Online Sales Counselor Training isn’t a Sprint, It’s a Marathon

Training your online Sales Counselor for successIf you are not a runner how far could you run and how fast, before you just collapsed? We often hear about training for marathons. Do we ever even talk about training for sprints? Yet all new things need training right?  I mean could you be a great, healthy runner if someone just handed you a baton and said go? Then why would we do that to an Online Sales Counselor in the new home building industry?

All too often I see builders realize they need an OSC, but don’t understand all the foundational building blocks and training that comes with that role and setting someone up for optimum success. My foundational online sales program is 6-months. There’s a reasons for that. There is so much built into that 6-months to lay the foundation for a strong online sales counselor that is set up for the long haul. The marathon it takes to be a strong member of the team for years to come.

We’d all love to make changes in our lives and our businesses in 30 days or less. It really appeals to our instant gratification yearnings to be up and running with a new program, a new process, a new role in 30 days!! Sadly, I have some news for you. The first 30 days is barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Online Sales. In the first 30 days a brand new employee (no matter the role) is drinking through a fire hose of information.

I wish I had that silver bullet of training that could have your OSC up and running in 30 days…but anyone who thinks that, really doesn’t understand the complexity of the role. It’s not only the skills that need to be built, but the trust. And there is trust that needs to be built in many areas in order for that OSC to be successful within your company.

No amount of reading, blog posts, and videos can be consumed in order to make someone an expert in 30 days. It just scratches the surface.

What are some of the things a brand new OSC needs to know and do in order to be successful?

  1. They need to know your real estate market and the new home building culture
  2. They need to learn all of your communities and the homes you build
  3. They need to be knowledgeable about all the information they will be asked and know where to find answers
  4. They need to understand and be integrated into your company culture
  5. They need to know the building process
  6. They need to understand your policies and processes from how you deal with realtors to how you want your customers to feel
  7. They need to build relationships and TRUST with all of your site agents
  8. They need to build rapport and TRUST with your potential home buyers
  9. They need to be knowledgeable sounding boards for the realtor community
  10. They need to understand where to direct phone calls that are not their wheelhouse – i.e. warranty, appraisers and more
  11. They need to learn how to use your CRM in order to manage leads
  12. They need to understand all the different lead types they will be getting and where they come from
  13. They need to learn how to create follow up processes for different types of leads
  14. They need to gain confidence with your company and all the knowledge they are learning
  15. They need to understand where to pull reports and what’s relevant to their role
  16. They need to understand what to track and know where to find that information
  17. They need to understand how to qualify a lead and get 8 key pieces of information in order to set the appointment
  18. They need to know how to overturn objections
  19. They need to understand how to interact with the marketing department
  20. They need to develop a work life balance since they are “always on.”
  21. They need to figure out time-management
  22. They need to figure so much out before they ever touch their first lead!

Look it takes 30 days just to learn what you need to learn.  Then there is trial and error with taking leads, tracking, and appointment setting. If you put an Online Sales Counselor on taking leads on day one you are now flooding them with real time traffic while they haven’t even learned how to do their job yet. This is a recipe for disaster, and the results you’d like are not going to be the results you get, except in rare cases.

In the first 30 days of my online sales training program an OSC doesn’t even touch new leads yet, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Having done this job I’m all too aware that there are too many things that take time in order to do them right.  Starting fast isn’t starting smart. Trying to condense an online sales training program into 30, 60, or even 90 days is too short.

There is too much detail in this job and  knowledge that needs time to build. Two critical areas of trust are non-negotiable. Trust with your sales agents – to trust that the OSC will do the very best for them, and trust your OSC build’s with prospective home buyers. If you don’t set up your program right it is too easy to lose trust with your agents and your potential home buyers.

Once that trust is compromised it will be that much harder to set up your Online Sales Program for optimum results.

Don’t take short cuts and cost cuts to set up that face of your website and first point of contact for all your future owners.