Last week I talked about your need to have a prospecting plan that brings you the customers that you want to work with, instead of always having to work with whoever shows up! Wouldn’t it be nice if we always had a steady stream of prospective clients moving towards us as we move towards them? Well, wouldn’t it?
Why is it important to have clients that we like? Because life is too short to put up with people that grind our souls. You know who they are…you’ve even had a few in the past. You may even be working with one now.
Time to get off of that bus, now. Fire the turkeys and look for the eagles.
Here’s how I suggest that you go about it. First, let’s start with the premise that in order for people to want to do a transaction with you (assuming that they have choices) they have to TRUST you. They have to trust that you are the right person for the job, that you have their best interests at heart and that you will help them get to the goal they are seeking.
In order for people to trust you, they have to LIKE you. I can hear some of you say that you have trusted people that you didn’t like. Really? Really trusted? Maybe so, but for most of us, trust comes from liking.
In order to like you, people have to get to KNOW you. How do we do that in everyday, face to face life? By finding them, meeting them and interacting with them. By sharing things about our lives and being interested in their lives. And over time this leads to liking … or not. Liking leads to to trust and trust, for us, leads to transactions.
The good news that I bring you today is that the new social tools make all of this a reality and do it in a way that hits everyone of last weeks points.
Here are the social tools platforms that I think a REALTOR® should consider adopting:
Have a website or a blog. The blog is preferred over a website because it gives you the ability to update it with current information, showcase current listings and past transactions, solicit feedback, have private areas for clients where you can provide information relative to a transaction and more. You could do that on a website, but you’d be contacting or paying a webmaster every time you wanted to make a change. You’d also miss out on the fact that blogs generally rank higher in search engines than do static web sites, the fact that a blog can be totally free or trivially inexpensive, the fact that blogs can be subscribed to and the fact that blogs can foster community by eliciting comments and feedback. On the downside, you have to continually “feed” a blog…it needs fresh content to remain relevant and to keep people interested.
Have a presence on Facebook. Facebook has two faces. It has the personal profile and it also offers a business the opportunity to create a business (fan) page. The personal profile is where you can connect with family and friends, to share items of personal interest and to reconnect with people that you may have drifted away from. The business or fan page is where you connect with customers and potential customers. It operates much like a personal profile page in that it has a “wall” where you can post things that spark conversation and where others can contribute to the conversation. You can do so much more with a Facebook business page. Things like share listings, showcase past sales, describe your services, show videos and photos and much, much more. Think of your business page as your blog or website inside of facebook.
Build out your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn started out as a place for headhunters and job seekers to connect with each other and has grown from there to be a place where professional people congregate. If you imagine Facebook personal profiles to be a backyard barbecue, then you can imagine LinkedIn to be a Chamber of Commerce Mixer. LinkedIn gives you the perfect venue to showcase your past accomplishments (think very detailed resume), as well as a place to search out people that you’d like to meet…like the HR Director of that company who is moving people in and out of your market area.
Start using Twitter. Twitter offers you the opportunity to have short conversations with many people in a very compact period of time. There are tools available that allow you find and connect with people based on demographic criteria that you choose. You may wish to find people in a zip code, or community. Perhaps you’d like to find people who are talking about moving or buying or selling a home. Twitter gives you that ability.
Right about now, some people start squirming over the issue of privacy. Rather than go into that here, go read what my good friend, and social media maven, Ginger Wilcox has to say about privacy. UPDATE: This class took place in 2010. While you are there, sign up for her updates and you may even want to register for the webinar that she and Amy Chorew are putting on about privacy issues.
The next thing that comes up is time. Where do I get the time to do all of this? I’d like to trivialize this, but the truth is that you will have to expend some time. But, instead of dismissing these tools because of time constraints, why not take a good hard and honest look at how you allocate your prospecting time now. What is working for you? What is not working for you? Take the things that are working and continue with them. But stop doing that which isn’t working and start looking for ways to fold these tools into whatever you are currently doing that is producing results.
And if after you have honestly evaluated your time expenditures and find that you really aren’t consistently prospecting for new business, why not start now? The social tools that I outlined here can all be used, or you can select the ones that resonate for you. Anyone one of them can fulfill the criteria that I laid out last week. If you can do them all, I believe that you will be able to be selective about the clients you work with sooner rather than later.
If you need help in setting these up, strategizing how to utilize them, or just need some help in getting your business up and running (or back on it’s feet), feel free to contact me. It’s what I do these days!