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Archive for October, 2012

Hi everyone, Happy Monday…

I know for East Coasters, there’s more important things to worry about today with Hurricane Sandy creating havoc up and down the eastern seaboard and bringing torrential rain and wind all over the NE US and into the Great Lakes region of both the US and Canada. As such, I really hope everyone stays safe, follows the safety instructions and comes out of this unscathed.

For those of you NOT affected by today’s big time news weather events, I wanted to bring a little Monday Methodology to your day to help keep you on track for the week.

Now, first off, a critical reminder to put every one of these calls into your calendars as RECURRING APPOINTMENTS, synch with your phone, put in your paper daytimers, stick in your Outlook calendar, write them on the back of your glove hand, on the mirror where you shave or put your make-up on every day, whatever. Just get these in to your schedule so they pop up and make you join us:

Monday 11:00 AM – HELP LINE CALL

Every Other Wednesday 11:00 AM – COACHING CALL WITH CRAIG

Thursday 11:00 AM – ROLE PLAY CLINIC

Friday 11:00 AM – AD CLINIC

Let’s start by re-analyzing exactly what it is Craig and I want you to accomplish and this is where your current primary focus should be as you continue implementing…

Even if you’re tired of the constant reference to its importance, OPPORTUNITY CREATION for your business using a completely relevant marketing strategy is still the critical juncture for you right now. Operating as a stellar Lead Generator first and a Realtor second will ALWAYS be an important part of your day to day activities. Even after you’ve successfully created a couple of campaigns that drop leads into your lap daily, you’ll NEVER stop looking at their performance indicators – traffic generated, medium(s) used, message presented, market communicated to. It will be a MAINSTAY for the rest of your career.

As such, how much time every day do you actually spend in your lead gen efforts? It can’t just simply be a passing moment or two. It needs to be a focal point of every day, every morning as you work ON your business. Until you’re literally inundated with people asking you for something as a result of the marketing campaigns (on-line or off-line), there’s no value in discussing growing teams or any of that stuff. You can’t succeed unless you have LEADS, you can’t create leads until you get the marketing discussions Craig and I have with you every week. You need to become a totally obsessed with your marketing – believe me, everything else will fall in place when you are getting tons of requests daily. Until then, you need to be RELENTLESS in your marketing efforts…

Your marketing campaigns ABSOLUTELY must reflect the trends locally in terms of sales and what people want so you can easily and predictably create the request for it from them – remember the best marketing simply offers a prospect what they want – that in turn creates your OPPORTUNITY CREATION over and over again, every day.

As an Example: In a local newspaper, one that’s delivered to every home FREE, or that only comes out that comes out one or twice a week, or has a 7 day lifespan can you run 3 classifieds, one display and one editorial based completely on local real estate trends? Not sure? Let’s look at the merits of this print media pillar in your world.

Now some of you have excuses and reasons for NOT spending enough time at your marketing or only doing the bare minimum and here’s my reaction to that: WHY??? Our systemized approach to Lead Generation is completely turnkey, and you often hear me say: “IF YOU CAN COPY, YOU CAN SUCCEED”. It’s completely true…

You came to us looking for a more effective way to earn your keep as an agent, we’ve helped countless agents around the world succeed beyond their expectations using this method, and you asked us to teach it to you.

We have NEVER found a market where it doesn’t work. Are all markets the same? Of course not, I can tell you that Winnipeg’s market is MUCH different than Vancouver’s market, that Moncton, NB’s market is completely different than Manhattan’s market. But before you sit back and say “See Rick, I’m right”, let’s actually look and see if all four of those MLS systems reveal sales for the past 30 days….YUP!! They all do. That means right now, in every market, in every city, in every place there are SELLERS that need to get answers about selling and there are BUYERS that just want access to the best deals they can afford.

How do you get in front of them and where do you allow them to bump in to your marketing and react to it? Here are some suggestions for you to think about.

Hopefully you are working with at least 3 (yes, three!!!) or more of these all day every day plus the others that aren’t on this quick list…

  • GOOGLE AdWord should be running for your business using a moderate daily budget
  • Direct Mail should be running offering the right solution for Sellers
  • Inexpensive Newspaper Ads like Classifieds, display ads, and Editorials should be running for you
  • USP Marketing of your listings should be setting you apart in the marketplace
  • Facebook PPC can easily introduce a compelling call-to-action message in your local network or city
  • On-Line classifieds like Kijiji, Craigslist, BackPage, and other local site should be utilized every morning.
  • For Sale signage should be creating traffic to either a landing page or a hotline message box
  • Compelling Call-to-Action E-Mail into your database?

It’s not rocket science that getting good at marketing for leads is a crucial practice for your business. If it were, I’d be in serious trouble. Focus your efforts in your marketing rolling across an effective, multi-layered program and the leads will flow in, easily and predictably, all day long.

Have a good week,

-Rick

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So if you recall, last month we began a logical discussion about how creating leads for your business leads to predictable income. That, as long as a proven formula for creating appointments is used. You may recall my thoughts that being a good lead generator but a poor “follow upper” actually works against you. It’s true. There’s been much said and written in the last few years about that precious resource, the fertile crop of prospects, that exists in every market place.  Any business coach, (not just real estate trainers) who understands the ‘real’ ideology behind lead generation, couples up the value of a conversion skill-set when they discuss success in detail.

Every Thursday, in our Success Training curriculum, we request, in fact INSIST that our members join James MacDonald, Craig and often me on our conversion, our role-play tele-clinic. For our coached members, this call is part of the program, and shouldn’t be treated as optional. Think of it as a requirement in your mastery of the system and attending every Thursday at 11:00 am should be a no-brainer.

Remember, our lead conversion framework is built on the natural conversational fit of our Universal Follow-Up Script, or as I often refer to it, the “UFUS” in a direct response, lead generation model.

One of most precious resources hard working, lead-generating agents have is that fertile crop of local, market based prospects that simply need an appropriate amount of nurturing. Not even closing, just a helping hand without them even realizing at first they are being helped.

When I started with Craig, I developed a valuable guideline that we applied to the lead generation and conversion side of our business. It’s a simple 3 part plan that makes lots of sense when you reason on it logically…

1.     We run appropriate marketing to simply create requests for more information. (LEAD GENERATION)

2.     We follow up on THESE REQUESTS to determine timing & motivation creating face-to-face appointments. (CONVERSION 1)

3.     We conduct that appointment to create a”Client” relationship. (CONVERSION 2)

This article, along with last months, deals primarily with point #2, converting the leads to appointments. I can’t stress enough the importance of being engaged in this constantly . We work with many agents who come to us having never really mastered this skill because of continuing to hunt for the right thing to say and ultimately saying all the worng things in the conversion conversation.

Look, know this: This particular conversation DOESN’T need a 25 minute discussion on the phone with you believing you need to impress the prospect with your skill, real estate prowess, and market knowledge. In fact, going down that conversational path often requires you to give up control of the conversation and the vast majority of times; you hang up the phone with neither an appointment to meet the prospect, or a clear picture of what’s next.

If a prospect simply comes and says “give me more” what should you do? Simple answer: GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. If you market that you have a report on “what happens to a home in a divorce” and they ask for it, send it to them. Then, when you call to follow up, acknowledge their request, confirm it being sent out (post mail or e-mail) and carry on with the NATURAL conversion discussion. Once they’ve thanked you, ask them what’s going on: “So (prospect name) are you folks considering a move in the near future?”

Guess what they tell you? Yes or no! And probably some details about timing the sale and subsequent move. In your quest to determine timing and motivation, the UFUS takes you through a controlled conversation: You could now ask them about their plans for causing the move: “And with your impending move, will you be leaving the area or staying local?

Again, another natural question to bring in to the discussion as you attempt to clearly understand their timing and motivation. By the way, at this point in the life of the prospect, nothing else maters except you understanding that, Timing and Motivation! Harsh? Perhaps, but truthful in the conversion skill set!

The next thing that makes sense is to try and get a handle on the exact timing of their impending project so you could go a little deeper, asking for some finer details:  “OK (prospect name), that all makes sense so what’s your timing on this, when would you like to have this selling project buttoned up and completely finished?”

Again, they’ll simply tell you. Interesting how engaging a prospect in a simple conversation about Real Estate is so easy when you don’t come across as a hard closer, a nosey parker, or an over-the-top, know-it-all Real Estate agent. Yes, there’s a little bit of branding and realization going on here but not enough to turn a prospect off. The conversation still sounds as if it’s totally benefiting them, perfect! At this point in the conversation, here’s what I say, already knowing the answer 85% of the time: “So are you working with an agent yet? Sometimes they mention one, but usually they say no. (I live in a city of 1.2 million people with only 5500 agents.)

Now looking back over the conversation, suppose they answered an earlier question with the idea in mind that they will be staying local and they will be buying again (the most common answer we get). Maybe it’s a move up, (low interest rates right now, good levels of inventory, prices still down) maybe it’s a downsize, maybe it’s just a lateral move to a new area, newer home, closer to work, closer to school, etc.

That being answered, the sensible conversational continuation has you now querying them about that aspect of the entire project: “So with your impending move, are you looking for a new home now, before you’ve sold your current home, or are you just currently focused on selling first before buying?”

At this juncture, let me tell you I personally love this question because now, in my mind, with that simple, well worded question, the entire process for this prospect is framed allowing a seamless, easy transition into the absolute perfect , irresistible seller offer. By the way, your offer needs to match the needs of the prospect, not YOUR needs. (remember to always give a prospect what they want)  so, in order to move forward confidently, the prospect just has to see a simple, easy-to-understand solution to their query, problem, or life. Selling a home a life milestone and our reaction to their impending project will or will not guarantee your participation in that event.

As well, they especially don’t want to sound uneducated to you, they want to feel comfortable and supported in their decision to sell their home. The offer you make needs to subtly cover those bases, dealing with the personal needs of the seller.

So, that last question we asked them will completely describe a seller’s entire process in High Definition, Technicolor for me. How so? Because their answer will present about MOTIVATION and TIMING so that you can easily BECOME THEIR AGENT OF CHOICE even if they don’t know it yet. All that remains now is for an appropriate offer to be made, allowing for that appointment (point #2 of our 3 point plan).

So next month, I’ll share four (4) perfect offers you can make that will get you the appointment practically every time, two for buy first prospects, two for sell first prospects.                         -Rick

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