Chart Your Course – Set Up Your Online Sales Counselor Foundation

Here are some of my highlights from our 4th Webinar during COVID-19. Now is the time to set up your online sales foundation if it doesn’t already exist, or refine and review your current process.  Those are important in charting your course forward. I’m just going to talk for a minute about my personal philosophy.

There are two courses you can take when things go wrong and you feel out of control.

You can retract inward and feel like you Lack control and, therefore everything else stems from a place of Lack – I lack money, I lack sales, I lack add the next word.

Or… you can come from a place of abundance. You can say this is just a minor set-back.  There is abundance in the world. people desire new homes, people desire to get back on their feet, we are all in this together.

We will regain our footing and move forward, and if we keep thinking in a positive manner and know that there will always be sales out there, there will always be people who desire what we have to offer – whether you are a sales person, a builder, a consultant whatever… you will create a positive energy that attracts what you desire.

When I was in Japan, I climbed Mt. Fuji. In that volcanic scree on the side of a mountain it is difficult!! For every step forward you take, you slide a half of step back. The only way to make progress is to make peace with the fact that you are going to slide a half a step back but keep moving forward. Right now, we may be sliding a half a step back, but we’ve been here before and we can do it again. We just need to keep stepping forward and think with a mindset of abundance.

For online sales there are certain metrics we always track and I don’t think what we track changes – it’s just more important to pay attention to certain things. Number of leads to unique monthly hits –  (1-3%) leads to appointments (25-35%). Appointments that show up (85% or more) , and then appointments that actually convert to sales (25% on average), and finally we look at our overall number of online sales counselor sales to company sales. (25-35%). This is what we usually track.

Whether it’s an in-person appointment or a virtual appointment we should still track it as an appointment. There still needs to be a handoff between online sales and onsite sale.

If appointments are lower, and in some places they may be, tracking engagements and how many times people engage with you and your website are important.

I’d also track engagements, who’s communicating and on what channels. It’s going to be even more about rapport building right now. There are different tools that will offer insight into your buyers and how they engage with your website.

How to Add Value as a Communicator

I think if you are the front-line person communicating with prospects, the value you add is by keeping them informed. Letting them know precautions the builder is taking, that you are still in business. That it may take longer to build right now, so it’s important if you have timing issues to get started sooner than later.

The sky isn’t falling.

Reminding them this is temporary.

That we are all in this together.

Give them opportunities to do good in the community so that they can take their minds off their own stress and fear. I know it can be hard to look on the bright side. Just the other day, my sister was freaking out that my parents were still having cleaners coming into their house. But my 82 year-old parents aren’t going to be able to keep their house as clean as the cleaning crew. I told her to reach out to the cleaning company and find out what they are doing to protect their workers and their customers.

I think if you can provide this kind of information in a non COVID-19 sirens going off manner… then you are going to be adding value right now.

Email marketing: does it still work in this selling environment?

Yes, it does, but you don’t want to be too heavy handed with it. It’s not a good time to increase your frequency of emails. Especially without a purpose.  I know I said this last week, but make sure you are putting in things that can be fun and engaging.  These could be surveys, polls, videos, And, you need to lose the COVID-19 subject lines.

Email marketing and email follow up go hand-in-hand but they aren’t exactly the same and they aren’t interchangeable. You have to have both in any follow up process.

We often hear it takes 6-8 touches to generate a lead sometimes experts say 8-12 touches. Different schools of thought have different ideas, but we all agree that it takes more than 1 or 2 touch points to get a lead to talk with you.  It needs to be personal. And email marketing is often easily identifiable with all the pretty pictures and templates as non-personalized follow up.

It is always valuable, but it must go hand in hand with a personalized follow up program that mixes up the types of touch points including phone calls, text messages, and video emails to mix up the touch points.

If leads are slower (they aren’t everywhere), what should your OSC and Sales Team be doing right now? 

Really working on rapport, looking at website traffic. Leads may be slower but website traffic may not be. Utilize all your tools – and see what tools you can add that will work within your budget.

Interactive floor plans from a company like Outhouse (If so you have a backend that you can track) – how long are people spending on your website on interactive floor plans.

CRM – Some CRM’s like Lasso allow you to see when people revisit your website, so even if they aren’t talking to you, you can see they are interested, and what they are looking for.

If you have live chat, keep track of how many chats are starting.

Send lots of video emails, and if you use BombBomb you can see open rates, track how often people are actually opening your videos.

You may not have as many appointments at this time of uncertainty, but in today’s digital world you can see how people are engaging with your website. This is why now, more than ever before it’s important to have interactive websites that draw people in and get them to stay a while.