By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM
Each year, I get approached by hundreds if not thousands of vendors who over promise and under deliver. Often times, these vendors use the same regurgitated approach to sales as their competitors. That is, I get sold a solution to a problem that I often do not have. Perhaps the most tried and true example of this scenario is the solicitation that I get once per week where a vendor or service provider boldly promises me that..."this will improve occupancy", "this will lower your turnover expenses" or "this will improve resident retention". While I can appreciate their sentiments, often times they are unnecessary. These vague descriptions are generally useless and quite simply, a waste of time.
The first step to a successful sale is listening. As a salesperson, if you call me and immediately tell me what you have and what you can do for me, you have already lost the sale. Engage your prospective customer, ask them what they are looking for and how you can help them solve their problems. Then, provide them with your solution and support it with the facts. If you want to do business with apartment owners or operators, provide us with real numbers and statistics to help quantify what you can do for us. If you can help drive NOI by 1.5% and can show me how you have done it and who you have done it for, you are more effective by demonstrating that fact than simply telling me that you can help me.
So don't make the same mistakes your competitors are making. Provide solutions that are complete with quantifiable results. If you do this and you remember to approach your prospective customers as more of a counselor than a peddler, you will increase your sales by 300%. This, I know.