Thursday, February 01, 2007

Top 11 Marketing Budget Wastes—and How to Avoid Them

Part 2 of a 4 part series

Marketing Waste No. 4: Killing the conversation

Killing the conversation means a couple of things that can waste leads. First is remembering you are making a service call not a sales call. Second is making sure there is a sequence or continuity to your conversations with prospects, whether email, phone or in-person.

Distinguish yourself by making service calls instead of sales calls. Crudely put, don’t call up and say “Are you ready to move yet, if you are I can be of service.” THAT is not a service call. A service call offers information relevant to each prospect.

For example you may have a number of homeowner prospects who have been in your database for a year or more. A “customized” conversation/email for this group might go something like: “Hi Mary, it’s [name/agency] again. I’m calling because I have a special offer for people who have been in contact with me for a year or longer, it’s a free report on [pick a subject like “Changing market conditions- Is now a good time to sell” or “Local real estate trends” using MLS info on average sale price, DOM, % of asking price, etc. Consumers love this kind of info when it’s local and just for them]. Would you like me to email you a copy?” Then end the conversation unless they want to talk. Surprising, many will.

Be sure and leave a voice message with the same offer. Start thinking of voice messaging as highly targeted, personalized marketing. Don’t worry if they don’t call back- you’ve already left a positive ad impression.

Second, make certain your communications have continuity and relevance to your prospects/clients. Example- don’t send “First Time Buyer” information to your homeowner prospects.

So don't leave it to chance: If you're putting together an email drip campaign, make sure you have several templates for different prospect categories. For example,

Market Leader has 7 pre-written drip campaigns to subscribe prospects to, like Long Term Buyer or Short Term Seller, Past Clients, even one for FSBO’s. Some last a few months, some years. This type program enables the Agent CEO to have Systematized Prospecting and Personalized Transactions.

Marketing Waste No. 5: Overemphasizing new leads

While “old school” agents might dismiss some leads as "old”, today's savvy agents know those are actually the best leads. Consumers typically require multiple touches before they are ready to engage in any type of dialog. They usually prefer their anonymity until they're ready to raise their hand to take the next step. Multiple ‘soft touches’ (see #4) builds trust with your prospects.

If you continue pursuing only new leads, you may find yourself out of budget. It takes far less money to cultivate long term relationships with existing prospects than only going after new ones. This doesn’t mean stop marketing for new leads, but rather find a balance of resources to manage your existing prospects/clients.

To be continued tomorrow…

Come back for Part 3 with details on:
Marketing Waste No. 6: Direct mail and rental lists
Marketing Waste No. 7: Failing to use your permission-based list
Marketing Waste No. 8: Failing to get the most out of your email marketing

Make it a successful day