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Practice Makes Perfect: The Significance of Ongoing Training in New Home Sales

By Star Report 4 min read

By Jeff Menzel, Regional Vice President in Oregon - New Home Star

I'm going to ask you a question. I need you to be completely honest. Ready? Here it is: When was the last time you practiced sales training? I mean really engaged in training outside of a ten-minute exercise during your weekly sales meeting. If you are being completely honest with yourself, and you're like most new home sales professionals in our industry, your answer is probably something like "not as often as I should" or "not as often as I could." Fortunately, the first step in changing your behavior is acknowledging the need to change and you just did that!

Here is a statistic that may surprise you: Studies show that a typical sales agent who has been on the floor selling for more than a year will spend less than two hours practicing per month. In most cases, this training usually will happen during some type of sales meeting. For the practicing new home sales agent, this means that the majority of the competition is developing their sales skill set only a few hours per month. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?

Our industry, traditionally, is one that consistently falls into the trap of thinking we can get by without continual training. We believe that once we've gotten our license, achieved sales goals or had enough experience, we have nothing else to learn. Let's think about a few other industries. Would you like to have an operation performed by a surgeon that hasn't practiced lately? How would you feel if your children's teacher never updated her curriculum? Some of you may be thinking, "But a surgeon repeats that procedure time and time again" or "A teacher that teaches the same grade level over and over has mastered their curriculum." I challenge these statements! I want a surgeon that has been taught the latest procedures and I want my children to learn from a teacher that is using cutting edge techniques or the most up-to-date technology. It's inevitable, of course, that we want them to practice these techniques before they put them into action.

LeBron James, arguably one of the best basketball players in history, is a shining example of someone who understands the importance of practice. As an athlete, he practices, trains and takes care of his body every moment that he can (it's true, I've researched it). He not only spends hours practicing with his team, but takes time to practice on his own for multiple hours each week. His training regiment consists of over 28 different exercises to make sure that his "machine" (his body) is in top-notch shape.

Are you practicing every chance you get? Are you making sure that your "machine" (your body, mind and sales skills) is in top-notch shape? If you have a routine, is there room for improvement? I suspect there is room for improvement for even the most seasoned sales professional. The question then becomes, how can we practice? The key is to develop a routine that works best for you. Here's a list of best practices that will help you develop or improve your own training routine:

1.     Read a sales book for 20 minutes a day, five days a week: Reading not only strengthens our mind but can help us grow both personally and professionally. Pick a read that focuses on sales practices or the psychology of the latest housing market trends.

2.     Role-play for at least two hours each week: You can do this by yourself, with a teammate, with your manager, with a family member, with a trainee or with your team as a whole…just make it happen!

3.     Train someone: One of the best ways to practice, for a salesperson at any level, is to train a newbie in sales. Take advantage of mastering your techniques by coaching someone else.

4.     Spend time in New Home Connect: Watch training videos, engage in discussion forums, connect with other sales professionals, etc. Utilize New Home Star's plethora of resources and make sales training a consistent habit!

5.     Practice before a presentation: While this one might sound like a basic practice, it often gets neglected. Top presenters go over their presentations multiple times to ensure a smooth and natural delivery during the real thing. This is especially important during business plan presentations.

6.     Exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week: This keeps our "machine" in top-notch shape. You'll notice you have more energy, a sharper mind and less stress!

Once you've formalized a routine, stick to it! Soon, it'll become a habit and you'll see big results in your personal and professional life. Practicing means that when it's your turn to play in the real game (when a customer walks through your door), you're ready to make that next sale.

Jeff Menzel brings 20+ years' experience and unwavering enthusiasm to the New Home Star team. He currently works with New Home Star's largest client, Hayden Homes, overseeing sales operations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Originally published Feb 23, 2016 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 15, 2024

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