Marketing is a three-legged approach of ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘where’, says Glenn Twiddle. If you have ever been exasperated by a less skilled Agent winning a listing that should have been yours; it may be that one of your marketing foundations is broken and needs repair.
The great trainer, David Knox, was quoted many years ago as saying, ‘It’s more important to be ‘there’ than ‘good’.” Now he was not suggesting we should all be bad, but do you remember buying something from a salesperson who wasn’t that talented? Of course. Why did you do that? Because they were ‘there’ when you needed them.
Have you ever been concerned or disappointed when a sales agent who had just started in your area got the listing? You knew you had more experience and better results than they did, but you weren’t contacted. Could it be because they were ‘there’ and you weren’t?
What that truly means is, you have to be better at ‘marketing’ the services of a Real Estate agent, that is listing, negotiating, and selling, than your competitors are. What you have to get good at, is being ‘there’ in the mind of your prospective sellers, so you are called in for more listings; then you can show the world how ‘good’ you are. You can be the best real estate agent in the world, but if no one knows about you, you’re not going to do yourself any favours.
Legendary Business Consultant Peter Drucker, often titled ‘The Man Who Invented Management’, once said, “There are only two things in a business that make money: innovation and marketing. Everything else is cost.”
Given that we rarely see anything more than incremental innovation in our industry when comparing one agent with the next, all we are left with, then, is marketing. So you’d better get proficient at it, or forever be wondering why less skilled agents, with less experience, are getting your listings.
So what is marketing? Well, I can tell you, it’s not what many agents seem to think, and that’s a prettier photo on a business card, or a flashier flyer offering free appraisals. Think of marketing like a tripod; break any one of it’s legs off and it won’t stand up for long.
The three legs you need to think about are:
‘WHO’ – This is the market to which you are speaking. For many of us this is geographic in nature, as we ‘farm’, ‘fish’ or ‘hunt’ in a certain geographic area. So an understanding of who the people are is critical, and learning to speak the language they speak is an essential step in good marketing.
For example, if your target market is primarily owner-occupiers with children, and the area has a unusually low percentage of investors, you wouldn’t go putting into your marketing mix a lot of interest rate statistics, capital growth rates, and other messages that would be of interest to investors. You would write and speak about issues that are relevant to owner-occupiers, like communities, shops, schools, parks and other things that matter to families.
Remember: The world’s best sales message is no better than the world’s worst sales message if it falls on deaf ears.
‘WHAT’ – This is what you say, your marketing ‘message’. Copywriting, the ability to write compelling words, is one of the most under trained, yet most necessary skills in the world of marketing. Using the right words, in the right way, should be one of the most important pieces of your entire sales training.
Robert Collier once wrote, “Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind”. What he meant was, if you can write words that resonate with your prospective client, you are on the right track. If your words mean little or nothing to your market place, then you’ll have a much tougher time of it.
Sometimes, the slightest tweak can make the difference. A piano teacher used to run the headline: “Put Music in Your Life” for every ad, but one time a mistaken ‘s’ was added by an assistant, and the headline ran as: “Puts Music in Your Life”. The second advertisement, identical but for the ‘s’, got 300 per cent more response. Yes, three times the results, three times the income.
One could analyse why – I suspect it’s because without the ‘s’ it implies you have to work, and with the ‘s’ the work is done by the product. The lesson is clear: If one letter can triple the amount of people calling you, imagine how the right words, in the right order, can make a massive difference to the results you achieve.
‘WHERE’ – The last leg of the tripod is where you use your compelling words. The first thing is not to decide based on who shows up. If your market does not read the Australian Financial Review, then a brilliant marketing message, well crafted to the right audience, will still fail miserably because your target market did not see it. Choice of media is critical, and thinking outside of the traditional ‘radio, newspaper, magazine’ is a wise direction. Even the Internet, as game changing as it has been, is nothing more than a giant, all consuming type of ‘media.’
But less obvious types of media can include seminars, your Facebook page, a report, a consumer awareness guide, a DVD, a newsletter. All of these are examples of different types of media that your target market may or may not be open to, and your job is to cut through the clutter in their lives and get noticed with the media you use.
Depending on whose book you read, we are bombarded with between 5,000 and 35,000 marketing messages a day. So we have trained ourselves to switch off to most of them. The job of the astute marketer is to cut through that ‘clutter’ and get noticed. Here’s a small tip: A DL flyer with ‘free appraisals’ written on it, stuffed in between a bunch of junk mail, ticks none of the boxes required to be considered ‘effective’ marketing.
Your clients’ lives, like yours, are busier than ever, more cluttered than ever, and they probably couldn’t care less about what you are up to. They care about themselves. Simply using fewer ‘I’s and more ‘You’s in your marketing can be a revolutionary step.
Dust off your marketing; see if it’s going to get you to be ‘There’ more often so you can show the world how ‘Good’ you are. People will find that out only if your marketing messages get you ‘There’ in the first place. And then, be as good as you can be, so you encourage the repeat and referral business that comes with quality performance. I heard a saying once, ‘Don’t let ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘done.’ The most perfect idea in your head is nowhere near as compelling as a pretty decent idea that has been implemented.