Now, as some of you may know, I often will use a private conversation with my current and former colleagues - both inside and outside my brokerage - as a source of inspiration for my blog posts. I use a variety of devices to protect the innocent such as waiting several weeks or even months before commenting on a particular discussion or series of discussions.
TOP EXCUSES FOR NOT DEVELOPING NEW BUSINESS
So I was engaged in a discussion regarding the reasons "why" we procrastinate and avoid doing personal marketing, networking, prospecting and business development activities. Here are the top excuses actually uttered by real estate sales professionals as to why they do not like to engage in business development and personal marketing activities:
• "I am booked with showings and just don't have enough time in the day." It isn't always about now. You have to build a pipeline and keep it stocked so you don't have those dry spells.
• "It's a bad market. Why waste my time and money with client development when the listings won't sell anyway?" There are good and bad markets. In bad markets, people are still selling and purchasing homes. Get back to the basics; stop living in 2005; and roll up those sleeves and get to work.
• "I don't get paid to do this." Really? I bet that isn't really true. Let me explain the sales cycle. It goes something like this: marketing generates customers; customers generate sales; sales generate commissions.
• "It isn't a good use of my time. I'm in sales. Now, I'm supposed to be your marketing department too?" I love that entrepreneurial spirit. I know there are a lot of brokerages that provide extensive marketing support, but the only person who is looking to get you more business is - well - you.
• "I'm a worker bee, not a rainmaker. Sales is just a numbers game. My broker should be sending me leads." You can stick by the telephone and wait for it to ring. However, personally, I would rather have my own customers and my own book of business because, that way, I control my own destiny.
• "Networking doesn't work. Jim sells 2 homes a month and he doesn't do that." Or "When I worked for ABC brokerage, I didn't have to do that." How do I address this one? Maybe Jim is a better salesperson. Maybe Jim won't admit that he does networking - but just not in a formal way. Maybe you should go back to ABC brokerage. When your competitor isn't doing it, it may be a sign that you should be doing it. Think out of the box and dare to be different.
• "I don't want to sound like a used car sales person. If I market to people, they will get the impression that I just want business." Well, business development isn't about hawking yourself. The most effective business development strategy is often just getting out there and talking to people.
• "I am afraid to talk to people. I really don't like selling. I let the property sell itself." I hear the museum has an opening for tour guides. Personal marketing is about keeping in constant or regular contact with potential customers. Sometimes, it is as simple as the old adage "Out of sight, out of mind."
• "I tried that once and it didn't work." I know it didn't work - you only did it once. Marketing requires multiple contacts in multiple mediums to multiple audiences. I know that advertising works - but I just don't know which advertisement will work or even when it will work.
TIPS FOR GETTING MOTIVATED
Sometimes, you have to find success you need to take a different direction. Now that the excuses are out of the way, let's make a commitment that we will break the cycle of excuses and start developing new business today. Here are some suggestions:
• Respect the Effort. Business development requires a substantial investment of your time, money, energy and effort. It is extremely important that you understand that business development takes time to produce results. It will not happen immediately or overnight. Your activities today may not produce new business for 12 or more months.
• Develop an On-Going Strategy. As you proceed, give your initiatives time to develop. There will be false starts. The answer is not simply to stop. You must make adjustments and explore other avenues. Always evaluate your progress and ask "why" something didn't work before you abandon it completely.
• Ask for Assistance. When you do anything for the first time, there is a certain fear of failure. There is often a learning curve. Don't let the fear of failure stop you from succeeding. There are some remarkable real estate professionals out there. I have yet to meet a single person who said "no" when I asked for assistance. Asking for assistance is not (and should not be considered) a weakness. If you don't have a mentor locally, then consider the thousands of people on ActiveRain as your mentors.
Now stop reading and start developing new business. The best time to start is TODAY! If you are still procrastinating, fess up and post a comment stating the excuse that you have most recently used or heard.
Note: The opinions and statements contained herein represent my personal opinions and observations. These blog entries are not reviewed, endorsed or approved for publication by Gilded Age, L.L.C., Gilded Age Sales, L.L.C. or Preservation Real Estate Advisors, L.L.C