Tom Caraccio

Dan Kennedy & Straight Shooting Sales Both Agree… “We are at the beginning of a New Economy”

The way Real Estate Agents sell their services has changed…Forever!

Those of you that know me and get my monthly Straight Shooting Sales Report would know that lately I have been talking about this new economy topic a lot.

The reason I have been talking about it so much is because this new economy has changed the way business happens. And if you don’t understand how it has changed, or what it means to you then you are destined to struggle soon if you haven’t already noticed a change. This whole new economy was one of the driving forces for us to launch the Rainmakers Inner Circle Coaching Membership, because YOU need a place to plug into for continual business and personal growth and success if you haven’t heard of it yet check it out here http://www.straightshootingsales.com.au/gift

But this post is not about that.

Recently I was reading Dan Kennedy’s new book, “Sales Success in the New Economy” and I came across a page of information that aligned with a lot of things I had been thinking about lately. Dan’s new book talks about the emerging new economy as it directly affects sales professionals.

Here are the new realities… my take are in italics.

  • All the power has returned to the customer/client and he or she knows they have it.

Information is at your customers fingertips. They search before they call. It’s not like it used to be, where they call the biggest or the best company. They know they live in a free market that is open to competition. Plus most markets compete on price not value.

  • The customer’s tolerance for anything ordinary – ordinary products, services, expertise, experiences, for the banal and commonplace, and certainly for incompetence – is zero.

Sad but true, you don’t need to agree with this but you do need to see it for what it is and understand it. You need to think experience, wow, exclusive, appreciation. People want to be cared for.

  • Money will be spent more judiciously, so it will be available only to sales professionals with a much higher level of knowledge, skill, preparation, discipline, and sophistication. A more cautious consumer, striving to be sensible and responsible, will be judging you and trying to determine if you are worthy of his/her trust before he/she buys from you. You will be under greater scrutiny.

Selling is finally becoming a profession. It will be institutionalised and will stop the dreamers wanting to enter it. The person who learns the psychology behind why people buy and studies human behaviour and sales and persuasion will be the sales super star of tomorrow.

  • You must genuinely earn your right to your customers’ interest and support by providing well-matched, specialised, even customised product, service, and value propositions. People now have the opportunity, power, and awareness to demand what is specifically for them and precisely matched to their needs, interests, and desires. They are not going to be on buying sprees, buying whatever is in your wagon that you want to sell.

You could sum this up nicely by saying just this…”You have to get better as a person, better as a professional and better in all areas of your business”

This is all happening right now… With all the advances in technology, the pace of business has changed. How your clients make their buying decisions has changed. How they choose their real estate agent has changed. Information is readily available to them that they armed to the teeth before they even start speaking to an agent.

Add to this the stereotype that real estate agents are untrustworthy, (remember you are right down the bottom above used car sales people), that it’s almost an uphill battle before you start.

Times have changed. You have to earn the right to be their agent; you need to build your credibility and authority, which will earn their trust. Once you have systems in place that can create this for you, you will never worry about losing business to others because you are protecting what is yours. But if you keep doing things the old way, you will be subject to auditioning for listings with 3 or more other agents,  usually resulting in fee discounting to win business.

I’m talking strategy here, a formula that needs to be followed so you deliver high quality “wow” service to all your clients. Starting at lead generation where the relationship begins right through to lead conversion and lifetime referrals. This is the mantra of the New Economy Sales Super Star. This is the way of the future, an honest, authentic and specialised approach to building relationships, therefore building your business.

NOTE: I’m not meant to promote on here but I’m passionate about this and I truly believe this will help anyone wanting to know more about Selling in The New Economy…I have a CD which has 8 principles to building your real estate career, which covers 8 strategies for building relationships the right way, plus simple, cost effective ideas to boost your listings every month. You can get a copy for free and I will even pay the postage check it out here… http://www.straightshootingsales.com.au/freecd

Tom Caraccio

Just for the Record…The Real Estate Marketing Blueprint!

It’s time to set the record straight! Just this week gone by I was chatting with a client about marketing, and how a successful campaign has several steps that must be followed for success. These steps are lead generate, lead qualify, lead follow up and lead conversion. This is the basic structure of what a marketing system for real estate agents should have at a minimum.

Once I finished drawing this out for them and really giving them the winning formula to be successful in real estate sales, (In fact, thinking about it now this advice could be worth thousands dollars to the right agent), this particular agent responded with, “Wow there’s a lot of steps involved. Wouldn’t it be easier to just advertise for the people who are ready to sell right now?”

And the short answer is, yes. But in this imperfect world we live in, it doesn’t work to advertise for people who want to sell their home now. Real estate marketing just doesn’t work that way.

Real-Estate-Marketing-Blueprint

You see real estate sales success requires a human factor and that factor is a level of trust that prospective vendors feel about the agent they choose. So the chance of you being chosen to sell someone’s home from an advertisement saying, “We are the best” is very slim and some professionals would say as slim as 0.1%.

And that is pretty poor results. In some demographic areas that wouldn’t even amount to one sale, so it would be fair to say that that particular strategy doesn’t work.
So how do we boost our marketing? How do we guarantee that our marketing will pull motivated, qualified prospects that will eventually convert into clients?

It’s a simple strategy but one still not understood by many agents. If you took this strategy and got a little creative with it, it will bring you, like it brings my clients, unchallenged, results month in month out.

First you create advertising and marketing pieces that attract prospects to you; it’s all in the headline and the offer here. The headline needs to stop them and get their attention, and then the offer needs to evoke curiosity with some fear attached, so mentally and emotionally your ad or marketing will get people of their butts to take some action.  The offer should be constructed with the prospect in mind. What would they like to know about selling their home?

Why do we do this?

This way every lead that comes to the agent has already qualified themselves by requesting information about selling a home. “Wowing” the potential customer works well here. My clients also use Reports, CD’s, Books and DVD’s that have been carefully created by us, to deliver their information and this adds a level of “wow” and “authority” to their relationship they have with their prospects.

Next step is to qualify the prospects that respond to your marketing by placing a phone call to them, asking why they requested the information. They will give you feedback as to whether they just wanted the information for education or whether they have been thinking of moving. This step when done correctly will give you other valuable information such as time frames and reasons. This helps the agent determine motivation and sets the time frame for the next step, which is…

Leads follow up and this is done until the prospect dies or buys. As you can see this step varies in time from prospect to prospect. So try to keep this step as easy as possible and mix it up with personal contact, emails, newsletter and any other ways that trust can be built to a rock solid level.

During your follow ups you should be engaging the prospect with offers of useful information that they may want if they were moving into decision making mode about selling. For example you could offer a property report which helps them estimate a sale price by comparisons (CMA) and they can order this from the agent.  By the prospect requesting the information it would show the agent that they may be getting ready to make a decision and the agent can call them for a chat to convert the prospect.

So there you have it, a million dollar blue print to reliably get in front of motivated, qualified, sellers month in month out.  It’s up to you the value you put on this information, it’s either worth nothing to you or worth everything to you. Some of you reading this immediately identify why your marketing hasn’t been working up until now. Were you trying to get clients from your marketing, were you asking for business in your ads? Or were you trying to develop a long term relationship with potential vendors?

Tom Caraccio

The Only Vote That Counts Is The Client’s

If You’re Not Sure Whether Something Will Work or Not, TEST it Out and Let the Client Tell You Whether It’s Right.  Only Direct Response Advertising Can Give You This Power To Test.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when you send out a letter, or drop a flyer that people are actually going to call you, are going to want what you have?  I know my members sleep well at night, knowing that their marketing is working for them. This money making principle applies not only to marketing but to your sales process and sales choreography also. You should be asking yourself an important question?

“What does your client want?”

Failing to understand and address your client’s needs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Rather than assuming or guessing you know the answers, you should be asking your prospects directly by tracking and researching their needs. When it comes to advertising most people spend their money on blind faith, hoping they are going to get a return. This is an expensive and often tragic mistake. How do we put a marketing question to a vote? We test and compare one technique against the other.  The point is, this is not guesswork. You will be amazed that one approach always substantially out pulls all the other by a tremendous margin.  You’ll also be amazed at how many more sales you can realise from the same effort

The purpose of testing is to demand maximum performance from every marketing effort

So how do you do this?  You need to know your customers well. You need to know what keeps them awake at night, what they are talking about around the water cooler, what their wants, needs and desires are. Once you know all this, you have to design information that addresses this and positions you as the problem solver.  This is how they make up their mind about doing business with you. Real-Estate-Solution So, do you know the needs, wants, desires and frustrations of all your different types of clients? For real estate, the needs and frustrations of a first home buyer are going to be very different to someone looking at upsizing to a larger home and very different again for someone downsizing.  People downsizing may be doing so because they can’t afford to keep the place they are in, maybe there is all this empty space to keep clean and it frustrates them. Whereas your first home buyer is nervous; they are excited but are anxious about entering the property market.  You need to know all of this.  Once you can “enter the conversation your clients are already having in their head” it becomes easy for them to do business with you.  You become the obvious choice, as you seem to know what they need and want. Once you start to master the art of asking questions of your clients to see what their needs are, once you start marketing yourself from the point of what your clients want, you will see the money start rolling in.  Who would you choose; someone who understood your wants and needs or someone who couldn’t relate to what you were saying and had their own agenda? I know who I would pick. I am sure you would agree that many others would do the same. So remember in marketing and in your sales process, the only vote that counts is the clients.