Hi folks. Today I want to write a little bit about Internet leads and how to handle them. This post was inspired by Monika McGillicuddy's recent post "Don't hit the delete key.....pretty please". First, I need to disclose that the bulk of my business is NOT Internet based. Since I rarely work with Buyers the Internet is not as powerful a tool for me as it would be if Buyers were my target. Some Sellers do find me through the Internet but most are referrals or folks responding to my expired letter.
Having said that, I have sold many properties sight unseen over the Internet. These were sold to Buyers who found a listing online and sent me an email requesting additional information. The only reason I am not an expert with working with Buyers over the Internet is because I don't want to be. I am however an expert at sales. I can sell "ice to an Eskimo" if need be.
Having been in sales of some sort most of my life the most important thing I have learned is...do NOT sell folks. My job as a "sales person" is to persuade people to make decisions that are beneficial to them and to me. TLW says I am a manipulator. She's wrong. I am a persuader.
You must remember folks who use the Internet are after one thing, information. This is VERY important to understand. They do NOT want to be sold. If you try to sell them the game is over.
Your response back to an Internet inquiry should be designed to:
- First and foremost....answer their questions.
- Provide additional information.
- Be non intrusive.
- Build trust and likability.
- Invite further interaction.
- Let them know you will be following up.
Now folks, having a blog goes a long way to achieving these goals. I have already written several posts on how to push your information at folks so I won't repeat it here. Here are the links to what I have already written.
The key is to get your information in front of them without selling. What this does is create a non threatening environment where the consumer can get the information they are searching for without feeling like they are being sold or coerced into dealing with a "salesperson" when they are not ready.
You want to be a resource. A source of information that the consumer sees as valuable. You want them to feel comfortable enough to come back. And they will come back if you have the information they are searching for.
If you have spent any time at all reading my blog, then you know, that I NEVER sell my services. I don't have to. When the consumer reads my posts they are getting valuable information. They contact me because I am giving then this information with no strings attached, it's free for them to use as they choose.
Also remember, folks are on the Internet searching not only because they want information but because they want it quick. If you do get an inquiry you must respond immediately. If you don't respond instantly or at a minimum within a couple of hours you can be sure they have moved on.
I'm not a big fan of auto responders, however, if you are not set up to respond to inquiries quickly you may have to set up an auto responder. If you do just make sure the response is not too generic and is giving them information. Don't use the "out of the office will respond later" thingie. Your response, at a minimum, needs to be friendly and have additional links in it to keep them busy until you can get back with them. You will have more success converting Internet prospects by sending them "anything quickly" than sending them "something more comprehensive" later.
OK that's it, Broker Bryant's Ramblings for today. Hope it helps. Any thoughts?
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