I am not a good saleswoman. That’s right . . . a salesperson admitting she isn’t good at her job. I care too much about my customers. You see, salesmen are supposed to be tough and unmerciful. That is, according to a top-notch salesman giving me his expert advice.
Always put your needs above the customer’s, I was told. Make them “THINK” they are getting a great deal. Raise the selling price so you can generously drop it, “JUST” for them. Price doesn’t really matter. It is irrelevant, just an illusion. They are buying an image, not the real thing. You are just selling them the dream of home ownership, not the home. How much is a dream worth?
Never let another salesman steal your homebuying customers away. It’s a cutthroat game, you see, so stay alert and beat them at their own game.
I must stop to ask, “How do so many car salesmen end up selling manufactured homes?” Their list of advice seems to go on and on. “Yada, yada, yada . . .”
A nurse for over thirty-two years, for the past two years I have been employed selling manufactured homes. Quite frankly, I do try to make customers dreams of owning their own home a reality. But, I also feel being honest and upfront with customers has been my greatest attribute.
And yes, I may not make the highest commissions that some other salesmen might by taking unnecessary advantage of my customers. But, my customers like me and know they can trust me because I care about their needs.
I want to make my customers happy first and foremost. Excellent customer service is my primary goal. If I accomplish that, my commission always seems to take care of itself. My customers have given me a 100% satisfaction rating by my parent company, and satisfied customers always provide word of mouth referrals.
But, let’s face it; the market has all but dried up. People just aren’t buying. Times are tough. It has been three months since I sold my last new manufactured home. There is a glutton of houses on our local real estate market. Unemployment rates in our area exceed 10%, and almost all local employers have permanently laid off workers, with many businesses declaring bankruptcy, or closing for good.
The buyer’s market in this current economic downturn has made selling new manufactured homes in my area even harder. Prices for undeveloped property, while somewhat cheaper, hasn’t made a significant drop in price compared to the declining home sales prices.
Here in the Flathead Valley of Northwestern Montana, the cost of purchasing property for a new manufactured home, putting in a new foundation, septic system and well, and running electricity to the home is now less of the bargain it once was. Savvy prospective new homebuyers must consider this total cost against the price of buying foreclosed property with a home already there.
Yesterday, I saw an interview of billionaire investor Warren Buffett with CNBC’s Becky Quick. Warren Buffett is the Berkshire Hathaway chairman/CEO who told us we were suffering an economic Pearl Harbor six months ago. Now, he says the economy has fallen off a cliff.
Buffet stated he believes it takes longer for Americans to regain confidence, but only five minutes to become fearful. The interview with Warren Buffet is significant to me because his company bought out Clayton Homes, the parent company of Marlette Homes, the manufactured homes I sell for a private retailer.
Retail salesmen and women are at the bottom of the manufacturer’s food chain, below a long line of other middleman also after their slice of the economic pie . . . or in this case, fighting over the last piece of dessert on a near-empty plate being slowly scraped clean. Happy dieting everyone!
Here is the Warren Buffet video link:http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=IV2_en-us_Money_video_default&fg=MSNmoney&vid=db455af6-57b1-4492-9f4c-5aa0c26d6aac