Episode #65:How to Shorten Your Prospect’s Buying Cycle by Using Video

Do you want to shorten the amount of time it takes your customers to make a buying decision? Then you must embrace video.  Other than face to face video is the fastest way to build a relationship with someone.  Video accelerates the like and trust factor and allows your customers to make a quicker buying decision.  In today’s episode of the New Construction Marketing Podcast we talk video best practices and how to use video to help you sell more homes to while shortening your prospect’s buying cycle. 

This episode of the New Construction Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the New Construction Marketing Academy.  New Construction Marketing Academy is an eight-week online program for new home sales professionals. I will be your online teacher and each week you’ll explore a new topic through video on your own time and at your own pace and you will have a lifetime access to this course so you’ll be able to come back to it as often as you’d like. By the end of this course you will:

Get the confidence and know how to automate most of your follow up and prospecting activities so that no matter how busy you become; no customer is ever neglected by you resulting in consistent sales and predictable income.

You’ll learn how to identify and attract the ideal customer profile for your community through effective communication and marketing.

You’ll reduce your cancelations and turn your buyers into a source of life-long referrals by cultivating trust during the construction period and continuing this relationship beyond the settlement date.

And lastly, you will confidently stand out from the crowd with best first impressions and instant credibility through video marketing by utilizing social media and most popular buyer search sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com

The enrollment is open right now and the doors will be closing soon!  If you’re ready to come on this 8 week journey with me than join the academy at www.AnyaChrisanthon.com/Academy.  For those of you who’ve already joined, I am so excited to see you on the inside and can’t wait for you to get started!

Now, let’s jump into today’s episode. 

The other day I heard a podcast on how to shorten a buying cycle from a builder perspective and it got me thinking-what can we do as sales people on our end to shorten the amount of time it takes our prospects to make a buying decision in our community? 

Depending on your buyer profile-the amount of time it takes someone to make a decision can vary.  We all know that baby boomers typically have the longest buying cycle, followed by the Millennials with Gen X generally being the shortest with an average of about 90 days.   

When it comes to making video-it’s important to make sure that you have a strategy going into it.  You don’t want to make video just for the sake of making videos.  Your primary objective should be building relationships and establishing trust.  How do we do this? 

We all know that other than face to face video is the fastest way to build a relationship with someone.  Because when you see someone on camera you can tell right away if you like them or not.  It can be the way they talk, the way they make an eye contact or not make an eye contact, it’s just a first impression, a feeling you get when you meet someone for the very first time. 

You know how sometimes you scroll through someone’s Instagram feed and look at all of their photos and you start to start to form an opinion of them and you begin to perceive them a certain way?  And then you see a video clip of them-and it either reinforces your feelings of them or they may be completely different on camera than what you expected?  Film is instantaneous and it allows us to make instantaneous connections with our prospects.

I am not worried about you coming off weird on camera and repelling someone-because if you’re in sales you know how to turn it on and hopefully you show up as your best genuine self for your prospects and so you want to do the same on camera.

People get intimidated and scared by a camera, but you just need to get over that.  It’s just how people see you in the real world.  Most of us hate watching ourselves on film or even listening to our own voice on a recording and that’s normal.  But you just need to understand that unless you’re going to get a plastic surgery it’s just the way other people see you in real life.  So the faster you realize it and get over that fear and discomfort, the better off you’ll be.  Just be yourself and I’ll give you a few pointers on how to look and feel your best on camera. 

But first, let’s talk about different ways of how you can incorporate videos into your interactions with your prospects.

To build relationships and accelerate the like and trust factor consider incorporating video in your follow up.  For example, say someone calls your model home for the very first time and asks you some questions about your community.  And you promise to send them an email with information that was discussed, showing them available homesites or whatever else. 

Why not add a video of yourself to that email introducing yourself to them?  It can be as simple as: Hi, I’m Anya, it was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone!  I really appreciate you taking the time to call me today.  I just wanted to put a face to the name and introduce myself to you.  I am the sales manager in this community, and I would happy to assist you further with any questions you may have.  Meanwhile, I’ve attached the information that we discussed on the phone-please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.  Thank you and have a great day!

 First off, how unexpected would this be for your prospect?  How special would they feel that you took the time to record this personal message for them?  I bet you’re not the only community that they’ve called that day to get that same information, but I bet you’d be the only one who went out of their way to greet them with a personalized video message. 

Now they know what you look like and you’re now a real person to them, not just another sales rep that they spoke with on the phone. 

Or say you get notified that you’ve got an appointment scheduled by your online sales counselor.  Instead of just sending them an email confirming the details, why not send them a video welcome introducing yourself and setting expectations for your appointment and asking them to let you know if anything should change? 

I bet they’re a lot more likely to show up for your appointment after that greeting, and if they’re late they’d be more likely to call and let you know because they now think of you as a real person.

You can use the same strategy following your appointment by sending them a thank you message.  In your thank you message try asking them how interested they are in your community from 1 to 10 and ask them to reply with that answer.  I bet you they’d be more likely to respond to you and you’ll be able to gage their actual level of interest in your community and know how to proceed with them. 

You can continue to incorporate the video strategy in your follow up.  We know that people are much more likely to watch a short video rather than read an email.  So your open rate should increase and hopefully your conversion as well. 

Continue to inject your personality into your interactions and taking the concept of personalized attention to a new level with video.  Make someone feel extra special when you reach out with a video message saying: Hi, Monica!  When you visited my community we talk about how you really preferred to have your bedroom on the first floor away from your kids. Well we listened and we have a new model in our community that offers just that.  I immediately thought about you and your family and I wanted you to have a first sneak peak at the model before we roll it out to the general public.  Can you come in this Wednesday at 5 to take a look at it?

Personalized video message like that is a lot harder to ignore than a plain email or a voice mail. 

And once they buy, you can continue this video strategy to keep them engaged and excited every step of the way.  For example, begin by sending a congratulations video with you and the project manager welcoming them to your community, reinforcing what a great decision they’ve made by buying here and setting the expectations for the next steps in the process. 

Adopt the Four Seasons model for a warm hand off.  Instead of just handing them off to the next person in like-aka the loan officer, why not shoot a quick video with your loan officer introducing him or her to your prospect and telling them what to expect and what they need to bring to their meeting? 

One, they’ll walk in to that meeting feeling like they already know your loan officer and there is a foundation for trust there.  And two, they come prepared to have a productive meeting because they know exactly what do bring and what to expect. 

If you can’t shoot a video together, than ask your loan officer to shoot their own version of a welcome/what to expect video and you can use it again and gain with all of your buyers if it can’t be personalized each time. 

Repeat this process for all the other warm hand off opportunities from your project manager and design center to your technology guy.  The more your customers feel informed about the next steps the smoother the homebuilding process will go and they’ll feel like you truly care about them and that they’re not just another sale to you.  Don’t abandon your buyers at this state, but continue to support them and provide personal touches throughout so that when something goes wrong in the building process you have the relationship to fall back on and it makes it much easier to resolve any issues.

The best part about video is that it’s pretty easy to implement in your sales process.  As long as you have a smart phone with a camera-you’re good to go.  That camera is better than what movie producers had just 10 years ago.

Of course there are some things that you can do to amply the quality of your videos-to them look more professional and less home made.  So let’s talk about some of the equipment that you can use that doesn’t cost a fortune but will allow you to shoot better quality videos. 

Don’t worry about writing this down-I will post all the information about the equipment in a cheat sheet that you can download by heading to AnyaChrisanthon.com/065download

Believe it or not, sound is the most important component of your video.  If you have a poor sound quality, people get annoyed really fast and they just won’t watch it.  So I would recommend to use an inexpensive external clip on microphones such as a Lavalier mic that plugs directly into your smart phone.

Make sure when you’re recording your video to speak up!  You really want to amplify your voice and your emotions on camera because it doesn’t translate the same way as it does in person.  If you speak into the camera just the way you speak in real life, it will come off very bland and boring.  So remember to inject some excitement into your voice and to speak up!

You know how people say to smile when you’re talking to prospects on the phone because people can hear your smile?  Well it’s extra important to smile when you’re shooting your video because people can really see if you’re smiling or not.  Smiling on camera when you speak is one of the easiest ways to appear friendly and more attractive so practice smiling when you speak.  I know it can be awkward at first, but trust me, it will make a big difference in the way you look on video.        

The better you look on camera the higher the chances of you getting that video out there.  So of course if you know you’re going to be shooting a video put an extra effort into your look-do your hair, wear make up, wear flattering clothing-usually you’d want to stick with solid colors for video.  The better you look the more confident you’ll feel and that will allow you to relax more and be yourself.  And that’s exactly what you want to be on camera-yourself or the best version of yourself.

To look best on camera you can either find some natural light and face it so it illuminates your face and gives you the best lighting or if you don’t have natural light or don’t want to rely on finding natural light in order to shoot your videos, consider investing in an inexpensive ring light.  They’re often referred to as vanity light. 

Or you can get a smaller easily transportable version which I usually bring with me when I travel to conferences so I can do quick interviews with people.  It can easily mount to your desk and comes with a smart phone holder/tripod and a ring smaller ring light.  This set up can be done very easily at your model home desk and it’s very inexpensive.  I’ll link to all of the equipment at AnyaChrisanthon.com/065download

The easier you make it, the higher the chances that you’ll actually do it.  So set it up at your desk so it’s ready to go any time you want to shoot a quick video-it’s just a press of a button.  No complicated set up necessary.   

Beyond the equipment, I want to give you a couple of easy pointers when it comes to video.  You want to start and end your video by holding a smile.  I know it may seem strange, but when you’re editing your video it makes it that much easier to get a clean start and finish if you begin and end with a nice big smile. 

If you choose to edit your videos instead of just shooting using one of the email programs for video messaging than there is an easy way to edit using iMovie.  Now if you’re a student in the New Construction Marketing Academy we’ll cover video editing and how to do it using just your smart phone.  It’ really easy once I you show you exactly how I do it. 

Whatever your video is about, you want to get to it fast-tell your viewers exactly what you’re going to tell them and why they should care.  You have about 2.7 seconds to grab their attention-it’s no secret that people have shrinking attention spans, so if you don’t grab them right away-you’ll loose them.

Now I could keep on going with this topic today, because besides using video to shorten your sales cycle and builder faster relationships with your prospects, there are other strategies that we could talk about and I’ll definitely cover these topics inside the academy-from using video to build awareness about your builder and your community to tips for going live on video. 

I hope you see the value of video and you’re ready to incorporate it into your sales presentation.  I would love to help you with that inside the Academy, so if you want the step by step and for me to show you exactly how to-then join me inside the New Construction Marketing Academy by going to AnyaChrisanthon.com/Academy  Enrollment is only open for a couple more days, I would hate for you to miss out on this opportunity so if you have any additional questions about the academy DM me on social media.  I am AnyaChrisanthon on all social channels.  I would love to answer any questions you may still have about the academy and if it’s right for you.

If you want love this video strategy and you want to go all in on it, but you think you may need a little more help.  If you live in the Philadelphia area one of the things I can do is show up to your sales meeting with a camera crew and we can do a series of professionally done videos that you can use over and over again for your entire team.  So if you want to get your builder on board with this, I’ll be happy to discuss all the details with them-just have them reach out to me to set that up. 

Alright you guys, your homework assignment is to shoot your first video in the next 24 hours.  Let me know how it goes for you!  Good luck and I’ll talk to you at the same place, same time-next week.  Until then-bye for now!

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