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The Mindset and Strategy Behind the 'Follow-Up' Technique

By Star Report 5 min read

By Nate Amidon, Regional Vice President in Midwest - New Home Star

Most sales agents understand that 'follow-up' is key to achieving success with potential homebuyers. While we may recognize that this is important, many of us neglect to execute this practice in the most efficient manner. If you or your team is anything like an approximated 80% of sales teams out there, following up may look something like this:


A prospect walks through the door, doesn't buy on their first visit, and is soon sent a thank you card in the mail and given a follow-up email or call. When we don't hear back, we assume that the customer is no longer interested and therefore a lost cause. After all, if they were interested, they would have responded quickly, right?


This scenario is happening right now in many new home sales offices across the country, and surprisingly there are several issues. First, we need to address our own mindset and see how our inclination to avoid further follow-up's isn't the best method to building a relationship with customers. Second, we need to look at the follow-up tactics that we are using and ensure we are giving ourselves the best chance at converting the prospect into a returning visitor.  


Let's explore the mindset of our sales agent in the scenario above. It's perfectly logical to believe that the customer's silence is an indication that they are not interested, right?  Instead, I argue that it's perfectly illogical to believe this. In today's world, with so many things vying for our attention (emails, texts, phone calls, careers, family, etc.) we are busier than we've ever been. There's also a chance that they're in the midst of processing the home buying process and exploring options. Don't let your community fade from their radar because you feel like following up again would be a waste of time.


My challenge to sales associates is this: Instead of assuming that static radio silence from your customer means they aren't interested, assume it means that they need to be reminded that you are ready, willing and able to help them better their lives through homeownership in a brand new home. There are two mindsets that we can have once a customer declines responding to our first follow-up: 


1. The customer is not interested, so we stop following-up because they won't respond.


2. We assume that they may be busy or exploring other options and need to be reminded that our community cares about them and wants to help.  


Which mindset will create more success for both you and your customer?

This brings us another key component of following up with potential buyers: Marketing strategies. Often, it takes up to seven interactions between a salesperson and a potential homebuyer for the homebuyer to feel comfortable closing a sale. This doesn't mean that you need to constantly bombard your customer with emails and phone calls, but means that we can actively be utilizing our marketing to keep in contact with those looking to start a new chapter of their lives.

Let's go back to the scenario at the beginning of this article: The prospect comes in, you give them a tour and information but they aren't quite ready to buy. The next step in our earlier process was to send out a thank you card, a follow-up email and a phone call. Once you realize that they aren't in a position to buy quite yet, you should immediately be looking for reasons to create the need for a follow-up connection.


If you're truly connecting with your customers, you should be getting a sense of the type of things they're looking for in a community and even distinct hobbies and interests. If you learn a customer is interested in Notre Dame football, for example, you may set a Google Alert for 'Notre Dame football' and when an interesting article comes out, forward it to your customer with a note saying something along the lines of, "I saw this article and thought it might interest you." This builds a relationship and shows the individual that you haven't forgotten about them, just because they didn't buy yet. Connect on LinkedIn, send holiday cards, and invite them to different community activities that you feel they may enjoy. Allow your potential buyers to get a grasp on the unique elements that your community has to offer. These personalized follow-up methods will do more than just encourage customers to schedule their next appointment, and will ultimately make them more comfortable trusting you with their new home.

Below are several other ideas and tactics to help you reach your maximum potential in follow-up:  


• Personalized thank you cards

• Google Alerts with subjects of customer interest

• Follow-up calls with added value

• Small gifts to show you care and were listening

• Information about the industry

• Information about the industry your customer works in

• LinkedIn connect request

• Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, sharing of their posts, likes, etc.

• Quick follow-up text messages 

• Phone calls with information they requested during the initial visit

• Happy birthday/anniversary/life event cards (or calls/texts/emails)

• Holiday cards/emails/texts


Nate Amidon is New Home Star's Midwest Regional Vice President, specializing in homebuilding operations and sales training. Amidon continues to further New Home Star's mission to 'sell more homes, more profitably,' and enjoys teaching best practices to new sales trainees.


Originally published Oct 28, 2015 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 15, 2024

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