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Archive for June, 2012

So this month, I wanted to revisit the whole discussion on conversion and its role in our business plan. If you spend any time, effort, or money creating opportunity through a predictable, Lead Generation strategy, you know that getting people to react to your marketing really isn’t all that difficult. In fact you’ve likely discovered, like so many of our hard working members, that being overwhelmed with leads is a common situation to be in. This especially once you’re really dialed in to your local market place and have created TRENDING marketing campaigns that seamlessly draw prospects in.

Let me establish a beach head for this discussion: Running direct response marketing to create requests for help from prospective new clients (leads) without effectively following up with them is a complete waste of your hard earned cash, your valuable time, and the world’s supply of bandwidth. Even if you have some automatic system that takes a lead and begins an automated contact drip or info supply system (yes, that’s better than nothing but not much), not physically picking up the phone and calling them to determine their motives for responding to your marketing is costing you THOUSANDS of dollars.

It’s simple to see: NOTHING replaces a quick but pointed conversation with a prospect shortly after they’ve raised their hand. NOTHING IS BETTER than you personally taking that lead and having a carefully controlled discussion to really determine their immediate needs, timing, and ability to sell or buy.

Over the years, we’ve met people who’ve been quick to generate leads, but SLOW to respond as taught. In fact I can recall with great accuracy many conversations I’ve had with people who want to DELEGATE that responsibility as soon as they learn about it. This can be a huge mistake.

It’s really UNproductive to delegate something as DOLLAR-PRODUCTIVE as follow-up calls when you haven’t developed the skills personally to enable you to create appointments at will. Until you can do that, the learning curve for an assistant, taught by you, will be long and steep. I’m not saying this can’t be done, but I’m telling you that YOU have to be killer good at it first, developing some very productive, trackable skills and do it effectively with others listening in. If you haven’t gained the ULTIMATE skill and comfort with this, you WON’T recognize bad habits in those you reluctantly assign this duty to. You WON’T recognize the mistakes they make because you won’t know what they are. Most importantly, you really won’t have the working experience to handle common objections and get around them on the way to creating the appointment. You get better at something by DOING IT. The 10,000 hour rule really carries water here. (read: “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell)

To get that good at something, guess what? You have to WANT to excel at it. You have to be willing to systematically follow a well trodden, possibly bumpy path as you go. For certain, you WILL make mistakes.  No wonder Craig spends most of the first afternoon at every SuperConference talking about converting leads to appointments. No wonder James MacDonald conducts the Role Play clinic EVERY THURSDAY for our Coaching, Mastery, Grad, Platinum, and Diamond members. LEARNING THIS CORRECTLY IS THAT IMPORTANT!

So the words we say, the way we say them, the way we deal with a prospects viewpoints, and the manner in which we conduct this conversation has a huge affect on the expected outcome. Recently I had a chat with a member who said they it was a struggle to get appointments. I asked one simple question: “In your heart, as an experienced agent, do you really believe that the Universal Call Back Script has great merit in your business plan?”

He replied that he had been taught a barrage of scripts and dialogues and he was more concerned about getting in to the right one for a conversation than he was at simply asking 4 or 5 generic questions to quickly learn the prospects timing and motivation. He really thought there was more to it than just simply creating a sit down appointment. He was stuck on the repore thing, trying to build it with the prospect from the very first contact.

So like I did with him,
let’s logically discuss and understand how the simple task of calling a lead back immediately is not only a smart business decision, and using the right mentality and the right words creates an easy route to those highly desired face-to-face appointments all of us want…

Imagine you can actually tap in to that comfort zone of the prospect and your entire production system follows suit? Would that not be absolutely awesome for your business? If you aren’t getting this, give your head a shake. Having people contact you and ASK FOR HELP is the best way to work. That makes the follow up procedure the easiest it can possibly be because those prospects that went looking for you are now predisposed to accepting the help offered already, and they’ve indicated their desire to buy or sell. Here it is: THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY BEGGING IN A STRATEGIC LEAD GEN / CONVERSION SYSTEM (In case you still don’t get it, this is WAY COOL!!!)

Let me illustrate this for you further: Let’s make some calls. Open your phone book and start calling the M’s and let’s see how long it takes to even find interest. OK, you found someone after 79 calls but how hard was it? How much rejection did you encounter? How discouraged did you feel at begging conversation 23 or 57? Honestly, how easy was getting an appointment from a cold call? C’mon be honest with yourself, cold calling? Are you serious? Now, go to your inbox or your voice mail message box, and call back the people who asked you for something this morning.

Again, as mentioned earlier, let’s just imagine we have a “Free Over the Phone Home Evaluation Postcard” campaign running and 2000 houses get your card every three weeks.  Once you receive their request for the evaluation, go to your MLS, print off 4 or 5 of the properties that have sold around their home recently, drop them in the mail with a letter and then simply call to let them know it’s on the way. Go ahead, do it now and begin that conversation with them saying this:

“Hi Mr. (their name), it’s (your name) with (your company) and I just wanted to let you know that earlier today I received your request for the over the ‘phone evaluation of your home over in (AREA) and I just thought I’d let you know that I dropped the last (5) closed sales in this morning’s mail for you, I hope that’s OK. By the way, in light of your request, are you folks planning to sell your home this summer?

So, how hard is that introduction to a say? Frankly, it’s pretty easy. It’s not complicated; it draws the prospect in to the conversation because they are actually expecting this after asking for it.

Or how about the person who calls you off your ad in Homes and Lands magazine or calls you because you have a prominent For Sale sign swinging on a popular street. Is there any difference? Try this:

Oh hi (name) thanks for calling, that property was listed 2 weeks ago, are you folks looking for a home in the (neighbourhood name) area? Have you seen any other homes in there that you are looking for information on or is our listing the only one that interests you? So instead of me simply TELLING you about that home, would you like a fully loaded, full color feature sheet of that home sent? Great, by the way are you folks planning a move this summer?

Again, wouldn’t this be the natural conversation starter to have with a prospect that has called you or contacted you or left a note on your landing page or a message in your hotline mailbox? ALL DAY LONG! In fact, going off on tangents with a prospect at this stage in the process discussing how great you are, how many houses you’ve sold, and all that usual jazz actually turns prospects off in the beginning, preventing the conversation from progressing. Why? Because that presumes they were out looking for you. They weren’t yet you’ve generated their request for MORE info. WOW!

Next month, we’ll talk about this even more and I’ll show you to how easily transition into an EASY, APPOINTMENT GENERATING conversation.  -Rick

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Let’s look at our Real Estate business from a real business person’s perspective this month. I mean, lets really imagine how you would like your business to look.

First, the dreaming room: If you could close your eyes and transport yourself 5 or 10 years into the future, imagine exactly what you want your business to look like then. This could be fun. I can honestly say that a dozen or so years ago when I found the Quantum Leap system and decided to create my “Marketing Based” business model as Craig taught me, I never, EVER dreamed my life would look like it does today. I always envisioned a working, blue collar existence, earning commissions and being a good dad and husband. The biggest, unimagined benefit that came from implementing the Quantum Leap system was a life I had only heard about. In fact, growing up as I did, I didn’t even have friends who did the things that Carol and I get to do today.

I’m NOT trying to sound boastful but because of the simple but effective training I was willing to absorb (and yes, it took some discipline and there were lots of personal stubbornness challenges as I changed the way I thought about selling houses) from my mentor Craig, today we have a lifestyle that’s the nucleus of who we are. I’ve said it a thousand times: “I have no interest in my gravestone saying HE WAS A GOOD REALTOR.” Sure, we still need to do some work, and we still need to be in touch with our local market, but overall, we spend an inordinate amount of time doing the things that WE want to do. We travel extensively. By the time you read this, I will have already returned home from yet another GREAT motorcycle touring trip up the west coast with some great friends. We’ll have been toSan Diego, all overArizona, the Grand Canyon,ZionPark, andYellowstone. Later this year, we’re riding through Mexico, then out to Chicago, and all the way back to our home in Phoenix on Historic Route 66. As well in August, Carol takes her yearly “girls only” vacation out east and ends up in New York, New England, and possibly Miami.

Carol and I will split our time for the balance of 2012 between our home in Calgary and our home on the west side of Phoenix.

Next, make an “alignment” decision: So if you want to have the life and the business you just finished thinking about (sorry to regale you with my dream) and if getting there is a complete challenge then the logical decision is to look for some help from someone who at least shares part of your dream. I’ve learned over the years that many people build dreams around simply emulating someone’s lifestyle or accomplishments that seem intriguing. Many young and aspiring athletes model their practice, routine, and performance after that sports most dominant star. Many look at the lives of celebrities portrayed on TV and work towards something similar.  Regardless of the dream, there’s much good advice out there in gaining momentum after studying what others have done. This falls in line with the belief that the success leaves clues an those clues are there for each one of us to grab, study and emulate.

In business, there’s countless business schools that offer the latest and greatest methods, the best education, the most up to date, in-tune education. Donald Trump clearly and openly tells anyone who asks him that he believes that success and education go hand in hand. Donald Trump himself runs a business training seminar business and for a fee, you can supposedly tap in to his expertise and knowledge for the purpose of improving your results.

So, this exercise of seeking out the BEST help you can find is really all about you, your business, your success, your family life, your future. Understanding this simply helps you realize that aligning yourself with someone capable and able who’ll teach you, show you, explain to you, and give you the needed instruction to succeed means you are coachable, you have humility, and your can continue to learn as you grow.  Few if any people really attain a sustainable measure of success without seeking help.

In our industry, coaches are thick and plenty, many claiming to be the most capable, yet many of them have NEVER had a real estate license. My career was affected greatly when I agreed to let Craig coach me. His methods for teaching business management, integrating fundamental systems for real estate, and sharing a sustainable lead creation strategy are cutting edge, the best in the industry. As well, Craig was an accomplished Realtor as well so he understood exactly what I was faced with. I struggled to find my next pay cheque before Craig took me on. I didn’t really understand how the business worked, even though I’d been in and out of it for almost 10 years. If you have the chance to be coached by Craig, my advice is TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY.

Then, Hang with like minded folks: Seeking out people who, like you, want to reach a certain mastery plateau is a GREAT idea. There’s an old saying “You are who your friends are”. This is simple to understand, hang with people that will encourage you to stretch and grow, and do it on a regular basis. Do you mastermind with like minded professionals? Do you seek out other aspiring entrepreneurs eager to learn, be coached, and humble enough accept criticism. In every industry, there are standards of excellence to reach for. There are also acceptable measuring sticks that indicate progress. Do the associates you’ve chosen share the same level of intensity that you do trying to stretch to new heights?

I remember the first time I attended a SuperConference. I was mesmerized by the level of champion real estate agents in attendance. Of course I was intimidated, I felt like a fish completely out of water. But I REALLY liked the fact that most of the people I met were there to grow professionally like me and the sharing, giving sprit that existed was simply awesome. I have friends today that I made from my first event.

Our Inner Circlemembers, who are fully engaged in learning the basic fundamentals of lead generation and lead conversion, have this very opportunity. Attending the next Super Conference is something every member should be planning to do. If only to see the complete manifestation of the Quantum Leap system, the event affords everyone the best chance of implementing a profit engineering real estate system.

There are a number of things to take advantage of at the event. For example; one of the key systems Craig teaches is LEAD GENERATION. At the SuperConference you get to see first hand what our top members from across North America do every day to create opportunity in their business. Typical real estate behavior is to AVOID this discussion and focus on brand building and image marketing – because that looks like more fun on the surface. At the SuperConference, one of the first key lessons is this: Marketing serves one major purpose – to grow your opportunity base NOT help you win a popularity contest. Hanging with 2000 people who agree that this, amongst others, is a crucial message to really implement into the business plan is accepted business practice in 2012. Think of it as the retreat your business needs you to take so you can work ON IT for a few days, incorporating some much needed changes. Come find me when you arrive, I’m anxious to meet you and help you make the much needed right turn. See you there…   -Rick

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