Characteristics and Skills to Consider when Hiring an OSC
Although only 1 in 5 small to medium-sized builders today use an Online Sales Counselor, these numbers are steadily increasing. Builders of this size who successfully implement OSC programs are seeing dramatic increases in online lead conversions. In fact, Lasso’s own clients with OSCs can contribute up to 20% to their company’s total annual sales.
Online Sales Counselors work very differently from on-site agents, and must possess unique characteristics and habits. What does a sales manager look for when hiring an OSC? We turned to award-winning OSC and Lasso’s current Director of Sales, Sara Williams, for advice.
“The screening process for your OSC should be unique from other positions you hire. This is because the majority of the communication with an OSC candidate should be done via email or the phone. Your prospects will be interacting them through these methods as well, so how the candidate performs in a standard face-to-face interview is less important. You are primarily looking for fast response times, quality follow up via email, and a warm inviting feeling on the phone.
An existing sales person in your organization who connects and communicates well with prospects, but who struggles with closing prospects in person may be a great option. They already know your product and culture, and while closing is part of an OSC position as well, it often occurs more naturally than in a sales office. When in doubt, focus on their attitude instead of skills. Skills can be coached and trained over time – attitude cannot.”
Unique Characteristics and Skills of a Great OSC
- Driven to win
- Customer service-oriented
- Proficient with technology
- Good writing skills
- Strong phone skills
- Knowledge of a sales process
- Connecting with prospects
- Efficient use of the CRM tool
“After three years [of working part-time], I transitioned into a full-time Online Sales Counselor. I assisted in over 60 sales that year. Over time, my numbers continued to climb. I was averaging 40 kept appointments a month and assisting in over 100 sales a year. The year I won the 2013 NAHB Online Sales Counselor of the Year Award, I had referred 152 net sales and 100 closed homes.” – Sara Williams