This month we had the pleasure of (virtually) sitting down with David Hagan, the owner of Sales Uncomplicated to talk about the online and onsite handoff process and how we can uncomplicate the current norm by creating a cohesive relationship between your onsite and online sales teams. David Hagan has been in the sales industry for his entire adult life and has spent over a decade training sales teams in the new home industry. He now leverages his wealth of experience to train home builders and sales teams on his Uncomplicated MethodⓇ which brings sales methods into the 21st century and uncomplicates the sales process. You can find out more about David and his Uncomplicated MethodⓇ here.
In the words of David Hagan: Rivalry In Sales
My dad was in the Navy and he used to travel all over the world. When his ship docked he and his shipmates would go off ship to the local bars in whichever country they were in, such as France or Italy, to relax and have a few drinks. Of course, they were not the only Military men in town – they’d often come across Marines at these bars, and the Navy and Marine guys had a rivalry. As soon as they saw each other, they’d start making jabs and trying to one-up one another, trying to prove which is best.
In my 30 years in sales, I’ve seen the same one-upmanship within organizations. Rivalries like this are not uncommon between individuals and teams, and it has become more apparent now that there are online and onsite teams.
There is often a rivalry and lack of communication between the onsite team and the online team, which only serves to complicate the sales process and create a “handoff” situation in which the online team (the OSCs) have to hand the client over to the online team and are handicapped in what they can do to support the sale from then on.
Why Handoffs Don’t Work
Back to my dad and his Navy buddies and their rivalry with the Marines. They would push one another’s buttons, but if anyone else tried to start on one of the Navy guys or a Marine, both would turn on the outsiders. While the Navy and the Marines would have competition, there was never any doubt that, when push came to shove, they would have each other’s backs in a fight.
That’s how it has to be in our organizations. The members of our sales teams and the different departments can have some healthy competition and a little rivalry, but we all need to know that it will never be at the expense of the organization. If there’s a problem or a goal to meet, we’re all united to solve the problem or make it happen.
If this isn’t the case, the whole sales process slows or even breaks down. Onsite and online teams have to have each other’s backs if you want to have an uncomplicated sales process.
What OSCs Have to Offer
OSCs constantly have to change and adapt what they do for emerging technologies and global events that have changed the way people buy houses. From March 2020 through 2022, their role turned from one in which they were largely limited to booking appointments for the onsite team to one that’s focused on nurturing.
Successful OSCs work to connect with customers early in the customer journey, learning about them, relating to them, and connecting with them on a personal level. Their role has moved from a purely transactional one to one that’s supportive and requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Buyers are coming to the OSC with less confidence, and so it’s up to them to build the customer’s certainty.
This benefits the onsite sales agents because an emotional connection has already been created, and the OSC already has a wealth of information about the customer. The OSC’s role as a nurturer instead of a secretary means that there are more appointments, the quality of the appointments is higher, and the organization as a whole is set up for success. But this can’t happen if the onsite team sees them as an adversary rather than an ally and teammate.
Builders Have to Cultivate a Different Culture
Our society is built on an “us vs. them” mentality. People always want to pick sides and feel like they’re on the winning side – we always want to be better than our peers. We don’t leave that mentality at home when we come to work. It’s up to builders to make sure that the relationships between departments are positive and make people feel like they are ultimately on the same side, even if they’re on different teams. This has to be baked into the company culture.
How to Build Unity into Your Company Culture
- Build Cohesion: You need to make your OSC a part of the overall sales effort in the eyes of your onsite sales team.
- Eliminate Competition: Your sales team may have come from other environments where they were pitched against one another; you cannot allow this kind of mentality to continue on your sales floor. They need to understand that there’s no lead ownership. Everyone within the organization is on their team.
- Give Everyone Access to Information: Make sure that your OSCs and onsite sales team have access to the same information and hold everyone accountable for having and using the correct information.
- Celebrate as a Collective: If you normally only recognize your team’s wins as individuals, start figuring out another way you can recognize their achievements without creating inner competition. This goes double when it comes to the OSC and the sales team – their goals are the same, so celebrate as a united organization.
- Cut Out the Handoff: Your sales process should not simply be getting people from A (your OSC) to Z (the sale). Keep your OSC in the process. (Learn more about the circular sales process here.)
You can’t make assumptions in the sales process. Of course, we all do work on finding out as much as possible about our ideal customer, but that doesn’t mean you can assume that everyone coming to you is the same. You need to be asking why, and why now, before the customer arrives (or even sets) their first appointment. This is a job for your OSC.
Use your OSC to stay curious and ask questions and then walk them through the process to get them to the sale. Big purchases like homes are made on 10% logic and 90% emotion, so use your OSC (remember their high emotional intelligence) to build this all-important connection from day 1.
Guest Interview with,