Focus Discussion of the Week:
If you have a strong website and digital marketing campaign, you should see your number of web leads increase. But with less than 1% of your web traffic converting, are you making sure to follow up with each and every one of those valuable leads? Dave Betcher from ECI Solutions, also known as Lasso CRM, joins the podcast to discuss “Follow Up: Who Does It Anyway?”
Top Topic of The Week:
Matt and Mollie shared a video of 5 tips in 5 minutes on what you can do to strengthen your company right now. Hear it on the podcast today and message us if you have any questions!
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Two thought leaders come together to explore all things sales and marketing from their unique perspectives. Each week, Mollie Elkman, Matt Riley, and others from Group Two dive into a focus discussion to talk about the latest trends, changes, and best practices.
Dave: Well, what I’m seeing, Matt, is there’s, there’s a high level of disappointment on the consumer side because what their expectation was leading up until the point that they inquired, they saw, you know, some beautiful advertising. They saw some really strong calls to action. They saw a beautiful website.
And a lot of times that’s where the relationship ends because now they have really. Asked for more information and they aren’t getting the response that they want. And I think as consumers, we now have an expectation that we will be responded to immediately. And that just is not what the real estate sales process has typically been accustomed to.
So. Well, one of the things that, that we’re finding is that, sales agents typically are following up less and less and less every single year. They’re relying more on realtor relationships to drive their sales. And what we’re really seeing is that the, for the majority of the time, there’s less than two points of contact within a 45 day window that someone will receive.
Once they have inquired and that requiry doesn’t matter if it’s online or onsite or a phone call for that matter, there just is not a real sense of urgency to be responding back to prospects.
Matt: Hi and welcome to building perspective with Matt Riley and Mollie Elkman. We’re here to bring
Dave: value to you and your team by exploring all things sales and marketing related,
Matt: all from different perspectives. Today, our focus discussion of the week this week is. Follow up who does it anyway, I’m really excited to have our guest, Dave Betcher from ECI slash lasso CRM to talk about all the data and everything that they see on the back end once a lead hits the CRM.
So diving into what the data looks like, the stats on what we as home builders are doing with the lead. Once. They hit the CRM. But first, let’s dive into our top topics of the week. This week. So this week, Mollie and I actually did a video a little five minute. We did a five minute tips or five tips in five minutes, that we shared on social media.
We sent it to some of our clients, to our clients. but just like five basic things that I shouldn’t say basic five main things that we should be focused on right now, and just kinda if you’re doing it right. Audit of your content of your stuff, five things that you need to pay attention to. So we recorded that video.
We posted that on social media. but we thought, you know what, why not put it in the podcast? So we did is we pulled the audio out of that. And that is actually our top topic of the week this week. So we’re gonna cut to the audio that we recorded. This was just yesterday. Today is. Wednesday, April the eighth, and we recorded that yesterday, April the seventh.
And again, what we’re trying to do is make sure that we record these intros and the top topics and, and podcast guests at the last possible minute, to make sure we’re bringing the most relevant information to what’s happening across the country, state by state, market by market. So, If it feels a little different than normal, it’s because it is.
It’s because we’re bringing it at the last possible minute simply to make sure it’s all up to date. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut to that video, or I should say we’re going to cut to that audio. And then right after that we’re going to take a quick break and then cut into our top, our focus discussion of the week with Dave vecher.
So hang out and we’ll be right back. Hi everyone.
Dave: We wanted to check in with you and give you some tips, five specifically of things that you can be doing right now. as you know, Gucci has been around for 50 years. I’m wearing our old
Matt: school group
Dave: to logo mats, wearing our new one. and we’ve, you know, we’ve seen a lot and learned a lot.
And, this is a very new time for the industry and we want to share what we’re seeing right now in real time. So, Matt, why don’t you take it away,
Matt: number one, I just want to piggy back on what you just said. I was, I had a quick conversation, with a builder partner of ours yesterday. And they told me a quote, they were on a conference call with Kohler and they were actually talking with the president of Kohler.
And one of the statements that he made, I forget the president’s name, I’ll have to look it up later, but he said, as a business at Kohler, we’ve been through the great depression. We’ve been through two world Wars, the great recession, a lot of ups and a lot of downs. And every time we’d gone through a massive down, we’ve come out a stronger company on the other side.
And the the, the quote is, he said. Don’t waste the crisis. So don’t waste the crisis on the opportunities that we have in front of us to come out a stronger company than where we were before. So I wanted to start with that. So the first tip. We want to make sure that we’re staying in front of our prospects and prospects and our current backlog.
An easy way to do that is with mass email communication and one-to-one tax base. also don’t forget to make it personalized and send some video emails, mixed in there. There are several different vendors out there we love and use BombBomb, so check them out if you don’t use them, but make sure that we’re staying in and communicating with them.
Our current prospects are backlog and mixing that between company newsletter type, individual text-based emails from the sales people and video emails.
Dave: All right. Number two is messaging. So I spend, I probably look at about 50 homebuilder websites a day, and I’m shocked to see that not everyone in the majority of people have not updated their website and their call to action.
So make sure you update the call to action. Not just on your website, but on your anywhere where your messaging is getting out there. So social, digital, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to work with you right now. So if that call to action is to set an appointment, had them click right through to make an appointment.
and really the word is easy. Make it as easy as possible for people to work with you. And that is the key to messaging
Matt: right now. Absolutely. Okay. the other thing is how do we communicate? What we’re doing is we know that things are changing state by state, local Metro area by local Metro area.
so make sure that you have one central controlled environment where you’re putting out your messaging from your company about the changes in your policy changes and things like that. You don’t have to send out. 19 response emails every week. We don’t want to see those anymore. We, you know, everybody’s gotten them.
And when we’ve gotten them from all the wrong people, that we don’t really careful. but have one central location where we’re controlling that message. Don’t let the primary message be put on social media. Where someone, anybody can just go on and start making crazy comments, have it in a controlled environment, whether it’s a dedicated page on your website or you create a makeshift page by utilizing a blog, whether it’s a video communication or text base, but have a centralized location where people can go and readily and easily see how you’re handling what and how they can do
Dave: business with you.
Yup. So the next one is really about social media. I think if we’ve learned anything in the past few weeks, it’s that we crave as humans, human connection. And there is a big difference in seeing someone’s face and seeing their. Mannerisms and hearing them speak. I know personally, I come across totally different in email than I do, face to face because of just how you talk and how you communicate.
So Facebook live is an unbelievable tool. Same with Instagram stories. This is an opportunity to connect on a human level. Using technology and going where people are and people are on social media. So it’s a great platform, and even if you’re uncomfortable with it. Do it. Get yourself out there and make that human connection.
Matt: It’s free. There are several tools. please reach out to us and we can dive into things deeper with you on that, on how to execute some of those things. But, it’s a free tool and the usage, the social media usage just surging 75 to 100%. So huge, huge opportunity there. The last thing, tip number five, let’s make sure that we have a, we’re reaching out to our realtor base, right?
So. we have an unbelievable opportunity as new construction as a whole to take some market share from the resell market. They used market because we know that before we even went into this scenario, inventory levels were suppressed and lower across any market, it doesn’t matter. now they’re even more suppressed because people are taking their homes off the market because they don’t want strangers walking through their homes.
Right now. It’s a huge opportunity to communicate that out with your realtor partners. Make sure that they’re connecting, you’re connecting with them, letting them know what your inventory opportunities are. Never before has those unstaged stark brand new empty homes looked so appealing as they are right now.
So let’s make sure we’re utilizing everything that we have. If you’ve got inventory, there’s never been a better time to have inventory than right. Now. So let’s make sure we connect with our realtor partners and our buyers, obviously. But there’s a huge opportunity with realtors to, to steal some market share from the resell market.
Dave: I love it. I think that is just so exciting. Use has never been more gross. So
Dave: appreciate you. We’re going to keep you in the loop and thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you all soon.
Matt: Yes, have a great week. Please reach out if there’s anything we can do for you. All right guys. Now we are going to dive right into our discussion of the week with Dave vecher from ECI and lasso follow up.
Who does it anyway?
all right, and we are back and we are here with our very special guest. I am pleased to have Dave batcher of ECI solutions here with us today to talk about our focus discussion of the week, which is follow up. Who does it anyway, so Dave, welcome to the show.
Dave: Well, thank you, Matt, and so nice to be on with you.
And what a very pertinent a title for today’s discussion because I think more so now than ever, this is something that we really have to discuss and, and if it wasn’t important before, boy, it sure is. Now.
Matt: I think it’s a smidge and important now, as we record this on March 26th. Of 2020. yeah. So this is, it’s definitely an important piece of the puzzle today.
It’s also, it really always has been, but even more so the, the spotlight is definitely on it. But they, before we dive in, because I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We’ve been friends for a long time, and so I don’t want to, I want to make sure that anybody listening here may not know who you are.
Someone may not know who you are and what you do. So why don’t you take a couple minutes, introduce yourself. What you do at ECI slash lasso and what you guys are all about, and then we’ll dive in.
Dave: That’s fantastic. Well, for those of you that don’t know who I am, my name is Dave . I’m the VP of consulting services with, with ECI lasso.
And that’s a pretty, that’s a pretty ominous title. I’ve, I created it myself. I love it. But really what it means is that my, my role at ECI lasso is really to help our clients with really the deeper dive inside of their CRM tool, which is. Predominantly lasso and I really helped them with things that they may not have the, the education to roll out effectively, or they may not have the resources internally to, to manage.
And a lot of that many times comes down to follow up. That comes down to messaging best practices, some sales training for their team. So I’m actually, an original founder of last, so my brother and I actually founded lasso and over really the last 17 years we’ve been providing CRM services. For builders, for real estate developers, typically building high rise development, and then sales agencies that are working on behalf of builders and developers.
So we are strictly focused on the real estate market and have had a lot of opportunity just to, to speak with sales agents, managers. Marketing. I’m about really some of the, some of the best practices of lasso and, or the best practices of selling new homes and really happy to share a lot of those today, which is fantastic.
And we’ve done a lot of these conversations over the last, the last couple of weeks as well. So I’m really happy we can do it today.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. You know. Obviously, as a CRM company, you have access to tons and tons of data points and get to see everything that’s happening and what’s going out there and you know, and it really, that macro picture, kind of that, that aggregate picture of what’s, of what’s happening.
And you know, we, we spoke on this, you and I, and Meredith Oliver spoke on this, well it was part of our, our talk at IBS this year. And then. We talked about it again on a webinar that we did an Encore webinar based on the feedback of the program, and, still had tons of people. Talk about the stats and the numbers, and I thought, you know what?
Why don’t we just dedicate some time to just talking about the numbers specifically in what all of that looks like, what you guys see some best practices, and, and just kind of walk through that, especially in where we are of, of, you know, the walk in traffic, the people that’s coming in the door that weren’t in your kind of.
Funnel already that’s not going to be pouring in at staggering rates at the moment, right? So we’re really going to have to be moving the ball forward and pressing forward with the current folks that are already in that kind of buying cycle. And so, having that, having a well oiled CRM is a, is key to do it.
So they, why don’t we start a little bit with like kind of big picture. What are you seeing at the CRM level?
Dave: Well, I think Matt, we have to start at that big picture and we have to kind of start with where consumers are doing the predominant amount of shopping, or at least doing a valuation. And that’s on online, obviously.
And there’s so many different online tools, and we’ve talked about this for years, all of the different resources, and it’s only becoming more and more prevalent. So. I like to look at conversions and conversion sounds quite ominous, but something that I don’t think get looked at enough or recognize the importance of every single lead inside of the database.
And, and sometimes I correlate a conversion to an actual dollar amount. And it’s a, it’s a, it’s a pretty simple equation really. How much are we spending to generate leads compared to the amount of leads that we’re getting in? And then that actually puts a dollar figure on that, on that lead itself.
So there’s. Literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars that are spent on every lead inside of the database. So what we found over the last year is that for the majority of builders and developers, and I’m going to kind of group those two together, because when I did my survey, that’s really what I, what I looked at.
I’m seeing less than 1% and sometimes it’s half a percent on some builders sites. Sometimes it’s 1.5% but from the amount of people that actually visit. Your website compared to the amount of people that actually register on your website is really in that 1% range. So you’ve got this huge amount of people who are expressing interest, but such a small number that are actually
Asking for information. So we really have to take advantage of those small amounts of people because they have such a high cost associated with them. So really that’s, that’s kinda what I like to like to look at. And I won’t necessarily say it’s the consumer’s fault for not registering. A lot of times on builders websites, and you know this because you do a lot of builder website evaluation as well.
What we’re seeing is there just isn’t enough opportunity for people to provide their information. I still see on builders websites, builders that don’t have a registration form or they have a very generic registration form that really doesn’t reflect a specific community of interest. Those kinds of things.
There aren’t strong enough calls to action in order to provide a reason why somebody would actually want to register. Yep. Good. Go ahead. Now
Matt: and contextual to where they’re at in the, in, in the website too, right? Like not just. Got questions. You know, like that’s kind of, yeah, that’s, that’s NDA. You know, nobody has the, I’m not looking for that.
If I, if I need help, I want something. I need help on something very specific.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. That’s exactly it. So having it nice, easy, it has to not be, I wouldn’t say threatening, but have a salesperson call you now is probably not the right call to action because no one necessarily wants out at that stage of the game.
I think we say there has to be that, that reason, but at the very least, have multiple ways that people can register on your website. Because not only are you gathering information, but on many websites, you’re able now to track people that are. That are online, and certainly with lasso, you can do that, but there’s certainly other CRM tools that allow you to track what people do on your website.
So really tracking into the digital engagement. And unless you’re getting people’s information, it’s very difficult to track who those people are and what they’re doing online. So really getting people to register is two fold. It’s getting their information, which is good, and now we can follow up with them.
And that’s really what sales people want is. Leads to follow up with, of course, but at the same time, we’re now able to gauge the digital interaction that people are having with us and focus our energy and attention on the people who have the most interaction. It kind of makes sense. So people that are on your website the most, typically you have the higher level of interest, but we can’t capture that unless we get them to a, to register with us.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. So when all absolutely correct points we’ve got to get, we’ve got to get the conversion first, but once we get the conversion, what are some things that from the, now we’re gonna diving into the CRM side of things, that the data there. Yup. What are you, what do you see happening as a whole.
Across everything when, once that conversion happens.
Dave: Well, what I’m seeing, Matt, is there’s, there’s a high level of disappointment on the consumer side because what their expectation was leading up until the point that they inquired, they saw, you know, some beautiful advertising. They saw some really strong calls to action.
They saw a beautiful website. And a lot of times that’s where the relationship ends because now they have really asked for more information and they aren’t getting the response that, that they want. And I think as consumers, we now have. Expectation that we will be responded to immediately. And that just is not what the real estate sales process has typically been accustomed to.
So. Well, one of the things that, that we’re finding is that, sales agents typically are following up less and less and less every single year. They’re relying more on realtor relationships to drive their sales. And we’ll talk a little bit about stats here and some of the things that we found in terms of when somebody replies, how many emails they typically get or, or how many phone calls are made.
But what we’re really seeing is that for the majority of the time, there’s less than two points of contact within a 45 day window that someone will receive once they have inquired. And that requiry doesn’t matter if it’s online or on site or a phone call for that matter. There just is not a real sense of urgency to be responding back to prospects.
And the one thing that we always have to kind of keep in mind is these prospects are really what? Drive, what drive. But for me, it’s a salesperson. This is my lifeblood. So I am. Absolutely missing out on opportunity. You know, one of the big stats that I always like to like to look at is the amount of people that we need in our database to sell out of community.
And for the most part, it’s about 5% of the people that are in our database are actually going to buy from us. So you kind of think back to how much we’re spending to generate one lead. And just think of the amount of leads that we have to generate to sell through a community is just more imperative now than ever to meet.
The consumer’s expectation. Understanding that the consumer is busy, they’ve got lots of things going on. They may not be responsive after the first try or the second try or the third try, but it’s that fourth effort. It’s the fifth. That effort of consistent messaging that has value, that is going to instill an interaction from the customer and we have to be consistent with it.
Matt: Yeah. So that, that’s really interesting cause you’re talking about, you know, if obviously understanding if, okay, if 5% of the leads in the database are going to buy, I’m big on just doing the math backwards, right. Starting with the end in mind, okay, I need to sell X number of homes and I know if only 5% of the leads are going to buy, I need to have, there’s one or two things that has to happen there.
I either need to do the math, the math backwards, and say, I’ve got to have this number of people in my database and generate this number of leads. Therefore, if I know what my cost per lead is, then I sh I have to spend X that X to get there. The problem is. When that X number, is way out of line with what your budget actually is.
Yeah. So then how do we look at and go, all right, well, how do I do this for cheaper? Well, the other only other thing that we can do is increase our conversion. So if we wanna, if we can double our conversion and it goes from 5% to 10%, then that’s my start bringing your budget dollars in spend allocation.
Back in line. Now, you said at the, at the top of that, you said once someone submits a form on the website, that’s most of the time where it ends, right? It’s a very disappointing consumer experience at that point. Do you see things specifically on around that, of what that looks like once you know? Is there a percentage of people that you see that.
Aren’t responding or just waiting too long, like what is the, what’s the big, what’s slipped into the cracks there?
Dave: Yeah. So let’s kind of dive right right into that. So the research that we’ve done, and we’ll do builder surveys, and when I say we all do, there’s a number of companies that provide this information.
Yeah. I just shopped 35 of our. Top builders. And when I say top builders, it’s really the small, medium, and large builders who, who are progressive, who some might have an online sales counselors, some, some might not. But really kind of looking at what the experiences on the consumer side. So what we found that on average, that builders that utilize.
An OSC and online sales counselor from the online side get, a lot more response. In fact, from a phone call perspective, we can dive right into it. People that provide a phone number, they can expect a phone call back 60, 65% of the time. So there’s still a little bit of a gap. But compare that to.
Sales agents that are on a site that are receiving leads coming in online. it’s almost nonexistent. The response that they get back from, from the phone. And I think the phone is something that, that is an overlooked tool. And I’m not certain why, we haven’t taken more advantage of it because it certainly is a personal one-to-one communication and, but it’s.
It’s about a 12% number of the people that are, that, inquire that have a phone number that are actually getting a phone call back. It’s about 12 to 15%. So there’s a huge gap between what the expectation is. I give you my phone number when I registered on the website and actually what is happening on the responsive side.
So many times an email will go out and one of the things that’s a lot more prevalent in today’s CRM tools is a level of automation that is happening. Automation is a wonderful thing. And, and I really prescribed to having a level of automation in place to ensure that we don’t hit these numbers, but the key to an automation is actually starting the process.
And without starting the process, without making that first phone call or sending out that first email, replying to somebody in a sincere fashion, that doesn’t seem like a marketing bod has, has responded. That’s really where the disconnect is many times. And, and because automation is such an easy thing to do, we sometimes forget about the customer at the other end of the, the end of the other end of the phone or there or on their mobile device, just waiting for somebody to respond back to them.
But I will say that that builders that have an online sales counselor whose sole job it is to be responsive to online leads. And let’s kind of talk about the importance of, of online leads. So in most cases, online leads equate for about half of. The database. Okay, so we talk about, you’re going to sell to, you know, 5% two to 5% of your database.
Well, if online leads equate to half of those people, the other half are going to be call-ins or walk ins, those kinds of things. So if, if we are neglecting half of our database, you can just see the, the. The absolute cost increases as we’re going through this. And one of the primary means of generating leads is, doing online advertising.
It’s a, it’s doing Facebook ads. It’s doing email blast. So we’re really reliant on online sources to generate leads for us, but there’s a real disconnect between. Our marketing department generate online leads for the salespeople and really how salespeople view an online lead without the value that’s really should be placed on that lead.
And that value is value to the, to the agent, but also a cost value to to the builder.
Matt: Absolutely. You know, and so you said you got, you, you know, you did your survey, you, you shopped, some builders as well, or for this data. And so we actually just finished, by the time this podcast airs, this, this information will be out there, but we actually just finished a shop of our own, and we went through, it’s about 70 builders on the top 200 lists, you know, the good bulk of them were our clients.
and so. The reason, the whole premise behind the shop was honestly, I got tired of talking to people about, focusing in on followup and the, and the processes. And it’s like, Oh, we’re selling homes, we’re doing good, we’re doing good. And I’m like, okay, but I’m telling you, we’ve got to have our pro. You got to have your processes buttoned up.
You’re in a really good market right now. You’d never know. I mean, I swear, it’s like you never know what’s going to happen. We got to make sure our processes are buttoned up. Boom. Here we are. you know, coronavirus people are, you know, quarantined at home. But you know, cause we’ll, I’ll, I’ll lead into this as we go through it in different pieces cause it’s timed you timing wise.
Cause I know you know what you’re going to want to talk about as well. But here’s what we saw. So we saw that 25% of the of the builders only responded one time. Now. And you mentioned autoresponders. So one of the things for us is. We didn’t count the initial auto-responder as a form of followup because like you said, autoresponders and bot emails, people can sniff those out a mile away.
And I think where we’re at on March 26 of 2020 me personally, I would turn off any automation that’s going out the door because you ever, everything’s changing kind of by the day, and you’re, you don’t want your email going out to be. Insensitive to where we are. or if you know that your emails that are going out that are automated are okay, just at least go back through and double check it just to make sure before.
So things don’t just start going on autopilot out there. That shouldn’t be out there. But we saw only 25% responded one time, 16% didn’t respond at all. And then we only had 32% respond more than three times.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. Those numbers are almost like DentiCal to what we’ve looked at Matt, and again, thinking about the cost of each lead and the cost is so simple to to define what have I spent at least did I get, what’s the cost for each?
Each one of those leads, and if you put it down into those numbers and then recognize that we are actually spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ignore the leads in our database, it kind of makes you think of what are some of the things that we can do to ensure that. That those leads are getting the responsiveness that they need.
Yeah. So what are some of the things that, that, that we need to do? And I mean, you are bang on when you said in, in different times you need to be, you need to have fluidity to change your processes. And I think whether it’s in the time that we’re in right now facing the crony binder that the coronavirus or, when times are good or we’ve got too many leads in our database, you know, all of these different scenarios.
Will help you evaluate what type of messaging and what is the process of a followup that we need to do. But the messaging is such a key element to this, and I think you’re right. Having sensitivity to where we are right now and turning off automation when you have to and now is definitely the time to do that.
We don’t want to come across insensitive and. Any email that I get in my inbox personally right now that really is unsensitive or insensitive, I guess, to, to the, the scenario that we’re in. Like it’s just business as usual. Well, it isn’t business as usual at all and we can’t treat it like that. You, you can still communicate with me and I never want people to stop selling.
I really don’t. But there’s messaging that has to be put in place and sometimes we have to act more like a partner rather than a sales person. And I think that shows a level of leadership that I can. Absolutely guarantee that our competition is not, is not able to provide. and that’s the type of messaging that we have to get out.
We have to stop with the, with, you know, the, the, Now the strong calls to action of, you know, by now and $20,000 discounts and those kinds of things. And yes, it’s important too to have that message in place, but that can’t be what we lead off with because people are just not there right now. We’re going through a huge crisis and people are losing their jobs at such a rapid level that we have to be sensitive to that.
Matt: Without a doubt. We have to be aware of of what the, what’s going on and what that messaging is. And like you said, you know, kind of beating that dead horse, but making sure that our processes are in place, but we’re also in a position to be able to tweak those on the fly, to, to make sure that we’re not.
Getting demolished. By unsubscribes, I mean, as we’ve gone through this, you know, I’ve gotten Kirra covert 19 update email updates from everybody that I’ve didn’t even realize I’ve ever come in contact with. You know, including people like . My mortgage company who I don’t know, Kathy at the mortgage company and I haven’t done, I don’t go there and pay my bill.
You get, yeah. I mean, I mean it’s like I, I’m really glad that Kathy’s washing her hands, but it doesn’t like I’m just sending you a wire check every week. You know what I mean? So, yeah. So making sure that it’s like, cause now it’s like, Oh. You have my email address on subscribe, you know, like, I didn’t even know you had my email address.
Now you’re sending me your coven 19 update policy. I’m done. so anyway,
Dave: we digress. Well, you know, we, we do to a point, but at the same time, these are really important things to recognize because we are dealing with consumers every single day, right? And the consumer experience is what we focus our attention on because that’s, that is really what makes or breaks us.
How does the consumer feel about us? Are we. Are, are we a differentiated enough that someone will trust us when times are good, but they’ll also trust us when times are not so good? And just by going as business as usual, really doesn’t show any, any empathy to the situation that we’re in at all. Yeah.
Now, Matt, you, you raised a really good point earlier about, having the ability to really start to go through your existing databases. And if I can recommend one thing, this is a prime. Time to just go in and take a look at some of the gold that may have been overlooked as things were going incredibly well.
Up until, up until January, you know, the stock market was high, interest rates were low, people were selling through communities quickly and then it just shut down. But we’ve still got this, this huge amount of, of, data and people, and I don’t like to classify. People as, as data sources, cause they’re not, they’re actual human beings on the other end of the, and the, and end of the line that at one point inquired with you.
So I think, you know, having a level of communication out there and having the personalization that, that we need to ensure that, that people see this as, not disingenuous, but incredibly genuine as I am reaching out to you. So. Not having, you know, big headers and footer images and those kinds of things, but really making it a genuine message that we’re sending out.
So as part of our followup, not only is it just to keep in touch with people and let, let them know that, you know, we’re still open for business, but at the same time show a level of, of, of empathy and compassion to a situation. And we get a lot of questions about this right now, and it’s, it’s, it, it’s pretty simple.
Just like you and I are talking right now, that’s how I would relay that in, in one of my messages. So, so. You know, look at, look at my followups, look at my auto reply email. I was mentioning earlier yesterday, I did a webinar on messaging in your auto-reply and it’s something that seems so simple but gets overlooked so often and understanding that, you know, that’s, that’s the first contact point that you make with somebody after they register.
What’s in that auto reply email. And again, if it’s business as usual, if it isn’t compassionate, if it isn’t empathetic, then. It really has a negative tone to your customer. Again, the customer just costs you $300 to register, so we want to make sure every point of contact has that same tone and feel.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely.
And one of the, I think it’s really important. And you talked about even checking that out responder, the autoresponder of things for fun. You know, thanks for submitting a question because one of the, one of the things that is really common out there is for us to quote, cause we want to create urgency.
And so for it, one of the things that we like to do is quote our rate of sale, right? So that’s the old one of the old adages out there. You know, we sell a home every. Day, every X hours, every hurry, hurry. You know, like those are things that. You have to be aware of where we are, and and making sure that that messaging is correct.
Even in the auto, even in the thank you for inquiring auto-responder, not even in your, this is my automated follow up process, but even as simple, like you said, is the autoresponder, because that is, that is the first interaction that that customer is going to have with your company from a, you know, now I’m, I’m interested.
Please, please give me more. And if it’s. Garbage in, it’s going to be garbage out. It can be, I think, I think it can be a turnoff.
Dave: Well, exactly. It Madden, like say that’s the first point of contact that anybody has with you, and that’s the first time that you have reached out. So even though you may not have done it, maybe it was an auto response.
Believe it or not, that email is the highest read email that you will ever send to anybody is that auto responders. So having messaging in there that reflects the situation is important. And you can edit those whenever you need to. Right. That’s, that’s the one thing. but we do overlook that and something that is something that seems so minimal, has such a big impact on, on how people feel about you.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. Now, I think I know when, when we talked about this before, you shared some data breaking apart of. When a builder, what happens when a builder has a dedicated person to answer those questions versus when they don’t? And what I mean by that is the traditional OSC online sales con counselor or concierge or specialist or whatever you want to call it, versus the lead comes in and it goes through a round Robin cycle out to the onsite salespeople.
Dave: Yeah. So when, when we look at those numbers, these are quite, quite staggering. They really are. And they really have a reflection on, you know, when you look at, when you look at this big bucket of buyers that we have, and you start to dig in a little bit. So it’s wonderful that people are buying homes from us, but let’s kind of take up, you know, do, do that, kind of that backtrack and just see kind of what our marketing, what was the impact that it had on that.
Buyer. So I like to look at source types. That’s going to, one of the things that I look at, and I look at kind of three source types, walk ins by walk-ins, online leads and call ins and kind of just evaluating. So we’re spending all of this money to drive people to our website. We’re spending all of these, you know, all of our social media advertising drive people to our website.
98% of our, of our prospects have visited our website. We know that. So of kind of looking at that experience. So when people have an online sales counselor, from the stats that that we have, we are looking at about to 90 to 95% of the time, they will get a personalized communication back in the form of an email.
And then they will have three points of contact post registration. Okay. So that, that points of contact, those are for people who are unresponsive, you know, for people that are responsive. So if I, you know, you register and I respond to you and then you respond back to me. we didn’t count those. All we really wanted to see was what was a typical engagement up until the point of time when people gave up.
So we saw. 92% of the time, people were communicated with up to three times, which is a pretty great number. Right. compare that to when we are reliant on our onsite salespeople to follow up with online leads. That number is about 60% of the time. So there’s a 40% of the, of the prospects who are registering don’t even receive an email.
And I can guarantee you that if they’re not receiving an email, they’re definitely not receiving a phone call. So let’s just kind of talk to that for a second. So. Builders that don’t have an online sales counselor, that are relying to on salespeople onsite to respond back with a phone call. the number was about 15, 15% of the time that they would get responded to.
And that number just, it, it, it astounds me because in many cases, those people have provided a phone number for the sole reason of wanting a call back. Totally in many of them. It is a phone number is not a required field on a registration form. And when it is, people will typically give you a bogus number if they don’t want to get called back.
So these are non bogus numbers, right? That, that were just really ignored. So the number is 15%. So if you look at, again. The amount of people that are registered on your website equates to about a 1% conversion rate. if you, if you are not going to sell to 95% of the people in your database, you’re going to sell to 5% of them.
If we’re not calling 85% of the people in our database back, we are missing out on so much opportunity. And sometimes these numbers don’t get shared on the sales side. Marketing looks at these numbers all day long, but on the sales side, we don’t understand. the, the. The, the, these types of ratios that, that we’re talking about here.
Now, let me talk about emails back. I mean, those numbers are, are not that great either. So builders that don’t have an online sales counselor, they get emailed back, go, you know, 50, 60% of the time. And I think that I’m just about 60 63% of the time they get to that, they get email back. So really what we’re looking at here is we’re looking at.
People, even today in 2020, not recognizing the importance of the online shopper, and not placing a value on that, on that prospect. when we look at, at people who have walked in and visited, the number of followups are, are atrocious at best as well. On average. just over two followups after somebody is actually taking the time to visit the sales center.
And those, those followups are typically done with email and not with a phone call. So. People are giving up far too early in the sales process. And I don’t necessarily blame salespeople. It’s not their intent to ignore people. They get overwhelmed, and many times they don’t have systems. And we still see a lot of builders out there with, without sales enablement tools, without CRM tools, without sales processes, without understanding any of these metrics that we’re talking about.
And I also think that these numbers aren’t discussed enough on. w w within a sales meeting. Yeah. I don’t think sales managers understand what the, what these marketing numbers represent. Really. if I ask any sales manager, what was their conversion rate this week, this week from their online, site visits to online registrations, I, I would imagine that very seldom will somebody actually have an answer that, that they’ve, they’ve, they’ve thought about
Matt: or even know where to go get it.
Dave: Or even know where to get it. And those numbers are so readily available. It’s so many CRM tools out there. You don’t have to go into Google analytics. You don’t necessarily have to reach out to your marketing team to get these, to get these types of numbers. This is something that every sales manager should have the ability to understand and place such great value and what it’s going to do.
It’s going to elevate you in your customer’s eyes, but it’s also going to elevate you in the whole, you know, in your competitive circle because you are the one who has process, who has dedicated people to do this and understands the value of it.
Matt: Yeah, Dave, and really even for the sales managers, maybe not even, they don’t know it off the top of their head, but most of the time they don’t even know where to go get
And that information is so readily available in so many different CRM tools out there, and it really is just a report that may not have even been understood that what, what the information was. So if there’s one thing that I can really. Recommend, and especially to the sales managers that are listening here, is understand the conversion data and really understand that your sales people are probably not following up with their leads to the effect that they should be.
And also understand there’s a lot of really great prospects that still exist within our database that we probably have ignored that we certainly have the opportunity to go back to, but we can’t go back to them in a marketing format. We have to have that level of . Personalization. We have to have that empathy and we have just really have that, that that level of connection that we may not have understood was important up until today.
Matt: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, so with what you said and what you’re seeing, you know, the numbers you saw, they are strikingly similar from the data that we just pulled in from our shop. So because we broke down, you know, overall response responses. So the average number of followups made over a 30 day period was 2.87 right?
So we’re getting really specific, 2.87 but then we broke that down. By with an OSC and without an OSC, and just to kind of see how those two stacks. So without an OSC, the average number of responses was basically two. And with an OSC, the average number of responses in that 30 day period was about almost five.
So an in there phone calls were double with an OSC without an OSC, maybe one phone call was made. yep. But typically what I saw if the, if the, what we saw, if the lead went directly to the onsite and there was a phone number provided, the onsite salesperson would pick up the phone and call. They would make a phone call, but if they didn’t get them, that was basically the end of it.
Right? So, and that’s simply because. They can’t remember to do all that stuff, right? They have all this, all these other things that they have to do, and I’m not, and you’re not either. And we’re not. So we’re not saying this information to beat up on people and say, your, everybody’s not doing it. Nobody’s doing a good job.
However, what this really tells me is everyone has been. Ben sitting on a big cushion of more than they can handle leads. Because if you don’t, if you have too many leads, this is what happens. This, the stuff slips through the cracks. We start, you know, cherry picking the best of the cream of the crop. So it’s, it’s the path of least resistance.
So this is where now when essentially the faucet gets turned off, or you know, temporarily or. The stream is severely diluted down and it’s not coming out and nearly at the same rate. This is where having the tools in place to go back through and work that current database is so vital. and the other thing that we saw, and I, this’ll be interesting to see if you saw the same thing cause we have not compared these numbers.
but it’s, it’s crazy how close they are. So with an OSC. we also saw additional forms of followup happening versus without an OSC. And what I mean by that is the builders with an OSC actually also InCorp, some, not all of them, but some of them incorporated text messaging into their followup process as well as video email, where if they didn’t have an OSC, none of those things happened.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. It takes time to, to put those into placement. And that’s sometimes what sales agents on site don’t have, cause they don’t have the dedicated time, because they are dealing with a lot of walk in traffic. They’re dealing with their model homes looking to top shape. They’re dealing with their AE boards out front and their balloons out front.
All those sorts of things that we rely on our sales people to do. And, and sometimes those overtake the importance of doing the followup. And you know, if we look at times like, like. We’re in right now. You know, we talk a lot about, go back to your, to your database, and sometimes, you know, you want to talk about disingenuous.
You know, you’re, you’re responding back to people who you have never responded back to right after go. You know, the, the consistency of followup is important in good times and in bad because when things are bad and you’re going back to your database, it really has a negative. Implication on what your intent is.
Because I ever followed up with me when I w when, when I was really addressed. So why, why are you coming back now when things are a little bit a little bit tougher?
Matt: Yeah, no, absolutely. I loved how you carried it through though. Cause like for us, obviously we didn’t have the data to be able to see what happens when the, when the customer comes from online and then ends up going on site.
I thought that was really insightful to see what happens. Well, it’s pulling the thread all the way through the needle, like the entire process, not just lead, you know, customer website lead. Okay. What happened? It’s all the way through to someone physically walking in the door and what happens after they leave.
Dave: Yeah, and you want to talk about those numbers really quick, Matt? So builders should have an online sales counselor, people who are dedicated to managing all online lead inquiries. For the most part, I’m pulling up my stats here. For the most part, if you look at that big bucket of buyers that you have for builders that have an online sales counselor, you can expect about 45% of your people that buy from you to come from those online sources.
So you can say. Yup. Okay. So half, half my buyers are going to come from online sources if I have a dedicated resource to, to manage them. For people that don’t have an online sales counselor for builders that, that don’t, they’re online buyers, that usually goes down to less than 30%. So there’s, there’s a huge opportunity and the, the numbers are so blatant that by following up over their online leads, we’re going to have a better conversion ratio of leads that we are generating.
And that really is what it comes down to, is that. People are not being followed up with in a systematic fashion that allows them to feel like they are valued and to give them any kind of a reason to come down and visit the model home because they were ignored after they, after they registered.
And if you’re going to ignore me before I pay you. What are you going to do for me after you have my money?
Dave: Yeah, exactly right.
Matt: Because it is the first form of of customer service. Like this is a your first taste of customer service with, with a company, and you get the opportunity to do that before you’ve paid them any money.
Dave: Yup. That’s exactly it, right? That’s exactly it. Yep. Very, very well. Well said. And that’s really what it comes down to, right? Is the feeling that when I walk into your model home, have you been responsive to me up until that point of time, and by the time I get to your model home, I’ve already eliminated so many different options.
You know, I’ve essentially chosen three different options by the time I walk into your model home, how, how are you going to treat me after that? Or how have you treated me to get me into your model home? Yeah, that’s a lot of times what a, what people see value in. And I think we, we all have situations where we have created a degree relationship with a, with a salesperson, and maybe have spent a little bit more, on something just because of the relationship that we have created with that sales agent.
And that relationship starts with that first point of contact and the consistent points of contact after I have, I have inquired with you. Yeah,
Matt: absolutely. And you know, for me, the key take, like there’s two. I would say too, if I, yeah, I would simple simplify it into two key points. Key, big. I can’t talk to big key takeaways from the data that you have from the shop results that we just wrapped up, which is one.
You probably already have the tool, right? You already probably already have the tool in your organization is just not being utilized the right way. and it’s not set up properly with the right training. but having the tool and the process in place to help you follow up and with the customer and provide the service, the level of service that they’re expecting.
And then the second is. It pays off in spades to have a dedicated person that’s going to be handling this online activity. but if you have those two things in place. You’re going to win 75% of the battles.
Dave: Yeah, exactly. Right, man. Exactly. Right. And I think this is the time to really start to evaluate, is that the right option for us?
And, and, and for the most part, in most situations with the builders that, that I speak with every single day, People are getting the message that the online shopper, this is not going to go away. It’s going to become progressively more and more prevalent. And if we are not responding in the appropriate way that the consumer expects, then we are going to lose every single time we are going to lose to our competition.
And our competition is not the other builder down the street. Our competition is resale and our competition is doing nothing. As well. Right? So it’s just having that, having that consistency in place and from what the numbers show, and we’ve been doing these shops for a number of years. the numbers showed that, The followup that is being provided to people who are responding to website registration forums is not getting any better. and for the most part, it is, it is a stale or getting worse.
Matt: Yeah. No, I would agree. And I think that it’s not that, again, I don’t attribute that to bad people. I think it’s, people have been inundated with an abundance of leads and, and, yeah.
So I think that, Sometimes these corrections can highlight what we need to focus on and get better at. So that’s the, I think that’s the positive focus out of that.
Dave: So yeah, I totally agree with you.
Matt: Yeah. Awesome. All right, so let’s just kind of put a big red bow on this, and I’d love to do is ask everybody, all of our guests a couple of quick questions, to end on a non-business note, which is a, what are you binge watching?
What are you reading and what are you listening to? Gotcha.
Dave: Okay. So from a a, I, I live in a software as a service world. Right? And that’s something that, that I think, you know, that’s what my business is, is all about. It’s something that, that markets are going that way. So as somebody who is in, you know, a software as a service, it’s really important that I understand.
What other companies are doing? What other, so I’m, right now, I’m, I’m, I’m really focused on customer, on customer, customer success. That’s, that’s my big one right now. So I’m read a book called customer success, and it’s really talking about the Salesforce model, when Salesforce first started compared to where they are now.
And certainly Salesforce is competitive to us, but I tell you their model, you know, why not look at, at the, the biggest one out there, the biggest one out there for sure. Right. That’s, that’s the big one. So customer success is a, a, is a big one. Now, from a watching perspective, Ben won’t binge watching of, for whatever reason, we are hooked on 90 day fiance.
And if you haven’t heard of it, my goodness. So go to the learning channel and, start watching Matt because if it’s something, now watch it with your lovely wife. Because you will not be able to turn it off. It is so compelling. I, I won’t even go into it for people that, that know it. Did they are, they are smiling along with me right now.
Matt: I can only imagine.
Dave: Yeah. It’s about to, it’s something you called a K one visa in the U S and it’s people that, that have found love, outside of the U S aren’t and are bringing people back and they have 90 days to, to get married and all the trials and tribulations that go along with them. I’m meeting somebody and then getting married within 90 days.
It’s really quite tough. Quite fascinating. Wow.
Matt: All right.
Dave: Yeah, and then what I listened to a lot, I listened to a lot of different podcasts by a lot of different, a lot of different people, and sometimes I, I, I kind of get out of, of, of the business world and I, I, you know, I listened to it a lot of Joe Rogan, for example.
Yeah. I listened to a lot of chats, Andrew grin and his and his cannibal moments. I find that his guests are, I find the conversation very similar to the conversation you and I are having today. I find the conversation, light, but very impactful on things that are really important to me. So, and I find the message.
is something that I can then relay to the people that I talk with every, every single day. So those are some of the things that I’m, that I’m looking at right now. What about you? What are you, reading, listening to and binge-watching?
Matt: right now, reading is everything I can get my hands on from, what we’re going through at the moment.
I’m just trying to read and be able to help people in any way that I can binge watching. I am a, I’m just getting into Westworld. The HBO series.
Matt: I just finished season one and some, I’m anxiously going to be starting season two tonight. yeah. So that’s
Dave: a lot, a lot more thought provoking than 90 day fiance.
I’ll just, I don’t know.
Matt: I don’t know. All right. I mean, it’s a, yeah. So, it’s entertaining to say the least. And, yeah. So from a podcast, I do love Chad’s podcasts, Cannonball moments, and he, you know, he’s, he does have a lot of great. Guests that have nothing to do with what our industry is. but it has some, it has some really great guests.
And, let’s see, I, I listened to a, I love Kimbo by Seth Goden. and then Google has a new one out called think with Google. It’s literally episode three. It just came out today. and then there’s another new one. I haven’t listened to it yet. It’s called unlocking us by Bernay Brown. but I saw Simon Sinek recommend.
so I flagged that one as well. So those are some of the. Those are some of the ones that, I’m tying into. And then I have my fitness podcasts that I listen to, which is mind pump. it’s a bunch of like four or five dudes. It’s, it’s total like, bro, talk like gym bro. Talk like for charity, bro. Anyway, so.
Dave: Kind of like what you and I are doing right
Matt: now. That’s right. That’s right. That’s great. So, anyway, but
Matt: that’s right. That’s right. So, anyway, but yeah, so all good stuff, Dave. I really appreciate just really good info. I know that, everybody out there will appreciate hearing that because when you get those numbers, it really helps you with to be able to go back and look at what am I doing and am I exceeding, am I below, am I.
At that, you know? And so it really helps people to set that benchmark for themselves and say, okay, this is a, this is a very specific thing that we can focus on to get better. We can absolutely move the needle here. So I really appreciate you coming on and sharing that information. I know people will, will do tons with it and be very, very viable.
So, appreciate you coming on the show and, can’t wait to do it again soon.
Dave: It’s been a pleasure, Matt. Thanks so much for having me on your show.
Matt: All right. Thanks, Dave. .