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Design for Default: ...

Design for Default: How Can We Apply it to Selling?

By Star Report 3 min read

By Mary Lindeman, Director of Sales in Oregon - New Home Star

"Design for Default: How to Optimize Your Daily Decisions" by James Clear is an article that I recently stumbled across and found extremely intriguing. The premise is this: If you optimize the default decisions in your life, rather than accepting whatever is handed to you, then it will be easier to live a better life.

Essentially, we can alter what the easiest decision is for us or others and design the outcome that we desire. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. This takes careful thought and work but it IS possible if you set a clear intention. The choices we are given in this world may not appeal to our personal goals. So the question becomes, "how can we tweak the default choice we are faced with and help it cater to what we want in life?"

As I started to think about this, I realized that it could easily be applied to different goals that one may try to achieve. Let's take weight loss as an example. We can change our default decisions by keeping soda and sugar out of the house so that we are less likely to consume it, we can put our tennis shoes next to our bed so we can easily put them on for our morning workout, or we can leave a packed gym bag in the car so we never miss a workout after office hours. For our personal life, this is starting to make sense.

Now let's take this a step further. How can we alter the default decisions in our lives and the lives of our sales people in order to help us all sell more houses? As a sales person, some simple ideas include printing out a list of customers who we intend to call the next day and leaving it on our desk before we leave for the night. When we walk in the next morning, our default decision will be to start making our phone calls rather than getting distracted by other little daily tasks. 


We can bring our lunch to work in order to ensure our minds and bodies are well nourished and there's no reason to step away from the office and miss potential buyers, or we can keep a cleaning kit in our car so when we need to tidy up an inventory home it's a simple and automatic process. There is no decision to make, we don't have to run to the model or to the store for supplies, we learn to just do it. Easy.

How about signage? If we are surrounded by competition it is important that we have the most precise location and the most visually appealing signs that will easily speak to a customer. While they may not be conscious of it, this will become their default decision and they will be focusing on our model, rather than others, without much thought. In the end, this increases our chance of selling them a home. All of these tiny decisions count and work to add up to our desired outcome. 


There are arguably hundreds of default decisions that we have the ability to tweak within our sales processes, marketing initiatives, and managing efforts, that can help us design the result we want. This allows us to achieve a desired outcome versus simply accepting a chance or standard outcome. What default decisions will you create today?


Mary Lindeman has eight years' experience in the homebuilding industry with both national and smaller family-owned builders. Lindeman has been with New Home Star for two years and is currently expanding her new home sales leadership as Director of Sales in Oregon.

Originally published Sep 2, 2015 under Explore the latest topics, updated May 9, 2024

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