Posts Tagged ‘They Said What??’

Video Mystery Shopping: What’s YOUR Super Bowl Sales Commercial?

January 24, 2014

clydesdale-horses-450As many of you may know, I am not a huge football fan. I DO know which teams are actually playing in the Super Bowl this year, but that is about where my knowledge of all things Gridiron ends. This year, I have the pleasure of actually being in Las Vegas for the International Builders Show on Sunday, February 2nd…the day the Broncos take on the Seahawks. Already many of my traveling colleagues are discussing “WHERE” they will be to watch the BIG Game. I, of course, will join them to watch the game…..however; my real focus will be on the commercials!

For years, I have LOVED watching the clever commercials that are always unveiled at the Super Bowl. Some are hilarious, some are strange, some make your cry, and some are just plain risqué! But, for the most part, they are all very MEMORABLE and make for fun discussion the next day with friends.

A commercial is basically a 30 or 60 second opportunity to ‘sell’  a product or brand. A Super Bowl commercial is an opportunity to sell a brand or product to MILLIONS of people! That’s not a lot of time to make a sales pitch. The commercials must be clear, concise, and get the point across quickly! But, most importantly, they must be memorable enough to make you want to buy the product!

Believe it or not, in many ways you can compare a Super Bowl commercial to a new home sales presentation! You have a brief period of time to ‘sell’ your product to the consumer. Your presentation must be clear, concise, and memorable! You’ve got to stand out above the crowd!

Think about YOUR sales presentation…is it Super Bowl worthy or is it just ho-hum? Do your prospects leave wanting MORE or do they just want to leave? And, most importantly, will they remember you and your presentation the next day?

Every person that walks into your sales office has high expectations….the same way we have high expectations for the Super Bowl commercials. Make sure you are able to deliver on those expectations! If I asked you to name for me your favorite Super Bowl spot, I am fairly certain you would be able to spout out several from years gone by that have made a lasting impression! Budweiser, Dorito’s, the cute kid from the E-Trade commercials….are just a few that come to mind.

What if I asked your prospects to name their favorite new home sales person? Do you think you would make the cut?

Remember, every day is Super Bowl Sunday when you are in new home sales! For your viewing pleasure….the 25 BEST Super Bowl commercials…..Budweiser and Dorito’s are dominant players!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_xI5E4zVFs

Video Mystery Shopping: A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a WOLF!

January 10, 2014

kids-hate-vegetablesOnce when I was a little girl, my mother tried to get me to eat lima beans. Now, I don’t like lima beans…..never have and never will. Anyway, back then, I had never actually eaten a lima bean before, but I could tell by the way they looked (and smelled) that lima beans would probably never make it on my Top Ten favorite foods list. Anyway, Mother decided to disguise the limas by hiding them in a casserole and neglecting to tell me they were in there. Well, I took a bite of the casserole, immediately tasted a lima, and promptly spit out my food! (Mother was not real pleased with my reaction; but she also never hid lima beans in any more dishes either!)

Anyway, I share this experience not to provide you with too much information about my eating habits, but instead to stress a point…..a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. Or, a lima bean in a chicken cacciatore casserole is still a LIMA BEAN!

Fast forward to today……I am sitting in my office and  my bank manager calls and leaves me message. Of course, I call her back (good strategy on the bank’s part!) to see if something is wrong with my account. Am I overdrawn?? Has someone stolen my identity?? Did a mystery person deposit a MILLION dollars into the account???

When I reach the manager, she begins by reading from a script, (yes, it was THAT obvious). She asks me if she can send a team member over to my house as a “courtesy call”. A courtesy call? Who are they kidding? Banks and Courtesy Calls are polar opposites!

When I explain to her that I am busy (my January is like an accountant’s tax season! I am in IBS mode…International Builder Show, NOT irritable Bowel Syndrome. I am writing speeches, creating marketing materials, rehearsing with fellow speakers; I have NO TIME for a courtesy call!)

Anyway, at this point I AM getting irritated. The bank manager then starts ‘introducing’ me to all of the bank’s new investment products and services. Ugghhh. Finally, I tell her point blank that I am not interested and that while I appreciate the call, I don’t appreciate the pretense upon which the call was made.

This is an excellent example of how NOT to provide good service. The bank had disguised a sales presentation as a customer service call………..the old bait and switch routine.  After I hung up, I couldn’t help but smile as I recalled that evening many years ago when Mom did the same thing with lima beans. No matter how you slice it, a sales call in customer service clothing is still a sales call…and a lima bean in a casserole is still a lima bean!

Social Integration Key to Home Builder Marketing

September 6, 2013

12176415-meredith-oliver-aka-the-digital-divaGuest Blogger: Meredith Oliver, Internet Sales & Marketing expert, Creating WOW Communications

Most of us can no longer imagine a day without sharing, liking, commenting or following whatever information we find interesting via social media. Given the soaring use of social media it is not surprising that being active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or Pinterest has become an inseparable part of home builder marketing. When home builders integrate social media within the company website it allows your visitors to engage with your product and company on a much deeper level. It also allows visitors to easily share your information with others. If you don’t currently have social sharing buttons on your website there are several free/low cost social sharing tool bars you can easily integrate on your website such as AddThis and ShareThis. Both of these tool bars can be customized and provide analytics reporting on their results.

In addition to increasing engagement, the use of social sharing on your home builder website impacts your search engine rankings.  Forbes.com recently posted a really good article titled, “The Three Pillars of SEO in 2013: Content, Links and Social Media” which I highly recommend.  The article explains that content and links aren’t enough to rank well on Google search; social interaction is also an important factor.

There’s a couple of techniques you can use to integrate social media into your home builder website. Here are the most effective options:

  • Social Media Buttons – Placing icons of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and others anywhere on the site (usually at the top, left, right, or bottom of your webpage). Remember the higher you place the buttons on the page the more visible and likely they are to receive interaction.
  • Social Share Buttons – In case your website visitors find the content interesting and want to share it on their own social media profile, they don’t have to leave the site. All it takes is a single click on the social share button. This is excellent for community pages and blog posts.
  • Social Login – Social login represents a situation when your website visitors use an existing login, such as facebook, instead of creating a new one. Of course, people who are not active on social media sites (and therefore have no profile) can use a regular website login. Home builder website’s can use this for the “My Favorites” portion of the site where users can save favorite communities, floor plans and/or available homes in a personal portfolio.
  • Social Commenting – There’s no easier way to give feedback to your posted content, than allowing your visitors to comment on it via their existing social media profiles. Moreover, by commenting under the visitor’s real name you discourage those who intent to post derogatory comments and harm your website. This tool would be excellent for photo gallery pages and blog posts.

These four tips can easily increase user interaction on your home builder website, which can result in creating viral social traffic, and easily help your site rank higher in search engines. It is definitely worth trying!

Meredith had this to say about Melinda’s new book ‘They Said What??!! Behind the Scenes of 25,000 Undercover Video Mystery Shops’

“Shocking, funny and educational this book has it all! If you are a sale agents or new home sales manager “They Said What??!!” should be required reading. You will learn how to become a top producing agent from the good, bad and even the ugly examples in this book. I couldn’t put it down!”

To order your copy today, click here!

Video Mystery Shopping: You had me at hello!

August 21, 2013

tumblr_lzd7wlhtsr1qjq8s2o1_500In Chapter 2 of my new book ‘They Said What??!! Behind the Scenes of 25,000 Undercover Video Mystery Shops’  I talk about the importance of making a strong first impression.  This message really hit home with me when I first started my mystery shopping business in 1986. One of my first assignments was to shop a small builder in Orlando. As I entered the sales office, I heard muffled voices in the back of the model near the bedroom area. Suddenly the back door to the model slammed shut! A short time later, a flustered female sales agent (with mussed hair!) appeared. She greeted me while quickly buttoning her shirt. Oh, no! She was on a ‘date.’ Suffice to say, the rest of the shop didn’t go very well. You see, the way you greet the prospect sets the stage for the entire visit. Period.

The goal of the Approach/Introduction is to break preoccupation and help your prospect relax and feel comfortable. In order to establish this kind of rapport, you must become the new home sales counselor.

The questions that we score by on our shopping report in the Approach/Introduction process includes:

  • Did the SA welcome the prospect warmly and with enthusiasm?
  • Did the SA initiate introductions?
  • Did the SA use the prospect’s name more than twice during the visit?
  • Did the SA offer the prospect refreshments?
  • Did the SA complete the registration card?
  • Did the SA determine if the prospect had visited the company’s website?

All of these questions work together to create a successful Approach/Introduction. If you follow this procedure up front, I can promise you that the rest of your presentation will have a nice, natural flow to it.

Your prospects are ‘guests’ in your home and it is your job to make them feel comfortable and welcomed. I am sure you have all gone through an experience where you entered a store or business and have been ‘snubbed’ by the salesperson who’s supposed to be waiting on you. You know the kind of person I’m talking about. They make you feel as though your very presence is unwanted! Not a good feeling.

Don’t make these mistakes. Make each person feel as though they are your highest priority at that very moment. I tell clients to imagine that a famous celebrity or movie star has just walked through the door (think Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie). How different would your sales presentation be?

“I read your book today, cover to cover. You have given the sales staff the material from which they can become great successes. To know is one thing, to know how to pass it along is a gift. You have it.”

Marilyn Whelan, Business Owner

 

To learn more about how YOU can master your sales presentation, purchase your copy of Melinda’s book today. Click below to order

http://www.melindabrody.com/they-said-what.html

Video Mystery Shopping: The Model Employee

August 9, 2013

Guest Blogger: Jeff Shore, Shore Consulting, Sales Trainer, Author & Speaker

www.jeffshore.com

jeff-headshot-230x300The organizations of today’s market are looking to be as efficient in their operations as they can.  That sounds like a pleasant way of saying “saving money”, but the reality is that working towards business efficiencies in every aspect of the operation is a necessary leadership step in keeping an organization healthy through the difficult times.

Ask the experts and they’ll tell you that the biggest impact in efficiency comes through the productivity of the employees.  The company whose employees perform at the highest level will find the best chances of success.  Employees who perform at the highest level will find the greatest income, the greatest job security, and the greatest chance of advancement within an organization.

With many years of experience in managing people, I have found five distinct actions of the model employee.  Note I didn’t say “attitudes”, “characteristics” or “personality traits”. These are actions – clear and specific steps you can take each and every day.  Follow them carefully and you’ll increase the effectiveness of your organization.  It won’t hurt your career one bit.

1)    Exceed Expectations – Every Single Day. Model employees have a specific purpose to outperform, to rise above the minimum expectations of the job.  Mediocre employees ask, “What is the least I can do without getting in trouble?”  Top performs ask, “What specifically can I do today to exceed expectations?”  This mindset, when turned to action, will guide you in doing extraordinary things on a daily basis for your company, for your customers, for your coworkers and for yourself.  But it must be specific. Every day you must start with an action plan of what you will do above and beyond the call of duty.

2)    Arrive Early; Stay Late. When you get to work at the exact start time and leave at the exact ending time you send a message to your leadership that you really don’t want to be at work any longer than you have to.  Moreover, you live this part of your life with no margin, cutting the time too close and risking disciplinary action.  It doesn’t have to be a long time before and after the assigned hours, but padding the time just a little bit sends a message that you are fully devoted to getting the job done right.  One more thing on this topic – I’ve been in leadership for a long time, and somehow I always know when someone struggles in this area.  You may think the boss is blind to your arrival and departure times, but the boss somehow always knows.

3)    Be a Good Businessperson. You greatly increase your value to the organization when you understand the business of your company.  Read industry articles, search for information on industry websites, and develop an inquisitive mind in queries to your co-workers.  Learn everything you can about your organization and apply what you learn to improve your own performance.  This increases your value on a number of levels.

4)    Get Into Self-Training. Too many employees rely on their company to provide any and all training and skill development.  Top performers seek out their own growth opportunities and take ownership of their own development.  In fact, the greatest growth of your career will always be self-directed, if you allow that to be so.  When you set your own developmental agenda you are more likely to utilize what you learn because you have more personal buy-in.  You direct the learning, so you are more likely to also find the application to your work.  Make it a priority to develop a new skill or to learn something that will improve your performance, and do that every single day.

5)    Adopt the Boss’ Vision. Finally, find out what is important to the leadership of your company, and order your own activities to compliment that vision.  In the broad sense, your very job is to make your boss look good.  And that is never a bad way to go about your daily tasks.  If you don’t connect with the vision of the company there is little chance that you will ever perform even to the minimum standards.

So now it’s up to you.  Are you a mediocre employee, or are you an invaluable team member?  The choice is up to you, and you choose with your actions – every single day.

Video Mystery Shopping: Dream it, Plan it, Do it!

July 23, 2013

Melinda2013This week’s blog has absolutely nothing to do with new homes sales…..nothing, nada, zilch! Instead it has to do with dreaming big and achieving those dreams! As many of you know, I recently published my first book ‘They Said What??!! Behind the Scenes of 25,000 Undercover Video Mystery Shops.’ Now, I never set out to be an author, it wasn’t part of my plan. However, for the past few years I started imagining what it would be like to share my three decades of new home sales video mystery shopping experience with others. It was my intention to be able to provide a tool that would motivate and encourage new home sales agents to improve their sales performance and achieve professional success. But first, I had to fully Dream It.

The dream started small, I would casually mention my idea of writing a book to friends and family members. They were encouraging and supportive! This response actually provided me with the motivation I needed to take my dream to the next level.

I started to Plan it. I planned what the key message of my book would be. I planned what types of examples I would use. I planned how many pages it would be. My dream was slowly starting to take flight and become a reality.

The planning stage is the most critical in achieving any goal you have in life. This is the turning point in which a ‘dream’ actually becomes a goal, with strategies and action plans to support it. I decided that 2013 would be the year that my book would be published. Now, I had to DO it. To truly visualize my book becoming a reality, I added it to my 2013 Vision Board. I created my book cover and put the deadline next to the picture!

The next step was then carving out the time to actually WRITE the book! For me, writing and being creative is something that I need to do outside of the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, I looked at my calendar and planned three writing retreats for myself. I actually left town and emerged myself in the writing process. Once I was away and focused on writing the book, the words just seemed to flow onto the pages!

I am proud to announce that the book has been written and is now pre-selling! The journey to go from a dream to a reality is complete. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would one day write (and publish!) a book, I would have probably laughed in their face!  But, that was before I had visualized the dream. What is it that YOU want to accomplish in your life? What do YOU dream about? Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

To order Melinda’s book, click the link below.

http://www.melindabrody.com/they-said-what.html

Video Mystery Shopping: They Said What??!! Behind the Scenes of 25,000 Undercover Video Mystery Shops

July 5, 2013

TheySaidWhat_Signature (3)After viewing more than 25,000 video shops over the past three decades, you could say I have pretty much seen and heard it all when it comes to New Homes Sales.  Last year, I came up with the idea to write a book showcasing the many things I have learned from watching these shops. The purpose of the book is to educate, entertain, and engage those in the home building industry.

“Yeah, I’m running a little late and slow today (said the new home sales associate upon greeting the prospects). I got ripped last night on too many beers. I probably should not have even driven myself to work today!”

They said What??!!” is different from any other book you’ve ever read about selling new homes. I am going to share with you how to do everything wrong in new home selling. Yes, wrong! By stepping into the shoes of hundreds of new home sales counselors who made a total debacle of the selling process, you will have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. The end result? You’ll learn how to do your job far better and make your sales soar!

“If you thought this was long (said the new home sales associate upon showing his prospect’s the features sheet), just wait til you see the F…….ING contract! (Yes, he actually dropped the F-bomb!)

Many people have asked me if I will be ‘naming names’ in the book. My answer: You will have to buy the book and find out for yourself

Here’s what’s in store for you:

  • Good, bad, ugly, funny, and bizarre examples from 3 decades of undercover video mystery shopping
  • How to build instant rapport, stop talking so much, quit feature dumping,  end snoozer tours, and confidently ask for the sale
  • Things to make you stand out in the crowd
  • Checklists and exercises for Sales Managers to perk up sales meetings
  • Advice and tips to break your best sales record so far (and keep breaking it)

The book will officially publish in September; however, I am pre-selling NOW. There is also a discount for ordering your copies early.

To pre-order your copy of “They Said What??!1” simply click the link below. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

http://www.melindabrody.com/they-said-what.html

What others have to say about Melinda’s book:

“They Said What??!! is a fun and interesting read right from the start. The book encapsulates everything that could go wrong, and Melinda Brody turns that into instruction on what should go right. Enjoy the book, but more importantly USE the book”

-Jeff Shore, Sales Trainer, Author, Speaker