At the end of last year, I went on a rampage about cheese. Not the edible kind (heavens, no!), but rather, the prospecting variety. As in, promoting yourself with dorky, pitchy, predictable material that you bought off the shelf or copied and pasted from some free online resource (or egads, maybe you even paid for the krap!). Y'know. Prospecting cheese.
It is my opinion that if you're going to spend your time and your money promoting yourself to your adoring fans, it's far more effective if you actually create the material yourself to ensure that it's not dorky, cheesy or boring. Everything you send out, whether via snail-mail or email, should be done with the intent of inspiring the recipient to smile and think of you fondly.
And yes, that might just take a little more time than you're used to devoting to your mass-prospecting efforts.
Well, seeing how "time" is usually in short supply, many agents read my stuff and say "Okay, I agree in principle, but at least I'm sending out SOMETHING! I figure that's better than nothing, right?"
Nice try, but no. It's not. Especially when you're sending out that SOMETHING to your Sphere of Influence - aka your friends and acquaintances. If you must, go ahead and send out cheese to strangers, but PLEASE don't do it to your Sphere.
Your Sphere of Influence contact database is precious and should be treated as such. In fact, it may be the most valuable tool in your arsenal for getting good business and bringing in juicy paychecks. Treat it with the respect it deserves. Let me rephrase that. Treat the PEOPLE who make up your contact database with the respect they deserve.
Every single person in your Sphere of Influence has the potential to bring a $10,000 check your way. More than one, even. That's a fact. So, it's well worth the effort to MAKE an effort to, as above, inspire those special people to smile and think fondly of you every time they hear from you. Don't do anything that sends a message that the person is simply a name on your list, someone worthy of your prospecting efforts, but maybe not your personal attention. And that's exactly what canned, boilerplate, cheesy marketing material does. It sends the message that the recipient is just a name on your list.
Frankly, I'd rather take the chance that my Sphere of Influence (which remember, includes my social network) forgets I sell real estate, rather than take the chance that they roll their eyes every time they hear from me. If I'm not willing to take the time to create interesting, relevant, non-cheesy promotional material to send to my precious Sphere of Influence, then a Sphere of Influence business model may not the right model for me.
So, no, Prospecting with Cheese is NOT Better than Nothing. At least not with your Sphere of Influence.