Prospecting: defined.
I recently heard a “business definition” that made me stop in my tracks.

Why? Because it applies DIRECTLY to our roles as Online Sales Counselors.

The definition was of the word “prospecting.” Simple enough, right? From a business perspective, it’s defined as “Finding new potential customers who have the ability, authority and willingness to purchase.” All good things, right?

Think about it this way: at any given time, there is a certain percentage of the population looking to purchase a new home. From there, a certain percentage of those folks will respond to your builder’s promotional information—and respond by submitting an online lead or calling directly.

From there, you’re officially in PROSPECTING mode—and the good news is that the entire strategy for success can be boiled down into a few simple steps:

1. Start QUALIFYING prospects.
Your first job is to find out if a potential customer is a “true prospect” or not. That’s pretty simple; just start a conversation—either offline or online—and proceed with qualifying questions such as area, timeframe, authority, wants/needs and financing.  The longer you’ve been in business, the easier it’ll be to pick up on the signs that a customer is the real deal or not. Many of your “leads” may not respond at all, and that’s fine—you’re looking for the ones that DO.

2. Good information = good business.
Once you’ve whittled your prospect list down to the truly interested customer base, your next job is to provide them with quality information. Your goal is two-fold—to both build value to the potential client in your presentation and to weave your primary selling points into the conversation. Above all else, have your questions prepared, which will make it easier to listen to your prospect’s specific wants and needs.

3. Follow up—and be persistent.
Don’t be impatient; home-buying decisions are among the most important in people’s lives, and they take time. Just because a prospective customer doesn’t call back immediately doesn’t mean that they never will. Like any good sales associate, just do your absolute best to stay in touch and provide the right amount and quality of information. A sale is a moving target, and your job is to keep “firing away” until each target is in a position to buy—because then, they’ll think of you first.

4. Go for the appointment.
There’s only one logical place to go from here—and that’s asking for the personal, face-to-face appointment. As the saying goes, “if you can’t SITE the prospect, you can’t WRITE the contract.” Think about it. Would YOU make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without even meeting a salesperson or company face to face? It’s absolutely crucial to get each prospect in front of a living, caring sales executive—and your homes—to get them to take the next step.

It all starts with a pile of leads, and it’s our job to:

1.   Narrow the list down to a subset of true buyers as quickly as possible.
2.   Steer them to the right community, right home and right decision.
3.   Always see “the big picture”—not just setting appointments, but nurturing prospects along the entire sales cycle.

Sounds fairly simple, right? It is.

All you need to do is get out there and start PROSPECTING—just like its defined.

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