5 Traits of a Successful Manufactured Home Salesperson
The attainment of success as a salesperson is defined not only by financial rewards but also the satisfaction of knowing you have provided a worthwhile product and service to the purchaser. The amount of sales commission on one transaction is not a barometer of success as a salesperson if the customer in that transaction does not become a repeat customer and/or does not recommend or directly refer customers to you after the sale.
There is a theory that a happy satisfied customer will result in at least one future sale, whereas one unhappy customer will result in the loss of several future customers.
Often, we think of customer service as being an after the sale function, when in reality the before the sale service is just as important as the service rendered after the sale is closed. In fact, customer dissatisfaction or satisfaction after the sale is influenced by the sales process, and in particular with the manner and attitude of the retailer’s personnel involved.
The following traits that a manufactured home salesperson must have or acquire to be successful:
A salesperson cannot long exist selling manufactured homes without being ethical and trustworthy. Purchasing a manufactured home is probably the most important decision the home buyer will make in their lifetime, and they will certainly be wary of any salesperson that they deem to be deceptive or insincere. A friend of mine and a long-time manufactured housing industry pioneer and leader, Harry Karsten, often summed up honor this way, “Say what you are going to do, and do what you say you are going to do”.
2. PEOPLE PERSON
Probably the biggest concern of a potential manufactured home purchaser is the interaction with a “salesman.” They don’t look forward to pressure or confrontation that they may have experienced from automobile shopping. Unfortunately, many customers still attach the memory of the manufactured housing industry as being similar to the auto business, which it was, many years ago.
The keys to overcoming the misconceptions and fears are moderated from the very first meeting with the customer. Being cordial, soft-spoken, and showing sincere interest in their situation is crucial in creating an environment of comfort that is essential in the buyer/seller relationship.
Do not go into the “sales mode” before securing the customer’s trust through friendly conversation and interaction regarding their concerns, needs, and desires. To get the sale you must let the customer talk and be a good listener. Only then will you obtain the information necessary to solve their situations that will result in a sale. A big advantage if you get the buyer to smile from time to time. Take whatever time is necessary to cement the relationship that will lead to success. A customer must buy the salesperson before buying the home.
Remember this, “A customer wants to buy, but does not want to be sold”.
3. PRODUCT AND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE
A successful salesperson will be intimately familiar with the homes he/she sells, including prices for all homes the represented manufacturer produces and the various options, floor plans, and decors available. Knowing competitor products and the advantages of your homes over theirs is also important.
There are many features of manufactured homes that are equal or superior to site built homes that will help validate the manufactured home, such as, energy efficiency, storm safety, fire safety, customization, etc. There are over 100 articles posted on the blog section of this website that would give you the product and industry knowledge to set you apart from your typical manufactured home salesperson.
Use your research to prepare clear accurate answers to questions or objections most frequently posed by customers during the sales process.
Possessing knowledge of financing terms. conditions, rates, and down payment requirements will also be very helpful in the process, even if the dealership employs a finance manager.
4. GEOGRAPHICAL MARKET AREA FAMILIARITY
Often a buyer is ready to buy but doesn’t know where to site the home. If you have the local information as to where land is located and/or where there are lots available in a subdivision or spaces in a land-lease community, you are likely to secure the sale.
Develop relationships with realtors and park managers so they will keep you informed when sites become available and possibly refer you customers that are inquiring about those sites.
5. MAINTAIN YOUR HOMEOWNER RELATIONSHIP AFTER THE SALE
After the sale has been completed, it is the opportune time to solidify the confidence that has been established with your customer that will lead to the aforementioned referrals. Being involved with the delivery and installation process and maintaining a continuing relationship with the new homeowner will result in more paydays in the future. Don’t be the subject of a typical customer refrain, “Now that they got our money, they don’t care about us anymore.”
To attain success in any sales capacity with personal satisfaction and financial reward requires the salesperson “to be sold” on the product or service he or she is selling. Today’s manufactured home is a product you can believe in, but first, you need to understand what and how this form of housing benefits the home buyer. Second, you need to acquire the skills to personally interact with potential home purchasers and “sell yourself.”
There is much satisfaction knowing that you are playing a big part in the realization of the American dream of homeownership.