Written by: Shari Morton, Diana Wallace, Cori Masters
I was speaking with a marketing professional recently, explaining to him the services that Shared Drive provides, and his response was, “Wow, so you guys are like, brainiac OSCs!”.
My response: “no, we’re OSCs.”
Seeing the confused look on his face, I explained, “OSCs are just misunderstood. We are often defined by authoritative figures that manage us but have never done our jobs. As a result, the Online Sales Counselors are severely underestimated and underutilized”.
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions is how we work.
ONLINE sales counselors are built to work remotely. I mean, it’s in our job titles. We do everything online and at a time that best suits our customers. We’re not OSCs because we only cater to a specific set of leads, generated online. We simply cannot do our jobs while conforming to the 9-5 office space setting, at least not effectively.
I know this because I’ve done it and I’ve distinguished myself as one of the best in the business. All of this was done while working remotely and for a builder that was not located in my home state. My experience is met with the argument of: you’re the exception not the norm; you’re a unicorn.
Why is the OSC always called a unicorn? Because they are someone who lives outside of the lines. Right now, to you, they’re a myth. They’re this person who comes into your organization and just “does something” to magically make your sales funnel work. Not only that, but they can also talk to your marketing department and break down what the data being collected really means on the front line. They understand, implement, and champion new technology all while speaking human and guiding your salespeople through it. Chances are if you have an OSC, you’ve probably said, “we don’t know what they really do, but they’ve really changed our business”.
I went on a mission to better understand why the OSC is so often mislabeled and misunderstood. I sought out some industry leaders for their take on their own unicorn status and to learn how they best perform their work.
Diana is a part of the Shared Drive team, but before that she worked remotely for builders across the country. In her first remote role, she successfully launched a new community, selling out all available lots before opening weekend. She helped to pioneer virtual appointments for her builder, pre-pandemic.
Cori has been a remote OSC for 7+ years. Currently, she is in Idaho working for a builder in Oklahoma. She is successfully carrying out her online program (by herself) while also teaching other OSCs the importance of cross-cultural selling.
The Online Sales Counselor position was created unintentionally. The OSC was haphazardly born to keep up with buyer’s demands for quick, on demand answers. We hear stories every day from our veterans: “Well, the phones were ringing, we had this new thing called a website where people were sending messages, and I was available to answer.”
Those OG’s (many of whom are still out there, doing a great job!) were the first to pioneer the role, oftentimes because they were the ones willing to take on the challenge. Back then, they were given the reins to do what was necessary.
It’s been well over 15 years since those first calls were answered and it’s safe to say the world and work has evolved—iPhone anyone? This position is vital for builders. I challenge you to ask a builder who has implemented this magical creature into their business and how has it changed. They’ll tell you an anecdotal story about sales being up 30%, customer experience trending in a positive direction, and their salespeople feel like they have time to manage the truly qualified leads. What they won’t be able to tell you is exactly how that work got done—and they’ll label that OSC a ‘unicorn’ and move on.
If you are looking to hire your own unicorn, perhaps the way to find and understand them is to look online, where they work, where they live and where they thrive. Give them the space and trust to do their work, on their terms. Absolutely hold them accountable but let them blaze the trail.