By Sara Williams
When I was asked to write about what makes an online sales person a GOAT, so many things came to mind. I have been in the new home industry for 18 years. I went through the recession and now a pandemic and everything in between. GOAT OSCs can thrive in any and all of those environments.
During the recession, finding sales was a challenge for all builders. If your builder stayed in business and you kept your job, you were already winning. Leads were not plentiful and you had to make things happen. You literally had to follow up with EVERY single lead (there is no such thing as a bad lead), and sell the appointment. It took a minimum of 7-9 follow ups to get a single response. Digital marketing was new and you relied on any and all sources to get a name and number. Walk-in leads were still higher volume than online leads until digital marketing became more and more prevalent. During this time, GOATs worked their process harder than any one and set the tone for the whole organization. In order to make money, they could not rely on just online leads, they networked with real estate offices and high performing agents in the area. They created Real Estate Concierge services so they were the go-to person at the company. You had to hunt, farm, and sow your database. The GOAT out-hustled every onsite agent, mined databases for appointments, led phone-a-thons, and called cold leads for their onsite agents.
Pandemic GOATs are still out-hustling everyone. They have an overabundance of leads to get back to, while maintaining their own and customers’ sanity, and setting proper expectations. Let’s not forget GOATS are also trying to keep their families safe, educated, and cared for during closures and shutdowns while still crushing their job and leading onsite agents into the digital way of selling.
GOATS are the most knowledgeable, reliable, and responsive person within the organization. All model home agents, builder employees, and outside brokers know their name. They know they are the go-to person for all things builder, neighborhood, pricing, and home related for their company. Home shoppers know them so well that they ask for the GOAT at every VIP party and builder event.
GOATs have had to work to get paid for years and still have challenges in this area. No one will work as hard or as long as a GOAT. This poses problems because they outperform most employees within their organizations and start to make more money than some top-level executives. This never bodes well for GOATs. They work hard and earn higher than their pay grade usually allows and then they have to take it on the chin (meaning restructuring of pay). This does not slow GOATs down. They are determined to meet their financial goals and they always come out on top.
GOATS have a positive outlook and really push hard to make differences within their organizations. They always think about their customers and want to be sure they are taken care of at all times.
If you have a GOAT: be sure to care for them, appreciate them, and advocate for them. These are employees that make an impact on the organization while they are there and it is felt through the whole company when they are gone. They are not replaceable. They are the greatest of all time (GOAT).
Sara Williams is the first National Association of Home Builders Sales and Marketing Council Gold winner for her work as an Online Sales Counselor in 2013 at Heartland Homes – Pittsburgh, PA. She started her career 18 years ago as an onsite salesperson. Four years later, she moved into the home office as a marketing coordinator and helped establish an online sales program that grew to a team of three. This team assisted in 50% of all sales for the company and Sara participated in 35% of all sales on her own. After almost a decade at Heartland Homes, Sara got recruited to Sabal Homes in South Carolina to lead a marketing department and establish an online program there as well. For the past 8 years, Sara has been consulting home builders all over North America on sales, marketing, technology, and training through her work with various new home technology companies. Sara is currently the Director of Sales at Anewgo and living in Charleston, SC with her husband, three children, and dog.