Sunday, November 19, 2017

Month-by-Month Watch to Hit Your Goalsinfluence

By Julie Escobar

There’s an old saying, “there’s acres of diamonds” in your book of business.   But only if you’re willing to put in the work to make sure it stays on track.  The key to your sphere of influence is of course, influence.  That relationship you develop where they know you, like you, and trust you. That last one is vital.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”   It’s a great illustration of the importance of staying in front of the folks in your sphere until they are ready, willing, and able to buy or sell and trust you enough to be the one they call when they do.

Each month make an appointment with yourself to review for at least one hour where you are in terms of your book of business.  Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How many past clients will I contact this month? 
  2. What is my focus? 
  3. Who can I add to my database?
  4. What’s working and what’s not? 

Then take action on your answers.  Top agents don’t worry about chasing their next commission. They know that a strong sphere, connected with month after month, will reap all the leads they want and more!

Here is a reminder of the 10 strategies you should always consider for creating and keeping a results-producing sphere of influence.  

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market. Click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™. In it you’ll find a list of everyone who should be in your sphere of influence.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve got the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good long look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or 5 per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of homeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful sphere of influence postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you put the right pieces in place to allow you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit our SPECIALS page today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and flip cameras and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.  Use our On the Web Series of postcards to drive your offline traffic to these valuable and engaging sites.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success. 

 

SEND-CALL-SEE Approach to Your Spheresphere of influence

by Julie Escobar

All right, I’ll admit it:  I’m a planner.  I know, I know.  How BORING – right?  But you know after years of hanging around speakers and trainers and industry experts – I do know that success very rarely falls into anyone’s lap.   It’s crafted month after month, and year after year by people who are willing to do the work to get the rewards.  And that?  Is a formula to rally behind – old fashioned or not.  The key to a GREAT sphere of influence is INFLUENCE. You know- the kind where you can CONSISTENTLY count on referrals and business from folks because you’ve taken the time to cultivate a relationship where they get to KNOW you, TRUST you, and TURN TO YOU when they have a real estate question or need. And it doesn’t have to be HARD. Or uber-time consuming. Or super expensive. It just has to be DONE. Over and over, month after month.  The results?  Are BANKABLE.

Helping agents achieve that kind of bankable influence is one of the biggest reasons we brought back the Master Marketing Schedule.  Knowing what to do when just make things a whole lot easier doesn’t it?

Try this…

The Send-Call-See Formula…

SEND something every month or every 21-45 days to your book of business, sphere of influence, database, whatever YOU have labeled your customer and prospect base. Holiday postcards, recipe cards, inspiration cardsneighborhood update cards or newsletters — all are great ways to connect every month and stay in front of your sphere.

CALL everyone in your base at least four times a year.  Don’t stress about it.  I can’t tell you how many agents DON’T pick up the phone just because they’re afraid they won’t know what to say.  Start with “Hello!” Add in your name.  Ask them how they are – let them know the market it changing CONSTANTLY and just see if they have questions.  Be a resource.  A consultant.  People today appreciate that way more than they do a pushy salesperson anyway – so just be on their side and if they say YES, I’d like you to come over (some will!) then give them some time options and lock it down.  See?  That’s not so painful!

SEE everyone in your base at least twice a year.  Whether you do that all at one time at a customer appreciation event or spread it out by walking the neighborhoods, inviting special  clients to lunch, hosting community workshops,  attending neighborhood block parties, setting up shop at the local Starbucks for an hour or so or all of the above – make it a point to get out and about and let people put the face with the name!

Formulas don’t have to be fancy to be right on the money.  Try the Send-Call-See formula and put it to work for you starting this month!

Oh – and if you need help figuring out WHAT to send – our team is more than happy to lend you their expertise!  Call them today at 866.405.3638!  Meanwhile – check out our all new SPECIALS (and great deals) today!  Just click here!  

A Formula For Successsuccess

by Julie Escobar

All right, I’ll admit it:  I’m a planner.  I know, I know.  How BORING – right?  But you know after years of hanging around speakers and trainers and industry experts – I do know that success very rarely falls into anyone’s lap.   It’s crafted month after month, and year after year by people who are willing to do the work to get the rewards.  And that?  Is a formula to rally behind – old fashioned or not-right?

Take the Send-Call-See Formula…

SEND something every month or every 21-45 days to your book of business, sphere of influence, database, whatever YOU have labeled your customer and prospect base.

CALL everyone in your base at least four times a year.  Don’t stress about it.  I can’t tell you how many agents DON’T pick up the phone just because they’re afraid they won’t know what to say.  Start with “Hello!” Add in your name.  Ask them how they are – let them know the market it changing CONSTANTLY and just see if they have questions.  Be a resource.  A consultant.  People today appreciate that way more than they do a pushy salesperson anyway – so just be on their side and if they say YES, I’d like you to come over (some will!) then give them some time options and lock it down.  See?  That’s not so painful!

SEE everyone in your base at least twice a year.  Whether you do that all at one time at a customer appreciation event or spread it out by walking the neighborhoods, inviting special  clients to lunch, hosting community workshops,  attending neighborhood block parties, setting up shop at the local Starbucks for an hour or so or all of the above – make it a point to get out and about and let people put the face with the name!

Formulas don’t have to be fancy to be right on the money.  Try the Send-Call-See formula and put it to work for you starting this month!

Oh – and if you need help figuring out WHAT to send – our team is more than happy to lend you their expertise!  Call them today at 866.405.3638!  Meanwhile – check out our all new SPECIALS (and great deals) today!  Just click here!  

Make it a great one!

The Inside Scoop From Real Estate Professional Linda Alexandroff

By Julie Escobar

With Pinterest taking off like wildfire, I wanted to dive in and do some homework about how top agents are using this tool to bolster their marketing efforts and help create connections and build relationships.  To get the inside scoop on what’s working and how this unique social media platform can be a powerful lead generator, I turned to talented agents and forward thinker Linda Alexandroff to share her experience with us!

Q:  Thanks so much Linda for joining in our conversation about Pinterest.  You’ve been using this platform for a while – can you tell us about your experience and why you decided to integrate Pinterest into your marketing and communication tools?

A: I am a social media junkie and love to incorporate all phases of social media in my marketing plans. Depending on the interest level of clients, I try to hit all of their favorite sites into any plan to market their homes. Pinterest holds a special place in my heart because of the reach it has across demographics. I use it to supplement listings but mainly to demonstrate my interests both in real estate and personally. Typically I will “link” it to my business Facebook page, blog entries, tweets, Google+ and sometimes a link to LinkedIn. By using Pinterest in a thoughtful, connected manner I am able to establish a sphere of influence with wide ranging likes.

Q:  How have you found it has helped your business?

A. New clients, especially younger 21-34 year olds, are very interested in what you think and like. They have no problem striking up an “on-line” conversation with you about what they see you have posted. I believe these posts are a great way to connect with them because it takes very little effort and has a broad impact. I know for sure I would not be able to have conversations with people living across the country but an online presence makes it simple. Nurturing a good on-line relationship has helped me develop trust and referrals.

Q:  What would your advice be to other agents or business professionals about this tool?

A. Embracing technology, especially emerging social media tools like Pinterest, will make you a stronger professional in the eyes of young consumers. We all know that developing a good relationship will pay off in the end. It might start as a referral for a rental, but with consistency and a little effort, eventually it turns into sales and purchases. The 21-34 years old have strong networks of families and friends; keeping up with that segment of the population will definitely increase your presence among them. It may take a few minutes of your time, but LINK everything to each other. If one person finds an interesting post from you on one site they will share it while other people may have different social media favorites and find you on another site. It may seem redundant but it is really the easiest way to stay in touch with the most people. Also make sure all posts appear on your website as a rolling feature.

Q:  How do you keep from letting it steal all your time?  

A. I dedicate an hour, twice a week, to update my social media outlets. Typically, I use my free time in the evening, when I am surfing the net, or checking emails, to update. I do find Pinterest to be especially easy to use. If I see something I like, whether it is a design element, a listing, an open house, a recipe, etc. I use the “Pin It” icon on my computer to easily post it. I also immediately click the Twitter icon on Pinterest to share it among my followers. Frankly, if you spend the initial time linking your sites, the computer does the rest for you.

Q:  Wow Linda – you’ve been terrific to lend your experience and advice on this topic for our readers.  Thank you so much!  Tell me, how can users follow you online so they can learn from an EXPERT?

A. People can connect with me in a number of ways!  Here are my links:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaAlexandroffRealtorAssociate, http://www.coldwellbanker.com/website/LindaAlexandroff , http://pinterest.com/west757/, My Blog: Simply Extraordinary

Terrific!  So here’s to all of you out there who are interested in creating even more diversity in your marketing and are open to new tools and ideas!  Start pinning!  Oh – and while you’re at it – look us up at www.pinterest.com/prospectsplus – we’ll see you online! 

An Interview with Sales Industry Legend Floyd Wickman

By Julie Escobar

Want to know how to get listing leads?  Go to top.  That’s just what I did for this inside look at how real estate professionals can generate more leads, increase their productivity and build their book of business.  So I climbed up on the mountain…ok…really I just made a call to an old friend who just happens to be an expert on the topic – Floyd Wickman. Always willing to share and eager to help a girl out – Floyd offered great insight, quick wit and smart strategies.

Here’s what I learned…

Q:  Hey Floyd!  As always, wonderful to connect with you!  This month I’ve been focusing on lead generation for agents, so I was looking for some strategies to help agents keep their pipeline full of listing leads!  Who better to help with that question than YOU?  What do you believe are say the top three ways agents can develop listing leads in today’s market?

A:  Hey Julie, right back at you!  Always happy to help.  Hmmm…top three huh?   I’ve got to say, first of all, let’s take a look at the most obvious – but often the most overlooked by a lot of agents strategy.  Your current listings.  In other words, one listing can help you generate leads, so imagine what 10 listings could do for you-right?  So I just want agents to realize that up front – the more listings you get, the more leads you’ll produce just by having that listing.

Let’s look real quick though at the difference between a lead and a prospect.  The leads are your starting point right?  (Because let’s face it – not too many people are walking in the office jumping up and down saying “I want to buy a house!  I want to buy a house with you!”  Right?  So the key is to turn those leads (names and contacts) into prospects (someone you know is interested in buying or selling now or in the future.)  In my program we teach agents to focus on the activities that will help them do just that and I must say – even in today’s changing market – we’re STILL averaging over one transaction per person per week.

So, the first thing is to focus on listings being the name of the game.  Secondly, we’re teaching agents to focus on calling for referrals.  Their job is to call four hours a week to everyone they know and everyone who they know knows for referrals and they’re averaging 2.4 referrals a week.  From this, they can expect to pull a referral from every twelve conversations on average!  Which is great!  And of course, is perfect for someone with just one listing or a low inventory of listings.  Just note that the agents STILL get more leads from the listings they already have than from the calls.  It’s that simple.  Referral calling is great – but alone it will never get you as many leads as what we call the ‘inventory magnet.’

Thirdly, we have them focus on other niche areas they can be working such as expireds and FSBOs.  Right now, agents seem to be having more success with the expireds and you know working that niche can start out as simply as sending multiple mailings to those expireds sharing what you can do for them.  Something you guys at ProspectsPLUS! know a lot about!  The trick there is to FOLLOW UP on those mailings.  Don’t be afraid to make a call or knock on a door and let people know what you’re about and more importantly, how you can help them.

Q:  We sure do Floyd and I’ll share some of that information in the end of the interview – thanks!  I’m so glad you brought up the stats you guys keep.  I think it’s important for agents to know that agents are having REAL success out there.  That with focus, the right tools and the right strategies – they can build a powerful inventory and customer base that will allow them to earn a great living – not just RIGHT NOW but long into the future if they keep in touch!   Can we talk for a minute about those referral calls?  What are agents saying that’s helping them attract so many referrals?

A:  Sure!  Like anything else, I believe making referral calls (or doing anything successfully) requires a process.  It helps people stay on track and not get overwhelmed.  Here’s some great dialogue that works.  “Hi, (name) – my name is Floyd Wickman  and I’m expanding my business and I could use your help.”  (Often times it’s smart to explain WHY you’re expanding your business…)  “You see, we’re kind of in a perfect storm in this market.  We’ve got the largest, best-priced inventory of homes that we’ve had in YEARS as well as extremely favorable interest rates, so it really is the perfect time to buy. So I’m expanding my business and I was wondering if I were to ask you to refer me to someone interested in buying or selling would you be willing to do that?”  (People almost always say yes to this – it’s just an easy, no-pressure answer.  That doesn’t mean they’ll always actually give you a referral mind you – but it starts the process.)

Remember this—people don’t refer as a favor to YOU–they refer as a favor to the people they know. In order to do that – they need reassurance that it’s the right thing to do.  That’s where you come in. You have to reassure them.  Something along the lines of, “You know, I promise you that if you did see your way clear to referring me that I will never pressure that person, I would treat them like royalty and I’d never, ever do anything to embarrass you.  Fair enough? Who do you know that might be interested?  Perhaps someone at work?  Maybe someone in the neighborhood or a friend?  (NOTE: There’s always magic in threes!)

Q:   Great stuff Floyd, Thank you.  Finally, let’s talk a little about how often people should stay in touch with their sphere or what you guys call their book of business.  I know how important it is, you know how important it is, but unfortunately, not all the agents out there get how important it is.  What are your thoughts?

A:  Ahhh – well you know the teacher in my wants to talk about why people know what to do but don’t want to do it-right?  Let’s see, I would say at the very LEAST, you should be contacting your book of business in a face-to-face or voice-to-voice capacity three or four times a year.  And of course, I recommend you put a system in place that without a lot of time, effort or energy on your part, you’re also contacting people every few weeks or every month as well.  Keep in mind if you’re not talking to your customers or keeping your name in front of them – someone else probably is!

Q:  You’re right there!  I hear this question a lot and I’m sure you do too:  “What do I SAY when I get them on the phone?”  Can you help us out?

A:  Oh yeah!  People always tell me, “I know what to say the first time or even the second time but what do I say after that?”  I tell them this, start with “Hi!  How are you?”  Once you get those four words out – the rest kind of takes care of itself.  It’s like I say to salespeople all the time…Selling is a CONTACT sport.  If you’re not willing to talk to people, it really doesn’t matter how many leads you generate.

Q:  Grin – and with THAT – I just found the title to the article!  Thank you Floyd for some fabulous reminders of what to do to keep your pipeline filled, your momentum going and your business booming!  By the way, tell me a little about the new project you’ve got going. 

A:  Thanks for asking.  It’s kind of fun – I’m making “house calls” now.  We’ve developed this cool, new, interactive platform that allows me to come into office meetings in a virtual video setting where I can see them and they can see me and we can connect.  It’s as close to being “in person” as you can be without getting on a plane!  Man, I tell you – isn’t technology incredible?  It’s been a great experience for our clients and a lot of fun for me to learn and to do!

That sounds amazing Floyd!  Thanks so much again for your time, energy and as always – incredible insights!  If you’d like to learn more about Floyd and his results systems – you can visit his site online at www.floydwickman.com.  You can also find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloydWickman –while you’re there – look us up too at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus and “like” our page!

If you’d like to learn more about the powerful systems we have for staying in touch with your sphere or book of business easily, affordably and without a lot of time on your part – call our inside account team at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com.  Don’t forget to use this month’s PROMO CODE LOCAL15 to save 15% off your next order!  Take care!