I have a good marketing test for you. It’s the most basic, fundamental test you can run on the marketing for your business. In fact, it involves asking yourself one simple question…
“Would I buy from me?”
Be honest. If you launched your marketing campaign on yourself, would it compel you to work with yourself?
I’ve learned over the years that selling homes is not as much about sales skills as it is about relationship-building. Don’t get me wrong; it is very important to be able to sell, but think about your best sales experiences, your best clients, and I’ll bet you’ll see that you built great relationships with them, whether they were buyers or sellers.
This is an important aspect about our business that many, if not most, real estate professionals completely miss. It’s not entirely their fault – we don’t learn about relationship-building in our licensing classes, and our whole industry is in a “that’s-way-we’ve-always-done-it” mindset when it comes to marketing.
We mail postcards, send business cards to our spheres of influence, maybe email our latest listings to a group of people. Does any of this truly seem like relationship-building stuff to you?
Not long ago, I wrote an article titled “12 is the Magic Number.” In it, I cited statistics compiled by the National Sales Executive Association, which recently reported the following:
2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact
Aside from not generating enough leads for their business, the single-biggest mistake I see agents make is the lack of consistent follow-up. If 80 percent of all sales are made between five and 12 contacts, it obviously requires follow-up to achieve any real level of success.
So many agents invest good money to generate leads, then make a phone call to each prospect, mail a postcard maybe, and if there’s no immediate sale -– poof, they disappear from that prospect’s radar. This is a huge mistake, and it leaves massive amounts of money on the table.
What I have found is that you must have consistent, constant contact with the prospects in your database. And not just your business card or a generic greeting card at the holidays – I mean real content, information they can use. Articles. Resources. Even entertaining stories about yourself and what’s going on in your life. This is the stuff that builds trust, fosters real relationships and leads to sales and referrals. This is the stuff that gives you loyal clients for life.
In my business, I sent out a monthly, hard-copy client newsletter full of advice, tips, educational articles, funny stories, etc. It got to the point where I would get it out a couple of days later than usual, and I’d get calls and emails, “Where’s my newsletter?”
When you have prospects and clients like that, THEN when you send an email with your latest listings or your “deal of the week,” you will get a response. I have seen it first-hand in my business. You must build the relationship first. Don’t you prefer to do business with those you trust? Wouldn’t you rather work with someone you know?
Your prospects are no different, which leads us back to the all-important first question: Would you buy from you? In other words, is your current marketing building the relationships required for sales success?