BuilderRadio interviews Melinda Brody, Melinda Brody & Company, Inc.
SALESPERSON WANTED. MUST BE GOOD WITH PEOPLE, RELIABLE, AND ENTREPRENEURIAL – CAPABLE OF GENERATING ENDLESS TRAFFIC ON THEIR OWN.
You’re not likely to have seen that job posting, but according to Melinda Brody, you probably should. Melinda’s firm specializes in mystery shopping builder’s sale teams, and she believes that salespeople should see themselves as entrepreneurs, marketing themselves as they would their own business.
Listen to this week’s audio interview, or read the highlights below, and we think you’ll agree.
“Part of being a professional salesperson is to self-generate customers, and I think we don’t do that enough,” says Brody. “Salespeople need to understand that that’s a critical part of their success. If they would adopt an entrepreneurial attitude and treat their community like their own business, I think things would be a lot different.”
If you are a salesperson in a sales model, do you consider generating your own leads, or at least part of them, part of your responsibility? Most do not, and Brody sites two main reasons: First, in the pre-2005 market, salespeople were busy following up on the enormous amount of traffic that every decent builder had. Second, lead generation is too often considered the role of the marketing department; marketing generates the lead and salespeople follow up and close. Everybody knows that.
Those days are over, and, according to Brody, even when the market rebounds, salespeople should still see their job description as being lead generators. “You always have to get the pipeline filled up, and you can’t expect your builder to it all, you have to participate in bringing in traffic.”
Brody describes an entrepreneur as someone who is:
- A risk taker – they dive headlong into whatever they do;
- Willing to try new things; they are innovators with an “endless optimism;”
- Always hunting for business, 24/7, and never miss an opportunity to sell;
- Welcomes failure and is willing to learn from it.
So, how do salespeople become lead-generators? It really isn’t all that hard, as Brody explains:
“One thing is to always wear your name tag, and make it creative. For example, I’m always looking for good mystery shoppers, so when I’m in a networking group my nametag says ‘We pay people to look at a gorgeous model!’ Then I get the opportunity to explain what I do. A salesperson could have a nametag that says ‘We work with the homeless.’ You need to make it compelling and a little edgy.”
Action Steps for Entrepreneurial Salespeople
Entrepreneurial salespeople are action oriented. They not only generate a substantial portion of their leads, they work them. Brody recommends that salespeople make a minimum of 20 marketing calls per week, as follows:
5 follow up calls to prospects that have been into the sales model. “Make them compelling, quirky, interesting and memorable,” says Brody. “I want somebody to send a follow up where the customer gets it and says, ‘What the heck is this? They sent my dog a bone! This persons crazy; I think I’ll go back and talk to them.’”
5 follow up calls to people whom you’ve already sold a home. “When we’re selling a home, we’re romancing them, but after they sign the contract we kick them to the curb; we turn them over to the customer service department. If you want to get referrals, you have to be referral-worthy. How about continuing the relationship so that when they have an opportunity to make a referral you are the first person they think of?”
5 calls to Realtors. “I want salespeople to go after the players. Become best friends with the top 10 realtors in your market who are selling and listing real estate, and don’t waste your time with the ‘coffee-sippers.’ These realtors want to hear three things from you:
that you’re easy to work with, you’re not going to steal their customer, and that you pay quickly.”
5 calls to the community at large. “This is where you’re going to partner up with local businesses that align with your demographic. Ask, ‘Who is my target market? Where do they work, play, shop, eat, and hang out? What do they drive?’ Then, ask, ‘Who is targeting the same person?’ and partner up with those businesses. This does not involve a lot of money, but does take initiative, creativity, and exchange of flyers and use of public bulletin boards.”
Salesperson vs. Entrepreneurial Salesperson
Where most salespeople look at Brody’s action list and say ‘Who’s got the time,’ entrepreneurial salespeople take the responsibility for getting it done. Brody recommends that before the week begins we have our list made and scheduled – who we will call or visit and when we will do it. “An entrepreneurs knows that this strategy is going to be fruitful. You can’t have crops where you don’t plant the seeds. To say you don’t have time is just an excuse,” she says.
Entrepreneurial salespeople understand that they are ultimately in control of responsible for generating their own income. That comes with being paid a commission instead of a salary. If that’s the case, then thinking like a businessperson, taking calculated risks and branding yourself just makes sense.
Melinda Brody realizes that most salespeople won’t every make the leap in thinking required to become top earners, but she’s a good evangelist and more “evolved salespeople are getting it” every day. As they begin taking actionable control of their sales, something else happens. They become more valuable to their employees who begin seeking out their feedback and advice on new marketing campaigns, plans and projects, notes Brody.
In other words, think like an entrepreneur, act like an entrepreneur, and you’ll be treated as an entrepreneur.
Melinda Brody can be reached through her website, www.MelindaBrody.com.
Also from Melinda Brody:
Entrepreneurial Marketing: Creating Endless Traffic
Audio CD + Resource CD – $39.00 (plus s/h)
Turn Ring into Bling
Audio CD + Resources – $29.00 (plus s/h) Click here for details
Wednesday, May 13 2:00pm
Webinar: You Must Build Rapport Before You Can Build a Home.
With special guest Mary LeBlanc and additional resources from Melinda Brody.
Register today to attend the live presentation and/or the recorded webinar.
Need a speaker, consultant or trainer? The best in the business are all right here!
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