How Do I Get More Clients?

Be a Farmer not a Hunter
September 6, 2015
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September 6, 2015

How Do I Get More Clients?

This is not an easy question to answer. It is multi faceted and has many answers.

The first of which I would say is never quit. Never give up.

Often times people quit working towards a Goal not knowing how close they are to success with only one or two steps more they would have succeeded but they lost their steam. So being determined and never giving up is one of the first attributes towards success.

Now as we have already shared, the theories here can be applied to almost any business, not just real estate.

The way we go about it can be a little different for different types of businesses but the theories are all the same. These theories are meant to get you thinking about the different things you can do that will help you succeed. Thinking inside and outside the “Box” and spending the time in doing that will go a long way to making this all work for you.

With real estate (and most other businesses) it is simply this.
You first need to have as many people as possible knowing what it is that you do! We’ve talked about secret agents and that is only good on TV. This is not good when you are in business. So make sure you have a good data base (Bigger is better here) and make sure they all know what you do for a living.

Prospecting is a real deal here. You need to do it weekly if not every day! Arrange to meet with at least three new people very week, five is better. Do not waste time here. Make sure these people are potential leads, mutual followers, fans of yours or willing to share with others what it is that you do. Make sure to do the same for them if they are in business. Think about Cross-Marketing their business at or with yours?

Ok, so everyone knows… Now what?
To be frank some of your friends and relatives will NOT do business with you!
Why is that? Well some of them won’t want to put business in between a friendship or relationship. Others will not want you to know their inner deeper details such as their finances. There are several reasons.

The good news is that some will want to use you because they simply trust you to do a good job for them. The bottom line here is do NOT base your business on your family and friends. If you do, you will eventually go broke and at the very least your business will not grow.

What you do need to do is become famous! I don’t mean that in a “Hollywood” sort of way! What I mean here is that you need to meet and get to know as many people as possible. This is where the playing field gets leveled out. I have seen people move into a new city and community and quickly build a successful real estate business. How did they do that? The same way you need too!

Ask yourself; how do I meet more people? How do more people get to meet me? I would start off by looking for Networking opportunities. It can be as simple as joining a Business Network. If there is one in your community join it. If it only has 10 people and the same 10 people at the table every week (or every meeting) get to know them. If it is an open networking event, even better. Bigger is better!

Learn the proper ways of Networking. Google it and read about it. There are even books on it. You first need to learn and practice a 15 to 20 second “elevator speech.” This will be useful everywhere you go, even on the way to a Doctor appointment. Picture meeting someone in an elevator. You only have 3 floors to go when the magic question comes out “What do you do?”

If you cannot answer this quickly and effectively then you might as well tell them you are retired!

Start with your line of work. Add in why you are so good in your business. Now I will stop here. Almost all of us hate tooting our own horn. It’s not natural for us to do this but it is an essential part of any business, so get used to doing it. Find a way to describe this that you feel comfortable with. After all you didn’t get into business to be mediocre did you?

Ask yourself what is it that I do that sets me a-part from others I compete with? It better offer some value and something the client can’t freely find anywhere else. So think about this for a long time. Put some muscle into it, but never over-promise!

So rather than just saying I am a REALTOR (or a – insert title here) you could say something like this:

“I own a business that helps people to buy and sell properties but my specialty is people and when I say that I mean that I always ensure that I save them thousands of dollars, steer them away from bad investments and ensure that their dreams come true for years to come.”

You see one of the problems we all face is that we have competition. Some more than others. For example in the Calgary real estate market you have more competition than most businesses will ever face in their lifetime. So how do you effectively deal with that?

One thing you can do, and do it right now is to make yourself “unique.” In marketing terms this is called a USP or “Unique Selling Proposition.” Look everywhere at larger successful businesses that know how to market themselves and you will see it and you will need this to be successful too or you will just be one of those…

What makes you different than your competition? You need to be asking yourself this until the day you retire and you better have a good answer. Do not be corny! Too many are and while they may be memorable in most cases they will not be wealthy I can assure you of that.

So right now, write this down and make sure to re-visit it often – What makes me different? What can I offer others that results in their problems being solved?

When I look in newspapers and magazines and see all the real estate ads out there from hundreds and thousands of realtors, by the end of it all I can say I rarely see one stick out in the crowd.

Basically unless they have a picture of the house I want to buy they have wasted all of their money by being in that magazine. Its like a herd of cattle, they are all the same color to me, they follow each other around and they all make the same noise – Mooo!

Do you think Wal-Mart became the largest retailer in the world by making the same noise as Target or Costco or (insert all the others here). No! They built a “Unique” reason for people to do business with them! What was that?

Well they constantly advertise price drops. They specialize in what the largest sector of the market needs from engine oil to groceries and clothing. It goes on and on. Who is their market is it the upscale 6 or 7 digit income earners? No, it’s the lower income and middle class.

They have zero’d in on a market and they farmed it just like the rest of us should be doing. In fact in one area that they have zero’d in on is RVers. I say this because as I write this I am sitting in my motorhome. Almost every Wal-Mart in North America let’s RVers camp over night in their parking lots! Why? Because they know that before they go to bed at night they will buy groceries and if they don’t they will be going into the store in the morning before they hit the road. RVer’s need supplies on a regular basis because their fridges are small and so are their rigs.

RVing is a huge industry, especially in the USA. Every RV out there has at least two people in it. Just one more way to make Wal-Marts unique! They are even listed in camping books and on-line Apps so that an RVer can come off the freeway and get some sleep when they are on the road. That is just one example of marketing in a unique way and there are thousands of others.

The other thing that this does for Wal-Mart is that it builds loyalty. I have spoken to hundred’s of RVers. Some are weekenders, others are Snow Birds and others live full time in their RVs. They all have one thing in common and that is their loyalty to Wal-Mart! They share this with other RVers and they talk about it on their websites and Blogs. Wouldn’t you like to have a few thousand (insert million) talking favorably about you and your business?

So what makes you and your business unique?

Think about it for 30 minutes and write down all the reasons. Take the best ones and start incorporating them into your elevator speech. Once you have good ones you can use them in other areas of your marketing too. This is something that is a basic requirement for any business to be successful and with all the competition in real estate it is more than a requirement for your business.

Once you have done this add these things into the culture of your business and make sure that it happens. There is nothing worse than false advertising and nothing will kill a business faster.

Be careful of “corny clichés!”

My business coach had a great one when he first got into business and I’ll share it with you here. He hired a photographer to take a picture of him. He was standing in the middle of a crop field on someone’s farm. He added this to his marketing it was in all of his ads.

What did the caption read? “Joe Smith, Outstanding in His Field.”

That may have been a good one if he was advertising his farm or his fertilizer business but as a Realtor – not good. It was corny enough that some people would remember it. But it had no “call to action” and it had no “USP” to compel me or anyone else to use his services. Those ads cost him a lot of money and he may as well have just flushed a few thousand dollars down his toilet.

I made the same mistakes before I had any training. I shudder to think what else I could have done with that money. Think about it. Are you rich enough to do this?

Why would any of us advertise our businesses in this way if we knew ahead of time it does not work? Trust me, “It does not work!” If you continue to do this, please just write me some cheques for the same amount of money for my vacation fund and save yourself the hassle of spending time with your advertising Reps! You will get the same results!

Here’s another truth you need to hear.
Did you know that statistically a good 99% of people who see your ad with a home’s photo do not buy the first home that they see?

It is a proven fact. But when it happens to you and it will if you last long enough, be thankful, as they are very rare. So what can you do about this?

First lets understand why we place ads in the paper and online with a picture of a home. We are trained to do this. Our Sellers expect (or demand) that you do this.

That’s why we do it. After all, all of the other Realtors out there do it so it must be right. It must be how they make their money – right?

I am not telling you to stop doing this. I am not saying that at all. In fact continue to do this. Do it in more than the newspaper. Do it on Kijiji or Craigslist whatever works in your area.

What I am saying is be realistic. Know that this is not how you are going to make a lot of money. It may sell the home, it may not? What it does do for you is show that you are actually a Realtor with a home for sale – end.

If it sells then great. It is not how you build a business.

We must all recognize that people “need a reason” to do business with “you” versus any of the “other Realtors” out there, or, even worse yet “doing nothing at all!

Did you get that? Read it over again and maybe a third time!

A reason to do business with you! It is that simple!

Buying a home is an emotional experience.
Just like buying a car is an emotional experience.
Most people buy with emotion and later justify it with logic. 

Have you ever heard a friend talk about their new car?
Yeah I didn’t really need a Corvette but you know I thought having a convertible in the summer would be nice and besides having this thing just made me fell a bit younger or added some fun to our Sundays and I needed a new car sooner or later anyhow.”

They might add in some other logic like “when I go to sell it, it will be worth more than that VW I was going to buy, the re-sale values are better.” Another one would be “They’ve really improved the gas mileage on those corvettes and it really wasn’t much worse than the Impala so I decided to get it instead.”

  • Did he or she buy that convertible to drive it to work and back? No!
  • Did it really make sense to buy an $80K convertible to drive it back and forth to work? No!
  • Did it make them feel good to drive a performance car that they had dreamed about since they were 16 years old? Yes!

It is all about the emotion!
They back up the emotional buying decision later on by trying to add some logic to it so that they feel better about it. This is called “justification.”

“After all… I needed a new car sooner or later and I may as well have some fun.”

So if we know that for most people their buying decisions are driven by emotion we must learn to deal with that. If that is the trigger then how do we activate it?

Having said all this you are going to run into one other type. They are often engineers or accountants. They will try and keep their emotion out of every buying decision. They will go straight to justification and let me tell you this; know that for them it is all about the numbers.

Does it make sense? Does it add up? Now they may not be in the profession of an accountant or an engineer. They may be in some other type of business. But watch for this. Learn about your potential client early on and do not be afraid to ask them what they do for a living in your conversation it will help you to switch modes.

If they think like an accountant or engineer get your numbers ready!
Make sure you have lots of data and statistics for them. Show them that you too are in the numbers game and understand this type of logic.

After all you are. You too need to know the values, the stats and the numbers. Have this ready for your presentation whether they are buyers or sellers.

Having gone off track here a little lets get back to the ads and why people should do business with you.

If you are new to the business you are going to need to be relying on your brokerage. I used to call this my or “our team of Realtors.” Find out what kind of stats your brokerage has. How many homes did they sell last year, how many transactions did they complete. Does your team offer other services, what are they? Who are the people on your team? Use the power of this and it will amaze you.

You want this power to amaze the client too. One way is to find out how many cumulative years these Realtors have been in the business. Add it all up so that in your presentation you can honestly say that together we have 116 years of Real Estate experience. How long has your brokerage been in business? What about your Broker or your Manager. I even use to put their pictures in my presentation. Add in how many homes your Team bought & sold last year. Be Bold!

My presentations were on Power Point. You may want to consider this. Consider the different types of personalities you will be facing for clients and try to answer their questions before they even ask them. Know your stuff. When you know your stuff a natural by-product is confidence and they will see this in you and it is very important.

Do not be cocky but know your stuff. It’s like an animal smelling fresh meat. They will see it in you and smell it from a hundred yards away. That’s a good thing!

On a piece of paper write down all your experience, training and attributes from over the years. You might be amazed at how some of this can be related to running a real estate business. Include those items in your presentation because they do want to know why they should do business with you.

Ask yourself – Why should they trust me with their investment?

Most realtors will not be able to properly deal with this one so make sure you do it is an easy way to win. “What experience do you have in advertising (or marketing)?

Now this is very important, as I personally believe this is very much your main job. Why or better yet… “How” are you going to get my home sold?

Most agents are going to say things like we will advertise it in our local paper, add it to our website, put it in a flyer, add it to the company website, put it on MLS, put a sign in the front yard and add it to Kijiji (or Craigslist). Very few will have anything else.

What the Realtor is saying to the Client is: We are going to do what all the other Realtors do and then we are going to pray that it sells!

When you think about it, its sort of funny!
Nothing that they are doing will be any thing different than what the other 5200 other Realtors are going to do! So why would you pick me?

As a seller I want to know you are going to get the job done for me when I need it done and at the right price! So far it sounds to me like this is just another realtor wanting my money to go on a fishing trip!

As a true professional who will stand out in the crowd of that pool of 5200 realtors you need to do something different, something meaningful and you also need to wow your client in your presentation or they are likely going to call someone else.

How do you wow them?

You must understand that these people have the “pick of the litter” and that we are just another one in that litter! You have the pick of just one and there is power in numbers. In other words until you wow the client enough they have the power!

You cannot misrepresent yourself, you must be honest and you must carry out everything that you say you will do. In our company that is a basic rule. So be prepared and do not over-promise in your desperation to win.

I always went about it this way, under-promise and over-deliver.
Having said that the under-promise part must be strong enough to win the business but in my delivery I did more than just that. I went beyond the service I promised and it almost always paid me back in either future business from them personally or referrals to others that they knew. So we must impress them some way, some how all through out the sales cycle until after the job is done and perhaps even a little bit farther.

So keep asking yourself what it is that you do different, that is of value and makes you stand out in the crowd of hungry agents looking for this client’s business? Yes, I keep repeating this and always will.

If I owned a million dollar home, I would expect you would go the extra mile. If I understood business I would expect you to do certain things. If I were smart I would want to know what kind of exposure my listing was going to get? If I were an analytical person I would want some stats and numbers on all of this to back it up.

You need to know numbers for things like what percentage of homes actually sell in this market? What is the average selling time in this area (number of days)? What is the average selling price, what is the average list to sales price ratio (%) in other words how much are homes selling for versus their list price and how long will this stressful time take you so I can move on?

Show them you know the business and market inside and out!

Here’s a piece of information for you and perhaps you have never heard this? Homes Sell Homes! That simply means… Realtors do not sell homes. The home sells itself! But how does that work?

First off if the Realtor doesn’t sell the home then why do people need a Realtor? The answer is that Realtors market the home. If a Buyer views it, wants to buy it and makes an offer then the Realtor’s role changes from marketer to one of negotiator, representative and advisor (for the sellers).

You might be thinking so if homes sell the homes then how do we do that? It’s easy you must simply get the potential buyers into the inside of the home! You see homes are like people; its what’s inside that counts!

Remember this and share it all with your sellers when you meet them.

So what we are saying is that Realtors do not sell homes and advertisements do not sell homes. If that is true (and it is) then what this is saying is that the ad is simply the bait on the hook to encourage potential (hopefully qualified) buyers to come “inside” the home. That’s where the sales process really starts, inside the home.

Lets break this down a bit. First of all I have never sold a home to anyone who did not want to buy one in the first place. What that means is that the buyers have already made a decision that they are interested in buying of they can find a home that suits their needs, wants and desires. How does that happen?

Buyers in today’s world are more likely to start their search on-line. In fact some stats indicate that over 92% of buyers start there first. They use this search for two things. It’s a place to find a realtor to represent them and it’s the place where they find the homes they think they might want to view.

So you might be asking then why do we even advertise in a newspaper? True newspaper ads are not what they used to be but the real question here should be what should we be doing with our newspaper ads? We will get back to this.

Here’s another not so well known fact that has statistical proof. Almost all homes that the buyer views first, (even though they thought they might like it) are not the home they buy. Lets go over that again. When a Buyer calls and says, “I want to go see this home!” Know that the chances of them buying the first home that they see are very, very low. Why do you need to know this?

It sounds like a bad thing right? Well it’s actually an opportunity for you. Show them you know what you are doing, get to know them and get to know more about what they are looking for and the list goes on. Build that relationship and solidify the relationship so that you can help them reach their dream, which is find that home!

So what does this mean for our advertising? If they don’t normally buy that first home that they call you on then what? Again this sounds like a bad thing it is not. In fact most bad things are actually opportunities in disguise and here’s your opportunity!

“Make the ad different than all the other ads out there!”

Now you are probably confused and wondering what I’m talking about and why?

If we know that the majority of buyers who see this new home on the market first won’t buy it then it means that other buyers who have seen other homes first are likely to be one of the people to make the offer and purchase of this home. Get it?

It means that Mr. & Mrs. Smith who called you last night after seeing the ad for that home want to buy, and after seeing it they want to look at other homes. It means that someone else’s client is going to be the buyer of that home. Some other realtor is going to have a client who has already seen a few homes and decides your new listing is the one they want to buy. Great!

Wait a minute! That’s good, but it’s not great!
You see one of the ways to make more money in this business is to double end your listings. It’s almost rare in some markets but it is not impossible in any market unless forbidden by law or policy. Just double end a few homes a year and see what it does to your income.

So ask yourself why did the buyer have a different realtor than me? Some buyers call the Listing Realtor to see a home and that may as well be you, right?

When you get these calls, ask and ensure that they are not working with another realtor. I have seen this happen way too often. The realtor is excited they take them and show them the home. Then the bottom falls out and depression sets in when the potential buyer says to them afterwards, “well let me think about it and Ill talk it over with my realtor!” Don’t let this happen to you!

Some people actually think this was your job to do, as they are not educated on how the system works or their realtor was too busy (some are lazy too) to take them.

Ok, here we go, back to the advertisement again.

If the advertisement is the so-called bait on the hook, how do we sweeten it up a bit to catch more of what we are after?

In this situation you already have the seller. You have their home listed for sale and your job is to coordinate showings, keep the seller happy with information and reports of what’s happening on a regular basis and even give them advice of what to do with their home to make it show and therefore sell better. The point here is you have the seller so what you need is a buyer!

If you have the seller and you need a buyer then what makes sense? It seems to me that you have to appeal to the wants and needs of as many buyers as possible. Here’s where the rubber hits the road!

TIP:
Just a quick one here. If you are selling condos or even some homes that have less than 2 bedrooms do not advertise that it has one bedroom. In fact if you have a detached home or duplex listed with less than 3 bedrooms I probably wouldn’t advertise that either. Reason: All of your marketing should be geared to make your phone ring. If you eliminate a big portion of the buying consumer with your ads they are not going to phone you. Once they phone you and find out there are not enough bedrooms you will have a chance in the conversation to share with them that you have access to every home on the market. All of your ads should be geared to make your phone ring from as many people as possible!

WIFM

Here’s another acronym you need to know and always remember. WIFM is not a radio station!

What’s In It For Me.”
If you can answer that every time in most everything you do and answer it… well you will have more business. When you think of marketing, advertising and your presentations remember this (WIFM) and tie it in with what we previously talked about your USP (Unique selling Proposition).

Lets face it, if there is nothing in it for me then why should I do business with you?

I probably won’t do business with you without this answered. In fact you may have all this put together but if you do not communicate it well you may as well not even meet with them or advertise at all. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and your money!

First off, we know that no one wants to meet with a sales person until they absolutely have too. I have been in sales for years and I hate sales people just about as bad as anyone. Why is that?

Because we have all had bad experiences with them. Even if it was five years ago when a shoe salesman pressured the heck out of me, it remains fresh in my mind all these years later. I do not want their help until I see a shoe I like well enough to try it on. It’s the same with car sales people and it’s the same in real estate!

This becomes important when you think about it. There are a whole bunch of people out there that are potential customers and/or buyers or sellers that haven’t put their hands up yet – to say I need a Realtor! Once you understand this then it become your job to get them to notice you, notice that you are different and to show that you have something that answers their question “What’s In It For Me?”

If you like us in our market area… have competitors numbering over 5,000 then you better be doing a very good job of singling yourself out of the clutter of this competition. Here’s a more positive way to think about this; How many potential clients are out there that have not raised their hands yet and how does one get them to call me before they call anyone else (or worse do nothing). Notice that?

There are two subjects here.
First one; Call me before anyone else and Second; or do nothing!

You see in any given family every three to seven years someone is thinking about buying or selling a home. Some of them act fairly quickly due to desire, need or circumstances. Others act slower due to analytics, less desire or circumstances. They may not be ready to act for 6 or even 12 months for various reasons. That does not mean you don’t want to meet them.

In fact the opposite is true, you do want to meet them even before they think they are ready to meet you. It’s called filling the sales pipelineThinking this way will help you to build future business and help you to avoid the ups and downs of commissioned sales income. (Those awful months where you make no money but were relying on it or needed it to buy groceries!).

Some people think about moving before they act (for a long, long time). They either put off the hassle or they just do not get around to it for some reason. If you show them how easy it can be, if you help them to find a home they can not resist or perhaps help them to get financially qualified (because they have too much debt right now) you have answered one or more of their questions (problem solving their issues) in regards to what’s in it for me?

You see your services should include more than just a Realtor. Who do you know and better yet, whom should you know that you could trust to help your clients?

Do you know a handful of trustworthy hardworking Mortgage Brokers and or Bank Lenders? Do you know people in the Financial Investment fields? How about someone who works to help people eliminate debt and create a positive cash flowing budget? The list goes on to include good Home Inspectors, Renovation Experts and so on. Think about it. Who do your Buyers and Sellers need to know? 

Who can help them (other than you) reach their goals? They must be hardworking trustworthy business people so that you do not face embarrassment, which will ultimately cost you business, never mind what it will do to you mentally. Surround yourself with good people in these areas and get to know them. More on this later.

Where am I going with this?
Back to the fact you need to stand out from the crowd of your competitors. Real Estate is one of the best examples of this. Most other businesses do not face this type of huge competition. If you are reading this (owning another business) know that you can use all of this as an awesome learning experience to implement into your business as well. It will pay you dividends down the road, I promise!

So if we have all these extra services and things to answer the what’s in it for me issue what do we do about it? First off we need to communicate it early. That means it needs to somehow flow into your marketing and your advertising, your elevator speech, your presentations and your conversations. Make sure people know that you are more than just another Realtor! That is a sign of true professionalism.

If I were to write an advertisement I would sit down and think about a few things that I need to answer in that ad.

  1. What am I selling? A product (home), a Service or… Both or more?
  2. Is it just a home – or do I have other attributes to use to attract clients?
  3. The Headline – This is the eye catcher and most likely the most important part of your ad. What should it say? Does it communicate value (I don’t mean cheapening yourself by saving them money off your fees); does it communicate answers to their problems? Does it stand out in the clutter of other ads and does it do the job both mentally & psychologically?
  4. The Body of the ad – Is it clear, easy to read and….
  5. Do not ever waste your time posting an ad anywhere without at least one related photo or graphic. What should I use?
  6. Benefits Sell – Features tell.
    This part is important. Granite counters do not sell a home. Being on a park, near transit or close to a school will help sell a home. Living in the country vs. hardwood floors. Determine what the best benefitsare of the product you are selling. The rest can be communicated later.
  7. A Call to Action – Too many ads do not have this. You need to have at least one if not two “Calls to Action.” Sometimes people won’t act with out being reminded of it – Call Me Now! – Free Easy to Get Information Without Talking to a Realtor! (More on this topic another time).
  8. Similar to WIFM – Why should I contact you? Answer this question in all ads.
  9. A USP – What makes you different? Another reason to call you?
  10. Black & White or Color – Some times Black & White can work well.
  11. What else makes your ad stand out? Graphics, Stars, Mountains what can you think of adding in to make the ad POP!

These are just some of things that you can think about and utilize to make your ads better. There are other considerations as well but this article is not meant to make you an advertising expert.

This article is meant to draw your attention to the idea that there is much that you can learn and do to make yourself better than your competition and help your business to earn more money with happier clients along the way.

Other considerations can include placement of an ad. Do you know where in a newspaper to place your ad to gain more exposure? What part of a page, which page, what colors work best and so on?

What time of day should you place on-line ads and which days work best to get you the most exposure? Should you pay for online ads using paid for services like pay to click or other similar services?

How does Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus fit into your marketing strategy or does it at all? How to use these technologies best and when to post on them?

The best part about this is that in today’s world we have a lot more opportunities to market and advertise both our products (homes) and our services. Some of it is even free. In years gone by advertising cost a fortune and everyone was advertising in the same places. In saying this I want you to be enthused and energetic about how you can implement these opportunities.

Remember to always test and measure every piece of your marketing & advertising. This will ensure you are not wasting your time and more importantly your money.

Like my others this article is not meant to be an all-inclusive means to “Get More Clients” or make you an expert. It is meant to get you thinking about what you can do to;

  • Separate yourself from the clutter of the competition,
  • Get your phone to ring more often,
  • Help build your pipeline to be sustainable for the future,
  • Build your data-base and increase your sphere of influence,
  • Get you thinking about how you can answer the questions clients all have,
  • Learn some basics on being better than 80% of your competitors, (top 20%),
  • Instill in your mind that you need to learn more!

I am a strong believer in that if you own a business and you are not moving forward then you are moving backward. This is very true in today’s world of information and business. So having said that it sounds daunting but let this encourage you!

There are many things one can easily do to move forward and increase the efficiency of your business allowing you to have more free time and make more money as well.

For my Team Members (staff) we can and do hold courses in-house on many of the topics I will cover. Simply ask me and we can meet to discuss topics more in-depth or if there is enough interest develop a new course.

You can buy some excellent books on business and marketing and I as a reader myself encourage this. It is an easy affordable way to learn what strategies have worked for others. Most businesses are very similar and you have heard that from me before. You can learn from others in other businesses and apply it in your business. Just remember (I’ll always repeat this) measure and track everything you do to see if it is working, to see if its making you money or worse yet to see if its losing you money (in labor, time or cash).

Another thing you can do is take courses. Often times you will see courses offered for adult learning in the evenings. Universities, colleges and others who are experts in their field will be available to teach these subjects and marketing is one you need to know. After all it is your main task in your business!

Don’t forget to add your completed education into your Resume. Put it in your presentation, perhaps your ads and certainly your LinkedIn profile!

I once knew a man who was in manufacturing. This meant that his business was B to B (business to business) meaning his clients were other businesses versus the general buying public. This man inherited his business. It was already established. There were plenty of clients. He readily admitted to me he knew nothing about sales or marketing and he didn’t want to either (he was a very busy man). He had sales people in-house that would call clients and I hope other businesses to generate more sales. Most of the clients were simply repeat clients from years gone by. It seemed like a gold mine.

My question was; what if something changed in this business? What if this happened and he as the CEO knew nothing about sales or marketing which really was the backbone of his enterprise (and most any other business). Its like if I don’t know about it, how can it hurt me if I am oblivious!

I often thought and still do; what if another business came out with another technology or better widget maybe for even less money? What if the competition came out with another add-on service or something that made them more valuable in the market place?

If you are managing a business (or the CEO) you better know what to do and how to steer the ship. You better understand what it is that your sales staff does and think about how to make it even better or more efficient. You better be able to recognize issues before you start losing money or sales. What if your oldest and best sales person (I hope this never happens) got killed on the weekend in a car crash?

In other words if you don’t understand this stuff, how each department works, how to leverage the systems to make them even better what will you do when change happens and trust me in today’s world it is only a matter of time until change happens even with the best of the best!

You need to be ahead of the curve! 

I fear that if and when this happens it will either cost their business a ton of money (because of the time it will take to first recognize it) then change or adapt to it. If they don’t fail and go bankrupt, then how many long time clients will they lose in the process?

In situations like this (when they occur) it takes a lot of money and time to win clients back, if you ever get them back at all. You do not want this to happen to you. It is hard enough to build a business (time and lots of money) never mind re-build one that was once successful but didn’t keep up due to a lack of foresight or leadership and proper management. Management needs to be involved in all of the processes; management needs to understand all of the processes.

You are the CEO of your business.
No matter how big or small it is, you are the CEO. In saying this you need to understand the core of your business and part of that for most of you (especially Realtors) is marketing and advertising.

Take advantage of learning.
This is an investment in YOU. Not just financially but it is an investment in the utilization of your time too. Proper investments pay back with a Return (ROI).

Learning the proper things like this topic will pay you back in spades. So take advantage of it and build it into your schedule or you will get too busy working in your business to work on the business. 

After you learn it, you must take the time to implement it. This is the Action stage and it is required. It takes time but again it is an investment in you and your business.

I am assuming here (dangerous to do, I know) that someone else is relying on you. For some of you it is your spouse and family. For others it may be your Mortgage Company or lender. For all of you, you need to be able to rely on yourself!

In order to do this in our busy world we need to be “intentional.”
You will get sick of me repeating much of the things I repeat. You need to hear much of what I repeat over and over again until it becomes real in your mind and in your world. I wouldn’t be wasting my time here (I don’t get paid for this) if I did not believe that these things work and that they are requirements for you to survive in business.

Actually I care. Even for those reading this that I have never met, I care. Why is that?

Because I have seen it all too many times and it is very painful when people and their businesses fail. It pains me to think that if they only knew this or they only did that… It wouldn’t have happened?

So before you fail and your business dies, do yourself a favor every year (or quarter) and do an autopsy on it. Tear it apart and see where you are wasting time and money and find out what you need to learn to make it work better. I promise you that in most cases the hardest part is doing the autopsy. The actual part of changing and implementing new things is often easy and becomes a habit and automatic later on. So do this and systemize it as best you can.

Learn to include Learning in your schedule. Take courses and read books. Talk to the others that have gone before you and blazed the trails of success. 

Enough said for one article. I have gone on long enough. There is a lot here, a lot to perhaps think about and learn, a lot to implement for some of you.

The good news is that if you have read this far along you have taken a step forward and you will have moved your business forward to becoming more productive and efficient. Gaining more Clients is not a simple topic. This is the tip of the iceberg. So lets start doing what we have learned and make the time to make it happen.

That all means more time for yourself and your family and more income.

Now, read this over one more time, take a pad of paper and a pen and make notes of what you are going to do and then do it.

This is all about you being able to MAKE it a GREAT Day!

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