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Q&A with Weichert Realtors

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Thu Sep 23 2010

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Q&A with Weichert Realtors-e21c63a6a652b99cd42c35222d7277a2ba5c25f8a7cae8e5eb93b084aa644d57

Q&A with Weichert Realtors-694df0476d625995ed60b04acf03bcbca1beeb769c7fcb59e54c5715c185c6ba

The ASTD BEST awards are almost here, so we took the time to interview one of the winners, Weichert Realtors, America's largest privately held real estate firm. Weichert's core philosophy has always been centered on creating a positive customer experience. In fact, their founder, Jim Weichert always says "people buy people before a product or service." Because of this philosophy and their size, Weichert offers a very interesting perspective on sales training.

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We focused mostly on sales coaching and the interaction it has with sales training and touched briefly upon social media's role in real estate. In regards to sales coaching, Joy Lulis, Director of Training, had this to say:

"The proficiency and support of the sales managers is key to the success of our sales trainers. The sales manager's ability to coach and reinforce our training efforts is essential. A leading guiding principle for company initiatives is for our leadership and management team to experience it first hand and be the first to try a new approach, test a new process, or use a new tool."

What this means for sales trainers is that they must partner with the sales managers to ensure that not only is training happening, but that it is making a permanent change in behavior.

One way that Weichert displays this partnering is through its new hire programming. After the new sales associate is trained by the sales trainers, they work with an experienced sales manager who acts as a coach towards them. One of their main focuses is "presentation practice sessions," where the sales manager observes the sales associate as he gives his sales presentation. After the sales associate finishes, the sales manager offers the associate helpful feedback that the associate uses in the future. Combined with their "OnTrack" onboarding program where the associate is able to meet key players within the company and shadow veteran salespeople, most sales associates at Weichart cite these experiences as some "of the most beneficial they have ever had to prepare them to work most effectively with their future customers."

To wrap things up, we talked briefly about how salespeople can expect to use social media in the future. Joy summed it up nicely in saying:

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"Networking and maintaining relationships with family, friends, colleagues and customers is an essential business building activity. A natural extension of this would be to take advantage of staying connected on line in addition to the face to face, mail and phone opportunities Social Networking is a component of the larger picture of maintaining relationships."

Please join Joy Lulis and Weichert Realtors for their presentation on their holistic approach to perfecting the Weichert home buying experience and their innovative solutions for involving their entire organization at conference ASTD's Learn from the Best on October 1. Registration ends September 27!

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