The busy season has just ended and it feels like a sink or swim moment. To make matters more intense, we are now moving into holiday season and competing for attention with all of the holiday advertising.
In order to break through all the noise seeking your prospective resident’s time, attention and hard earned dollars, you’ll want to understand your prospects needs, wants and desires first. You can take this a step further to understand their problems as well so you are better equipped to help them understand your product or service.
Today’s Thought: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. A truthful thought; people don’t fail because they planned to fail. They fail because they fail to plan.
5 Thoughtful Sales Tips
#1 Map the pre- and post-lease customer journey.
Pre- Lease: Determine how they found you, what path they took to reach you, the tour path, how personal the emails they receive from you will be, and the sign up process from prospective to actual resident of your community.
Post- lease: How are you going to follow up with them AFTER they sign the lease? This, in itself, will help you stand out from the crowd. Remember, all of your residents have friends and they will talk about how great their complex is for checking in on them.
#2 How can you improve the journey? Where are the holes in your customer journey?
* Are you emailing them too early or late?
* Should you choose a different mode of communication like picking up the phone or texting them?
* How can you reduce the cost of that lease?
* How can you improve prospect’s satisfaction?
#3 How does your sales process integrate with your marketing?
Sales and marketing should go hand in hand to be successful. The process and financial allocation depends on this integration. You will want to consider cost per acquisition and customer retention – keeping your prospects at your complex for longer.
#4 Create a 90 day plan
It’s okay to look at the entire year, yet it is extremely important to look at 90 day sprints, especially with all of the construction taking place right now within major cities. A 90 day plan will allow time to see what works and what does not work as well as give enough flexibility to make changes.
#5 Refine and monitor
Assign someone in your group or office to monitor the strategy and determine what needs to be changed and what can stay the same. Make sure this person is documenting this information and there is dialogue and feedback around this within your team.
Refining and monitoring must be consistent and sustained over time to be successful. It is not only getting people in the door, but the entire customer experience that matters. From grounds keeping to corporate, get everyone involved and on the same page to make your sales and marketing plans work at its fullest capacity.
Discover Sales Opportunities – The 6 W’s + H
Who – Who are you going to target with marketing efforts?
What – What do you want to sell them? Not just the apartment; what PART of the experience (i.e affordability, lifestyle, proximity to a business district, etc.)
Where – Where are they currently living? Are they moving into town or from a competitor community? Is there a huge corporation relocating down the street from you?
When – When should you approach them; passively through marketing efforts such as Facebook ads or more actively during follow up?
Which – Which team members should do the reach out?
Why – Why are you prospecting this target audience? Why are you choosing certain marketing avenues?
How – How you are going to reach your ideal customer?
- Know your ideal customer – outside of a spreadsheet. Ask your current and potential residents questions such as what they do on the weekends, how they entertain themselves or what do they spend their extra money on.
- Rework your old prospects. Remember, a ‘no’ at one point doesn’t mean that door is closed forever. Acquisition has already been paid for old prospects as you already have the names, so use them.
- Stay customer focused; align marketing and sales efforts around the customer. Make sure to share the same information with both teams so they can be integrated.
- Master the art of conversation. Be able to have small talk and dig in with prospects and residents without feeling too intrusive. The hardest part is listening and remembering what is being said, so listen up!
- Document the customer journey; both the prospect and the resident customer journey. Review your website and other places and identify gaps and fill them! Narrow your focus which will allow you to choose the one activity that will give you the largest impact during the sales and acquisition process.
If you follow the steps provided above, you will create and have a successful sales strategy that will entice your prospective residents to listen to you above all of the noise. The great thing is, you will be able to re-use this information year after year!
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative