Setting Proper Expectations Generates More Referrals

Good salespeople focus (appropriately) on making the sale. The intent is to sell a new home to every willing prospect who visits the community. Unfortunately, too many salespeople are so focused on getting the sale that they miss the opportunity to set proper expectations. 

There’s room at every moment for respect and professionalism, and that includes how we set expectations. 

Setting faulty expectations can create significant problems down the road. Poor expectation setting and poorly worded promises by the salesperson can end up throwing the superintendent and/or customer service representative under the bus. Ultimately the customer will pay the price. 

Here are examples of phrases that will likely cause problems:

  • “We’ll definitely have you moved in by this (specific) date. “
  • “Your home should be in perfect condition by your final walk-through. “
  • “Our customer service team will respond immediately to your call.”

These types of phrases lead to misguided efforts to convert prospects into buyers. Minor exaggerations in the expected deliverable can occur, and buyer assumptions are inadvertently (or purposely) left uncorrected. 

Great salespeople own a more sophisticated, long-term perspective. The outcome is not to simply create a home buyer. The real outcome is to create elated homeowners: customers who are so thrilled with the home and the purchase experience that they would recommend both the salesperson and the homebuilder to a friend.

Establishing Trust

Great salespeople recognize that the best sales opportunities happen when prospects trust them. Trust is earned by being consistently honest and transparent. Some examples include:

  • Making realistic promises and consistently meeting, if not beating, their promises most of the time. 
  • Communicating bad news immediately. 
  • Asking questions of the Prospect and listening carefully to the response. 
  • Nicely saying “No” to the homebuyer’s request when it’s appropriate to do so. 
  • Proactively communicating ALL the news and the status reports – good, bad, and ugly – in a consistently timely manner. 

These great salespeople recognize the value of team play to the long-term success of the building organization. There are no silos here; all the departments are interconnected. The success of each department is contingent on the performance of all the other departments. Construction can never achieve excellent customer ratings if salespeople and studio designers promise more than construction can deliver.

In my new book, From Contract to Close co-authored by Bob Mirman of Eliant Solutions, you’ll find this and many more data-driven, real-world, and easy-to-implement best practices for creating homebuyer experiences that build trust, minimize cancellations, exceed expectations, and generate referrals.

The top home builders in the country gain over 40% of their new sales from referrals. That only happens if your customers are very, VERY pleased with you. Order the book for your entire building team and discover how to change even more people’s worlds!


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.