Multifamily Florida - Summer 2010 - (Page 17)

FEATURE Setting the Sales Stage By Dave Allison M any years ago, Henry Ford asked a new auto dealer to change the sign over his door from: “Sales and Service” to “Service and Sales.” That change may not seem important to you, but it gave Ford a chance to emphasize a significant point. “If you don’t give your customers good service,” he said, “you’ll have a hard time making the sale.” How do you know when your office is providing top-notch service? What is quality service? Perhaps the best answer to that last question is given in the title to a great book written by John Guaspari, I Know it When I See It. I know it when I see it. Isn’t that true for all of us? We know how we want to be treated in the marketplace, because when we’re in the marketplace, we’re inclined to be thinking about ourselves. Unfortunately, when we get back to our office, we ARE the marketplace. We sometimes continue to think about ourselves and all the problems we have. The customer senses that we’re either preoccupied or that all we really care about is making the sale. That’s not the way to build a good customer service system or improve rentals. If we will forget about ourselves and our problems and think only of our customers and their problems, we will begin to treat customers the way we and they want to be treated. When do these self-thoughts start, and what do they sound like? When a salesperson wakes up in the morning and thinks “I have to get up and go rent an apartment today,” his or her next thought may be: “I’d rather stay in bed.” It’s very difficult to increase rentals with our salespeople either mentally or physically in bed. Most salespeople do not know how to handle the sales process from the customer’s view rather than from the company’s point of view. When we’re more concerned about the problem the customer is trying to solve, the problem that brought them into the office in the first place, we become more professional in their eyes and more effective as a problem solver – and, yes, more effective as a salesperson. It doesn’t take very long to teach a person how to smile and greet a customer once they realize they’re doing it for the customer’s benefit. After all, they already know what to do. It’s difficult for any of us to smile and be friendly when, in our hearts, we feel as if we’re about to take advantage of someone. It takes an effective, ongoing training program to help salespeople forget about themselves and focus on the customer’s problems. MultifamilyFLORIDA l SUMMER 2010 l 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Summer 2010

Multifamily Florida - Summer 2010
President's Message
FAA Calendar
Association News
Legislative Update
From Fixer-Upper to Fabulous
Setting the Sales Stage
FAA Education Conference Preview
2010 Charity Challenge
Market Report
In the News
Product/Service Council Directory
Index to Advertisers

Multifamily Florida - Summer 2010