Posted by: JC Gatlin | May 6, 2010

10 Sales Kaizens that will change your business

Kaizen means “continuous improvement.”

During the last half of 2009, the Sales Team made a commitment to improve their sales skills by reading 4 books a quarter and writing 5 personal Idea Kaizens a week from tips in those books. This activity spawned a lot of creativity, not to mention a few sales.

Now, when traffic slows down and finding interested  buyers gets tougher, we should look back at that commitment to “continuous improvement” and the activity, energy & creativity the Sales Team generated.

Here’s a few of those Sales Kaizens that changed our business.

10. Increase Referrals

Problem: “I had a hard time getting referrals. In a 6-month period, I had received 0 referrals to contact.” Kaizen: “In a monthly sales & marketing magazine, I found an article to increase my referral market: I began asking my Homeowners and the people in my warm market if they could give me 3 acquaintances who I could mail an introductory letter and community flyer to.” Results: “Now, I’m averaging 3 to 4 referrals a week and mailing about 15 introductory letters a month!”

9. Improve Event Turn-Out

Problem: “My model home events had really low turn-outs. At my last event, I had only 3 people attend even though I invited over 20 guests.” Kaizen: “I read a tip in a sales consulting book and for my next event, I’m inviting the same 20 people ( a mix of Realtors, Homeowners, and Prospects) plus asking everyone for a referral that I can send an invitation on their behalf.” Results: “This should make the original 20 feel more committed to attending, plus increase my invitation list.”

8. Increase Traffic to the Model

Problem: “Since May, traffic to my model home has steadily decreased.” Kaizen: “I found a post on a sales discussion board about this very challenge: To increase activity at the model over the weekends, I’ve invited local charities to host events.” Results: “Now, not only am I inviting people to my model home, so are all the members of the charity. This weekend, a local high school is having a car wash in the model parking lot.”

7. Improve Warm Market Prospects

Problem: “I need to find a way to increase my warm market prospects.” Kaizen: “I sponsor about 4 Realtor meetings at various agencies a month which really generates interest in my community and plans with Realtors. So now I’m trying that with the “civilian”  market and sponsoring some local club meetings — especially meetings in schools and churches that put me in touch with families.”

6. Increase Hits on the Website

Problem: “Traffic to our community website was rather low, with less than 200 views per month. Kaizen: “I found an idea in a marketing book to increase awareness of a community website, try directing traffic to it using social media. So, I made a list of blogs and discussion boards that would be of interest to homeowners (such as decorating, design, parenting, real estate) and spend a few minutes each day reading and responding to posts. I would always sign my posts with my first name, title and the address to my community website.” Results: “I saw an increase in traffic the first week. After the first month, traffic had increased to over 700 hits.  Six months later, I’m receiving 2,500 hits a month!”

5. Generate Interest

Problem: “I needed to improve my follow-up on past leads and generate new interest with future prospects.” Kaizen: “I began hosting workshops at the model home on Saturday mornings. I worked with the mortgage company to provide a First Time Homebuyer seminar and targeted apartment renters. My Construction Professional and I have done a couple of home maintenance workshops for current homeowners. I actually got the idea from watching a YouTube video.” Results: “While it took some time to really catch on, my community has developed a reputation for these seminars and its given us an edge over the other home builders in the community. It’s also given me another reason to contact past prospects who visited my model. I’ve gotten several referrals out of it now, and one of my buyers actually heard about my workshop before they even knew anything about my company.” 

4. Increase Realtor Contact Database

Problem: “I need to increase my Realtor contact data base every month.” Kaizen: “I read a sales article about something similar and started hosting a monthly introduction meeting at my model home for new Realtors. I go over our Realtor bonus program, an overview of our company history, and our construction advantages. Anything that separates us from the competition.” Results: “It really improved our Realtor partnerships in the area and several agencies now make it required attendance for their new agents.”

3. Increase Relocation Leads

Problem: “Almost all the flyers I pass out focus on available homes. But when I get Internet leads or referrals for people who live outside the city (and especially outside the state) they need information that promotes the location, more than the floor plan. They want to know about how convenient and desirable the location of the community is.” Kaizen: “I’m putting together a flyer that shows my out-of-town/out-of-state buyers that if they live in my community, they would be close to major highways and downtown, close to beaches and amusement parks, and near shopping and grocery stores.  I would then make sure all my Realtor partners have copies of this flyer to hand out to their clients, and I would ask my current customers and warm market contacts if they have out-of-town referrals who may be considering moving to the area.”

2. Increase Traffic to the Inventory

Problem: “I really need to increase interest and traffic to my inventory. I have two stage 10 homes sitting.” Kaizen: “A sales book had an interesting tip to increase Realtor traffic to your inventory homes by driving around my neighborhood, other neighborhoods in my community and in other communities nearby looking for homes for sale with a Realtor sign in the front yard. In one afternoon I had written down 27 Realtors selling homes within a 5 mile radius of my model home. I called each one of the Realtors and invited them to check out the inventory homes I had and asked them to show these new homes when they take someone to their listing in the area.” Result: “This increased traffic to my model and both inventory sold within 2 weeks.”

1. Stay Passionate

Problem: “This may sound silly, but my Kaizen is about passion. You’ve got to stay passionate about your community and the homes you’re selling.”  Kaizen: “I have a quote that I read whenever I need an attitude adjustment. And on those days when no one is walking into the model or returning my phone calls, I have to read or watch something motivational. Basically, I’ll read anything Brian Tracy, Jack Welch or Merideth Oliver.” Result: “This keeps my attitude up and keeps me passionate about selling my homes!”

© May 2010 Homebuilding Partners, Inc.   twitter-logo

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Responses

  1. These are great ideas! Thank you for the look back at some creative things to draw upon. Now that the tax credit is over, forget having a gloom 60-days…referencing these 10 ideas can keep the momentum going.

  2. […] 10 Sales Kaizen that will change your business dal blog Lean Homebuilding di J.C. Gatlin: 10 consigli per aumentare le vendite delle case (traduzione automatica) […]

  3. I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information. Your article has really peaked my interest.

    I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week.
    I subscribed to your Feed too.


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