Monday, November 17, 2008.
What does it take to dump your slump?
Surprisingly, it may be easier than you realize.
1. View change as adding to rather than taking away. One of the most powerful barriers to success is a fear of change.
Many people fear change because they believe change requires giving up something they value. A more effective way to look at change is to view it as "adding to" what you already have or do. For example, if you upgrade your computer and cell phone, you will have to spend time learning new functions. While this can be frustrating, it's important to remember that 90 percent of the skills you have already acquired will still be applicable. In the end, those new skills will reap benefits for years to come by saving you time and making you more efficient.
2. Build your business on your strengths. Write down the address of each property that you closed in the last 12 months. Beside each address, record where the lead for that sale originated. Next, determine how many different lead sources (i.e. open house, Web leads, referrals, etc.) have yielded results for you. For example, if you had eight lead sources, the idea is to concentrate on the top 50 percent. In this example, that would be your top four sources. Ignore the rest. It's much easier to break your slump by concentrating on what is working.
3. Identify the characteristics of your ideal client. Take out a sheet of paper and make two columns. In the first column, list as many characteristics as possible about your ideal client. In the second column, place a checkmark next to the characteristics that you share. People want to do business with those who are like them in some way. Start working on raising your personal standards. The closer you become to your ideal, the more likely you are to attract that client in your business.
4. Write down how many transactions you would like to close. Writing down your goals dramatically improves the probability that you will reach them. For those who lack written goals, only 5 percent achieve the goals they set. Take a moment to write down how many properties you would like to sell per month.
5. Create and implement your plan. You have identified what works for you as well as what constitutes your ideal client. The next step is to write down three ways you can reach your ideal client using the strengths that you identified. For example, if open houses are a good lead-generation tool for you, hold them on weekday afternoons around the time that children come home from school. Spend at least one or two hours per day engaging in these core activities. At the end of the week, determine if you have hit your lead-generation goals. If not, clear your schedule and do whatever it takes to generate those additional leads. Failure to hit lead-generation goals is the primary reason for most slumps.
6. Fish where the fish are, To generate more high-quality leads, monitor MLS activity and note which areas and price ranges are the most active. Concentrate your efforts in these areas. For example, if you've been listing estate properties and there are virtually no buyers, shift to working in a price range where there is activity. A different approach is to prospect for people who must move, such as relocation buyers and newly married (or divorced), as well as in companies that may be moving into or leaving your area.
7. Offer service, Use your marketing materials to make an offer of service that is available only on your Web site. For example, many people who are in foreclosure are unaware of services that can help them. Send postcards that read: "Do you know someone who is facing foreclosure and needs help? If so, visit www.myWebsite.com to learn how troubled homeowners can often avoid foreclosure and stay in their home." On your site, provide a list of people who can help those facing foreclosures.
8. Keep in regular contactIn a slowing market, generating high-quality leads is challenging. To make sure your clients list or buy through you, keep in regular contact. If the person is older, face-to-face contact is best. For younger clients, touch base using text messaging or one of the social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Regular contact maximizes the probability you'll be the agent they choose to represent them.
9. Watch for market shifts. Don't stay married to a plan that is not working. Track where the activity is in your market and focus your efforts there. To "dump your slump," you must constantly monitor market conditions and adjust your lead-generation activities to those areas experiencing the greatest amount of sales activity.