Sunday, January 9, 2011

DR Horton's authentic, personal follow-up ... there IS hope!

Just got a call back to a customer information card I filled out when visiting DR Horton's Alegria model in Palm Desert in November. It was the first EVER call back I've received after completing one of those forms in a model home. True story. And you can bet I have visited and shopped hundreds (ok, so I don't always) give a real number but most times I do.

Imagine my surprise when my iPhone rings, it's a 760 number that I don't recognize, and I answer it to be greeted with, "Hello Teri?". This is the first clue that it's potentially a sales call - the caller is tentative about my name. I go with it. Yes, it's me.

Marcie from DR Horton deserves huge kudos for sensing my pace and matching it. She had unapologetic confidence but played to her customer - me. Her first statement was "You visited us a while back. Now, I wasn't here when you came in, but you work for a builder as well right?" Wow. Not exactly, I work for Newland, a developer, but I am seriously impressed that she says she wasn't there, but is taking the time today to make a connection with me. Now I am listening.

She proceeded to ask me if I am looking to purchase a second home. I told her we were just beginning, when if I am totally truthful it's more likely that we were curious about the new product being put up in a development that stalled just as the housing recession caused so much grief. In any event, I tell Marcie yes, we are just in the early stages, not sure what our real plans are. Not missing a beat, or getting desperate, or trying to close me when that's clearly not my intent, Marcie is a pro.

She again acknowledges when we were there by saying, "I think when you were out we had just started on our new phase. Now it is much further along and we'd love to have you back out to visit us again." That was her ask, subtle, and related to the specific timing and phase of construction of the project when I last visited. She continues and tells me if I am interested there is still time to select flooring in these units, and DR Horton has added some nice upgrades.

No pressure, just acknowledgement. I thanked her, and hung up feeling that was a great exchange. It may seem small, but here are the take aways from me that Marcie delivered:
  • She knew me: when I was out to visit, where I work, and that I own a home.
  • She made an offer that related to me, not her: If I am interested I can still select flooring
  • She listened: No pushines, no threat to call back later, just clear, pleasant exchange of information
Bottom line ... she left me with the information that this particular development is healthy and proceeding, she didn't try and force me into anything, nor did she give me a sense she was at all desperate. She simply listened and used what she heard to tell her story. Awesome.

And for those so inclined, Alegria is a very cool single-family attached product with great amenities already in, located just off I-10 at Cook, and Frank Sinatra in Palm Desert. Comfortable floorplans, high level of fit and finish and well-priced. Check it out. Great job Marcie, thanks for a fabulous follow-up experience.


  1. Marcie was already a pro because of her name. Greatness and class were her destiny. ;)

  2. Anonymous - I know you share this name, but you would still be right on that! :-)

  3. Great column, and you're right, Teri - builder follow-up is a rarity, and to have it done with such finesse is almost non-existent. Even though it's been almost 15 years ago, I still remember how a townhome salesperson in Houston zeroed in on me as I was visiting the model with a friend, a buyer. I'll never forget how the salesperson, once he determined I wasn't a prospect, dropped me like he just found out I had leprosy. No, I wasn't interested in buying right then, but I might have been able to refer somebody...

  4. I love hearing positive things like this!! It's a sure sign that there are still pro's out there who truly love what they do! Way to go Marci!! :-)