn’t just about rattling off the amount of money you want to make at the end of a year or spouting off a weekly sales goal. It’s also about increasing the behaviors that lead to sales (such as appointments, building a home on paper, etc.). Conversion rates for setting follow-up appointments, filling out guest cards, giving model tours, and selecting a home site are just a few of the processes that we can “own.”

Focus on conversion rates so that you will become the true, predictable X Factor Sales Professional that consistently earns what you are worth!

Invest in Yourself:

Sales don’t happen by accident. Investing in your personal development through training and coaching increases predictability and consistency.

Every six-figure sales pro I met at a recent career night also tested high on their SPQ scores. That’s because a key to earning what you are worth is being willing to do what it takes to get there. Those who are not willing to grow, adapt, and receive coaching will fail (at worst) or stay stagnant (at best). They will rise and fall with the market. On the other hand, those who are open to coaching are more apt to adjust to different circumstances.

And they overwhelmingly make more income.

__

Jeanne Conger, J Forrest Group’s National Sales Coach, has 25 years in the industry; experience with public and private builders; and over 900 hours of real estate courses under her belt. She is truly an industry expert. While she has worked in design studios, marketing departments, merchandising departments, and sales management (she coached a sales team of more than 100), Jeanne enjoys nothing more than being in the trenches.

Jeanne specializes in turning around laggard communities, helping sales professionals generate traffic, providing hiring consulting for sales managers, and coaching design center sales professionals.

Note from Jason Forrest: Make a difference

January 21, 2012

“We have it in our power to change the world over.”

-Thomas Paine

Sales Pros, make a difference new home sales and development training builders training new home sales process

The sales professional is the X-factor, the difference-maker, and the single most important source of confidence, motivation, and hope for the customer.

This week, start seeing yourself as the difference maker. That means if a prospect comes in without a lot of obvious interest, you see yourself as the person to create that interest. If consumer confidence is low, you take the role of teacher–educating new home buyers on why now is the best possible time to buy. And when you set your new home sales goal for the week, you refer to yourself as the deciding factor in whether you reach it or not.

The deciding factor is not the number of people who walk through your door with their checkbooks out. Not the state of the economy, the European Union, or the competition across the street. It’s you.

So this week, work on changing your language from things like, “good luck,” and “I hope we meet our goals,” to “Let’s make a difference.”

Here’s to earning what you’re worth (and making a difference)!

Jason Forrest

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Combating Decision Fatigue in New Home Buyers

December 21, 2011

There’s nothing more discouraging this time of year than spending all day surveying a million potential gifts but getting no closer to What is my strategy thought bubbles-Decisions-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Groupfinding something to put under the tree. That’s about the time it starts to seem like a good idea to get your wife a blender or a vacuum cleaner. It’s called decision fatigue. And it’s bad news.

It drives people to make poor decisions, delay decisions altogether, or mentally check out when there are just too many choices or too much information. The problem is that sales pros often contribute to decision fatigue by throwing out all sorts of information before they even know where their prospect is at. If, after time with you, your prospects know a lot, but haven’t accomplished anything, they’ll feel even further from a solution than when they started. Sort of like when you come home empty-handed after a long day at the mall.

So instead of throwing information against the wall to see what sticks, find out where your prospects are at in the process and start there. For example, if they haven’t even made the mental commitment to buy a home, don’t jump the gun by talking about light fixtures and finishes. You’re the one with professional sales training and you should know the new home sales process so well that you can take prospects through it in the way that is best for them.

Facilitate victories by accomplishing each step one at a time. Prospects are not going to stop you and say, “Okay, before we talk about the lots, let’s decide if we really want to live in this area.” That’s your job. Instead of taking the shotgun approach and trying to tackle multiple things at the same time, compartmentalize decisions.

De-cluttering” the situation in this way helps eliminate confusion and thus, decision fatigue. It also helps prevent the classic line: “Forget it. There’s too much to think about. We’ll get back to you later.”

Praise your buyers for each decision accomplished along the way before moving on to the next. If they came in unsure whether they wanted to leave their current situation, but leave confident they need a change, they’re one step forward in the process. And that’s a victory.

Sales pros: Be a part of the solution. Help alleviate decision fatigue so that your prospects don’t quit before they even have a chance to start.

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.

Note from Jason: Focus on the Frowners

December 9, 2011

Sales Pros, Angry Man-Angry Buyers-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group

This week, focus on the frowners-those who don’t show their interest by the look on their face. These are the customers who work through their decisions in an introverted manner and don’t have outwardly expressive personalities. They are, by the way, the majority of the prospects who walk through your door.

We are often most comfortable around people who have personalities like ours and it’s easy for talkative, outgoing sales pros to misjudge quiet people as disinterested people. If you think about it, these “frowners” are really just thinkers.

This week, trust the new home sales process. Just focus on moving the sale forward and accomplishing the same buying decisions that you would with those who wear their enthusiasm and interest on their sleeves. Remember, your competition is ignoring these prospects and labeling them as not interested or difficult. So if you are the only person treating them as a real buyer, then it’s like you have no competition.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Shame: the death of a salesman (note from Jason)

November 25, 2011

Sales Pros, sales professionals new home sales training

In the movie The Edge, Anthony Hopkins’s character, who is lost in the wilderness, says that most people in that situation die of shame. They wonder what they did wrong and how they could have gotten into the situation. “And so they sit there and they… die,” he says.

Shame: the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another. So people lost in the wilderness waste energy beating themselves up rather than remembering what they’ve been taught and focusing on survival.

The same thing happens to talented, hardworking new home sales professionals every day. They spend so much time focusing on how they should have done something differently with the last prospect that they let new prospects pass them by.

They get so stuck overanalyzing their mistakes from yesterday that they are paralyzed and unable to avoid strategic mistakes in the future, all the while dying a slow sales death.

Achievement is not about failing backwards, it’s about failing forward. As you notice areas for improvement in the coming week, fail forward by saying, “Next time, I will _____” instead “I should have ____.”

You can’t fix the past, but you can change the future!

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

My plan to fix the economy

October 19, 2011

All commission, all the time. Simple. Money House-Going Up-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group

Yesterday, I shared just one example of where a lack of commission meant a lack of production (not to mention customer service).

But if compensation was directly related to production, we’d not only have happier customers in new home sales, but we’d constantly have opportunities to upgrade or improve our own lives. Think about it—at your weekly confession, your priest might say, “That will be ten hail Marys. And here’s another thing—we currently have a special on circumcisions.” Or your doctor says, “I know you’re here for a triple bypass, but have you thought about a nose job? We could throw that in while you’re under.”

Remember, people want to be led in the areas they’re unfamiliar or ill-equipped. So maybe you don’t need a circumcision or a nose job, but if you’ve got someone handling your finances, they likely know about products that would benefit you that you’d never even know to ask for. Wouldn’t you want them to treat your finances as they would their own?

Non salespeople can easily get into the mentality that if they have an off month, it’s no big deal. They feel entitled to their paycheck regardless of what they produce. I think it’s ridiculous that in a market where new home sales consultant have to work extra hard for each sale, builders are putting them on salary. By compensating the same across the board, new home builders are essentially saying that it doesn’t matter how hard salespeople work. I just don’t understand that.

If there was ever a time to put new home sales professionals on salary, it would have been in the boom market, when buyers were knocking on builders’ doors, begging to buy homes. New home sales consultants needed to manage the process more than they needed to convince people to buy. Even then, I would’ve given sales professionals with superior performance (high customer service/retention rates, for example) a spiff of some sort.

Knowing that our financial success is linear to our ability to provide solutions motivates us to produce.

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

On commission selling: another lesson from retail

October 18, 2011

new home sales training. nordstromI can’t stand non-commission salespeople. Here’s why:

I’m walking through a department store over the weekend and all the salespeople are more interested in making the clothes look good than in serving me, the customer. They ignore me as I help myself. When I can’t find the size I want, I ask the sales rep and he says that if it’s not on the rack, they don’t have it.

I say, “Ok, what about checking in the back?”

When he repeats that everything they have is out on the shelves already, I ask if they can check another store. His response?

“I guess, but it’s going to take a while.”

“Forget it,” I said, “I’ll do it myself.”

I didn’t do it myself. I walked across the mall and through the doors of Nordstrom’s, where I happily spent a good chunk of change. Even if the prices are slightly higher, I’d rather go where people are motivated to help me and give me good service than to a department store with similar products and poor salespeople. My salesman at the unnamed department store felt like he was entitled to his paycheck just for showing up.

I love this profession because, for new home sales consultant, increased efforts lead to increased earnings.

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Note from Jason Forrest: Helping clients face their fears

October 16, 2011

Little boy with Green eyes-Fearless-Uncertainty-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupMy little boy, Saunders, walked through the long valley of the hallway to our bedroom the other night. It was 2 a.m. and he’d woken up from a nightmare. He jumped in our bed, crying, and just really needing somebody to be with him.

My wife and I both hugged and comforted him, telling him that he’d just a nightmare—it wasn’t real. The hugging didn’t stop the fact that he had a bad dream, but it did change how he faced it. The fear he had alone, he no longer had when Mamma and Daddy were holding him. Parents do this all the time with their children—helping them face their fears in the midst of struggle.

This is exactly what you, a new home sales professional do for a buyer when they have uncertainty about buying the home. You don’t have to physically give them a hug, but you can calm their anxieties and fears by saying, “There is always a little bit of uncertainty when you are making such a big decision. You probably had similar uncertainties when you decided to get married or choose your career. You get to a point where you ask yourself, ‘Does this decision improve my life enough to justify the potential risk?’So, let me ask you just that—does it?”

This week—you may be the certainty in your customer’s uncertainty.

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!

Jason

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Hidden Features, contributed by Jeanne Conger

October 11, 2011

I walked in to a Walgreens pharmacy to buy a pair of “granny glasses.” Yep, the ones for the “I’m over forty and suddenly turned blind”Perfume Sales Woman-Best Solution-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance Group crowd. I only came for the glasses, but since I was feeling a bit like Betty White, I was also eying the Snickers Bar at the checkout counter. The sugar high was calling my name and I can always find a way to justify a great snack. But instead, I mustered up my credit card and self control and checked out sans one fabulous candy bar.

On my way out, I noticed a stand of artfully-hidden healthy snacks and trail mixes. They were beyond the security monitor, past the checkout line, and exactly what I wanted to eat in that moment. Ugh… I could have had my snack and eaten it too!

Sometimes we don’t know what we’re hungry for until we see it. This applies to new home sales and marketing, too. Showing our buyers what they may not know can create a desire or need they didn’t know they had. Our prospects may not “see” all we have to offer in our homes since many of our features are “artfully hidden” behind the decorations. To combat this, go with your buyers through each model and point out the “hidden” features and benefits they may not see in your homes, design, and features. Remember our lesson on “So what?” Make sure to demonstrate how each of those features can improve their lives.

Tip: First, educate yourself on at least five “hidden” features in EVERY room of your model homes.

Next, incorporate those features and benefits into your new home sales process to show prospects the “trail mix” up front!

Be Sales Ready!

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Sales and Marketing Magazine: Earn Respect by Being the Expert

September 1, 2011

Smiling Man-Leader-Respect-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupYour customers are not looking for a new friend; they’re looking for a new home. Some sales trainers get it out of order by saying that your first focus should be to get your clients to like you. While it is important that your customers ultimately like and feel comfortable with you, the very first step should be to build respect. From there, a trusting relationship is just a natural byproduct. You can earn respect by showing clients that you know more about the process than they do, by solving their problems and improving their lives, and by leading the process.

Read more.

 

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.

Are you sweet and spicy or habaero hot?

August 31, 2011

Will you fight for your beliefs?

In my most recent blog post for Builder News Magazine, I discuss William James’s idea of “hot beliefs” (those we are passionate about). Sales professionals who lack heat in their beliefs also lack intensity and passion in their sales presentations. The sweet and spicys lack intensity, but the habañero hots are extremely intense in their beliefs.

new home salesSweet & Spicy—I have no opinion.

Green Pepper—I believe, but would not go toe-to-toe.

Garlic Pepper—I would argue, but back down after a few rounds (it’s not worth the trouble).

Chipotle Pepper—I would argue, but back out when it got heated.

Pepper—I would FIGHT and stand.

Habañero—I would go down swinging.

On a recent sales call, my prospect said, “Now how do I know that this wasn’t just an awesome sales presentation? How do I know this is going to work?”

Since I was hot in my beliefs (I’m talking habañero hot) that my training works and is worth every penny I charge, I stood when my prospect challenged me. I told her that every single thing I do is related to selling—every weekly call, every video lesson, everything. “In each interaction, I’m trying to convince my audience that if they do what I tell them to do, they will be more successful. It’s the transference of beliefs,” I said.

Are you as likely as I am to fight to transfer your beliefs to your prospects?

Here’s your assignment:

Consider an issue you feel highly passionate about personally, professionally, or politically.

Would you face confrontation, argue counterpoints, and stand and fight for it?

Would you go down swinging to convince a person that your side of the belief is right?

Rate the intensity of your belief on the scale above.

Now consider your intensity over the following statements:

I believe that my home is the best option for my prospects.

I believe that my client’s best decision is to buy with me today.

What is the gap (if any) between this score and the score for your “hottest” belief?

Critical thinking questions (feel free to share your thoughts in the comments):

What would happen to your sales if you could rank your belief in your homes a ten on the scale? How much more money would you make per year?

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Casey Anthony and the Burden of Proof

July 18, 2011

Bullseye-Proof-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupTheir gut instincts say Casey Anthony was guilty, but the jurors found her not guilty. Why? The burden of proof says prosecutors have to present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. To the jurors, the information presented just didn’t get them all the way there.

Your prospects have a gut feeling that says they want to buy a new home, but they’re not going to sign on the dotted line until they’re totally convinced. The burden of proof lies with the sales professional to provide evidence that they should. If they walk out without buying, they lack sufficient evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks.

My mom, a speech professor, says it doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters what you can prove in the debate. The judge just wants to pick a side based on the arguments presented. Whether you agree with the justice system or not—that’s how it works.

This week, focus on providing enough evidence to back up your beliefs to your buyers. If you believe they should buy a home from you, then prove why!

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Lead management and you

July 6, 2011

Key attached to a House-Key to success-Fearless Selling-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupBuilders have a unique challenge when it comes to lead management–it’s rarely a quick sale. But understanding the keys to lead conversion and how they apply to builders is crucial to a builder’s success.

The Inbound Sales Network posted Three Keys to Lead Management–Speed, Process, and Persistence and I’ve included brief summaries of their analysis as well as a few pointers about how they apply to builders.

Speed: The ISN’s post says that “According to Leads360’s analysis of 25 million data points, speed is the single most critical component to lead conversion. Conversion rates are 391% higher when the lead is called within a minute of their inquiry; 120% within two minutes; 98% in under three minutes; 62% in under 30 minutes; and 36% in under an hour.”

To me, this emphasizes the importance of having online representatives who are fully trained as sales professionals. This is an underdeveloped aspect of the industry that can yield powerful results when executed well.

Process: ISN’s post says that “Quickly contacting a lead is the first step to higher conversion rates, but not all leads turn into instant leads, and in many companies, they are lost or dropped. Progressive businesses have started focusing on squeezing value out of leads that do not immediately close, and have had some amazing results. According to Forrester Research Reports, companies that have implemented an effective lead nurturing process have closing rates 300% more than their competitors who fail to take a long-term view of prospects.”

This quote demonstrates the importance of process for any sales organization. But with builders, it’s especially important since buying a home rarely occurs overnight. Builders should invest as much in the sales process (I’d argue more) as they do in the price, product, presentation, and other tangible aspects of the business. Sales professionals should know the process in and out and managers should be ready and able to hold them accountable to that process.

Persistence:”Another key factor that many organizations underestimate is the value of persistence. In a recent analysis of over 15 million sales leads, Leads360 discovered that making two calls versus just one, increases the chances of contacting a lead by 87%.’

This one needs no explanation. It’s just follow-up, follow-up, follow up.

P.S. Learn about our new home sales training programs.

Builder Radio.com: Three Steps to Creating Urgency in the Sales Process

July 3, 2011

Business Race-Competition-Sales Pros-Jason Forrest-Forrest Performance GroupBecome an Influence. Create Desire.
“The biggest competition a salesperson has is not themselves; it’s not the other neighborhood across the street or even the market. It’s the conversation that you are not present to – the conversations customer’s have when they’re in the model home without you, when they’re in their care driving home, the self-talk in their head.

For more, read or listen here.

 

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.

JASON FORREST (named one of 2012’s Top Young Trainers for Training magazine–a national, industry-wide publication) is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning (rather than theory) to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest is the author of two previous books. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on culture change.

ABOUT FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP

Forrest Performance Group specializes in culture change and creating urgency within sales teams and management. Forrest PG’s competitive distinction is its behavior modification approach as applied to a variety of programs, education, seminars and sales coach training offerings all aimed at dramatically improving sales force success.