Top 12 Qualifying Questions for First Time Site Visitors

Article #5

Asking vs. Presenting

In those areas of the country where salespersons routinely engage arriving site visitors before the model home tour takes place, I find that many salespersons shrink from asking the questions that would give them a leg up on demonstrating their product. I don’t know, it must seem more comfortable presenting than it does asking. This is too bad, because I guarantee you, the Close at the end is built on questions asked at the beginning.

So, in this strange time for home builders, when a few extra sales could make such a difference, here’s tip that may do you some real good.

Ask the 1st Question

After the initial welcome, if any questions are asked, the most likely one will be:

                                    “Is this your first visit to [community or builder]?”

Without meaning it to be, I think this is a rude question to begin an important  relationship. Shouldn’t they expect us to know if they’ve been there before? I dream of someone answering, “No. I was here Thursday, and I spoke with you.”

Maybe a Better 1st Question

Try this one instead:

                                    “We’re so glad to have you with us, would you
                                    share with me what prompted your visit”? 

Even if the prospect is a return visitor the salesperson doesn’t recognize, asking the question this way avoids an awkward situation. Besides, you will likely get some good information about the promotional source responsible for the visit or their real purpose for coming in.

Ask The 2nd Question

Unless they spontaneously mention your web site, you just have to ask them:

                                    “Tell me, have you visited our web site?” 

If they have, they will most likely say so, and you can then follow a presentation plan focused on what they saw on the Internet they now want to see first hand. You will know how to handle it from there.

Ask the 3rd Question

If they haven’t been to your website, say:

                                    “That’s fine. We’ll just start at the beginning-how
                                    long have you been looking for a new home?”

Notice the Run-On

The hyphen above means that you continue without a pause to take a breath. Appending a run-on question to the end of a declarative sentence is an extremely useful skill for new home salespersons to have. It discourages interruptions when interruptions would be inconvenient.

Get the Answer

Having asked another question, it would be really good for you to listen to the answer and remember it. This means you need to be focused more on them than on yourself. You can help that happen if you practice your question-asking routine until it becomes second nature.

Ask Only What Will Make a Difference

Asking customers to help you be an efficient guide for them is a sign of your respect. Still, it’s wise to be sensitive to the momentum customers bring with them into your sales center. Pausing to engage you in conversation may not have been their plan walking through the door.

Part of your skill is punching through their initial surprise with the idea that you are more energetic, more competent, and more devoted to their interests than other new home salespersons they meet. Just standing there talking with them for a moment is a grand start.

Just make sure you don’t waste their time asking questions that are irrelevant or redundant. For Pete’s sake, don’t ask them to tell you what advertising of yours they saw that filled them with eagerness to visit. That is rude.

Take the Cure

If asking questions is hard for you, I challenge you to stand right there and ask the next nine questions listed here, in order, one after another. With a bit of practice you can get through them (complete with prospects’ answers) in less than two minutes. It will not be a problem at all for your customers, I promise.

     #4:       “What have you seen so far that you like?”

     #5:       “Where are you living now?”

     #6:       “What prompts you to be looking for a new home?”

     #7:       “Have you decided how many bedrooms and baths you will need?”

     #8:       “Do you have any special requirements like a home office or a hobby room?”

     #9:       “When would you like to decide on your new home?”

     #10:    “Have you visited a mortgage lender to see what your price range might be?”

     #11:    “If we were to find the perfect new home for you today, would there be anything preventing you from

                 going ahead  with the purchase?”

     #12:    “Tell me, [name], what do you do for fun?”

Notice What’s Not Asked

These are general questions that have been tested rigorously for effectiveness. Notice, there’s a lot we didn’t ask; mostly because these questions will produce spontaneous information. Notice especially, we didn’t ask if they have a house to sell. Their answers to questions # 5 and 6 will tell you that. If they do have house to sell, you will pick the right moment to explain the facilitation service you have worked out to ease such transitions, won’t you?

If you have valid questions you want to ask that aren’t on my list, ask them. Then share them with us, so we can all benefit from them.   

Give These Questions a Chance

But other that that, I am asking you to ask these questions in this order. Since you aren’t doing it this way now, I know you’re thinking they’re weird. The most likely outcome of thinking they’re weird is that you will never try them. Too bad.

Do us both a favor, try them ten times. Then, if you hate them, throw them away. I bet you won’t.