2-Minute Networking

Entrepreneurs need to network. We cannot do everything ourselves. Whether we are in need of partners, collaborators, mentors, clients, vendors, or anything else, the more people we know and who know us–as in “know what we do”–the easier it becomes to be successful. Listen to this teleseminar on networking and see if you can find one new thing to implement tomorrow to improve your business.

“Make More Money Just by Meeting People”

Recorded live

A 60-minute teleseminar interview with Rhonda L. Sher, creator of The 2-Minute Networker concept, author, keynote speaker and workshop leader. Take the “work” out of networking! Let expert Rhonda L. Sher teach you the secrets she has taught to thousands of professionals.

I KNEW I’d Need It If I Threw It Away!

Have you ever said that? I cannot tell you the number of times I found a need for an item I discarded…shortly after I tossed it. Why is that?

The human brain is very good at filtering. Millions of bits of information come flowing to your six senses every second. Our brains filter out the vast majority of them. Only a fraction of even that small fraction actually comes to our conscious attention. Our subconscious mind is constantly guiding that filtering to meet whatever problem we are working on, whatever issue we are trying to solve, whatever thing we are currently interested in, and whatever matters most to us.

The reason I found a need for those items is that after seeing them, thinking about them and deciding to discard them, my mind now remembered them. My subconscious mind never brought them to mind as a possible solution before, because they had been forgotten. They were not available among the recent memories.

So what? Your marketing is among those millions of bits of information hitting your target clients. Will you be filtered out or brought to mind?

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had coaching or consulting clients say they had a good friend or neighbor go to someone else with their business or referral, only to apologize to them later because they did not think of them first.

What could they have done differently? Well, one little strategy you need to know about guiding their subconscious mind to NOT filter you out, is that something seen frequently is deemed important…and therefore remembered or brought to the conscious mind when it is needed. Be CONSISTENTLY AND REGULARLY VISIBLE to your clients if you want to be remembered when it matters!

That means calling, mailing, emailing, giving gifts that keep on giving and reminding them of you, and lots of other things I am sure your creative mind can dream up. Why do you think you get those flyers, postcards, calendars with advertising on them? Refrigerator magnets with advertising on them? Pens or notepads with advertising on them? Someone else knows this trick!

What do you have to change to keep yourself more at “front of mind” with your clients? Find one thing you can do today to make you more memorable tomorrow in the minds of your clients. Then go do it!

Over-Promise–or NO Promise–and Under-Deliver?

While the conventional wisdom is to UNDER-promise and OVER-deliver, it seems quite a few real estate agents and entrepreneurs of all kinds do not have the personality to be good at follow-through and following up. They tend to OVER-promise and UNDER-deliver…and then wonder why they are not swamped with repeat business and referral business. They have to struggle continually to find NEW business. They can be very good at what they do, very creative, very motivated, very committed, hard-working, and all that. They just have trouble delivering on what they have led their clients to expect. Some make no attempt to help the client set those expectations. As a result, they may not even know what the client expects.,,which pretty much guarantees they will fail to deliver.

Why does that matter? The easiest sale is to someone who is a past client, someone who has already demonstrated they like and trust you. The next easiest sale is to someone referred to you by someone who likes and trusts you. The hardest sale involves finding someone you can convince to like and trust you. To create a sustainable business, you need more than half your business coming from referrals and repeat clients. Otherwise, you will be spending so much time finding new clients that you will not have enough time to make as much money as you would like with the ones you find.

Exceeding expectations is one of the most effective ways to ensure repeat business and referrals. Investing the time to carefully think through your strategy for ENSURING you do effective follow-through and follow-up is a good way to make the most of every new client you find, both now and in the future. Create an efficient and effective system to make it happen (including perhaps hiring someone who is good at it),

Always learn what your clients expect of you. Be intentional about warning clients in advance about potential pitfalls, what is normal (both good and not so good), and what they can expect from you. Do whatever you can to accept their expectations as your standard of behavior with them, but do not hesitate to adjust their unrealistic expectations. Take good notes, review them regularly as you work with that client, and do everything you can to meed and EXCEED the expectations you affirmed (“follow through”).

Then stay in touch (“follow up”), so they don’t forget about you. Monthly newsletter? Quarterly visit? Annual gift? Whatever works for you in your business is what you need to do to keep your name alive and fresh. (More on that next time.)

Where do you rate when it comes to following through and following up? What can you do TODAY to do both better tomorrow? Take the time to think about what you do well in that regard and what you can improve. Then pick one thing that will make a solid, positive impact…and DO IT!

Selling Winter Coats to Sunbathers

I have regularly heard real estate investors complain that the strategy they have been using doesn’t work. They are not getting the deals they want and need. There can be many reasons for that, too many to cover in one short post. However, one key reason is a failed “message-to-market-match.” In other words, what they have been doing is in the same class with trying to sell warm winter coats in July to sunbathers on a hot, sandy beach. Their benefit message is not a good match for what those folks need right now. Touting the benefits of your suntan lotion, salve to sooth sunburn, sunglasses, beach umbrellas, or cool drinks would be different. Reciting the benefits of those products would be a good match for the needs of that target market.

If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing but not getting the results you are supposed to be getting, consider whether you are

  • targeting the folks most likely to want or need what you are offering,
  • highlighting for those folks the how the benefits of your offering will make their life better or solve a problem they already know they have, even if they had not yet thought about it, and
  • asking for the sale.
Skipping any one of the above will torpedo results. I have a friend who says the best leads and best deals come when he finds a house to buy before anyone else knows it is for sale, often including the owner! He is obviously targeting people who need to sell, even if they had not yet figured that out. He is explaining how selling to him right now will solve one or more problems they know they have, even if they had not yet thought about it. And he is obviously asking for the sale.
You can do it, too! Review your training, attend a webinar, subscribe to a guru’s inner circle subscription, hire a coach or mentor, do anything you can do to remind yourself who you need to be targeting and how you can reach them. Then think about what problems they are facing and how you can solve those problems. Finally, when you have established a strong enough relationship with them so you probably know the answer before you ask it, ask for the sale. “Would you sell your house to me if I….”

Best wishes!

Do You Remember Slide Rules?

Do you remember that people used to use slide rules? Have you ever seen one? Used one? How about Beta format video tape recordings? How about 8-track tape cassettes? How about 8″ floppy disks? These products are no longer sold retail. Collectors may buy and sell them, but their roles in our lives have been replaced.

What’s my point? Every product and service has a lifecycle.  It can be early to market. Then it can gain market interest, which later peaks, and then something else catches the market’s interest and interest in the old thing fades away. If you are lucky, that new somrething will be an improved version of YOUR product or a totally new way you have created to solve the problem.

Too many real estate investors and entrepreneurs are satisfied with using last year’s approaches or the strategy everyone was using a couple years ago when they took their training, or worse yet, what is taught in that book they just bought at the used book store or had sitting on their bookshelf for 5 years before they got around to reading it.

It is imperative that you keep current. A membership subscription with a good guru and regular participation in the “insider” calls can be invaluable for keeping you current, upgrading your knowledge and your skills, and helping you stay current with the market. Hiring a coach or mentor regularly is a more intense, but much more individualized way to accomplish the same thing. Hiring a coach/mentor just once is like giving up on eating because you have already had dinner once. You MUST keep your offerings current with what the market wants and needs.

The flip side of that is they may be marketing their product or service to people who have seen so many others offering the same thing (peak of a product or service’s lifecycle), that the prospects ignore them all, including yours. You must make yours stand out from the crowd. You must identify what makes you unique, what benefits make your product or service better than they can get from anyone else and you need to be able to explain that succinctly in writing or in speech. Can you summarize what is unique about you and what you offer? Can you do it in 8 seconds? That’s about how long people listen before their mind moves on. You must catch their attention so they want to listen to the rest of the 30-second “elevator pitch” most trainers and gurus encourage you to create. Your elevator pitch is how you tell someone very quickly what you do and how you can help them.

If you are not being as successful as you would like to be, consider upgrading your skills, your knowledge and your elevator pitch. It cannot hurt and it could be just what you need! Find that coach or mentor and accept the fact that ongoing professional development is a real need. It needs to be seen as simply a cost of doing business, one of the costs of business success. Best wishes!

Leads: the Lifeblood of Success

Without an adequate supply of leads, no business can be successful. Though there are many other steps that must follow, if you do not have at least ONE lead, you cannot even START to do the rest of the steps toward success. Sure, you can be busy. You can be active. There are many ways you can waste your time and think you are working. But without leads you are running on empty…and therefore going nowhere.

If you are not currently as successful as you’d like to be, count the number of leads you are currently working on. Then count the number of leads you have worked on in the last few days, weeks or months. Divide your total for any of those periods by 100 and round it down, drop any fractions or decimal positions. For instance, 60 divided by 100 is 0.60. We round that down to 0. How close does whatever number you got line up with the number of deals you closed in that timeframe? Any more questions about what your problem might be?

Is this a bit simplistic? Yup. But in my experience, it is one of the core reasons beginners are not seeing the success they expected.

So start here. No matter how many leads you are generating, you always need more. Find ways to ensure a steady, sizable stream where you can exert at least some control on its size. If sending 100 postcards could yield 1 lead, to get 3 leads, send 300. A similar principle would apply to any lead generation activity you might choose. Door knocking? If it takes 25 doors to get one lead and you want 3, knock on 75 doors. That is the control of which I speak.

If you have plenty of leads, are talking to lots of potential clients, but do not seem to convert them to closed deals, tune in for future postings. I’ll explore some other steps in which we often torpedo our own success.

Does this apply just to real estate? Nope. Without leads, your business…whatever it is…will not make it.

 

Real Estate Investing Lab?

Most of us have had a science course of some sort at one time or another. They nearly always include a lab requirement. When we took an English composition course, we had to write. When we took an art course, we needed to do time in the studio. When we participated in athletics, we spent much time in practice.

We all recognize the value of actual experience to really learn anything. We cannot just show up for the game or write a novel if we have not done the drills.

Yet in real estate investing we tend to take a course or read a book or attend a boot camp and expect to go out and win the game. Then we cannot understand why we get run over or left in the dust.

I recommend to all new investors: Work with a mentor or partner with an experienced investor for a few deals until you catch on. You will find that the light bulb will come on multiple times during the experience as you suddenly understand the significance and the subtle nuances of what you learned in the course. Your success will be accelerated. You will not need to reinvent the success wheel by yourself.

If you are currently struggling, hire a mentor! Find a partner! Spend some time in a “real estate investing lab!” It will be one of the best investments in your success you can make at this point.

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

Have you ever noticed that after you take a real estate investing course, you cannot always implement what you thought you learned? You seem to be doing all the right steps, but your success is not happening like the guru described it.

There are many reasons for this. These reasons are much of the motivation for this blog. Being successful at anything is best thought of as a journey, not a destination. We must keep learning, growing, and improving or we will start to decline. You actually have to work to just stand still in a dynamic market. I am on this journey and have been for years. If I can offer some suggestions from what I’ve learned to accelerate your journey, that is my goal. Due to my years as a management consultant and coach for businesses large and small, much of what I will say also applies to entrepreneurs doing many other things.

Look through the archives. There are lots of gems back there that may be just what you need!

I welcome your comments and questions.