Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Factory Sales Reps: Why You May be Losing Your Builders

Being a sales rep for a modular home factory can be both the most rewarding profession you can have and at the same time be the most disheartening thing you've ever done.

First we need to set the scenario of what you, the modular factory sales rep, face out in your territory. There are basically four types of customers:

  1. The Loyal Builder – They have been with you for years and together they have built a strong and loyal relationship to the point that both know that builder’s success depends just as much on the sales rep as it does on the builder’s sales skills.
  2. The Up and Comer – This is the builder that is still so enthusiastic about the success they are beginning to have that every time they talk with you they still gush about their latest sales and the home they just completed.
  3. The Downward Spiral – As a sales rep, you have watched a once successful builder slowly lose both business and profitability. They tend to think of themselves as a big time builder and demand the same amount of attention you gave them in the past but you and your Sales Manager know that they will not be coming back to their former glory.
  4. The Just Around the Corner – Here is a builder that you have been courting to take on modular home construction for the first time or maybe a modular builder that is with another factory and looking for a new one. Either way, this group is probably the where you send a little less time than you should. These builders could be your future but it takes a lot of work to bring them into your factory.
Juggling these 4 builder types is not a job for the faint of heart. Keeping the Loyal Builder happy is as simple as doing your job right, the first time and on time. The other three is where you will lose sleep and possibly a lot of money if they decide to leave you.

There are hundreds of reasons builders stop doing business or even begin working with you but in order to understand why you could be losing builders and the contracts they bring to a modular home factory you should know the Top 10:

  1. The customer was loyal to someone else. Your first job is to uncover what makes the customer loyal. What’s the real reason they continue to do business with someone else? Ask yourself if you and your company possess the same qualities. 
  2. Lack of real connection to or with the builder. The builder is looking for comfort, peace of mind, and assurance
  3. Lack of engagement. You weren’t able to create real interactive dialog.
  4. Lack of perceived value. If the builder does not perceive genuine, definable value in your homes or factory, then there is none.
  5. Lack of perceived difference. If the builder does not perceive genuine, definable difference between you and your competition, then there is none.
  6. Lack of relationship. When long-term relationship is present, truth, trust, and value are the basis of purchase.
  7. Lack of hustle. Response time to a builder’s need for service and/or information are critical factors in helping them close the sale with their home buyer
  8. Poor salesmanship. This has fundamental flaws of preparedness and presentation skills. There’s an obvious lack of questioning skills or sales strategies that create a buying atmosphere.
  9. Poor attitude. The way you present yourself and your word choice combined with your tone and demeanor leave a HUGE impression on the customer. And that impression is either positive, neutral, or negative – and YOU CHOOSE how you made them feel. 
  10. Lack of ability to reduce their risk or help reduce their pain. This may be the prime factor in losing sales. And the least talked about. The simple answer is: PROOF. Can you substantiate your claims?
Nobody expects you to add every builder you talk with to your stable of builders but maybe by realizing that you may be falling into one of the 10 Top Reasons above, you can improve your chances of successfully keeping and also bringing in new builders to your factory.

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