Last week I decided to follow some advice I’d read here in the rain and check out my competition. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about writing this post and hesitating.
Because I have always hesitated to “bash” others in my line of work. I didn’t do it when I was a real estate agent, and I don’t want to do it now. So – I won’t mention any names.
As you may or may not know, I have more than 40 sets of pre-written prospecting and staying in touch letters available on my website. So I decided to check out other sites that offered prospecting letters. Not all offered samples, but at least two that did made me despair for the agents who buy and use those letters.
Why? Because the samples I read break the very first rule in writing a marketing message.
They have a severe case of “I-itis.” The first sentences began with “I.” Many other paragraphs began with “I.” The sentences were littered with "I."
The letters are all about the agent, the agent’s experience, the agent’s knowledge, the agent's superiority, and the agent’s desire to list a house or gain a new buyer.
A marketing message – whether an ad, a web page, a brochure, or a letter, has to be about the prospect.
They don’t care what you want and they don’t care how great you are. They care about themselves, their problems, and their own hopes and goals. If they read your message, they read it to find out what you can do for them.
Remember – all prospects are tuned in to station WIFM – what’s in it for me.
Years ago I used to argue with my Mother-in-law because she thought anything she read in the newspaper or a magazine had to be true. I always said “Any fool can write. It doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.”
I think this is true with the people who are writing – and selling – these prospecting letters.
Agents should be able to trust that letters they purchase will be well-written and will make them look good in the eyes of their prospects. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
My message to you is this: If you’ve purchased letters like these, re-write them before you use them. It takes a little time to turn sentences upside down and make them customer-centered, but you can do it.
Second, if you read samples and see “I-itis,” run the other way.
Lastly, if you read a letter and think that it would offend you or otherwise give you a bad impression of the sender, don't use it.
I do harp on this subject quite often. Some might say too often - but it's that important.
Pass or fail buttons courtesy of Stuart Miles |freedigitalphotos.net