Debunking 5 Myths About Online Sales

As someone who started out in an online sales role for builders near the very early times (I like to call it back in the Stone Age) It’s time to debunk some myths about the online sales role.

Myth #1 OSCs have only been around for about 10 years or so – While I started in the role back in 2007 which is 15 years ago, there were OSCs as far back as at least 2002. Recently I met someone who had that role, and we laughed over the fact that her office was basically a broom closet, and no one really understood what she did. Fast forward 20 years and people still often don’t fully understand the role, why it was invented, what the reasons are, and how it should be implemented. Without this understanding OSC programs can go horribly wrong.

Myth #2 OSCs didn’t need sales skills they just were like a front desk greeter or a secretary – While I never had formal training as an OSC because… well back then there were no trainers, I knew that my role was far more than just a greeter or a secretary. I often utilized all kinds of selling skills to discover people’s pain points, help them find the match to their wants, needs, and desires, overcome objections, and essentially put them at ease about the entire building and buying process. Then the appointments for my agents were a snap, and they had a pretty high, conversion ratio from my appointments to sales.

Myth #3 anyone can set appointments – the problem with this myth is that the truth is anyone can set a crappy appointment, but not everyone can set a strong, qualified appointment with someone who is already well informed and excited about the next steps. Yes, anyone can be an order taker and set a bucket of leads into an appointment, but only a highly skilled person can make sure that every lead they set into an appointment is a good one. When we set strong appointments, we know that these folks will buy somewhere. Our ultimate goal should be to have them buy with us!

Myth #4 once the lead is handed off, the OSC should never talk to them again – This is a myth that comes from maybe a miss understanding or certain interpretation of training. And honestly, I think it comes from trying to stroke salespeople’s egos. (No offense salespeople.)  But something I’ve heard over all my years of working in the building industry is that salespeople know more about their communities than anyone else, and once the lead is handed off to them the OSC should not be involved because it will be too confusing… Nooooo. It’s not confusing. It’s helpful to give the buyer someone else if needed. The only reason someone reaches back out to the OSC is if the agent is unreachable or hasn’t built enough rapport to gain the buyer’s trust. These skills need to be worked on.

In the meantime, the OSC can bridge the gap, answer the questions that make sense, communicate with the agent. “Hey the Robinsons called me and they are still really interested, they want pricing on the house they spoke with you about. Do you have an ETA on that?”

And communication with the clients to the Robinsons, “Hey, Ashley is the best person to price out that house for you, I’m going to reach out to her and find out when she can have that done for you. Are there any other questions you have right now? I’ll make sure to find out all I can to help get this done for you as quickly as possible.”

This way the client feels taken care of and the OSC is getting them back in the hands of the agent where the close can happen.

Myth #5 with the onset of buy online OSCs should be able to take the entire process through close – The whole point of the OSC’s role is to filter through the leads, find out information and get the strongest prospects to the agents.  If your agents all become online sales agents, there still should be a partition between the roles. It will take time for an OSC to go through a contract, make sure the buyer truly is a buyer and there are inevitably areas that will need to be addressed. The OSC’s best time is spent being available for the new incoming leads, rather than continuing a process through to the end.

I’m sure we could uncover more and more myths and possibly make this into a pocket sized book, but for now these are 5 myths we should be careful of buying into in the online sales counselor world.