5 Highly Effective Methods for Losing Sales

John Ace Underwood

Seemingly, many retailers and community operators are bound and determined to lose as many sales as possible. So that anyone interested in doing all they can to lose the sales they could, and should, be closing has a document of record, allow me to list at least five sure-fire methods to drive away all but the most desperate of prospective buyers.

1. Lack of IMMEDIACY (in responding to leads)

This method isn’t necessarily the most effective method for losing sales, but in that it comes first in the customer experience, it’s not unreasonable to discuss this method first. To succeed at implementing this method, one must ignore all of the research that has firmly concluded that immediacy, the time in which you respond to a lead, is critical in reaching interested buyers. Don’t be convinced by the data that “lead response time” is measured in minutes, but rather give those who have expressed interest in your homes and / or community ample opportunity to search out and consider ALL of their options before allowing them to waste your time. The great news is, you’ll never even know these prospects existed.

2. Lack of FREQUENCY (in responding to leads)

Set aside any beliefs that people aren’t always available to take a call. Ignore the research that clearly states that sales professionals must be willing to reach out to a prospective buyer no less than four times within the first 48 hours and no less than seven times in the first seven days. You can reach 50% of your prospects within the first or second attempt if you just ignore the first effective method for losing sales mentioned above, but why would you want to? Stick to either no attempts to reach out or limit your effort to only once, if you must. This way, you will reach less than 7% of your potential buyers.

3. Poorly Displayed Homes

Once again, effectively implementing this method requires you to completely ignore anything you might have learned about merchandising homes from the conventional site-built housing sector. Just completely ignore the fact that they outsell our industry 10-1. 

Continue believing that the “customer experience” plays no role in your effort to market your product. Why would any top national builder spend up to 50%+ of the base cost of their homes just for décor for their models? I mean, seriously. 

What potential buyers care about what their homes could look like decorated, especially women? What could make a customer feel more secure in buying from you than providing a set of steps (even if they’re a bit wobbly), making sure that both halves are together, level, and dry, and that all included set-up parts and trim-kits are on full display inside the home?

4. Poorly Trained Sales Team

This method works well, perhaps better than the other four highly productive methods. Consider this. Why would you want the prospects you’ve paid to contact you or visit your sales center, to engage with trained and experienced professionals if you can continue to hire and keep low-paid, low-skilled, low-producing, but warm bodies? Ignore that a trained and managed sales team will outperform a poorly trained team 5-1. 

Why would you want a documented, proven, implemented, and managed sales process in place when it’s going to burden you with more business? It’s best to continue to hire people who have consistently proven that they can’t sell anything to anyone, much less help your prospects make one of the largest, financial decisions of their lives, which is buying a new home. 

5. Little or No Follow-up

Once again, what can we possibly learn from the in-depth research facilitated by such an insignificant organization as J.D. Powers and Associated who concluded that the level and quality of follow-up is the single most significant contributor as to why people chose one business over another, even if it meant spending a few more dollars? 
It makes no sense that people sometimes just need to go home, give their decision some thought, and review all of their options. Seriously, who does that?

It makes much more sense to abandon that prospect that you’ve already paid for, that has already been to your place of business, that has already seen your product, and is still interested but may not be quite ready to commit. It makes so much more sense to go out and look for new prospects, especially if you also implement the four aforementioned methods. 

In conclusion, if you want to avoid having greater control over your business or being threatened with more business, ensure that these methods are working well within your organization. Make sure that any attempt to help you replace these methods is eliminated, or that any recommended software that can help you manage your leads, manage your sales activities, and most likely increase your sales by as much as 50%, never sees the light of day.

And that, my friends, is how you Succeed at Selling Less Homes.


About John Ace Underwood

John Ace Underwood has a very successful 30-year career in the manufactured and modular housing industry. As a manager for a single lot retailer in the southeast, he managed up to 9 salespeople with sales typically over 45 homes per month. John has also served as Vice President for multi-lot manufactured housing retailer in the southwest.
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