Our Online Sales Counselor of the Month is Kaylee Daum with Epcon Communities! Kaylee has worked in new home sales for almost six years, and is already making waves. In 2015, she won the OSC of the Year Award at the MAME Awards in Columbus, OH. She continues to refine her craft by getting personal with customers, incorporating technology into her role, and learning the art of saying no (it’s not easy!). Learn more about Kaylee below…
1) What is your company, role and location?
I’m the Online Sales Counselor for Epcon Communities. We’re a new home builder based out of Columbus, OH and we also build around Raleigh, Charlotte and Charleston. I serve our communities in all four regions.
2) How long have you been in your role/or working in new home sales?
I’ve been in my role just shy of six years!
3) What was your career path to becoming an OSC?
I studied Strategic Communication at OSU and shortly after graduating came to work for Epcon at their corporate office as a temp filling in for our Front Desk Coordinator who needed a few months to recuperate from an operation. Spending that time at the front desk I learned all about the company and gained a lot of experience answering incoming calls. I also got to meet and interact with everyone who came through the front door, including all the employees within the different departments of the company.
One day our VP of Sales & Marketing called me into her office for a meeting where we discussed my background and she told me about this new position they were thinking about implementing which was the role of OSC. I was really intrigued and at that point knew Epcon was something special and somewhere I’d like to stay long term. We met a few more times after that and when I was offered the position, I immediately accepted!
4) How many online leads do you manage monthly?
5) How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
Many of our home buyers who start their searches online have been making their purchase decisions faster than ever! And many seem to want a lot more detailed info up front prior to committing to meeting with someone in person; they want to ask ALL the questions! I’ve really had to work on balancing my people pleaser side with being cognizant that there are some conversations that are best to be had between the home buyer and one of our onsite Sales Consultants (ideally) in one of our sales centers or model homes.
Technology is also changing the game – DocuSign has made it possible for a number of relo web leads to sign their purchase agreements from out-of-state without ever having set foot in one of our sales centers or model homes. That still blows my mind a bit but it’s happening more and more!
6) How do you see the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
I think the OSC position will continue to grow in popularity and as more and more home builders put OSCs in place to serve their communities, the stakes will get higher! Speed of first response is already everything, and that coupled with personalized, relevant follow up-will become all the more important to stand out.
7) What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
Lately, my biggest challenge has been trying to be protective of my time by learning to say no when asked to work on projects that will take significant time away when there are lead generating/converting activities that need to get done. I try to overcome it by being honest when I don’t believe a project is the best use of my time (and the company’s time!) but it’s definitely something I’m still working on.
8) What is the most useful technology tool to your job?
Lasso CRM 100%! It makes my life so much easier by keeping me organized. I open up Lasso and know exactly what needs to get done each day. When speaking with so many different people throughout a given week, I tend to remember their stories but not always their names so if a name pops up on my caller ID or I’m making an outgoing call, I can pull the customer’s profile right up and see exactly where we last left off and determine how best to guide our next conversation toward an appointment. The tools they offer for segmenting (custom lists, website analytics, mass mail summaries, etc.) are clutch in helping me prioritize follow up with the customers who are the most engaged. I could go on and on!
9) What is your “go to” closing technique to get an appointment?
After all the background the customer has shared with me and all the info I’ve shared with them, the onsite visit is the natural next step. The wording I use can vary depending on the personality type and vibes I’m getting from the customer but it usually goes something along the lines of me simply asking if they’ve ever seen any of our homes in person. When they respond with a no, I recommend reserving a time for them to do so as the best next step to determine whether we have the right fit for what they’re looking for.
10) What/Who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
I have an incredible support team within Epcon, including our VP of Sales & Marketing, Marketing Manager, Regional Sales Managers and onsite Sales Consultants – I’m fortunate that I can go to any of them for training and support for different things. Outside Epcon, I try to join in on as many webinars, Facebook Lives, etc. as I can that are put on by the teams at Lasso CRM and Do You Convert. I’ve also really been enjoying Jeff Shore’s podcast, The Buyer’s Mind.
11) Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
One of my favorite successes is any time a long-term web lead converts. It’s so satisfying when that perseverance pays off! I was also very excited to win OSC of the Year at the MAME Awards in Columbus for 2015. We did not build enough homes to qualify for the award category in 2016 or 2017 but we are coming for it in 2018!
12) Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was from a colleague who told me, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Try to listen more than you speak and ask thoughtful questions to build trust and encourage customers to open up and allow you to guide them through the process! Also, treat each customer the same way you would treat a family member or friend if they came to you to inquire about your homes and communities!
13) Favorite thing to do outside of work?
Game nights are a pretty big deal in the Daum family! I also love cheering on the Bucks, going to the movies, spending time outside with my pups, and baking. Prior to joining Epcon I worked for a catering company, baking and decorating cakes for weddings and other events, so baking is something I will always enjoy!
Thanks for sharing your story, Kaylee!
Read about more OSCs of the Month here.