In this article, we’re going to be discussing one of the essential skills you must possess if you’re going to be successful in this real estate (or any other) business. When you master this skill, you’ll be MUCH more efficient with your time, reduce frustration & anxiety, and keep your self-respect and motivation. Sound good?
Of Course, I’m Talking About How To Properly Pre-screen People.
We all know that the first thing we’ve got to have in any business are LEADS – people who have raised their hands to signal that they’re interested in either our product or service…or are at least interested in getting more information about it. In real estate, this could simply be a list of people who either want to sell their house or buy a house. There are many sources for these leads – you can either find, buy, or create them…but that’s a topic for another article. For now, we’ll just assume that you already have several leads, and you just need to find out if you can do business together.
And this is where a LOT of people have challenges. The problem is that most people mistakenly believe that they have to convince people to do business with them! However, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll let you in on a little secret…
The truth of the matter is that we’re not going to convince anyone of anything. Instead, it’s our job to sift and sort everyone we talk to so that we correctly identify only those people who are flexible and motivated enough to consider other ways of getting things done…And whack the rest at lightning speed! But in order to do that, we need to know…
The Three Types of People
Did you know that there are only three types of people? Well, of course there are many more than that, but for our intents & purposes, we need to only concern ourselves with these three: 1. The Suspect, 2. The Prospect, and 3. The Project.
You know the type. These are the sellers who ONLY want full price, all cash, and don’t even want to think about anything else. These people will waste your time, suck all the life & motivation out of you, and almost make you want to quit. Unfortunately, these are going to be the majority of people you talk to. Someone in this category would say something like “Oh, we wouldn’t do anything like that,” “We don’t need to sell,” or “Yeah, we’re just testing the market to see what people are willing to pay.”
How To Deal With Them: Identify early & get out fast. Follow up later if you like.
You’ll know them when they say things like “We’ve got to sell, like, yesterday,” “I don’t know what else to do,” and “Please just make me an offer!”
How To Deal With Them: Recognize WHAT they need and HOW to give it to them. Go out to see them as quickly as possible – with a contract in hand, ready to go, because the first one there with a workable solution gets the deal!
These people need your help…they just may not know it yet. In order to best serve them, you’ll need to have your skills sharpened and ready, because they’ll test you.
These people say things like, “I don’t know what to do,” “How does that work?” and “How can you help me?”
How To Deal With Them: Use the right psychology & sales tactics to help them understand that they need your solutions. You’ll probably need to follow up. Get them to make you the offer.
Why is it important to know the difference between these three?
Because the SUSPECT will make you broke. The PROSPECT will make you money. But the PROJECT? They’ll make you rich!
If all you ever talk to and deal with are suspects, you’re going to get frustrated, start to think that this business doesn’t work, and want to punch someone. True prospects are great, but like a needle in a haystack, they’re usually a lot harder to find. Projects are the ones who will truly make you rich, because you’re not only able to add value to these people’s lives, you’ll do more deals, as the competition is not skilled enough to handle them. These people will truly justify the investment in your education, many times over.
The “Secret Sauce” to Being a Master Prescreener
It’s actually very simple to effectively prescreen the leads you talk to. The method is so simple, you’ll be tempted to just blow it off or take it for granted, but that would be a mistake, believe me. Here it is: The best way to prescreen people is to ask them the right questions. Obviously, you need to get the right information about their house & their situation, determine what their needs and greeds are, and to gauge their levels of flexibility and motivation.
But like anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way would be to interrogate them like a handcuffed suspect accused of committing a crime. You don’t just go from question to question, forcefully extracting information from them, because it won’t be long before they resent and resist you.
The right way means that you should first frame the conversation properly so that they understand the context of your questions. You should also skillfully and respectfully converse with them to find out what you need in order to determine which of the 3 categories they belong. The right way also means that you’re open, honest, and confident about what you’re able to do for them.
The bottom line is this: ONLY after you’ve gotten the right information you need to know do you present a possible solution to their situation. Stop wasting your time trying to convince people about how smart you are or all the creative real estate techniques you just learned this week. Nobody cares. All they truly care about is what you can DO for them. We’ll talk about how to best present your solutions in another article.
So there you have it! You now know the importance of the art of prescreening people, what the 3 categories are, and how to determine who belongs where, and why. Armed with this information, you’ll save yourself a TON of time and frustration, because you’ll only be dealing with qualified people who want to do business with you, while the rest will most likely drive your competition crazy when they talk to them.
Until Next Time,
Copyright 2017 Tony Pearl | All Rights Reserved
You’re going to learn something very useful by reading this article.
This “something” is so valuable that you might want to use it for the rest of your life.
But before you learn what it is, let me start by saying…
The older I get, the more I realize things.
While that statement/observation could apply to just about anything…or anybody, I’d like to use this article to point out how it relates to people’s everyday communication skills.
We live in an age of instant information…yet people these days don’t seem to have any patience to communicate properly. We abbreviate stuff, like lol, brb, and wtf.
We text. We Tweet. We post. We share, and we like. What’s up with all the cat videos?
With so much information all around us, bombarding our everyday lives, it’s easy to understand why we need to curtail our communication. We just don’t seem to have the time to talk to with most people the way we used to.
Because of this, our language is suffering…even as it grows and ‘evolves.’
The art of conversation just isn’t what it used to be, is it?
And don’t even get me started on spelling and grammar! Holy guacamole!
So let me ask you a question: Do you think communication is important? Is it important for your personal life? How about for your professional or business life?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that my answer to all those questions is a loud, resounding YES, good communication is absolutely important!!
In fact, I think it’s so important that I’m going to venture to say this:
MOST problems in life are somehow related to a breakdown in communication.
Think about it! How often do things go wrong when someone doesn’t explain things properly. Or when someone doesn’t understand something the way it was intended. Or someone simply misinterprets something they think someone else said or did?
Other examples include: A spouse not communicating something to their husband or wife, because they’re afraid of ‘hurting’ them, when the reality is that almost all of the ensuing drama that comes as a result could have been avoided if they had simply communicated things together properly. Or how about family issues? Oh, that’s so big, you could write volumes of books about it!
Just think: Most of the tv shows & movies, especially the drama-themed ones, probably wouldn’t even exist without breakdowns in communication being an essential part of the plotlines!
So why else should you care about this? Why should you care about developing excellent communication skills? Sure, you can talk & write, right? Well, here’s something for you to consider: Some of the highest-paid people on the planet are exceptional communicators! From Presidents to politicians to party planners and presenters – if you can communicate your thoughts & ideas effectively, you’ll tend to get paid more.
But it’s not just about the money! Some of the happiest, most fulfilled people are people who know how to communicate – thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. well. Good communicators tend to have better relationships with people, both personally and professionally. So they’re richer in friends and happiness, too.
Which brings us to today’s lesson. I can’t just leave you hanging now, can I?
I’ve developed a very simple, 3-step solution for communicating effectively. Now, this isn’t an all-inclusive, magic bullet solution for every form of communication. We’d definitely need a LOT more time for that! No, what you’re about to learn here works for just about any time you’re going to write, speak, present, make an offer/proposition, etc.
This 3-step communication solution is so simple and practical, you might just glance it over, think you know it, and forget about it. But that would be a tragic mistake, my friend. Trust me on this.
So here it is: A simple, 3-step communication solution that works all the time, every time, when you’d like to communicate something with someone. Are you ready?
Simple & Effective 3-Step Communication Solution:
That’s it! See? Told you it was simple! I mean – look at it! Steps 1 and 3 are basically the same thing – like the BREAD in a SANDWICH, with the MEAT in the middle. Hence the term “Communication Sandwich.”
Another way of expressing this: 1. Prepare; 2. Inform; 3. Review.
For example, let’s apply this to Real Estate Investing. Let’s say that you’ve spoken to a seller & want to make them an offer now. How many times do you think a good offer wasn’t made, simply because the person making the offer didn’t know what to say? Let’s fix that.
To make an offer, you’d just write up a letter or email and send it out to the seller. You’d obviously include your name & contact information, then after that, just start by saying that you’d like to make them an offer for their house. Then you’d give them the offer (keep it as simple as you can). Finish it up by thanking them for considering your offer and telling them what to do next. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
So there you have it. You’re now well equipped with a very simple-yet-valuable life lesson in communication. When applied, this 3-step pattern will work miracles for you, day in, day out. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself richer & happier in no time. Results may vary.
Finally, I’d just like to point out that I practice what I preach. Just look at the structure of this article. Notice anything familiar? 🙂
Until Next Time,
Warm weather is finally upon us! Time to get ready for those Summer vacations – trips to the beach, cookouts, swimming, boating, golf, tennis, and everything else that we love to do outside when the weather is warm.
Of course, if you live in the South, Southern California, or a place like Phoenix, you’re used to having nice weather all year ’round. And I hate you. 🙂
But if you’re like me, and live in a place where you get all four seasons (yay), you can appreciate how the change in weather can also trigger a change in perspective.
Long intro aside, there’s something that I’ve been noticing over the past few years when it comes to marketing…
Ugly is the New Pretty
What does that mean? It means that a lot of the usual, conventional, traditional marketing pieces or campaigns that USED to work for many years… simply don’t work much any more these days.
There’s an air of ‘counter-corporatism’ that’s fast taking over our country.
Things that used to get results, like pretty pictures w/ glossy coverings, or words like “When you desire the very best…” and other crap like that all have their place. That stuff is usually associated with image or branding style of marketing. Basically it’s stuff that nobody cares about except the fat cat CEO types who puff cigars, sip scotch, and tell people what to do all day.
If you ever think about marketing like that, you might as well build a fire with $100 bills to keep yourself warm, because that’s basically what you’re doing with your money.
BUT…if you want to get RESULTS, or a measurable Return On Investment of your marketing money, then listen up, because what you’re about to hear here flies in the face of conventional wisdom…which is one of the reasons I love it so much!
MOST “Pretty” marketing sucks. It’s so busy “looking good” that most people’s eyes just glance right over it. Most businesses try so hard to have their marketing pieces look nice that no one notices them anymore.
Why? Because we’re CONSTANTLY bombarded all day, every day (and night) by all these “me too” marketers, jockeying for your attention so that they can sell you something.
It gets to the point where your brain just ignores it, because it’s either stupid, irrelevant, or you’re just tired of trying to be sold to. Make sense?
BUT… when you see something that looks so UGLY or DIFFERENT, your brain pattern is interrupted, your eyeballs just can’t look away, and you’re almost forced into paying attention!
That’s the ‘beauty’ of ‘ugly’ marketing. 🙂
Let me ask you something. Have you ever driven your car and seen those bandit signs on the side of the road? (Maybe you’ve put some up yourself!) What do MOST of them look like? They probably have nice lettering, were professionally done, and look pretty good, right? Especially the ones done by Real Estate agents and (gasp) politicians. Don’t you just love those (NOT!)?
After a while, you don’t even notice them any more, right? I know I don’t.
But then… up ahead in the intersection, your eyes can’t help but to notice… a Bandit Sign that was HAND-WRITTEN! And the handwriting isn’t even that good! What does your brain do?
Chances are that your eyeballs are sucked right to it, you notice the sign & start to process the message! Why? Because it’s not just different – it’s UGLY! Your brain is forced to recognize it and make a new neural association.
So people notice these signs. They process the message. They write the number down, and then they call you. Result (if it’s your sign): You get a lead. You buy a house. Nice.
Another great example is the notorious yellow letter. Before my buddy John McNeil ‘discovered’ this method, most people who sent out direct mail pieces in search of motivated seller leads would send out well-written letters with halfway-decent copy. These letters would almost always have the usual computer-generated nice font in black ink on white paper.
The industry standard for direct mail letters like that is around 1%. The yellow letter has seen results up to 35%!! Why? Again, because it’s ‘ugly’ and different. It’s handwritten (either real or computer generated so that you can’t tell the difference) in red, blue or black ink. It’s written on yellow paper that looks like it was just torn off of a pad. And it’s delivered in an invitation envelope…NOT a traditional #10, like everybody else uses.
So people open it. They read it. They ask themselves, “What the…?” Then they pick up the phone and call you! Or, better yet, they call your live answering company, voicemail, or Virtual Assistant. Yes, some people may be upset when they call, saying that their house is not for sale. Oh well. Be happy that’s not YOU having a bad day, and let your system deal with it.
But you’ll get calls. And that’s the goal with your marketing campaigns – to get people to notice you, process the message, and take action! Chances are that you’ll get a few decent, workable leads and buy a house or two as a result.
Here’s something else I heard recently. They say that most people don’t remember other people’s faces because most people just sort of ‘blend in.’ However, people who were considered to be “ugly” were remembered more often than most ‘average’ people! Why is that? You should know this by now – it’s because they were considered to be so different than most that they stood out and got noticed!
So if someone remembers your face the next time you see them, you might want to ask yourself why! 🙂
Listen, “Ugly Marketing” may not be the best option for your long-term branding or ‘image’ that you might be trying to create for your multi-million dollar corporation that you’re trading on the New York Stock Exchange. But if you’re a small business owner trying to dominate your local market by standing out in ways that get your prospects to not only notice you but take action, this may be just what you need.
Make yourself look good, but try making your marketing look UGLY to stand out, because…
Being “Ugly” just might get you a ticket to the dance this time!
So think about this while you’re enjoying your summer. And make sure you wear your sunscreen and water wings when you go swimming!
See you next month,
[title color=”red-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”georgia” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-3em”]“The Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Lead Generation Marketing” [/title]
by Tony Pearl
Originally Published and Syndicated in the Atlanta REIA Newsletter, June 2013
Has This Ever Happened To You?
You spend a good chunk of time writing what you think is a KILLER ad.
You’ve picked where you’re going to advertise (Offline? Online? Both?)
You set aside some marketing money, and hope that it works out by bringing you back some leads, which should turn out to be a deal or two.
Then you place the ad. And wait. And wait some more. You stand by the phone – or look at your inbox to see when those leads will come rolling in… And THEN what happens?
Nothing! Nada. No calls. No email submissions. No love. Sound familiar?
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve been there. It sucks.
No leads. No phone calls. Money down the toilet.
Worst of all: No Leads = No Deals. And No Deals = NO Income!
WHY did that happen? And what can we do to FIX it so it doesn’t happen again?
Well, there’s actually a lot of different things that could have made this marketing disaster.
Here’s a couple example of some of these things may be beyond your control:
1. Bad timing (Example: It was a bad time to be an air travel agent right after 9/11);
2. No market for what you’re selling; or
3. Excessive, Superior Competition.
But let’s not focus on what we can’t control. Chances are, there’s always something that you can do better to have success – MOST of the time.
Here’s ONE obvious thing you should always check:
Accuracy: Is the right Phone Number, Website, or Hyperlink in your ad? We’ve heard stories of people who have put out a proven, winning ad to a responsive, targeted list, then wonder why they got no phone calls… only to discover that the WRONG phone number was on the ad!
That could be a bad day, so be sure you proof-read your ad one last time before committing it.
Assuming it is correct, it’s now time to look at:
“The Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Lead Gen Marketing:”
Yeah, I know that’s the title of the article. I’m saying it again for emphasis!
So Here it is: The Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Marketing is:
Trying To SELL To The Prospect!
Wait… what? “But I thought that marketing was the same as selling?! I don’t get it!”
Right… That’s why you’re reading this article! 🙂
So Let Me Explain…
Unless you’re sending out a full sales letter,
The Purpose of an AD is NOT to SELL The prospect anything.
There should be nothing for them to BUY.
Confused? Good. Keep reading.
The Purpose of an AD is to Target a Specific Market, then Arouse enough Curiosity to Get the Prospect to “Raise Their Hand” and Request More Information – by taking a certain, specific ACTION, such as making a phone call, or filling out a FORM, etc.
(Back in the Flintstone age – before the internet – people used to actually MAIL stuff in!)
If you can do THAT – Get someone to Call You and/or request more information, then you’re giving your sales process the chance it needs to succeed. The idea here is that you don’t want to give your prospect too much information in an ad that they can make a decision – because most of the time, they’ll think they already know enough, and their decision might be ‘No.’ (Not good)
Action Tip: So, for your next ad, try writing it so that you don’t “Sell” your prospect on anything… except why they should pick up the phone & call you to get more information about HOW you can help them.
Once they call you, THEN you can engage them in your process – ask them questions, see what their needs and goals are, so that you can then ‘Make ‘em an Offer They Can’t Refuse.’
HOW do you get them to take action? It all starts with your headline. Your ad’s headline should first Identify & Target your prospects. The more specific, the better.
Example: “Attention: Atlanta Homeowners Behind On Your Mortgage…”
That headline targets a specific market. Obviously, someone who rents an apartment in Oakland, California wouldn’t even notice an ad like that. And that’s exactly what you want.
The next part of your Headline should offer your prospect something desirable, that arouses curiosity, and compels them to keep reading. Continuing with the above example:
“Shocking Video Reveals the #1 Way
Atlanta Residents Can Avoid Foreclosure –
WITHOUT Bankruptcy, Guaranteed!”
Depending on what type of ad you’re using (Bandit Sign, Craigslist, Newspaper, etc.), you can either sprinkle in some benefit-laden Bullet Points, or just cut straight to the Call to Action (CTA) – Get them to DO what you want them to do, like call you on the phone number you provide.
Or fill out the form when they go to your website. You get the idea. But ALWAYS have that CTA.
And there you have it! The biggest mistake most people make in their Lead Gen Marketing is that they try to SELL the prospect on trying to make a BUYING decision too early in the process, rather than simply arousing enough curiosity to compel the prospect to ‘raise their hand’ and Take Action to get more information.
So don’t make that mistake anymore, and you’re well on your way to making a much higher Return On Investment (ROI)with your marketing money, doing more deals, and having more FUN when you run your ads from now on!
Make sure you read this column next month, when I’ll talk about a couple more common marketing mistakes most people make, and how YOU can avoid them.
Until then, I’m…
Wishing You Success,
Do you have a website? If so, great!
But let me ask you something: Have you seen your website on a Cell Phone or Mobile Device? What does it look like?
Chances are it probably doesn’t look so good. But that can be fixed.
Now, if you have a business & a website, you might wonder if you truly need a mobile optimized website.
Personally, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the answer is a resounding: YES!
If your prospects/visitors don’t have a good experience on your website because they have to pinch, scroll, and zoom to see your content, guess what’s probably going to happen?
They’ll leave! Not good.
But don’t just take my word for it. I just came across a couple great articles I’d like to share here with you. Check these out, then contact me to get more information on how YOU can get a beautiful, customized, mobile-optimized website for yourself or your business for a lot less than you think!
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