Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Renovate to Sell

While watching a "sell this home" type TV show, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between renovating a home to sell it and developing effective sales skills in teams.
In the television episode, a woman was selling her home to downsize as her children had all left for college.  The feedback from the open house attendees who toured the home made comments like, "It is dated", "It is too dark", "I don't understand what this room is for", "Too busy and cluttered", and the list list went on.  You get the drift.  To address some of these issues, the home stager suggested that a coat of paint to some low cost fake wood furniture would actually improve the aesthetics, modernize the room, and make the room look fresh.  The home owner resisted this suggested strongly.  It was her belief that wood should not be painted, even fake wood!  She was so attached to what she knew and how it has always been that she could not see what it could be like.
This occurs in teams too!  Team members become so attached to the way it has always been (even if it no longer serves them) they emphatically resist how it could be.  You hear comments like, "Why change, we've always done it this way", or "It works just fine".  Sometimes the current way really is THE WAY.  However, in many cases, there is opportunity to change things up a bit instead of doing what has always been done.  Often it is difficult for reams and leaders to acknowledge when a system process, service, or approach is no longer serving them well.
Just as attendees at an open house must clearly understand the purpose of a room (e.g. is it a kitchen, a den, etc.), we must clearly understand the purpose of our business and the vision for the future.  When team members understand these things about the companies they work with they will be able to passionately and clearly share that with others, including our next customers.  When teams understand these aspects of their companies, it is then that they can explore how things COULD be.