You might ask why out of 500 visits to your website, only 1 visitor might actually contact you about a listing. That low conversion rate is very typical and it’s the obsession of the latest trend in digital marketing – harvesting the few web visitors you have, rather than building on what you have.
Instead, a strategy of growing your online prospects and presenting an irresistable brand image is the way to really jump start your leads and sales. The bar is raised. There’s a lot of noise out there. You need to establish a new image that isn’t eroded by wealthy competitors.
That’s the biggest Realtor problem: a poor value proposition. And let’s say I drive 100,000 visitors to your website via Google and social media and you still don’t convert those leads? It’s up to you to present a value proposition or brand image that makes them want to work only with you.
This post is about demystifing Realtor branding. It’s not about fancy business cards with smiling faces of clients. Its really about knowing your target market and presenting a laser clear value proposition that communicates the key benefits these people must have.
So why is it that these visitors don’t want to hire you right away? Has your content and introduction made them feel you are the only one for them? That’s exactly what a well branded website should do. And you do that by customizing your visuals and content so that it speaks to your best prospects.
Increased Competition and Rising Expectations
Buyers and sellers expect more today. A nice picture and a collection of featured listings they’re not interested in doesn’t work well enough, and you probably know that.
An example I like to use is a former client of mine, Calgary Home Boys. This website is amazing in its visual cleanliness and user friendliness. It lets visitors get right to searching and the visuals are amazing. This is a dream site to work on. It may set you back $30k. Otherwise, you can have me build one in WordPress for much less and have a RETS IDX feed to boot.
The one issue however is that the visitor doesn’t receive a strong branded message before they start searching. You want them to start their search with you in mind, not just to peruse the database. The point isn’t to be a library of homes to search. In this case the visitor does get the message they will can work with one realtor from a great team – The Calgary Home Boys.
As you look at their page, what feeling do you get about the home buying or selling experience? What are the benefits you visualize right away? That’s the thing with branding, it’s a picture that’s drawn fast. The challenge is that you have to know who your visitor is and what specific benefits or experience they want.
Read the 18 Benefits buyers and sellers want below for the general drivers of contact.
Another part of the branding and inquiry process is whether the page presents a “missing piece” of information the visitor needs. If all their questions are answered, complete satisfaction, then they have no compelling reason to contact you.
If they’re going to take that bait, which most won’t, you need a strong branding message that tells them it’s definitely worth it to contact you. Buying a house or condo without you is just plain crazy.
What’s the Essence of a Powerful Realtor Brand?
It’s in the promise of an enjoyable experience, and how closely you fit in with the image they have of why they’re selling and about their dreams. Out of all the hundreds of Realtors they can choose, they want a person who fits into their life experience.
proof of experience
proven expertise via your website
personal relevance to their life dream and goals
Your brand is your unique value proposition. Your UVP is the thing they receive when they see your site, you, and read your copy. The headings, photos, stats, and promise of value you present tells them quickly whether you’re on the same wave length and will deliver what they want.
The biggest failing of Realtors (and mortgage agents, lawyers and other professionals) is a lack of a relevant unique personalized value proposition. And even those who try to promote one, lack the differentiation, personalization, and relevance to the visitors. That’s why they leave. Someone else is more relevant, even though you’re better.
That’s why you might leave my site without hiring me. It’s because my value proposition doesn’t seem strong enough, and I’m not personally relevant to what and who you think should be doing real estate marketing. You may expect those with a fancy website and the right buzzwords to be credible. And you may not believe website content and SEO are relevant to being a successful Realtor. Afterall, you can simply advertise for quick leads.
But then you’re back at it this spring without a sustainable strategy for growing your circle of prospects.
Visitors from Facebook and Google are fairly qualified visitors because they’re searching real estate and housing related topics. They’re thinking about buying or selling but no one has presented compelling reasons to act on their impulse.
It’s not an easy challenge to find the right content mix and strategy to entice them. But how many sales could result if you did?
After I saw the inadvertent thrashing of Realtor’s brand image as a whole, I thought we should look at the issue of how and why realtors are chosen today – so you can connect emotionally with your prospects like a magnet.
Realtors: Run from Cliches
The CREA TV ads attempted to reassure home buyers that they weren’t buying a former grow op house or moving next to “kinky” neighbours. Yet, they didn’t appease buyers let alone sellers who, strangely, weren’t even represented in the TV ads I saw.
Here’s what Subtej Nijjar, a partner at Union Creative said about their CREA TV ads:
“The goal is to get Canadians and homebuyers to understand some of the pitfalls that are unknown to us in buying and selling a home and some of the skills real-estate agents bring to the table.”
What Union Creative did was make realtors a commodity by making benefits so seem shallow, and by using endearing terms like “bring to the table.” So heart warming!
They’ve made it harder for you to differentiate yourself as a relevant individual who brings special emotional rewards — that’s the only way you can differentiate yourself. If you’re a clone of all the other realtors, you’re not much better than the cliche image NAR or CREA are building up.
Buyers (and Homesellers, the most prized customer) don’t care about possible ‘grow ops.’ They assume those details are taken care of. They expect the realtor to find the right buyer fast, negotiate the best price, and at least take away the pain of the transaction.
Buyers and sellers don’t want features. They want emotional benefits. A realtor who understands these emotional benefits won’t have to haggle with commission or even prove skills and experience. They’re hitting close to what they want on a real level.
People buy and sell on emotion. Changing homes is more about lifestyle, quality of living, and optimism about what’s ahead. As Kevin Ward of YesMasters suggests — take care of the heart.
18 Benefits for You to Synthesize into One
Other than feeling good about what they’re doing, there’s a collection of benefits buyers/sellers are looking for. Each benefit is an opportunity to distinguish yourself apart from the noname competition. And please keep in mind the names RE/MAX or Century 21 isn’t what makes people feel good — it’s everything you do to enhance what they’re doing with their lives.
If prospects aren’t choosing you, it’s not because of your gender, skin colour, age, ethnicity, pedigree or physical attractiveness. It’s because they don’t believe you share the same values nor appreciate the amazing life change they visualize. They may feel you’re ruining their experience. Although they want these 18 benefits below, overall they want to be happy and feel that you’re capable of supporting that happiness, even briefly.
Here’s 18 Benefits Buyers/Sellers want from a Realtor
Use each of these benefits in your secret sauce to let them know who will make them happiest and most satisfied:
Confidence that a specific realtor will generate the best results
Is likable and makes the buyer/seller feel better about the buying/selling experience and what they’re doing with their lives — creating friendship, trust and meaning
Listens to buyers to understand what they want
They want someone who has the same values and can make the whole experience positive and feel good (not the same as likability, e.g., your mom is very likable, but you wouldn’t want her arranging or catering your stag party)
Will sell your house faster
Is ethical, honest, and abides by the law
Has a strong internet marketing and local marketing capability
Saves you frustration and anxiety by finding qualified, ready to buy homebuyers
Saves you the agony of arranging showings and talking to buyers
Sets the right selling price
More objective and experienced about how to sell your home helping you avoid a selling strategy that could put in financial danger
Understands the local market and does an accurate estimate of the property
Gives you confidence during an emotional, possibly insecure time in your life
Knows what needs to be improved to raise the property value
Negotiates effectively with buyers
Helps you avoid a situation where you are holding 2 mortgages
Knows what’s been selling in your neighbourhood
Has the resources of a brokerage to offer to you
That’s a lot of items you can use in your web and social media content strategy to build your unique, relevant, helpful, supportive image. When you are completely unique, you have no competition.
Even after you’ve achieved some online reach and sales success, you may be held back by the fact that you aren’t unique, relevant and memorable. You look like all the other faces in the local realtor sales flyer. Are you above the crowd when you’re on the same page with 40 other realtor faces? Sure, that’s good branding for Remax, Sothebys, Century21, Royal Lepage, Sutton Group, and all the others.
The key for you might be to never appear undifferentiated online or in print or TV. From your business cards to your Facebook page, be unique and relevant to your specific target.
Set Yourself Apart with Positive Emotion-Building Content
To set yourself apart, you can write your online content in a way that separates you as a better, more capable, honest, ethical, valuable realtor who solves your buyers/sellers needs in the exact way they want.
Please don’t let your brokerage, CREA or NAR cheapen or commoditize your realtor brand image. Listen to what Kevin Ward of YesMasters.com says about being unique and connecting with client’s hearts:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this alternate view of the big brand experience and have the wisdom to begin that venture into significance and reverence to your clients.
Are your current clients bubbling with enthusiasm about your work? Are you being a big hit together? No? Well it might be you have the wrong clients. All the drama and misery you’re enduring is unecessary.
If your consulting or marketing agency clients aren’t giving you glowing commendations about your work and contribution, you’re doing no one any favors by continuing with them.
Get the right clients and everything changes. This post on strategy reiterates what should always be your strategy – to identify your goal/ideal, then work your way back from there. Our beginning is the end – a happy customer who feels one single emotion – fulfilled. There’s something for every company or consultant below, and this post is updated constantly. Please bookmark it and come back again.
Let’s Explore Dream Client Strategy.
This is the EPIC post you’ve been waiting for. There’s tips wrapped in a strategy that will lead you to better business outcomes for you and your clients. And even if you don’t get your dream clients soon, you might discover your current clients suddenly will like you a whole lot more.
Acquiring dream clients is about positive outcomes. The real value in striving to acquire them is in how you improve your technique, strategy, and unique value proposition. You’ll learn more about yourself and your actual value which might sting at first, but soon will be your primary source of knowledge and skills growth. It won’t be perfect but it will take your life to a new level.
In business, you could work for great clients or employers who are sincere, intelligent, who want to build extraordinary outcomes. You might earn 100x more with these clients as opposed to a client from hell, who runs you both into the ground. Is it time you jumped off that rat wheel?
Take a quick scan down the page and you’ll see a study and actionable plan to help you supercharge your client acquisition and revenue simultaneously. It finishes with important questions to ask yourself and includes dream client meeeting preparation tips.
I know you’re skeptical. That’s fine, we all are. But it won’t take long for you to grasp the potential of Dream Client Strategy. Here’s the sections:
Why Dream Clients are the Best
Why You Don’t Have Dream Clients
The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan
Right Now You’re Irrelevant
Two Keys: Optimism and Confidence
Dream Client Persona Development
Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting
More Questions to Ask
The Key Goal to Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion
Dream Client Strategy — Sounds Wonderful!
It is, and it could easily generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for you as a freelancer, or millions if you operate an agency. In fact, below you’ll read about a Toronto marketing agency that takes it seriously. And what it takes is faith in yourself.
Few agency CEOs bother targeting perfect clients and instead, cast a wide net to work with whoever they get. Word of mouth is a good example of walk in traffic. The difference in money and satisfaction is staggering. And you won’t need hand me down anything when you get this strategy in place.
Imagine if you Landed just One Dream Client
This new EPIC business post covers a repeatable process of determining who your ideal client is and positioning your UVP to attract and win them over. I’ve done it and I know it’s worth it. Yet it is more difficult today, so let’s be positive and certain that we will succeed.
Dream Clients are the Essence of a Successful Business
The one thing all successful employees, freelancers, and businesses have is great customers, employers or clients. That’s what success is – great customers or clients to serve.
According to a study from Mark W. Schaefer, an internationally-acclaimed college educator, author, keynote speaker, and strategy consultant, 3 to 4 buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Our best clients generate our revenue. You can’t escape this.
As we venture into this topic, you’ll learn a repeatable, ever-improving process of understanding and focusing on the best clients possible. I’m happy to say I’m learning at a high rate myself and I’ll be updating this post with more insight and resources. Please return later.
We Deserve Fantastic Clients not Crappy Ones
Raise your Standards. Targeting and winning a quality client shows you’re serious about your business. Because if you have crappy clients, the future can’t look all that good. Once you’ve had dream clients, you won’t want crappy ones again. It’s not just money. It’s about living well. And it’s about working with people who’ll inspire and elevate you and make every second count.
Show You Do Care. This EPIC post on attracting and capturing dream clients is well worth sharing with friends and coworkers right now. There’s nothing more important you’re going to read today. From a 5 step plan to tips on how to maintain the dream client relationship, it’s all you need to know to take your business to the level it deserves.
It’s most likely because you’ve never tried, understood who they are, or had a plan or strategy. From experience alone, I believe these are the most important reasons why. Here’s some reason below. Read all of them because the pain and frustration you feel can help you give up on your old techniques.
low reach; they don’t know you exist or you were a flash in the pan
successful people are busy and you aren’t intercepting or disrupting them
successful people are obsessed with their routine business activities not being open to new solutions
dream clients prefer specialists who are very good at whatever is their biggest pain point
they don’t believe you offer anything special or of significant value
dream clients have big expectations in terms of fit and character
competition is overwhelming and you haven’t found a way to be more competitive and make the competition disappear
you’re not yourself right now, you’re depressed or trying too hard and prospects are unsure who you really are
your offer isn’t personalized and relevant enough to them (someone else is more relevant than you)
you haven’t done enough research to identify your dream client accurately
you haven’t shown thought leader type knowledge of their market and situation
your style, tone of voice, and topics don’t appeal to them
you’re too much this or not enough that
you’re not catching their attention with a specific topic or a news item they’re very keyed into
your brand image is unfocused – they can’t figure you out
you have too much clutter for them to weed through
you’re not telling what you like and admire so they can feel appreciated
they don’t believe you really care about what they’re doing
Aside from SEO You’ll need to do some awesome outreach.
Okay, do you see how competitors have beaten you? You haven’t taken control of Dream Client’s field of vision, concerns, or their values. Here’s a simple 5 step plan that gets you on your way:
The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan
Just to get oriented, let’s map out a 5 Step Beginning Plan:
a brief summary of what you offer and what makes you unique
a brief statement of your target customer or dream client
how you’ll get in front of them
how you’ll convince them of your value and relevance
how you’ll make beautiful music together – you become their dream partner
When I created my dream clients previously, it was easy. There were few competitors and prospects had a unified view of the help they needed. Now competition is insane and the prospect’s view is fragmented. Worse, many don’t even believe digital marketing works — it’s worthless.
That’s why a plan and strategy are so vital – for reach, visibility, impact, and convincing them you have a powerful and sustainable solution.
However, discovering who our dream clients are, what their interests and preferences are, and then connecting with them on their terms online is very difficult. That’s where attitude comes in.
Step 1: Define What you Offer
Take my situation as a marketing services provider.
— I generate leads and sales by attracting high quality targeted traffic and then strategically position my client’s brand and value proposition via epic content marketing pieces so their UVP is impactful, significant, engaging, and convincing, and they sell like crazy.
That’s a little long winded, however it’s important to highlight traffic, engagement and revenue since these are client’s 3 biggest pain points.
Step 2: Describe your Dream Client
— A SMB manager or professional in California who needs broad visibility on Google and high quality content marketing to engage and convince their prospects
Your ideal client may be in a number of industries in Florida, New York, California or Canada, so you can break your ideal clent down into let’s say 5 unique categories (e.g., legal, real estate, professional services, travel, finance) and geo location.
Step 3: How Will I get in Front of Them?
— I will use Google, Linkedin, Facebook (and email) to position content in relation to their search for perspectives, insight, data, and solutions they believe will serve their needs.
They will never find me via topics I am interested in. They search for solutions and information using their own unique inquiry process and questions. Therefore, I must write and create beginning with their problems and interests in mind.
Step 4: How Will You Convince Them?
— By blogging and posting unique perspectives with authoritative yet friendly insight into topics they believe are relevant and timely in their industry, and which makes an emotional impact to create one single emotion that makes them focus on me and my solution.
Convincing means bringing their beliefs into a new alignment and dissolving their fears because they don’t act until they feel good about it.
Step 5: How Will You Make Beautiful Music Together?
— I will show them how our work together will grow and sustain itself to create a feeling in them that results will only get better in the years ahead. I will reinterate why our dream business partnership will work and how we will share a role in it and help them see the vision of where we’re going.
You’ve got to allay their post-purchase anxiety before they purchase. You’ve convinced them them, but at the zero moment of decision, you must crystalize with a clear and fulfilling vision.
What I discovered previously is that BIG VISIBILITY gets their attention and is absolutely necessary. That means high Google rankings and a good social media strategy will be part of your “Dream Repertoire.” Patient positioning on the right topics is where it’s at. And it doesn’t matter what business you’re in.
Good prospects will be quietly impressed that you’re in the right zone, and are potentially a good choice. They’ll use their own process to check you out deeper. They don’t let enthusiasm get in the way of good judgement.
They’ll Talk to You When They Know You
So you’re thinking, how do you reach and connect with your dream client if they won’t talk with you? You have to let them find you, and discover your message of how relevant you are (your EPIC online content).
Did you know your marketing content determines which clients or customers you get? So does your choice of topics, words, phrases, characters, stories and tone of voice. That’s the thing here, is that we need to discover enough about them to build a pathway to their deepest gaps and dreams and then slowly build a pleasant relationship with them.
Right Now, You’re Unknown and Irrelevant
If you get turned down or discriminated against, it’s because you weren’t the right fit, which means you don’t fit into their dream. They believe you’re irrelevant to their goals and how they want to solve them.
We need to develop a target client persona and formulate a laser like understanding of the most essential needs they have. We need to look at their most recent activity and drill down to find the ideal they’re searching for. And we’ll need to speak to them via the media they like. That could be a blog, video, unique web design, visual content marketing piece, or a top ranking spot on Google rankings. They get the ball rolling.
Optimism and Confidence aren’t Skills, They’re a Vital Attitude
I really admire those who pursue ideals, because it takes the time, money, confidence, and an optimistic frame of mind that I want to have. That’s the kind of leader anyone wants to work with. Their forward vision carries you along in their tailwind, lifting your outlook and giving you courage and confidence you didn’t think you had.
Focusing on high paying dream clients isn’t what this is about. However, dream clients will certainly pay more, and those with no resources might be the wrong clients to get involved with. Price depends on what they feel your perceived value is.
What Dream Clients Need
Here’s a quick list of why it’s smart to pursue dream clients, just to ease you into this topic of targeting ideal clients:
ideal clients have the specific opportunities/gaps that you can fufill
dream clients need your specific skills, attitude, and experience
dream clients need your leadership
dream clients will appreciate you more and thus will be sustainable clients
dream clients want reliable providers/partners — and you’ll be able to cut down on your new client prospecting efforts
dream clients know you aren’t the recognized greatest, but they know they will turn you into the greatest — they’re confident they can turn their partners into market leaders
they need more money, enjoy more time and freedom, and to be happier
they need confidence, focus, and support
You Must Maintain 100% Responsibility for the Relationship
Client management is a big task that we often neglect. But as your client goes, so goes you. You have to take care of your precious dream client.
This is one area I failed in and I’m still having trouble with it. I didn’t remove barriers for them, keep in close touch, nor keep my dream clients primed for ongoing success. Often I left them on their own (sometimes thousands of miles way) where they becamebored, confused, stressed, lacked inspiration and confidence and thus found progress difficult.
Their imagination imploded and they simply lost it. I discovered they are human. Although I could see some of this beforehand and I questioned them about decisions (some poor quality clients for them) it wasn’t enough to get them back on track.
What I failed to understand well, is that I needed to step up and assume 100% responsibility for the relationship. 0% for them and 100% for me. Not fair, but that’s how it is.
They Think You’re a Leader
Clients view us as dominant leaders – authoritative, fearless and visionary. That’s why they’re hiring us and paying us big money. Yet when I saw that success was making them bored and ineffective, I failed to act and help them overcome their issues. I wasn’t the fearless leader after all.
That’s why you need money in the bank and plenty of new clients waiting. Options give you poise and courage and helps you make better decisions. Because sometimes people in your personal and business life won’t progress or take your advice, you might have to plant your feet. And sometimes they won’t participate or listen.
Let’s face it, if others are taking 0% responsibility persistently, you have to question why you’re involved with them. Or you have to teach them to be more involved in their own success. That’s what client account managers do.
However, in business, dominant leaders need to step up and take 100% responsibility. You’re there because you’re smarter, more optimistic, skilled, visionary, energetic, relentless and confident. Your outlook carries a company in your wake and you may have to keep the captain of the ship focused on the mission.
Keep your client properly directed, focused, informed, feeling good, and you may never have to face that situation where you have to fire them. You’re not a doormat or a cog in someone else’s wheel. You’re someone building genuine, authentic, mutually constructive relationships. And that means big picture planning.
88Creative in Toronto – Chasing the Dream Client
Some marketing agencies are very specific, such as Toronto’s 88Creative who targeted specific companies — with their gutsy Dream Client List. To me, the fact they had this list shows they are on the ball and driving themselves to big successes with great clients. It’s classic big picture thinking that shows us why a focus on details is the stuff of losers.
“We started a ‘dream 100’ client list, thinking about the types of brands and companies that we would love to work with someday, and Warby Parker was on that list,” said Erin Bury, managing director at 88 Creative. “When we heard that they were launching in Canada, we said, ‘okay, this is our chance and we need do something attention-grabbing.’”
Even if 88Creative didn’t land one of their listed dream clients, just doing this makes them think creatively, boldly, to perfect their process, assess results, and improve their attraction to dream clients. I’m not sure of Erin’s full expertise in dream client theory, but she seems very smart. What if you applied this dream client thinking to all of your business activities regardless of what industry you’re in?
And with respect to how 88Creative went about showcasing their attractiveness to dream clients, Erin Bury added, “The goal of this was always to get their attention, but I think the larger goal is to showcase the type of aesthetic we have as an agency and the type of creativity that we put into our ideas.”
That creativity can be expressed very effectively in blogs or marketing magazine articles where you explore the topics clients feel strongly about. The type of aesthetic and creativity should be relative to specfic types of issues prospects face. A lot of agencies exercise all their creative genius, but then apply it to the wrong topics and forget to highlight how they approach solutions.
Whenever prospects call me and say they loved my blogs, they always refer to a topic. It’s the topic itself that inspires them and they like that you recognized the importance of it.
10 More Questions to Ask to Identify Your Dream Clients
Back to analyzing who are your dream clients. Think deep:
who have you enjoyed working with in the past and why was it so enjoyable?
what do they talk about most on their blogs and Facebook page?
what is their biggest problems and complaints?
what topics, keywords, and values do they mention?
what is their idea of heaven?
who are they working with right now?
are they going anywhere or are they spinning their wheels? Why?
who do they talk about and link out to on their website?
how do they talk and what events do they attend?
what is the opportunity gap in markets, content, and visbility they could enjoy?
After you’ve done your surfing, stalking, and assessments, you’ll need to figure out what it is about you that will be compelling to them. That willl be the foundation of your future content strategy and your professional brand.
Yes, you probably should develop a list all of their needs, preferences and ambitions and then explain how your company’s solution is best for them or how you’re the ideal person or agency for them.
But let’s cut to the key stuff now.
What are their outlook, dreams, self-image, brand image, goals, assets, tools, staff, and market opportunity? Are they a winner and how do they view providers?
Dream Client Persona Development
You can use persona development solutions to help you understand your dream client better. I’m not sure it will create miracles for you, but it could help you get better organized. Check out Marianas, a company in San Mateo, California. They use artificial intelligence software to build detailed profiles of target customers.
You’ll need to go beyond software and worksheet templates. You’ll need to ask detailed questions about what your client needs, how they think and make decisions, and how you’ll be meaningful to them. Many times, it means getting out there and meeting them so you can learn their values and prejudices. And don’t think for a minute that you can’t overcome anything.
Wise Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting
When your ideal client invites you for an in-person a meeting, things get real. This is where it’s all about them and how you’ll make a difference. I like what I read in an article by Mike O’Horo about the preparation time for a dream client being months or years.
With all that prep for research, website development, published materials, and content marketing, your next stop is a meeting with them. Here’s some questions ato ask to create your meeting presentation:
what is your goal for the meeting? You need to have a goal, using supporting material (if you have that material). This helps focus their attention on what they’re missing. Set that out in your power point presentation.
what is it specifically you’ve discovered about their business? Use visual graphics to spell it out
list their weaknesses and opportunities – and discuss issues and the future of their business
what qualifies you to be their new advisor/solution provider (relate your relevant experience)
what is impactful and compelling about you, your brand, skills, acumen, and capability? Match their needs with your skills, experience and capability.
what is it you can do or will do to make you better than your competition?
what unique skill or power makes you so over the top good that you launch new buying behavior in your dream client?
explain how the business, decision maker, and influencers (staff) will benefit from your solution
list what their staff criticisms and objections will be and then destroyo each one in the presentation
don’t overrate your personal skills. I’ve spoken with many realtors for instance and none used the words brilliance, genius, master, or even skills. If they were vital then these words would have arisen at some point. Pay attention to their vocabulary.
discuss the ROI and operatonal business affects from solving each pain point.
Prepare for your meeting with your dream client thoroughly and ensure all participants are thrilled and satisfied with your proposition – explain how they all will benefit not just the key decision maker.
When your presentation is good, it makes you look like you care about their buiness. You’ve invested time, thought and energy. it’s likely that no one else has ever peered into their business. You’re the first! That’s something to smile about.
The Key Objective in Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion
Your content strategy matches you up with the emotion they feel about the issue and lays out the connections or path they need to take.
And when they feel one single emotion about you, that’s when your dream client contacts you. And they feel powerful that they found you and that it was their decision.
You’ll never achieve brilliance in business unless you’re willing to let go of what doesn’t work. I hope this post revolutionizes what you think about client acquisition and about the content you need to land them. Good Luck!
By the way, SEO and Content Strategy combined will have more impact on your clients than anything else you can do. Clients are always searching, and they’re hoping to find you in those search results. You’d better be there. Check out my book on how to build a dominant presence on Google, engage them, convince them, and show them how you’re the best asset they have.
Here’s a few dream client marketing resources you might useful:
How many times in your life have you tried to persuade someone to do something that would be good for them, but they wouldn’t budge? And what happened when you tried to convince a homeowner to sell their house and use you as their real estate agent? A stubborn silence. And when you gave an inspirational speech at your club ending with grand applause, you discovered no one actually acted on your uplifting plea. Humbling.
To create change and build intent – you must overcome the prospect’s inertia and make a strong impact
And as we explore in this epic post on making impact, the impact has to be an extension of your value proposition to really make an indelible impression. Right now, your poorly designed, uninspiring, unhelpful website, lack of freebies, quality content, persuasive videos, and missing home and condo listings gives the wrong impression to visitors. That’s the other side of impact where you leave a crater of indifference.
The buyer doesn’t want to be sold; the buyer wants to be wowed – From Salesforlife.com
I’m not trying to be disheartening. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to make an impact and WOW a prospect. Everyone seems jaded and overwhelmed with limitations. And here’s the kicker, that just because you know how, doesn’t mean it will happen — it will take money, expertise, hard work and action.
Think about the reasons you’re not phoning me right now to hire me to create a boatload of leads for you. Why? Because I haven’t made an impact with my brand image and unique value proposition. You’re aware of a certain set of solutions from providers you understand. It’s my job to open your mind to new possibilities and insights. Until I change your mind, you will never respect me as the top, free, organic lead producer. Whether it’s clients in Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston or Vancouver, they all want to be wowed and have a great experience with you.
It’s very competitive and some of our competitors have $20,000+ websites, huge PPC budgets, content strategists, writers, videographers, and big money partnerships that simply blow us out of the water. 6 years ago, our current approach would have dominated. Today, we look like we’re driving an old Ford Model T down a Dubai freeway. Our pride takes a hit for a while but when you read this post, you’ll begin to see how you can upgrade your approach to fascinate your prospects. My goal is to make you so unique you won’t have to be concerned with competition.
Impact, Convince, and Move to Action
Getting people to do things is not easy. Sort of like pushing a 50 ton boulder off of your front lawn. The ground and the weight conspire to keep things as they are. That’s why so many bosses prefer to use threats when they want to “inspire” action. It’s a time-tested method that’s still popular in these enlightened times:)
Breaking static inertia is one of the top tasks of sales conversion – treat it like a science that you must apply with artistic flair — your words, stories, imagery, tone of voice, and facts are your paint brush.
Your goal and vision: you need to increase sales and more importantly to build and sustain your career as a realtor, broker, or mortgage agent. But don’t expect to convince with a single need or tactic. I’m going to help you see much deeper and give you the 10 best ways to generate impact on your prospects. None of them want to budge, which is why pretty pictures of homes, and trite descriptions of the wonderful neighborhood never work. But with knowledge and insight, and the best 10 levers to apply force, you’ll get the boulder moving as fast as you want.
The first thing to do in this process is to clear your head. Forget what you know or don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Stay away from people who are stuck with their head in the sand and lack motivation, and associate with people who are progressive and have few limits. This will get you in the right mindset, and mindset is important. You can’t sell progress and lifestyle unless you truly believe it.
What is Client Inertia Anyway?
The power that keeps your prospects stuck is called inertia. It’s the result of a lack of confidence, fear of loss, and a lack of goals and vision about the future. People stay stuck because they believe they’re better off where they are. It’s simple pain/pleasure stimulus. They’re avoiding pain even if there’s decreasing pleasure in their lives. They could be bored, unfulfilled, and their neighbourhood or city just doesn’t do it for them anymore yet they stay in their comfort zone. How about you moving their comfort zone by using well placed emotional levers?
Some scientists say inertia is a physical force, but it isn’t. It’s the simply gravity, the weight of their lives with responsibilities, values, concepts, experience, and self-doubt. Sometimes this boulder doesn’t move because there are smaller rocks or shims stuck underneath that further prevent movement. People are like that too with all these little things preventing growth and commitment to a better life. So how do you create forward motion when the inertia seems overwhelming? You use levers to apply against each of the reasons they’re stuck. So let’s look at their excuses/reasons:
I’m comfortable right now and contented
My kids and wife and extended family prefer that things stay as they are
My workplace is within reach
Our home is perfect for us
I have many friends and acquaintances in my neighborhood
My knees hurt from the stairs but another 5 years won’t kill me
I understand this neighborhood
I can’t see any reason for changing
We make enough money and we get by
We’re waiting for the kids to leave school in 14 years
This is the best neighborhood in the best city
Other homes are too expensive
No one would want to buy this place
The economy and housing market is going to tank soon
We’d rather buy some new, prestigious luxury cars
Our kid’s school is the best in the country
We don’t like starting over with nothing
Moving is a big chore that we can’t do
We don’t need a big yard with room and freedom
We can’t afford to move
Our kids are struggling at school but they love their friends and activities
Finding the Right Leverage Points is the Key
Getting any forward motion or commitment is good, but it may not be the right power source.
There are hundreds of reasons (excuses) why people will stay put and not do what they should do. So inertia is a multidimensional defense against change. You could solve a bunch of things and they still won’t budge.
To get over inertia, you need impact. Impact is an emotional response that creates immediate intent. When Wow a prospect, it fills them with a need to do something and they jump off the fence and begin a process to improve their lives.
You’ll inspire fascination, awe, surprise, joy, confidence, belief and intent that creates motion. If you’re good at this you’ll get immediate action. Sometimes, they’re just waiting for you to Wow them. Other times, they’re unknown strangers you can’t reach. (That’s why your SEO and social media outreach are so important. Have you heard of social media listening, and predictive analytics? There’s plenty happening in the digital real estate sector you need to open up to).
The Basic Causes of Client Inertia
But before you go ahead and stimulate that intent in your prospects, you should know what the inertia factors are and what actions you need them to take to choose you as their realtor. The end goal isn’t to sell their house, it’s to hire you. When you solve several problems, they begin to see you as the only realtor who could help them. You’re making impact through multiple contacts and successes and that’s good branding that will get referrals and repeat business.
And by the way, this is a battle requiring strategy, tactics, resources and other tools of persuasion. We don’t just want to persuade. We must convince and generate motion. Get out a big notepad and start jotting down all their characteristics and the excuses they gave about why they’re not doing what they should do. Excuses are a gold mine of information (e.g., our lives are great here and there’s nowhere else we’d rather live).
What makes people willing to listen to you and commit to forward action?
You give information that confirms their doubts about them staying put where they are
You give information they’re missing that causes them to reevaluate something
You give information that makes them uncomfortable with their status quo
You make them realize they could lose out on a significant opportunity to gain wealth or a better life
You make them aware of something that will make them feel happier and more secure
You present something that could make them look smart or create more wealth
You make them aware of that their loved ones aren’t doing so well where they are
You make them aware that their neighborhood and schools aren’t so great
You present an issue that has a deadline they must deal with
You create an inspiring image of their life as it could be
You were transparent and open talking about how such changes have benefited your life
You impressed them with the importance of having something they don’t have now
You shared stories of people who are respected because they acted and progressed
You presented images/stories of people who are happier because they sold their old house
You made their old house sound undesirable with a downward value and high upkeep
You made it seem important to keep up with everyone else and your story about the ones who fell behind had certain details they could immediately relate to
You painted a beautiful picture of their new life that has everything they need so there’s nothing to be afraid
Your story about how the status quo creates ill health, lower income, stale relationships, increasing stress and how only progress creates security and happiness
Avoid Activating the Left Side of Their Brain
Blatant, direct anecdotes and statements will fail. Instead, as you know because you’re a sales pro, that stories and analogy are better. Only details that backup the stories are used. Appeal to the right side of their brain and bypass the critical left side. Develop your stories and keep away from details because details activate the critical left side of the brain which is rarely your friend. Treat the left side of their brain like an undesirable associate of theirs who is crashing the party. Big picture clarity, humor, fun, and proof of successful outcomes will keep the cynical part of their mind from ruining the party.
Advertisers believe constant repetition and persistence are keys to sales success. They aren’t. The better your strategy the fewer face to face meetings you’ll need to get their wheels turning. If it takes you 15 meetings to get the sale, your technique is not good. You need upgrading or a very good website to help you out with better qualified leads.
Here’s a little bit of theory for your new prospecting and sales persuasion strategy:
The 10 pillars of the status quo and where you’ll need to make an impact:
Security – reliance on current friends and family
Convenience – time management and access to resources
Familiarity and idealization of their current situation
Fear of the unknown – uncertainty about the economy and other people
Lack of confidence – insufficient self-directedness and belief in a better life
Lack of resources – insufficient money, connections, and information
Lack of inspiration and vision for their future – no goals or wish for a better life
Lack of energy and enthusiasm – a life wrapped around inertia
Pessimism, conventional thinking, and strong belief in limits
Fear of loss which reduces their self-esteem and self-respect
What are the top 10 best ways to make impact and generate immediate intent and action?
Refer to our list above and apply an action you can take to remedy each. Don’t stop with just one because you may need to nail all of them to get action. Find out what their most important desire/need/wish is and present something awesome that blows them away. Your conversational skills will get a workout and you’ll enjoy the power you get from leveraging every persuasive asset possible. You’re going to move mountains.
Security – Interest them in a neighbourhood that’s closer to family and friends yet provides potentially more good stable friends and opportunities for family gatherings where relatives can visit. No negatives, just more positives.
Convenience – a home that’s closer to their work, recreational activities, kids schools, shopping, and highways. Tell them how much time and money they’ll save and how that will ease stress to give them more quality time.
Familiarity – highlight all of the similarities of their new neighborhood/town to their old one and emphasize where it’s better with the features they really like (parks with walking paths). They idealize their old situation, so they’d have to agree that this new location is better and just like home. Show them a drone aerial video of the new neighborhood including some of the recreational facilities or other relevant attractions there.
Fear of the unknown – prepare research on home values, schools, job trends, migration and demographic trends, neighborhoods, and include books, websites, and discount offers from businesses in the new neighborhood so they’ll visit it. Tell them what’s compelling about the people in this new neighborhood.
Lack of confidence – learn of their accomplishments, what they changed and overcame, and what things might be limiting them. Take them for a drive to the neighborhood. You can talk casually and discover why they’re insecure, or lack belief in themselves. Just having someone to listen might loosen them up to new beliefs about themselves. Ask non-threatening questions and let them talk themselves into it after seeing a picture of a more confident successful person in the new location.
Lack of resources – if the new location offers better access to jobs, information, connections, and other key resources, they will be compelled to agree that it could provide new resources they value.
Lack of inspiration and vision for their future – tell stories of other people who are living inspired, meaningful, exciting, and accomplished lives and who realized them by pursuing and striving for important goals. If they have little motivation, you need to present a credible goal for them, perhaps something they weren’t even aware of, which will surprise them.
Lack of energy and enthusiasm – when you challenge their beliefs about limitations and show how others achieved their goals by moving toward the things they truly want, you’re lifting the oppressive weight of limits they’ve written in stone. The more they hear about or read about others who are doing what they want to do, their spirit will come back to life.
Pessimism, conventional thinking, and limits – learned and self-imposed limits are hard to overcome so you need to shock them into awareness of how they’re their own worst enemy. Ask them about their past and how they progressed to where they are now, and ask them about alternatives they could have chosen and whether they believe they’re living their ideal life. Connect their conventional thinking to the worst part of their current life, and demonstrate how people who live without limits are more secure, happy and optimistic. Pessimism is painful, so give them a reason to let go of it.
Fear of loss – change means letting go of something that doesn’t work anymore for something that will produce more happiness, value and comfort. If the relevant vision of the future you help them create is strong enough they will begin to let go. Tell them they’re just moving and their old stuff and friends are still nearby and that the move will make them a special new person to the old crowd.
You’re not really selling a house or buying one, you’re helping them change the quality of their lives. That means finding the right home or condo in the right neighborhood so they can easily see they’re transitioning to a better life.
Now if you’re a smart realtor who has already developed a database system that matches up all these characteristics of prospects to houses and neighborhoods that suit them, I want to hear from you because you’re on the ball. That’s one powerful resource that would make all the other selling tasks much easier.
If some of the above impact tactics are not for you or can’t be done, put more effort into the ones that can work for you. 3 of them might work well enough, but once you get some movement in the client, you’ll likely find you can use the others well too.
Here’s WOW marketing expert John Dwyer with his views on how to attract more clients using Wow factor.
I hope I’ve loosened up some of the self-imposed limits that are stopping you from really ramping up your sales effectiveness. And I hope I can help you apply these principles on your website and social channels. A new IDX website, convincing informational blogs, and engaging social conversations are key resources online and you’ll become more confident with them as you use them. And you’ve got my help giving you awesome presence on Google!
Merrily Hackett, CEO of Sutton Group West Coast Realty is enjoying a phenomenal career in real estate. I’ve talked about her a number of times because she’s a great role model for any salesperson or business person.
Having built 3 separate brokerages in the Vancouver area, and leading SG-WCR’s 25 office brokerage, she’s showing us how to outcompete the competiton.
Last year, U.S.-based author and speaker Stefan Swanepoel ranked Hackett at No. 15 on his list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Residential Real Estate. Sutton – West Coast made 16,500 unit sales and over $11 billion in sales volume in 2014, which Hackett calculates brings them in at No. 5 in North America.
Create Quality Time for Relationship Building
Let’s not say “prospecting” anymore. Let’s call it relationship building.
You absolutely need to develop productive relationships with mortgage agents, renovators, landscapers, home inspectors, and prospects that include seniors and young couples.
In an interview with Real Estate Magazine, Merrily talks about the importance of relationship building and how realtors need to focus on this key business development activity.
“It’s what I see over and over with agents that fail. I used to block off three to four hours daily for lead generation. That included calling expired listings, door knocking and cold calling, reaching out to a sphere of influence on a daily basis, asking people for referrals and to keep me top of mind. I was on the phone connecting with people, ensuring that pipeline was full. Consistency was key. You need to believe in yourself. Many times as a commissioned salesperson, you have those fearful thoughts and moments. A new agent has to have the expectancy and positive feeling that it’s going to come together.” — Merrily Hackett interview in REMonline.
15 Prospecting Tips to Build your Focus and Optimism
Here’s 15 useful prospecting tips – a process to optimize your realtionship building.
Vary your approach and method. Know your scripts, but go easy. A script is just a testing tool, not a final approach to relationship building. Be a friendly person first because people may find talking to a realtor boring. A warm introduction, maybe a comment on weather and economy to gauge their mood, then tell them your call is short and to the point – do they know anyone in their neighborhood, and about their family and friends that might be moving, BECAUSE, buyers are very eager to buy and you’d like to help them get a better price. Those are legitimate reasons.
Segment all your prospects into relevant groups (hot, cold, buyers, sellers, advocates,mortgage agents, home services, etc) so you can develop unique approaches to each and have unique value for each. Think about how you’ll describe and present your unique value proposition for each type of prospect or advocate.
Coach your advocates and give them support – the people who may refer business to you sometimes need a little guidance if they have a hot lead. Tell them how to present you to them. Find out why they’re buying or selling — what’s the payoff for the person? With that knowledge, you can explain to your advocate how you’re relevant. With a little purpose, your advocate will make you look good, as opposed to you being part of an offhand comment.
Relax — if you can afford it, you might want to consider getting a massage before you do your prospecting on the phone — you’ll appear friendlier, less threatening, more trustworthy, and more fun to talk to. Call them with a smile on your face and with your goal being networking, enjoying the moment, and finding good prospects. Sales comes later. Right now, you’ve gotta be thinking people and fun.
Set aside 3 hours every day for phone calls to generate interest, gather information and make appointments. Build a positive attitude toward prospecting, that it’s the most important part of your day.
Forgive prospects who waste your time and forgive yourself for wasting their time — this helps you to avoid guilt and other feelings that’ll weigh you down
Remind yourself often that what you’re doing is important. You’re helping people achieve their dreams and that’s more important that anything they’re doing right now. Their friends and contacts should be glad you’re in this to help them.
Spend more time with your hot or top prospects — when you’re getting close, keep in touch and always be ready to offer help, information, and support for their decisions
Have more value to offer — the more value you have to offer, the less likely prospects and advocates will consider you irrelevant. They’re not rejecting you really, you’ve failed to provide value in insight, help, and support. How about mentioning the mortgage calculator on your website, the great mortgage agent you know who could save them money, or renovator/designer who could help them with a quick remodel to lift the selling price?
Use consultative selling techniques to find every person’s most important needs and hurdles — be the person who creates a path for everyone to their dreams
Spend your face to face time wisely by discussing the buyer/seller’s dreams – find out what their success symbols are and their favorite places to visit. Whether country or city, new home or old, the faster you find out what they want, the more likely they’ll choose you.
Calculate how much prospecting/phone time and marketing effort it took to generate a successful lead.
Keep in mind what buyers and sellers really want — a better lifestyle and ask them what their key priorities are as they begin to plan for their purchase/sale. In the end, it’s all about lifestyle and knowing what it is they’re really after is vital
Study up on a new community that you haven’t explored and become an expert on the lifestyle value of that community
Ask prospects what’s holding them back and ensure you develop a list of responses to help
Here’s Kevin Ward with his tips on prospecting. How about finding more people to talk to via Google and Social Media? Just a thought.
And Liz of Keller Williams with social media prospecting. Build relationships first then nurture them along with value, entertainment, and recognition.
Prospecting is a key part of good sales process and it hasn’t hurt Merrily Hackett’s business success. If your lead funnel is too weak, this might be the best thing ever for your career. Now you can justify pursuing a strong Internet marketing program.
Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert serving businesses inLos Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita, Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu.
One expert I listened to recently in a Youtube video advised realtors to build diverse lead channels and be consistent at it, day in day out, and set aside 15% of your total sales commission revenue for marketing.
He’s suggesting real estate agents use many online and offline channels and perhaps funnel them all to your website where you can deepen the relationship with as many as possible. Then at some point during this buyer/seller experience you give them a good reason to call you right away where you can move them to the face to face, in person meeting where you establish a sense of trust and capability with them. I like that.
But getting seller leads is tough. Even buyers don’t want to meet with you until they’ve made up their mind what they want to do. And how do you present a better value proposition to sellers? Do you offer cash back, referral fees, prizes, reduced commission, or other goodies?
The new stat out apparently, is that you must meet 50 people before you get a client, down from the old days of 100 contacts. So you might want to get into a jovial mood and start introducing yourself to everyone. If everyone starts avoiding you, then you can always start digital marketing with me:) I won’t avoid you, I’m a real estate SEO specialist and I’ll listen to all your stories and give you a proposal on how to get rich.
So let’s get on with this digital marketing thing, because one way or another, you need to be highly visible online and then find a way to meet all these people in person. It’s worth it, and with all the data mining and predictive algorithms used for social media listening, you can find prospects that show all the signs of wanting to sell. Everyone’s rushing into it so don’t be the last.
No doubt you’ve learned that a lot of sales and marketing has been transformed into inbound marketing and your website is usually the endpoint of that seemingly passive, new approach. So what can you do with your web presence and your personal skills to present an ideal image to buyers and sellers out there. Here’s 7 key ways to make you the person they’re all talking about.
Provide unique information they can’t get anywhere else and be an expert or Big Kahuna in a local area. A monopoly is the oldest goal in business and don’t forget it. Monopoly is at the root of huge wealth and always will be. Be the guru of something and be the missing piece of the puzzle so they believe they have to hire you.
Choose a geo or demographic market to focus on so you can dominate it. Find a neighbourhood that has the type of people who typically respond well to you in person. Don’t go for young millennials if they don’t like you or trust you on sight. It might be your clothes, haircut or the way you walk and talk, but that’s you. Some agents focus on lifestyles since building one common interests is a great way to get conversations started, often you speak the same lingo. Create a physical presence in that market and ensure your realtor branding and website content reflect their values.
Make high quality videos to make an impact visually and get yourself in front of prospects. Introduce yourself and a beautiful home you’re selling just as a way of showing how you look in action. Get relaxed and have the camera follow you. Remember to really like yourself first. You are worth knowing and they’re lucky to meet you.
Be social — think about places you can meet people, get active in many activities and engage them in conversation. Do more and work on doing more. Play some golf, tennis, attend some meetups, and make social time a big priority. And think about the things you like to talk about and others will feel your enthusiasm no matter what it is. Get them to ask you about the market and talk about positives and negatives and when they ask you “is this a good time to sell” say “It depends.” Then you’ve got them immersed in all the issues you can help them with. Brilliant.
Huge volumes of leads expire– follow up before someone else does. Give them an incentive to stay in touch, and to meet with you to discuss ways you can help them. Ensure you have a number of new things to help them with, even if it’s inexpensive landscaping or roofing contractors.
Play up your open houses — and get lots of signs out in that neighborhood. Then walk the neighborhood and leave your custom logo usb stick with files will take them to an online contest on your website! Oh ya, give them an adventure and they’ll be talking about you.
Create a big presence online with a well indexed mls idx website and lots of properties for visitor to easily peruse. And make sure all your city’s MLS listed property pages on your site are indexed in Google. Most site do not have them, so you need to talk to me about all that online stuff. Create some active social media accounts and be active. You never know when a tweet or FB post creates a ripple and creates a lead. Original humor, pets and kids, and fun food recipes are much shared online. Buyers, sellers, and homeowners are all online and you must get your face and name in front of them. Build your online presence to be as powerful, authoritative, helpful, friendly, likable, trustworthy and capable as possible. Repetition and familiarity go hand in hand. People trust people they know.
Now you’ve got the fundamentals of a powerful multi-channel lead generation and presence builder that’s going to spread the word about you. Your blogs, tweets, and FB posts will put you front and center in the lives of your niche target audience. Your social and professional in person activities keep reinforcing the idea that you’re very helpful and they’ll be keeping more of their money (and selling above asking price) if they hire you. You’re entering their lives as a respected friend and advisor and they’ll be glad to be associated with you.
Years ago, launching my first startup, an Internet marketing consulting business, I targeted top notch International clients (not Canadian). Yes, an amateur, but for my first business, it was a fairly decent success. I did what I was passionate about with a vision of the CEO/CMO I wanted to attract.
It wasn’t about money. My driving thought was about being important to someone. I wanted to be wanted, and to have the freedom to deliver maximum value, without interference. That wasn’t possible in my previous jobs, but as an independent consultant (and entrepreneur) you have the FREEDOM TO make the biggest contribution possible — results an employee won’t achieve.
Benefits of Being Independent Consultant
less commuting costs
freedom to pursue optimal workstyle and results
more time for everything
more quality time for work
less time stress
choose your clients
no office politics
freedom to travel
Your freedom from scripts and rigid role playing, to produce top notch results is the catalyst for star performance. You’re free of office politics however, the downside is you may not have a transparent view of what’s happening in their office. That’s solved with frequent visits.
APPRECIATION: To increase the value of.
Good Customers appreciate your gift. In fact they encourage and welcome it. It is a certain sign of whether the relationship with you is valued. If they don’t value you, they won’t acknowledge your gift or receive it with joy. Their cold or lackluster response is a direct expression of their real appreciation of you. The Japanese often bear gifts when greeting others. Have you ever wondered why?
As a consultant, you can have a dramatic effect on a business’s success. In fact, you have some power to lift a negative client and make them successful despite themselves. But, should you do that?
I was fortune enough to be able to do that for a number of clients. Using my website (my main business development tool), I positioned myself as a search engine optimization expert. I’d written a couple of books in 2002 and gained a solid grasp of Google’s search algorithm. I attended some big events in California and portrayed myself as a professional who could add serious value.
I got calls from some flaky people wanting something for nothing and calls from big brand names. I actually turned down Virgin Mobile because I couldn’t see how I could help them. And I got another call from a big hotel and thought, oh ya, I can help them. I had dozens of other good quality leads too, and they’d wait if I wasn’t immediately available. They wanted me and no one else. That’s when you know you’ve done your brand positioning well. You’re almost fascinating. (However, I made an error in committing to a few good clients and neglected to grow the business).
Your Initial Meetings – Are You Satisfied?
Things don’t always go smooth though. There were indications right off the bat with the hotel marketing team (lack of firm commitment) and sure enough years later that issue would return. One dour manager wasn’t impressed and he wasn’t too enthusiastic during meetings. He controlled the finances and was orienting my results to his purpose.
Long story short, I took their website traffic from Google, from 1.2 million visits per year to 2.5 million visits per year. Huge isn’t it? They did very well. Every prospective company has people and technical issues. This was a client with technical issues that made my job difficult and an accountant that was never on my side. The hotel wasn’t converting visitors to the degree they fantasized about, and that was the real issue.
The accountant may have thought he could outsource my work to India through some of his connections perhaps. In any event, his lack of appreciation put a strain on the relationship with my direct client. For some reason, they didn’t buy my “supreme” services package which was actually underpriced. They chose the middle option which made it difficult to get top notch results. And getting top notch SEO services in those days was almost a guarantee of big $$$$ success.
So, not having that backing from the prospect/client where it was needed, foretold the obvious; that projects would be underfunded and under-supported. So this client was good and bad. It’s not always clear cut, but if it leaves you with a sour taste, then it’s bad. Long term, that will wear you down.
Who You Choose as Your Customer Will Determine Your Success
The most important thing for any consultant or service business is having good clients. Internet marketing services, air conditioning repair services, manufacturers, and even retailer’s future depends on the quality of their client/customer.
Serve the wrong customer and they could ruin your business and take away your health, enthusiasm, and future. From that initial meeting you may have all the information you need.
Bad Customers will ruin you. Identifying them quickly and weeding them out is a vital part of your business plan. Take a look your plan, does it mention a “weeding out bad prospects” task? If you’re in business long term, position your brand, so that only quality prospects will call you. Your marketing communications tells them whether you’re the right one for them. That’s good branding and power positioning.
Don’t pay you what you’re worth
Don’t communicate or provide feedback
Don’t express appreciation for what you have done for them
Think the worst when some issue crops up
Don’t express enthusiasm about you
Don’t enable you to achieve goals
Tell you what to do
Create stress that will affect you later
Pay you all they can because you return more than you cost
Communicate openly, uncritically, and provide essential feedback
Continually express appreciation so that you will produce more value
Think the best of you when some issue crops up
Express enthusiasm about you as a friend and service provider
Do anything to enable you to achieve goals
Properly fund projects
Let you discover what works and how to get it done
Here’s an entrepreneurial credo to live by: You Are Your Customer.
Treat them as though you were doing for yourself. Whatever you produce comes right back to you, so in reality, you are the end customer. Be generous, supportive, encouraging, effective, and create value. When a prospect looks like they will resent your productivity, support, and effort, don’t get involved with them. The prospect that wants to help you help them is your bulls-eye target. Get that right and your life will be very good.
Good customer/clients care about you just like your best friends. They support you completely because they know it’s going to benefit you and them. Mutually supportive and you’ll both be better for it.
There’s a lot of politics in some companies/corporations and you’ll never know what’s going on behind the scenes. Yet, that will have an effect on your future. If there’s issues, prejudices, and corrosive elements, and if you’re sensitive, you’ll pick that up. It could save you from making the worst mistake for an entrepreneur – choosing the wrong client/customer.