10 Days of Pain for 1 Day of Closing.

Real Estate Agent with Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME

A man in obvious pain.Excruciating Pain.

I have yet to meet a real estate agent that is willing to state, "I love lead generation."  It's the one thing we all seem to hate.  Whether we dislike the rejection, the awkward silence on the other end of the phone, or just feel uncomfortable intruding; we all go through periods where getting us to call and convert leads (for the record, I hate that word) is akin to having root canal surgery with a rusty spoon and no Novocaine.

In Chapter 8, "Social Media and Lead Conversion", of Ben Kinney's ebook Soci@l (which you can download for free at the RainCamp page on ActiveRain), Ben discusses his aptly titled 10 days of pain.  When I first read the book, I chuckled over the title of this and thought of how many times I sat in front of the phone about to call a new lead.  Picking up that phone is like lifting a few thousand pounds on that first call.  It's painful.  Every time though, as the conversation begins, I find myself thinking, "why was this so hard to do?"  Conversing with people is something I can do.  It seems picking up the phone is the hard part.  The actual act of lifting the receiver is where the pain is.

The 10 days of pain campaign that Ben Kinney has developed gave me three things to think about - 1) how am I at converting leads, 2) a funny way to describe it (a little humor makes everything slightly less painful), and 3) actionable steps that I can implement (often I find there's a lot of talk about how to convert, but not enough substance in the form of a simple how-to).  While I won't attempt to summarize the 10 days of pain here (you can read about it for yourself), I do think this is something I can personally implement.  One of my goals this year is to really buckle down and get the conversion part of the business a bit more refined.

How much are you willing to give?

Ten days sounds like a lot at first.  That's more than a week!  Immediately after reading the chapter, I thought about it for a few minutes.  Am I willing to through 10 days of pain to get one day of closing?  The answer is obvious?  Of course!  Ten days of pain beats thirty days of pain because I have not closed a transaction.  In my recent time away from real estate, I had the ability to truly look at my real estate business and analyze what I liked, what I didn't like, as well as what was working and what wasn't working.  I was able to step back and look at my business from a new angle - one which didn't require me to deal with the daily work of being an agent (it's easy to get distracted from the tough questions when you're working hard).

Once I compared the ten days of pain to one day of closing, I began to think of it in a different light.  Ten days suddenly seems a little easier to swallow.  We all want more closings, yet we all struggle to do the things necessary to get the leads turned to clients that will get us to those closings.  Tom Ferry and I have been building a plan for the year for myself (thanks to the free coaching calls I received via ActiveRain) and I can already see how implementing Ben Kinney's 10 days of pain will help me implement some of the work that Tom and I are discussing (more on that later).

Looks like I'll be experiencing a painful year and somehow, that's exactly what I want.

photo courtesy of Racchio



This blog post is a review of Soci@l: Attract Friends, Followers and Connections to Your Business. Soci@l is a free download written by Ben Kinney in conjunction with ActiveRain and Jay Papasan. In exchange for downloading the free copy of Soci@l and writing this review, I have a chance to win a free iPad and I'm getting 2000 ActiveRain points.

Download a free copy of Social here and find out how you can have a chance to win an iPad and be guaranteed 2000 ActiveRain points.


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jennifer Dulmaine 06/19/2010 04:43 PM
  2. LINDA SABO 06/24/2010 03:48 AM
  3. Lenn Harley 06/25/2010 05:05 AM
  4. Gloria Soria 06/25/2010 04:09 PM
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Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Downloaded the book and will read it. Really, I will.  Thank you for the heads-up!

Jun 25, 2010 03:34 AM #47
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

great blog Matt - i too downloaded the book and can't wait to read it - thanks a million....

Jun 25, 2010 04:18 AM #48
Tamara Dorris
Master Your Market Real Estate Coaching - Carmichael, CA

Oh Matt, what an awesome post! Anyone who said they don't get call reluctance now and then is lying....we ALL do! Your post was really timely because between my home-grown videos and some SEO effort, my buyer's search site (using Market Leader still) is racking up at least 1-2 leads a day and more on the weekends....it's so EASY to reason with yourself that you don't need to call them back, and as a result, I've now got about 20 to call! (Don't tell Tom!).

Glad your coaching is going well...I knew it would.

Big hugs from Sacto.


Jun 25, 2010 04:21 AM #49
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Pain is not necessary.  Practice PULL advertising and the consumer will come to YOU.

You'll be solving their problems, not being one.

Jun 25, 2010 04:29 AM #50
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Very nicely written, Matt.  I'm almost done with the book, I thought it would be boring but I can't put it down.

Jun 25, 2010 05:14 AM #51
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

welcome back, my man.  i've missed your musings.

Jun 25, 2010 05:52 AM #52
Lisa Ludlow Archer
Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area - Waxhaw, NC


Great post. I went to just about all of Ben's classes at KW Family Reunion in February. I have read S@cial and our team is starting the 10 days of pain on July 1. We are so ready. I like LG but the rest do not so it should be fun.

Thanks for a great post.

Lisa aka Allstarmom3

Jun 25, 2010 07:51 AM #53
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated - Salt Lake City, UT
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

Wow, I'm wondering why in the world you are still doing something so archaic as cold calling.  No wonder it is so excruciating for you!

If you utilize today's technology, you can set up a lead generation system that connects you with prospects when they first start their search, and then build rapport and a relationship with them over time.  You will then have a much better, highly targeted lead, to work with.

I haven't cold called in the past 10 of the 12 years I've been in this business, and have managed to be a top producer (without all that headache).







Jun 25, 2010 10:58 AM #54
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Michelle - Nowhere in there did I say I was cold calling.  I have never cold called.  Unfortunately, I think your comment was little more than a veiled attempt at getting your website address in there, but since it's not a link, I'm going to allow it.

As for the rest of you - I'll be looking forward to hearing how the process is going.  I'm eager to write some more about it in the near future.  Good luck to everyone.

Jun 25, 2010 11:20 AM #55
Pete Deininger
Breckenridge Associates - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge Colorado Real Estate (970-389-0372)

Matt, great post!

I remember that chapter from the book as well. And, no, it has nothing to do with cold calling. Simply a ten day plan to getting a lead to respond and let you know they're serious or not. Either way, you get an answer. I need to get back to THE PAIN!

Jun 25, 2010 11:44 AM #56
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

I have the book downloaded and looking forward to some pain!

Jun 25, 2010 03:30 PM #58
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


you are saying that you are looking towards a 'painful' year. Guess you still have all your teeth. I am afraid I am not gonna last that long ;-)

Jun 25, 2010 04:08 PM #59
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

In sales no is a good thing.  You have to hear so many nos before you get a yes.  Each no means you are that much closer.

Jun 25, 2010 06:47 PM #60
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Michael - I deleted the double message.  I don't see it as harrassment (as you mentioned in the second comment).  Personally I don't think emails of the latest properties on the market really build trust either.  Either way, the advertising of your system isn't what this post was about, so I leave the URLs, but remove the links.

Jun 26, 2010 02:13 AM #62
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated - Salt Lake City, UT
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

No, Matt, I really did feel that you were talking about cold calling.  Do you spend the day calling people?  I think there are lot of great ways you can provide value to your clients through technology, without having to interupt their day with a phone call, unless you are actually calling past clients and referrals.  Guess I'm unclear on what calls you were making.

Just suggesting that there are a multitude of ways to connect with prospects, through SEO, Blogging, Lead Capture, and a series of either messages or videos to help people and give them info and tips about the buying/selling process.  I find that through this type of marketing, I can develop a relationship with prospects, weed out the ones that are looky-loos, and demonstrate my knowledge and expertise (by focusing on their problems that they may be having).  I end up with more targeted prospects that are easier to close.


(no web address this post)




Jun 26, 2010 05:09 AM #63
Jean-Paul Peron
The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany - Corolla, NC
Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive

Great post.


I DL the eBook and will start it once I finish 2010 Trends.

Jun 26, 2010 09:54 AM #64
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Michelle - Yeah, definitely not cold calling - you'll find me doing that right after I take up knocking on doors.  The idea of the 10 days of pain and what I'm talking about revolves around those leads that come in that aren't referrals or anyone you "know."  Whether you buy them from a service, get them from your broker or company, or bring them to you yourself (through blogs, websites, IDX, Twitter, Facebook - doesn't matter) - these leads are not necessarily in a state where they think you're the best agent for them...yet.

We've all had that sign up on our website that we email or call back and we don't hear from.  The 10 days of pain is just a way to try harder to hear from them.  To find out what they're looking for, to find ways we can help them, and to (hopefully) have them as a client.  Internet leads are one of hardest to cultivate because of the mask of anonymity.  Someone can surf your site all day long and never have to speak with you.  They might use your site for all their research, but they choose their uncle as their agent.  Without some sort of direct communication between you and that consumer, in all likelihood, you will not be their agent.  Communication builds the trust that we're all seeking.

Jun 27, 2010 01:52 AM #65
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated - Salt Lake City, UT
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

I agree.  A great way to start the communication and build a relationship is to create "landing pages" that offer free tips/information for buyers or sellers (each landing page is set for a specific purpose and a specific type of prospect), in exchange for just their email address.  Then you can have a system set up that will keep in contact (through an autoresponder), with more free information and tips that helps build rapport with potential clients.  It's all about building that relationship.  People don't trust "salespeople", but they gain trust with people who give them value, and they end up being more reliable and loyal clients in the long run.

Jul 01, 2010 03:41 AM #66
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I downloaded that book a while back and never read it. Thanks for the reminder.

Aug 19, 2010 05:01 PM #67
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide
I feel your pain and also the pain of spammers. Marked for clean up.
Jan 16, 2013 03:36 PM #68
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