Tactic #4 Lead Generation - Find The Motivated

The cause and challenge of a shift is simply one word—motivation. When a market has shifted what has really happened is that buyer and seller motivation has changed.
You got into the helping people with their real estate needs business and you got into the lead generation business. They are inseparable. They are the yin and the yang of your professional world.
The bottom line is that without motivated leads there are no people to help. To have sales you must have leads.
However, once I experienced how buyers and sellers find and choose a real estate agent I then grasped two foundational truths. First, that lead generation doesn’t have to cost money at all if I don’t want it to and, second, that if and when I do spend money it doesn’t have to be as risky as I had imagined.
To get back on track there are three straightforward action steps you must take to get your sales business moving in a positive direction:
  • Stop doing what doesn’t work;
  • Figure out what does work;
  • Ramp it up
 
STEP ONE: STOP DOING WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Your goals haven’t changed. You know what your annual income goal is and you know the number of sales you must close to hit it. What has changed is the number of appointments you are going on and the number of leads it takes to get those appointments.
The question you’re going to answer is “What am I doing or spending money on that is no longer effective since the market shifted?” You can only know this by associating your valid leads and your lead sources with your closed sales.
Write down your top ten sources of leads. This could be individuals who send you referrals or it could be any methods you currently use. What you’re trying to answer is “where do my leads come from?”
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Your new philosophy is to hold any and all dollars spent on lead generation accountable for generating motivated buyers and sellers that lead to closings.
 
STEP TWO: FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS
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The first principle of lead generation messaging is that your message must match your market.
This means that your lead generation message must match the motivation of the buyers and sellers in whatever market you’re in. You are conveying a message to a targeted audience (your market) and you work in a targeted area (the market).
Promoting your personal brand matters a lot because of the validity it creates for you, but in a shifted market personal branding alone without a lead generating message won’t get you the motivated leads you need.
The effective message makes the phone ring and it will do the heavy lifting of your lead generation. It will be the driving force behind why people contact you. They will connect with you when your message connects with their why—when it speaks to their personal motivations.
The second principle of lead generation messaging is your message must make an offer to get a response. When you create messages for buyers or sellers you must determine what kind of offers you will make based on what kind of responses you want.
Your two offer choices are to either make a direct offer to get an immediate response or to make an indirect offer to get an immediate response.
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A direct offer is exactly that—direct. It is an offer designed to get an immediate response from someone who wants to buy or sell with you now.
An indirect offer is still an offer that seeks an immediate response, but not directly for using your services of helping them buy or sell. It is an offer to get something else from you now, thus it is called an indirect offer, which puts you into a relationship with them and opens the door to possibly doing business with you in the future.
If you are offering a home for sale and they respond, that is a direct offer and an immediate response—they are immediately interested in buying.
If, on the other hand, you offer a free report of some kind and they respond, that is an indirect offer and an immediate response—they are immediately interested in the report but haven’t indicated an immediate interest in buying or selling.
 
The two categories all lead generation methods fall into are prospecting and marketing. Prospecting is where you go get the leads and marketing is where you do things to cause the leads to come to you.
Many people think of prospecting and marketing as mutually exclusive, but I encourage you to think bigger and see them as mutually supportive.
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Any method executed properly and consistently can be quite successful. And top agents rarely use just one method. So the question you should ask is not what methods you will do, but what methods you will do first.
The answer should be simple and straightforward—the methods that will generate the most leads in the shortest amount of time, for the least amount of your effort and money invested.
That first list would include: open houses, FSBOs, expired listings, foreclosures, builders with spec homes built, and relocation buyers or sellers, among others. The second list would be the people in your met database (your past clients, sphere of influence, friends, and acquaintances) who you believe will send you referrals.
Prospecting is about seeking opportunities. It’s the act of personally calling and contacting targeted people you haven’t met or people you have met. Marketing is the opposite of prospecting. Instead of seeking opportunities, marketing is about attracting them. It’s the work of placing your messages where you believe motivated buyers or sellers are most likely to see or hear them.
A shifted market requires that you move more towards prospecting.
Prospecting tends to uncover motivated leads faster and keeps you more in control. Because prospecting puts you in immediate contact with people you get immediate feedback—and that is what you want in a shifted market.
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When there are fewer leads, you must give more effort. Don’t get stuck in old ruts.
You must adopt the position that until your lead generation is done every day, nothing else should get done. This may seem like a tough position for you to adopt, but adopt it you must.
The number one challenge you face won’t be either of the first two issues we’ve covered, it will be this—consistently doing lead generation activities over time.
Time blocking is setting aside daily blocks of time to execute your most important business priorities. Think of it as making appoint- ments with yourself. Once done, you must protect that time against any and all distractions.
 
Successful people annually time block three things.
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First they make a list of all the vacations and time off they want to take for the year and they time block them off on their calendar. This way they have guaranteed themselves, their family and their friends that personal time off comes first. Now they’re simply working in-between their time off, instead of working all the time (and, as a result, taking too little time off, too late.)
Second they take out their calendar and time block a few hours every day devoted to nothing but lead generating.
Third they time block an hour each week to plan their week. If they have others that work or report to them, then they actually block out a fourth slot each week to meet with these individuals and work with them on their goals, plans, actions and results. And that’s it.
 
The three things you’ll do during your lead generation time block each day are: prepare, take action and maintain.
First, prepare.
When prospecting create your messages and offers, assemble your call or door knock- ing list, rehearse scripts and role-play them, prepare handouts for any vis- its, do all the necessary preparatory work for your prospecting (like for an open house), and do any mail outs required to support your activities.
If you’re marketing, create your messages and offers, assemble a mailing list, plan any “touch” activities (such as 8 x 8, 12 Direct or 33 Touch programs taught in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent), do any prep work on mailers or ads, work on your Web site, secure postage, take photos, and so forth. Give this preparation stage about thirty minutes (but no more than an hour) and then move on. If you give it much more than that, please realize you’re simply preparing to lead generate but not actually doing it.
Second, take action.
You’ll need a minimum of two hours for this so plan accordingly. If you’re prospecting, make calls, go see people, host open houses, make fol- low-up calls and write notes. If you’re marketing, do mail merge and mail, de- liver mail and ad copy, write notes and respond to inquiries from all sources. Stick to this and don’t skip out early. This is where your leads are generated. If you can allow more than two hours a day do it. You won’t regret the time you put into taking action to generate leads—it is always time well invested.
Third, maintain.
Enter results into your database, write follow-up notes, record anything you need to record, track your results, do any sched- uling and calendaring and fulfill any promises you made. While mainte- nance is important, preparation and taking action are more important.
3/3: Re- search says that you will need at least three hours a day of lead generation time and that you must do three things during it to be effective.
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If you’re an “action first” person, I want you to slow down long enough to study and practice 30 minutes each day before you take off. Once we began using the phrase ‘priced like bank-owned properties’ our call traffic went up! The bank-owned language really works. A little research and role playing will do so much for your effectiveness, you just won’t believe it. So experience it. And remember that when you learn only from your experience, you’re learning a lot less than you should. If you’re a “study first” person, I want you to realize that you can’t know it all no matter how much you study. So get on a study program you’re comfortable with and take action while you’re on it. And remember, if experiential learning isn’t on the program, you’re arguably missing the most important part.
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