What's New in the FAA
What's New Nationally
By Laureen M. Crowley
FAA Director of Communications
Supplier members of the Florida Apartment Association learned how to improve sales, from gathering prospects to closing the deal, at two educational seminars presented by the FAA Product/Service Council in conjunction with FAA’s governance meetings in May at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.
Sales and marketing consultant Jennifer Darling told a story about her first sales job. After a sales cold call got a flat-out rejection, she was able to get to know that same prospect at a networking event and, ultimately, win him over as a client. The difference, she explained, was between trying to make a sale and working to build a relationship. Darling elaborated on the concept of relationship-building for her audience at "Get More Prospects in Your Pipeline," using the acronym "BRAND."Even salespeople who work for large companies with branding departments — or those who own their company and are therefore responsible for the company’s brand — still need to brand themselves, Darling noted. She outlined key ways to do that:
B: Build familiarity. Be visible at many different events. When you are at an event, be completely present, not distracted by your cellphone.
R: Be a resource. Stay current with what’s going on in the multifamily industry, not just your own product or service.
A: Position yourself as an authority. One way to do this is to write a blog: Make a list of five of your clients’ biggest challenges, and write a blog post addressing each challenge.
N: Nurture relationships. While only 1 to 3 percent of people are in the market to buy your product or service immediately, some of the other 97 to 99 percent may be in the market later. Nurture your relationship with them now for possible payout later.
D: Be different. Don’t just send the usual sales and marketing emails, for example; think about information your prospects might be able to use, such as the best lunch venue in a new city.
Darling also emphasized the importance of follow-up: "Ninety-five percent of sales are lost because of a lack of follow-up. It takes seven to nine touch-points to get an appointment." Tell your prospect how you’ll follow up and when, and then do it.
Following a brief PSC meeting, business communication expert Jess Todtfeld took a show-and-tell approach to "Speak to Close: Where Sales Techniques Meet Presentation Skills." Todtfeld started off with some "don’ts." He used an example from the iconic Wizard of Oz and read a snippet of the "Oz" script, then converted that script to bullet points, before ultimately demonstrating how "showing" can be more effective than "telling."
Todtfeld also used tales from his days on the comedy club circuit to make the point: When communicating (or "presenting"), be willing to change it up to fit your audience — or your prospective client. Some ways to improve your communication style:
- Move your head: Make eye contact.
- Use your hands: Be real and authentic.
- Play with your voice: Change your pitch. Pause. Play with volume.
At the same time, Todtfeld noted, be sure your message includes substance and is not just style. Have a point, and be memorable.
At the conclusion of the education sessions, suppliers then joined FAA leaders from the management side of the multifamily industry for a networking reception, where they were able to test out some of the ideas they had learned.
Jackie Collins, former Space Coast Apartment Association board member and sponsorship chair, recently celebrated 31 years with JMG Realty. She has been a member of SCAA for more than 20 years. She has been at Woodlake Village in Palm Bay for 20-plus years, and she and her team have managed the community to a 100 percent occupancy rate for 26 out of the last 27 months.
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