Selling is a Contact SportApr 26, 2012
It was my great pleasure to re-connect with an old friend and industry writer Julie Escobar. Her topic? Generating listing leads for real estate professionals. I told her… “Yeah – I can say a thing or two about that!” We had a lot of fun, and I wanted to share our conversation with all of you! Hope you enjoy! Have a great week!
SELLING IS A CONTACT SPORT
An Interview with Industry Icon Floyd Wickman and Julie Escobar
Want to know how to get listing leads? Go to top. That’s just what I did for this week’s article on how real estate professionals can generate more leads, increase their productivity and build their book of business. So I climbed up on the mountain…ok…really I just made a call to an old friend who just happens to be an expert on the topic – Floyd Wickman. Always willing to share and eager to help a girl out – Floyd offered great insight, quick wit and smart strategies.
Here’s what I learned…
Q: Hey Floyd! As always, wonderful to connect with you! This month I've been focusing on lead generation for agents, so I was looking for some strategies to help agents keep their pipeline full of listing leads! Who better to help with that question than YOU? What do you believe are say the top three ways agents can develop listing leads in today's market?
A: Hey Julie, right back at you! Always happy to help. Hmmm…top three huh? I’ve got to say, first of all, let’s take a look at the most obvious – but often the most overlooked by a lot of agents strategy. Your current listings. In other words, one listing can help you generate leads, so imagine what 10 listings could do for you-right? So I just want agents to realize that up front – the more listings you get, the more leads you’ll produce just by having that listing.
Let’s look real quick though at the difference between a lead and a prospect. The leads are your starting point right? (Because let’s face it – not too many people are walking in the office jumping up and down saying “I want to buy a house! I want to buy a house with you!” Right? So the key is to turn those leads (names and contacts) into prospects (someone you know is interested in buying or selling now or in the future.) In my program we teach agents to focus on the activities that will help them do just that and I must say – even in today’s changing market – we’re STILL averaging over one transaction per person per week.
So, the first thing is to focus on listings being the name of the game. Secondly, we’re teaching agents to focus on calling for referrals. Their job is to call four hours a week to everyone they know and everyone who they know knows for referrals and they’re averaging 2.4 referrals a week. From this, they can expect to pull a referral from every twelve conversations on average! Which is great! And of course, is perfect for someone with just one listing or a low inventory of listings. Just note that the agents STILL get more leads from the listings they already have than from the calls. It’s that simple. Referral calling is great – but alone it will never get you as many leads as what we call the ‘inventory magnet.’
Thirdly, we have them focus on other niche areas they can be working such as expireds and FSBOs. Right now, agents seem to be having more success with the expireds and you know working that niche can start out as simply as sending multiple mailings to those expireds sharing what you can do for them. Something you guys at ProspectsPLUS! know a lot about! The trick there is to FOLLOW UP on those mailings. Don’t be afraid to make a call or knock on a door and let people know what you’re about and more importantly, how you can help them.
Q: We sure do Floyd and I’ll share some of that information in the end of the interview – thanks! I’m so glad you brought up the stats you guys keep. I think it’s important for agents to know that agents are having REAL success out there. That with focus, the right tools and the right strategies – they can build a powerful inventory and customer base that will allow them to earn a great living – not just RIGHT NOW but long into the future if they keep in touch! Can we talk for a minute about those referral calls? What are agents saying that’s helping them attract so many referrals?
A: Sure! Like anything else, I believe making referral calls (or doing anything successfully) requires a process. It helps people stay on track and not get overwhelmed. Here’s some great dialogue that works. “Hi, (name) – my name is Floyd Wickman and I’m expanding my business and I could use your help.” (Often times it’s smart to explain WHY you’re expanding your business…) “You see, we’re kind of in a perfect storm in this market. We’ve got the largest, best-priced inventory of homes that we’ve had in YEARS as well as extremely favorable interest rates, so it really is the perfect time to buy. So I’m expanding my business and I was wondering if I were to ask you to refer me to someone interested in buying or selling would you be willing to do that?” (People almost always say yes to this – it’s just an easy, no-pressure answer. That doesn’t mean they’ll always actually give you a referral mind you – but it starts the process.
Remember this—people don’t refer as a favor to YOU--they refer as a favor to the people they know. In order to do that – they need reassurance that it’s the right thing to do. That’s where you come in. You have to reassure them. Something along the lines of, “You know, I promise you that if you did see your way clear to referring me that I will never pressure that person, I would treat them like royalty and I’d never, ever do anything to embarrass you. Fair enough? Who do you know that might be interested? Perhaps someone at work? Maybe someone in the neighborhood or a friend? (NOTE: There’s always magic in threes!)
Q: Great stuff Floyd, Thank you. Finally, let’s talk a little about how often people should stay in touch with their sphere or what you guys call their book of business. I know how important it is, you know how important it is, but unfortunately, not all the agents out there get how important it is. What are your thoughts?
A: Ahhh – well you know the teacher in my wants to talk about why people know what to do but don’t want to do it-right? Let’s see, I would say at the very LEAST, you should be contacting your book of business in a face-to-face or voice-to-voice capacity three or four times a year. And of course, I recommend you put a system in place that without a lot of time, effort or energy on your part, you’re also contacting people every few weeks or every month as well. Keep in mind if you’re not talking to your customers or keeping your name in front of them – someone else probably is!
Q: You’re right there! I hear this question a lot and I’m sure you do too: “What do I SAY when I get them on the phone?” Can you help us out?
A: Oh yeah! People always tell me, “I know what to say the first time or even the second time but what do I say after that?” I tell them this, start with “Hi! How are you?” Once you get those four words out – the rest kind of takes care of itself. It’s like I say to salespeople all the time…Selling is a CONTACT sport. If you’re not willing to talk to people, it really doesn’t matter how many leads you generate.
Q: Grin – and with THAT – I just found the title to the article! Thank you Floyd for some fabulous reminders of what to do to keep your pipeline filled, your momentum going and your business booming! By the way, tell me a little about the new project you’ve got going.
A: Thanks for asking. It’s kind of fun – I’m making “house calls” now. We’ve developed this cool, new, interactive platform that allows me to come into office meetings in a virtual video setting where I can see them and they can see me and we can connect. It’s as close to being “in person” as you can be without getting on a plane! Man, I tell you – isn’t technology incredible? It’s been a great experience for our clients and a lot of fun for me to learn and to do!
That sounds amazing Floyd! Thanks so much again for your time, energy and as always – incredible insights! If you’d like to learn more about Floyd and his results systems – you can visit his site online at www.floydwickman.com. You can also find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloydWickman --while you’re there - look us up too at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus and “like” our page!
If you’d like to learn more about the powerful systems we have for staying in touch with your sphere or book of business easily, affordably and without a lot of time on your part – call our inside account team at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com.
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