Well, the year is over half way gone, and it is time to assess your production to see if you are on track to achieve your goals. Are you ahead of your goal or are you behind? Is your marketing working for you or do you need to "tweak" the system a bit to get back on track?
I, of course, was fishing last weekend. As many people know, I love Trout fishing and I go out at every opportunity. Of course, with the solitude, I spend a lot of time thinking and I always seem to find some parallel between fishing and marketing.
As I started out the weekend, I went to a stream that I know was stocked with Trout. I know what the stocking schedule is and I know where they stock the stream. On the surface, this should greatly increase my chances for success.
However, I need to factor in more information to ensure my success. For example, how long ago did they stock the stream? How many people have been fishing on the creek? What are the water conditions - is the water high, low, cloudy, the temperature of the water, etc. All of these factors play a role in my potential for success.
Of course, this started me thinking on the parallels between fishing and our business. You see, there are many "tried and true" techniques for marketing to prospective clients, yet some of them seem to work better than others. Even further, some techniques tend to work better during certain times of the year than others while some will work virtually all of the time.
The trick is to figure out what works when and how much time and resources you should dedicate to a technique before moving on to other ideas. The ability to recognize the differences will allow you to maximize your marketing efforts thus maximizing your production and income. Additionally, the more you can "stack the deck" in your favor, the greater success you will enjoy.
The first creek I went to has been very productive for me. I have fished it many times over the years and I know where the fish are, for the most part, located. I work the different locations, varying my presentation, and I more often than not catch fish.
Additionally, one of the tools I use to "stack the deck" in my favor is polarized sunglasses. A pair of glasses may seem rather silly to mention as a "tool", but there is a very good reason to have this tool.
Polarized sunglasses have the effect of doing what I call "turning off the lights". When you have polarized sunglasses on and you look at the stream, virtually all of the glare created by the sunlight on the water is filtered out, allowing you to see down into the water and identifying any fish that are swimming around. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and effort by allowing you to fish where they are located and skipping over the areas where you see no activity. This makes you much more efficient, allowing you to cover a lot more territory and thus giving you more opportunity to catch fish.
Any way, back to the first creek. With my sunglasses on, I could see that there were a lot of fish in the creek, but I could tell by the size of them that they were not Trout. Small bass, Blue Gills, Carp and Chubs abounded, but my quarry, Trout, were no where to be seen. I decided to fish for a bit anyway to see what I could catch. This reminded me of Realtors who use a particular marketing idea because "it always worked for me before".
After fishing for awhile, I caught a bunch of fish, but not one of them was a Trout. This caused me to rethink my choice of streams and go to a different location.
When I went to the next stream, I could see fish that I knew were Trout so I started to fish hard. I ended the day catching several nice size fish and considered it a successful venture.
However, what if I had tunnel vision like so many agents and had stayed at the first creek because "I knew it had worked for me before"? I most likely would have ended the day with nothing to show for it except a lot of time and energy invested with very little production.
What if this is the same "technique" you employ with your marketing efforts. What if you stick with "what worked before" and find that it gives you little to no production? Does this mean that it no longer works?
Of course not! The error wasn't in the idea itself, the mistake was in not analyzing what works when and knowing when to change your strategy. You need to keep track of the different marketing concepts that you use throughout the year and logging what works best at different times of the year.
For example, let's look at advertising in the different periodicals. The Real Estate Book, Homes and Land, you name it. Which months of the year produce the most calls for you? You do keep track of your lead calls and where they come from, don't you?
Looking at your level of calls, would it make more sense for you to cut back on your advertising in these magazines at certain times of the year and focus your advertising dollars on other efforts? Or, are you of the tunnel vision mentality and continue to plow money into efforts that are basically window dressing that will not produce results?
Only you know the answer to this question. You must evaluate your marketing efforts constantly throughout the year to ensure that each dollar spent on marketing returns many times the investment.
Just thought you should know.
Have a profitable day,