How do you stand apart from the competition in a challenging market?
We’re doing something different for a series of 5 Minute Sales Training. We’re bringing on some experts to talk about very specific things important to this market. Today, I’m joined by my friend Taylor Humphrey down in Dallas, Texas, to talk about how to stand apart from the competition when the market shifts.
Jeff: We’ve seen a shift in Dallas like in many marketplaces. Suddenly there is competition, something we haven’t seen a lot of.
You have salespeople out there, and suddenly there are competitors. We have to find a way to stand apart, to separate ourselves from the group. What do you think? I know we just sprung that on you, but what’s on the top of your mind to find a way to stand apart from everybody else?
Taylor: The old school will tell you, know your competition. You absolutely should. You should know their product, their features and all that. But you should also know what makes your competition your competition meaning your salespeople. What’s their energy, what makes them tick, and what makes them unique so that you can stand out among the crowd?
I always walk our competition. I go through, and I’ll text my salespeople afterward, like, hey, the energy is very low on the people next door, down the street. So what do you want to do if the energy is very low from your competition? What’s the low-hanging fruit for you? Your energy will create an atmosphere when they come through the door.
You should be out walking your competition. You should know their features. You should go through the specs that they have. You can only control what you can control, which is the environment that you’re creating. Know the energy and know what makes you memorable.
I was old school. I liked to wear a bow tie just to try and make it to where I was memorable and make it fun at the same time.
Jeff: You know this is interesting because I often tell salespeople, look at your competition, and when you do, you’re going to look at what they’re selling. You’re going to say to yourself, I win here, and I win here, and I win here. You get excited about the product that you’re selling, about the home, the community, whatever it is.
But what you’re saying is that if they’re shopping, they’re shopping the salespeople as well. You may discover that you can bring more positive energy than they do. Or the flip side, you might find a competitor or salesperson who is strong energetically. This prompts you to pick up your game because my customers have different experiences here.
Taylor: 100%. So what I do is if we’re getting beat or I feel that my salesperson just doesn’t know their competition, I’ll say, “Hey, meet me at your model at 9:30.” We know models open at ten, and we will go park at the end of the street, and we will see what time they get there. How are they coming to the show?
Your retail space opens at ten. Are you getting there at ten, when everybody else is getting there? Let me ask you another question. Is everybody working on Thursday and Friday? Well, that tells me on Tuesday and Wednesday, nobody’s there. So let’s look at our traffic and determine if that’s low-hanging fruit.
We know there will be more competition on Saturday and Sunday, but should I be hitting Tuesday and Thursday harder? Everybody’s working on Thursday and Friday. There’s a heck of a lot of competition on Thursday and Friday. Look to take Tuesday and Wednesday and get those.
Jeff: Sometimes, when we see a change in the marketplace, we ask, where’s our competitor’s advantage? We might say, I’ve got a better product, I’ve got a better energy level, but sometimes I have a builder down the street, maybe they’re a little bit desperate. They’ve got deals, they’ve got promotions, they’ve got incentives, and they’re just flat giving away more than we have to offer.
How do you counter that when customers are raising a value disadvantage?
Taylor: I always tell my sales team that if you can’t change it, feature it. Incentive-wise, if you’re having those conversations with your manager and you’re able to show your manager the right incentive that you should have, okay, great. Move off center and ask, what’s unique about me right now?
You may need to go back to your manager with the data. How do they think, how does your president think about data? Gather it all and come up with a great message to explain why I need more incentives.
If you have the incentive you need, then move off center and go, I can’t change that, but what can I feature that makes me unique? I have a product that’s our courtyard product, and our square footages seem to be lower than what their competitors are. That’s what makes our courtyard product so unique.
Remember, you’re not trying to be everything to everyone. Your product is designed specifically for that buyer. Know that buyer, own it, and go feature it. Feature it using video. Video is huge right now. Don’t underestimate the power of a video.
Jeff: Give us something motivational, inspirational, give us something that was going to help us to get our head on right in a challenging market.
Taylor: Don’t just look at your brand as in the company that you work for. Look at your personal brand. What does it look like on social media platforms, and how are you approaching it? Don’t just look to your marketing department to be generating traffic. How are you generating traffic?
How are you a value add to those realtors that you’re out there going to realtor events and making those connections? What are you bringing to them that will make them look at you as an asset, somebody they need to partner with to bring their business to you?
Jeff: Taylor Humphrey, just great stuff. And if you watch that, if you enjoyed it, that’s great. But it’s not just a matter of whether you enjoy it, whether you’re entertained. No, no. What do you do with it? Use what Taylor had to say as a checklist to look at and say, this is what I want to do differently today to beat the competition tomorrow.
Thank you to Taylor and all of you for spending time with us. Until next time, learn more to earn more!