I know you are tired of columnists highlighting everything you are seeing out there and already know. While in the muck, you might not be looking out at the horizon or even fully processing the "it."
The tailwinds (phone ringing and sales flowing in) have shifted in most markets. Some of the leading indicators (design contracts becoming construction projects) are not as predictable, and many breathe a sigh of relief with backlogs in place.
I am happy to ramble on about what you see and already know, however, what is more fruitful is to share a few things you can do about it.
The following are five proactive and intentional areas of your business to focus on for a strong final leg of the year and positioning for 2023.
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1. Your Culture
Spend some time understanding that the phenomenon is not just about resignation from your company, but people not caring and working as hard.
Simply by becoming more aware and discussing the topic with key team members, you will begin to address it.
Now more than ever, your team needs your leadership. Not just more work to do. They don’t need you to fuel the fears—they need you to give them confidence and be the voice of reason.
Marketing is not just direct mail or social media posts. Marketing is a mindset.
Increased marketing efforts are about calories, not just money. Most owners spend less than 5% of their time and energy on marketing. This needs to increase to 10% or more.
You need to deputize your team to be marketers, not just designers and craftsmen.
In the last two years, two-thirds of homeowners that called in the last two years and did not proceed still have not done the projects. Don’t be strangers to your past clients.
Stepping up marketing is like buying an insurance policy, and you’re controlling your future (And it is a great way to rally the team and find talent).
You need to not corrupt your sales process. You need to sell to the client's fears.
3. Sales Skills
Most salespeople/owners during the last few years turned into order takers, not skilled salespeople. It is time to sharpen the ax.
You need to not corrupt your sales process. You need to sell to the client's fears. You need to weave logic and the “why to buy now” into sales.
Your biggest competitor is the prospect. Your skills must be focused on them, along with being a better advisor, marriage counselor, and therapist. We are all salespeople. Some are just better than others.
Business technologies increase efficiency, but they also differentiate you from the competition. Technology creates the confidence for prospects to work with you.
You can now appear like you are big and established when you are not, simply by the technologies. The technologies include ways you estimate, sales presentation tools, measuring and visualization tools, and production management tools.
Don’t keep your investment in technologies a secret to prospects. Make them an integral part of your sales presentation and story, and you will increase consumer confidence. As a result, your close rates will rise.
5. Your Greatest Asset
People are your greatest assets. The key word here is not people, it is assets. An asset is an investment. These assets need care and feeding. These assets need the training to increase the returns. You also need to scrub these assets and cull them if they are not the right competency and fit.
Now is not the time to be held hostage. As we see some new home softening and the market easing up, we should also see the talent market improve.
As you take inventory of your existing talent ask three questions:
1) Can they do the job?
2) Will they do the job?
3) Do they fit?
So now is the time to shore up the team and talent up.
In closing, intentions without actions equal squat. Try not to sit back and just wonder what has happened. Don’t just watch it happen around you and see others succeed.
Now is the time to grab the wheel and “make it happen.” Act now.