As the surge in demand for new construction subsides and interest rate rises reduce consumers' capacity to borrow money, one thing is certain, the good times for residential home builders are over…
To which many may be thinking, if those were the good times, I dread to think what’s coming next!
The reality is, even with all the supply chain issues, lockdowns and price increases that destroyed profit margins, builders did enjoy unprecedented demand for their services…
As a result, they didn't have to worry about marketing their building companies, because clients were already queuing up…demand was outstripping capacity, and not by a little bit either. Building companies had the opportunity to sign two, three or even four times their annual average in a very small space of time if they wished to do so…
Thankfully, most professional building companies chose not to do this, which ultimately saved them as construction costs headed to the moon over the following two years.
Unfortunately, the large building companies with their teams of hungry salespeople couldn't help themselves and went on to effectively eat themselves to death destroying any credibility our industry may have had.
However, all the building companies left standing now face a new challenge, softening demand.
On the surface, things still look pretty good, because enquiry rates remain strong. Leads are flowing in and those new enquiries fill salespeople and company owners with hope…
However, further down the funnel, things are quite as rosy.
Because those leads are no longer converting at the same labels that they were during COVID.
In fact, for a lot of builders around the world, conversion levels have already fallen below pre COVID levels due to a decline in consumer confidence and an expectation that things will get worse.
Salespeople in residential construction are now experiencing something they haven’t seen for a long long time…a dry run.
And because they have not experienced a dry run in this industry before, or, at the very least, for a long time, many do not have the tools to pull themselves out of this situation.
Which is why I thought it might be a good time to share a three step process that can be followed by anyone in order to pull themselves out of their current situation and put them back on track.
Because make no mistake, dry runs do NOT fix themselves.
You may have been told by other salespeople not to worry, and that soon enough you’ll be out the other side and selling again…
All the while they are eating your lunch, closing deals, setting goals and making money.
Make no mistake, this situation will not fix itself, you have to take action.
Review Your Marketing
The first thing you must do is review your marketing.
I’m not talking about the company's marketing, I’m talking about YOUR marketing.
What are YOU saying to prospects in your emails, phone calls and text messages?
This is where things ALWAYS tend to go off track…
Because over time, all those small changes have a compound effect.
A plane taking off and flying just 1 degree off course will end up missing its destination by one mile for every 60 miles they fly. If fly for long enough you’ll arrive in a different country where they speak a different language to your planned destination.
It’s the same in sales, all those little tweaks and changes add up, not just in what to say and do, but in what you DON'T do.
So, now is the time to go back to basics and review what you were doing before the COVID boom, every single step.
Did you use the call twice strategy in order to boost your connection rate?
Did you use the 3x3 strategy in order to evoke emotion and a fear of loss inside the prospect that was ghosting you?
Did you use the 90 Day qualified prospecting strategy that reactivated old leads?
And what were the disqualification questions that eliminated the time wasters, and the qualification questions that drew in the best clients allowing you to build a deeper connection with them while taking them further away from your competition?
Some changes may have been for the better.
However, review everything you were doing before and get back to basics!
Once you have reviewed your sales process and are using a structure that has previously worked, you need to break down that process into milestones and set activity goals.
Set Activity Goals
A proven sales process combined with activity will ALWAYS deliver results over the long term.
There is no luck involved, not even bad luck.
Over a period of time, the numbers do not lie.
So long as activity is being performed, and the repeatable sales process is being followed, the results will always come out the other end.
The problem is, when times are good, activity drops off. Why back 100 outbound prospecting calls when you are now selling twice as much from inbound hot enquiries?
Why bother emailing a prospect that ignored your call when you have other prospects dying to hear from you?
Why spend 60 minutes identifying the emotional driver behind a decision to build when you know they’ll go all the way to contract, and even if they don’t, you have three others who gladly take their place?
So getting back to basics also requires reigniting your work ethic and doing the activity that will produce the results over the long term.
However, there is one more thing you need to do, and this is going to be the most difficult one of all because less than one in ten builders have this tool at their disposal.
The danger of not having this tool is that your business will suffer from ‘forgotten knowledge’.
Put Your Objections Manual To Use
Forgotten knowledge refers to information, skills, or knowledge that were once learned and understood by an individual or a group of people but have been lost or forgotten over time.
The tool that has become redundant for builders over the past 2-3 years is the Objections Manual.
Because with five consumers clamouring for every one construction slot available, the only objection builders faced was why can't you start my build sooner!
So with no objections to overcome the once referred objection manual that contained all the secrets, including the template that could be applied to overcome ANY objection at all simply sat in a drawer, gathering dust until everyone forgot it was even there.
However, the objections manual is needed once again.
Otherwise, building companies will be left with construction funnels operating way below capacity, and consumers will be missing out on creating their dream homes.
So if you have an objections manual, pull it out, blow away the cobwebs, and start adding to it today!
Document those objections and come up with solutions.
And if you don't currently have an objections manual, that’s OK, but you need to get started today!
And don’t forget to role play!
You don’t want your responses to come out as scripted.
They are a guide for you to draw on.
And the more you use them the more comfortable and confident you will be.
So remember, don’t practice during game time!
To gain a complete overview of how successful professional building companies are set up, and how they are able to generate more leads and more sales at higher margins while delivering a better building experience to their clients, check out this video.