Think Like A Consumer, Act Like A Retailer

Self-Inflicted Pain

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Are all your buyers indecisive, penny-pinching liars who work 80 hours per week and live 2 hours away?

Has anyone in your company (or even YOU) ever said something like the following:

Our buyers just can’t make decisions. It takes them forever! We’re not starting homes quick enough.

It seems like every buyer wants to change their selections after "signing off"*. The "change orders"* are driving us crazy now that we are selling more homes than last year.

We can’t get our buyers to come in for all the design studio visits/appointments; they only want to come in once and "pick"* everything because they are so busy.

Our buyers don’t see the value in our hardwood/plumbing fixtures/exterior doors/etc. They constantly tell us we’re overpriced.

Buyers are liars. They claim their salesperson never told them that they’d "have to make selections within 30 days"* or that they had to call to make their design appointment within a week or that the deposit policy was….

Does any of this sound familiar? Well, maybe some buyers are indecisive, penny-pinching liars who work 80 hours per week and live two hours away from the design studio. But come on; is it always your buyers’ fault? Is it mostly your buyers’ fault? Is it ever, possibly, YOUR fault?

In my 11 years working with builders to improve their design studio operations, customer experience, and option sales, I’ve heard a lot of stories blaming the buyers for everything that goes wrong in the design studio and along the home buying journey. I’ve been told "Well, YOU don’t understand OUR buyers." I’ve worked with literally hundreds of builders in 35 states around the country, in dozens of markets both big and small. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve read many hundreds of customer satisfaction surveys, and I’m willing to bet that at least some, if not most or even ALL, of the fault lies with the builder in most of these cases.

This doesn’t mean that builders and their management teams aren’t smart, dedicated, passionate, and successful people. It simply means that there’s lots of opportunity for improvement on how WE, as builders, set expectations for our buyers.

Customer satisfaction is often defined as when the customer experience meets (or exceeds) the buyer’s expectations. So we need to take responsibility for both sides of the equation, and it’s often easier, more effective, more professional, more efficient, more productive, and generally less expensive to be proactive and set proper expectations early on, compared to running around like madmen on a deadline trying to fix, bandage, and throw money at the problems that arose because we didn’t take responsibility for the buyer journey in the first place. Often, in process improvement, we find that half the game (yes, I said HALF, if not MORE THAN HALF) is setting proper expectations.

So I’m going to do something I’ve never done. I’m going to GIVE you, AT NO COST WITH NO OBLIGATION (yes, some things in life really truly are FREE) an information-packed almost-ONE-HOUR VIDEO on how to "get out of your own way" and avoid many typical builder mistakes and omissions which result in loss of options revenue, and which create unsatisfied buyers.

This is not a promotional video; it’s the first of six information-packed videos in our highly-acclaimed Success by Design Video Coaching Series, a $100 value, and comes with a How-To Guide, some sample forms/letters, and other helpful documents to easily implement what you learn.

And for the first time ever, this October we are giving it away FREE. We’ve never done this, and may never again. There’s absolutely no trick, it’s all a treat. Get it here:

The video is viewable only until midnight October 30, 2012, but the downloads are yours to keep and use forever—if you grab them before they disappear, like a vanishing ghost, on Halloween…boo!

So, after watching this video and using the valuable downloads that come with it, you might reassess if it’s possible that perhaps the buyers are not all indecisive liars who are out to suck every last penny of profit from your company, and that perhaps with some improvements on your end, you can turn those devils into angels. After all, it is Halloween time.

*Please do not use this builder-focused language but instead use the language you’ll learn in the video.



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About the Blogger

Jane Meagher

thumbnail image Jane Meagher is President of Success Strategies, the nation’s premiere design studio strategy, training, and consulting company, and the creator of many national award-winning design studios. Jane shares insights from working with leading builders in over 30 states and Canada, through extensive studies of consumer shopping behavior and retail-based on-site presentation, and from over 20 years experience in new home sales and marketing. Regardless of whether you have a true design studio, or how much energy you’ve previously focused on the new home personalization experience, Jane’s think-outside-the-box concepts will resonate throughout all of your sales and marketing efforts and encourage you to Think Like A Consumer and Act Like A Retailer.