Sales Lessons From A Trip To The Beach

by | Jun 20, 2024

Sometimes we all need a getaway.  No matter how much I love my life (and what I do), sometimes I just need to get out of the zip code to rest.  My wife and I had a last minute trip to Garden City Beach, South Carolina recently…and it was just what the Doctor ordered.  But let’s take a look at a few sales lessons from a trip to the beach.

While we were there to unplug, I am still always looking for opportunities.  And since my wife and I own real estate in Ohio (you can find them here), it’s impossible not to see real estate when you visit a cool destination like this. So I wandered into a few real estate offices to learn what properties might be for sale, and what prices look like.

And that’s where the lessons began.

We recognized the name of the first office (from a friend who had used them), so we went in there first.  While there were 3 people in the office, they did not seem overly excited to see us.  I explained what I was interested in (buying from them) and that did not increase their enthusiasm.  They gave me a flyer of a handful of properties and a business card of a sales guy.  When I asked where I could see more properties, the lady hesitated and said, “Ummm…I don’t know.  Zillow or something.”

Well, that was not great.

The next office I went into was not better.  I walked in there and was immediately told that “they don’t do sales here.”  Okay.  Then the lady in that office promptly told me I did NOT want to move here because it was “blisteringly hot” in August.  Alrighty.  Once I explained that this would be an investment property, she begrudgingly handed me a post-it note with the first name and phone number of their “sales guy” and sent me on my way.  A post-it note.

Neither office got my name or my contact information.

Finally, a day later, I took the advice of the first office and simply went to Zillow.  I researched a few properties and found one less than a 1/2 mile from where we were staying.  I clicked a button and requested a showing…for 5 pm that same day.  Within 3 minutes, a friendly real estate agent called me to follow up…and we saw the property that day.  She was friendly, informative, and helpful.  While we didn’t buy that property (she agreed it was not a great fit), she got a lead who is interested in learning about more properties.

So I think we can all agree the first two interactions were less than perfect.  But what lessons can we learn?  We need to make sure we are not doing the same thing to our customers!

Your Front Line Is So Important

The first office had 3 staff members working.  None of them seemed interested in helping someone who had walked right into their office and expressed an interest.  To be fair, in a beach community, that probably does happen all of the time.  But there was no attempt to qualify us, or even get information from us.  They gave us a little bit of info and then told us to head to “Zillow or something.”  I mean, that’s a little better than actually telling us NOT to move their because it’s too hot.  But not a lot better.  The end result was the same.

Make sure your front line is doing their best to be friendly and nurture opportunities.

Capture The Contact Information

The most frustrating thing for me to see was the way they just let me walk out of the door without capturing my information.  I understand that most people do not carry around business cards on vacation, but some do…and they didn’t ask.  But what about creating a QR code that led me to “tips when buying an investment property” in order to give me value?  Or that same QR code could take me to their website or newsletter.  I am an interested buyer raising my hand, and they said “No thanks.”

Create an opportunity to capture information so you can serve them now, and build the relationship in the future.

Create A Lead Machine

Zillow on the other hand, had the machine to bring me in.  Once I was on the site, I was able to search for properties near me.  The site gave me the opportunity to look at properties and (of course) schedule an appointment.  They connected me immediately to someone that wanted to serve me.  And of course, now that I have shown what I was interested in, Zillow keeps sending me emails showing me properties in the area.  As small businesses, we often say that we provide more personalized service.  But I did not see that here.

Create a way in your business to provide what your customers want and need right away.

So those are a few sales lessons from a trip to the beach.  I get it.  Running a business can be really tough.  We have to get the right people, create the marketing, grab the leads, and close the sale.  It’s a lot.  But I think we can agree, we don’t want to treat our leads like this.  Take a lesson from my experience and start create more sales today.

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