Adopting a new online sales counselor program can be like adopting a rescue dog. Not that the OSC is the rescue, the site sales agents are.
Okay, okay, okay hear me out… I just recently started up a brand new full-time online sales program for a new home builder. For 8 years previously they had a part-time online sales counselor, and the program was not structured for optimum results. Tracking was off, the role was not well defined. And really the part-time OSC was more like a phone greeter.
When given the opportunity to stay on full-time and change her ways, it made the most sense to start recruiting and hire someone fresh and new.
Bringing in a brand-new person to train as a full-time OSC is great from the standpoint of shaping the role as there isn’t someone saying, “but we always did it this way.” But from the standpoint of the onsite sales agents there are several unnerving factors that can cause skittishness and stress. Most people have a hard time with change. And if they’ve already experienced an online sales program that they perceive was not working, they have a hard time believing it can.
The agents were surveyed and some of the things we learned were:
- They’ve already had an online sales program they never fully liked or trusted.
- They wanted to have a program that would provide them with strong leads, but they didn’t trust it could really happen.
- They didn’t want an entry level person, and with most of the agents having 20 years of sales experience or more, they “know” that they know better than any OSC.
- They’ve never seen a program function at a strong ROI, so they don’t really think it exists.
- While most of the leads were going directly to them before, they admittedly only followed up once or twice with leads for 1-2 weeks before they would drop them as “bad” leads.
During the hiring process we made sure we found a strong candidate with previous sales skills, though not in the real estate world. This person has great empathy, tech skills, and confidence. We know he will be a strong addition to the team, and all we really need to work with is the structure of an online sales program and having him get up to speed with the builder and the products. During training we will work through many of the objections he will get from new home buyers, but as a seasoned salesperson, he will catch on quickly as we go.
As we were launching his program and setting expectations for the next 30 days of learning, and then the next 3 quarters of live coaching and training, I happened to compare the program to Rescue. This resonated with both the new OSC and leadership for the company.
I used to volunteer with a dog rescue. We used to tell new adopters about the rule of 3’s with new adopted dogs.
- It takes 3 days for the initial decompression for a rescue dog to get comfortable in the new home.
- It takes 3 weeks for the dog to learn the routines of your household.
- It takes 3 months to start feeling relaxed and at home.
For agents, adopting a new OSC program there is also a rule of 3’s
- It takes 3 weeks (to 3 months) for agents to begin to trust the OSC.
- It takes 3 months for agents to start seeing results with OSC appointments converting to sales.
- It takes 3 quarters of tracking for the agents to start trusting the process.
The rule of 3’s in adopting a new rescue dog is contingent upon patient pet owners, positive reinforcement, and taking the time to train and reward good behavior.
The rule of 3’s in adopting a new online sales program is contingent upon great leadership, strong training, positive reinforcement, and taking the time to build strong team relationships.
While it’s not always easy, it’s worth the effort and taking the time to properly acclimate everyone to a new online sales program. the results will prove out in time.