Archives for June 2012

The Mentalist and Real Estate

I have a friend who’s not only both honest and smart, but is consistently one of the top sellers in her brokerage.  One day over coffee she let me in on a secret — she watched a particular television show every week, because she felt it helped her to sell real estate.

I was surprised to learn that the show was not a real estate show, but The Mentalist, a detective show whose main character, based on the Amazing Kreskin, uses psychic powers and his ability to observe to solve crimes.

“How does The Mentalist help in your real estate career?” I asked.  The question itself reveals that I don’t have any psychic ability.

“Because,” she replied (a cream moustache had formed over her upper lip after a particularly large gulp of her flavored coffee), “real estate involves 30 per cent the spoken word, and 70 per cent trying to either figure out what they’re really saying, or what they’re not saying at all but revealing through their body language.  The Mentalist is not just mindless entertainment; it actually provides me with tools and tricks that allow me to hear what my client isn’t saying out loud.”

I thought of another popular television show from my youth: Kung Fu.  “You must listen to what you can’t hear, Grasshopper!”  Fortunately, my friend did not pick up on my thoughts.

I signaled with my hand for her to wipe away the moustache and admit I was impressed that, after a few minutes, she picked up on it and wiped away the unflattering residue from her lip.

“Can you give me some examples of body language and real estate?” I asked.

“Well,” she began, “you never enter a home or, for that matter, a room — first.  Always let the perspective buyer be the first to enter.”

“I suppose that’s just good manners,” I wisely noted.

“No, you don’t get it!  It has nothing to do with good manners.  This allows the buyer to get the full impact of the room without your large body blocking the view.”  (Sensitivity to body image is apparently not covered in The Mentalist.)  “So, while your potential buyer is taking in the view, you watch their shoulders.  If they sag, well, then they’re not really interested.  Also, watch their facial expressions.”

“But, I’m behind them!” I interjected.  I felt my shoulders sag; she didn’t pick up on this.

She waved my comment away as though it were a fruit fly.

“You have to get around in front of them and then watch their facial expression.  It’s very important to watch their facial expression, because the truth may just be a momentary flicker of what they really think, and you have to see that flicker; so get around to the side, and watch for the flicker.

“Oh,” she added, “don’t check your Blackberry when showing a home.  That’s not body signals — that’s just common sense!”

We finished our respective coffees and air kissed.  She was then on her way, smart phone ringing with three simultaneous deals, while I pulled up my collar against the cold winter wind and watched.  She confidently walked to her car, looking every inch the successful business woman that she is.

As I drove away from that meeting, I remembered the experiences I had 20 years earlier while working as a waiter.  At first, I was the world’s worst waiter, but as time passed I found that I could accurately judge the dynamics of a new table long before I approached it.  It was all in the person’s body language, and once I learned what to look for the tips improved.

So, I have started watching The Mentalist, because in real estate the words left unsaid are often just as important as those that are spoken.

Tips:

1) Watch for body language, both yours and theirs.  What message are you sending your client by crossing your arms?

2) Avoid sending off any signal that suggests you are not listening.  (I struggle with this one)

3) Let the client walk into the home first.

4) Allow the client the time to imagine how the house would look if they owned it.

5) Watch your clients’ facial expressions and those knowing glances between spouses.

6) If you fold your arms, don’t tuck in your hands.  This means you’re closed to information or that your hands are cold.

7) Look up from that Blackberry when showing a house.

 

By: Peter D. Wilton, www.remonline.com

 

Sales Wisdom

Here’s a collection of sales wisdoms I found along the way. And although the wisdoms are pointed at sales people, they are equally applicable in any persuasive situation.

Start with rapport

You won’t sell anything until you get rapport with the other person. Rapport is a state of emotional bonding where they are aligned with you and vice versa.

If you move, and if you are in rapport, then they will move, too.

Customers don’t have needs — they have problems

A lot of sales training and books tell you about the importance of selling to customer needs. Although this is basically true, customers don’t sit down and think “I’ve got a need.” Instead, they experience problems and, hence, seek solutions to these.

The customer has to perceive the problem, of course. You may perceive the problem, but if the customer doesn’t, then there’s no way they can bite the solution line.

So the sales job is about finding, eliciting and solving these problems. Where understanding of needs does come in useful here is that problems appear when needs are not met. But when you talk to customers, it usually works best if the subject is problems.

Urgency is proportional to pain

Problems are like health. The more a problem hurts now, the more the need for a solution now. And the more it hurts, the more they’ll be prepared to pay for a speedy solution.

It’s got to hurt enough

The operation of resolving the pain is itself a painful process, so if the pain is below this threshold, the patient will prefer to continue suffering rather than accept any treatment.

Research has shown that most people will seek a solution when they have three problems. About a quarter seek solutions earlier, and another quarter seek solutions later.

You don’t sell products, benefits or solutions — you sell feelings

Sales used to be about selling products. But a sole focus on products leads to objections, so sales moved to selling benefits. Better still, the focus turned to understanding the underlying problem to be solved; but this is still not the whole story.

When we make any decision, including the “buy” decision, we do so by an emotional process. It may not seem that way, and there may be much logical processing, but the point of decision is always emotional, and usually subconscious.

Ask for the sale

A lot of sales people are so paranoid about the customer saying no that they keep on selling long past the close-by date. They may even talk the customer into buying and then talk them out again.

The trick is to swallow your fear and ask. When the time comes, ask for the sale. Ask “are you ready to buy now?”

Ask for honesty

Ask them for honesty, and you will get it. Ask “can you be honest about this?” They will say yes, of course. Then you can ask them for critical information and you will get the truth.

By asking for honesty, when they say yes they must then maintain consistency with that statement and actually be honest.

The best sale seems to be driven by the customer

Great sales people give so much apparent control to customers that the customers seem to sell the products to themselves.

They do this by being incredibly sensitive to the customer’s situation and state of mind then nudging gently with the right questions such that the customer realizes their need and ends up asking for the product.

They have turned casual conversation into an art, persuading by subtle inference and influence rather than more overt presentation and persuasive talk.

Love that customer!

Love is a funny word that is much misunderstood. Loving the customer doesn’t mean hugs and kisses, but it does mean caring about them both before and after the sale.

When sales people truly care about the success of their customers, it shows all over their faces and all over their actions, too. A loving sales person will never dupe their customers and will always give them a fair deal. Note the emphasis on fair. That means the sales person gets something out of it, too.

It’s difficult not to trust someone who loves you. In fact it’s difficult not to love them back, and loved customers often love their sales people. Now, there’s a relationship to kill for!

Be paranoid

Paranoia is a normal and healthy state. This is as compared with the enormous dangers of complacency. The sale is never in the bag until the ink is dry. Even then, customers can often change their minds. They can also complain like mad and never buy from you again.

Always assume there’s a competitor lurking. Always assume the customer has not fallen in love with you or your services. Never assume that a sale will fall into your lap without due and continuous effort on your part.

You said

“You told me you wanted a widget? Well here’s a great one.” Frequently use their words, needs, and so on. Use “you said,” “you mentioned,” etc., to make undeniable connections.

ABT

Always Be Closing is a common wisdom, but it isn’t always wise. If the customer is not ready, trying to close them will result in more objections, often false ones, put up as a defense.

ABT is better: Always Be Testing. Always test that they are with and that you are with them. Test for outstanding objections and misunderstandings. Test for commitment. And, yes, test for readiness to close. But only at the right time.

Let them discover things

There’s a world of difference between you telling them things and them finding them out for themselves. The difference is ownership and a sense of identity. If they find a great benefit from your product by themselves, their identity will connect through the benefit directly to your product. When you tell them, then they don’t get that connection.

If you don’t talk product, they won’t object

If you want to avoid price (and other) objections, stay off the subject of your product. It’s difficult to object to something that is not in the conversation.

Of course, you will have to talk product at some time, but if you can stay off it until they are crying out for a solution just like your product, then the only product conversation will be short and sweet.

It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you

Having a great list of contacts is not much good if you have to explain who you are and rebuild trust levels every time you call them.

When people know and trust you, just the sound of your name will send good feelings surging through them. They will be ready and willing to do your bidding.

Not only that, but rather than you calling them, they will be calling you and telling other people to call you. When people know and trust you, sales turn from push into pull.

By: www.changingminds.org

Programming Your $elf Image For Wealth Creation

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right” – Uknown

 

  • Self Image = A person’s self-image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, gender, I.Q. score, etc.), but also items that have been learned by that person about himself or herself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others. A simple definition of a person’s self-image is their answer to this question – “What do you believe people think about you?”.
    • All of us have an imaginary set of ideas of who we are and who we are in the world.
    • We operate in the world through our self image.

  • Positive & Negative Self Image = What you believe is what you will become.  That is why it is so important to work on nurturing a positive self-image.
  • 5 Ways You Can Re-tune Your Self-Image
    • Embrace the new role is of the creator of value
      • Spend all your time figuring out how to do this
    • Help others Overcome challenges
    • Help others Get the things they want to get
      • What do they think is valuable and how do I create it for them
      • You will find your wealth evolution sky rocket
    • Your subconscious mind cannot sit idle
      • Whatever your current self image is your subconscious is coming up with ways to live that way
      • By putting in a new image this will help your subconscious grow this self image
    • Plant the seed for the new self image
      • The image you have of yourself is the most important seed you can sow
    • Dress For Success
  • Reframing Concepts = The easiest tool for changing your beliefs is reframing.  You simply take a concept and look at it from another perspective.  By changing the way you view a an issue that reframes it.  There are two ways to reframe an issue and either one is very powerful:
    • Keep The Frame, Take Out The Picture, Put In A New One
    • Keep The Picture, Take Out The Frame, Put In A New One

For our example, the frame is wealth and the picture inside of it is money.  Some of us are masters of reframing and we don’t even know it.  For many of us, the frame is money and the picture is of poverty.  When we do this we are focusing on the negative and you cannot generate wealth.  People frame things negatively all the time.  We internalize negative perspectives into our self image, so they should be avoided like the plague.

  • The Concept Of Failure Is Imaginary
    • Problem & failure are ideas
    • They don’t exist in nature
    • Once you see something as a problem or failure, you will be limited by that perspective
    • You can eliminate any failure or problem as soon as you see it that way by learning from it
    • Ask: What can I learn from this?
    • Getting a lesson at a deep level is priceless
    • Don’t use problems or failures as excuses
    • They are just ideas and learn from them

http://pepnet.net/?p=735

Leveraging Your Social Media Efforts

“Leverage is the use of a small initial investment…, to gain a very high return in relation to one’s investment.” – Dictionary.com

• Leveraging Your Social Media: That’s what this discussion is about. How can you make a small investment in your social media efforts to reap a large reward? To achieve maximum leverage, your goal is to be on as many social media services as possible. Why is that?

• Google Rankings = The Google search engine indexes facebook statuses, tweets from twitter, and other social media posts. As this phenomenon grows this trend will only increase. This means that what you say on social media will remain forever on Google. This is both a dangerous and a powerful thing. Those of us that are aware of this can truly leverage social media to produce far greater results.

• The Social Media Services That I Belong To: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Delicious, Bebo, Plurk, Multiply, Flickr, Yahoo Profiles, Ident.ca, Blogger, Tumblr, MySpace, FourSquare, GTalk Status, and a few others…

• Ping.fm: I don’t manage all of these services myself. I tie them into a hub so that when I send out a status update or a photo post it goes from one place out to 13-16 services. Now that’s what I’m talking about with leverage. For example, say I want to plug my website www.AfroMarketing.net in a status update on facebook. When I send it out that status it will go to 13-16 different websites that Google will index separately 13-16 times. This is very powerful because having more links to your website on the web is important for raising your websites organic search listing.

• Seesmic App = What makes this even more powerful is that if you have a Smartphone than you can get the Seesmic App which will allow you to update your social media sites from your phone. Believe it or not, “53% of all Social Media traffic is done from mobile devices.”

• Seesmic Desktop 2 = Seesmic desktop 2 allows you to manage all of your services from a desktop interface on your PC or Mac. I use the desktop in tandem with the app for the Smartphone.

• Seesmic On The Web = There is also a web interface available if you don’t like the Smartphone or desktop options. Most of my usage of this software is on the mobile or desktop platforms, but the nice thing is that Seesmic gives you some choices about the way you use their products.

• Management = These tools give you the power to leverage your social media however it does not make this an effortless process. Someone still needs to set up your profiles… Someone still needs to invite friends and confirm them…. So on and so forth. If you can’t or won’t do it, I would recommend you have a current employee take on that burden or hire someone to do it for you. You don’t necessarily have to do the work yourself.

• Social Media Profile = You can save yourself time by creating a social media profile that you can cut and paste into the services as you create them. If you just set aside the time and determine to do it you could set up all of these services within a day.

• Marketing = Ultimately, social media is just that… another medium. It’s just like radio, TV, print or any other type of media you can think of. Each medium might require certain considerations, but what is effective is effective. So the question is more about: How can you adapt the things that you are already doing right now in your business that works and modify them to work in social media.

The Truth About Guarantees & Risk Reversal

• The Power Of A Strong Guarantee = Guarantees, especially outrageous ones, will almost always work to your benefit. They improve response and they can even be a reason to purchase a product by themselves. The only time where a guarantee cost you money is if you are selling a poor product. If that is the case, you have got to take a look at how you can change that. It is very important that you sell a product that you know is good and that you can stand behind it. If you can’t you need to find something else to sell.

• Guarantees Are So Powerful They’re Part Of The 7 Things Every Advertisement Should Have = The other 6 being: Headline, Call To Action, Deadline, Benefits, Irresistible Offer, and Testimonials.

• Guarantees As Differentiation = Since many businesses, at best, don’t advertise their guarantee, and at worst, don’t have one, you can use your guarantee as a marketing tool to differentiate yourself from your competition.

• Under Promise & Over Deliver = If you can make a huge promise and then still over deliver on that promise than that is a truly powerful business experience. Remember, today we live in the age of incompetence with a total lack of customer service and differentiations.

• Multiple Guarantees = There’s no rules as to the number of guarantees you can have. Why not have two or even three guarantees? You can never have too many guarantees. Plus, people have short attention spans, so by including multiple guarantees you increase the chance that they will see one of them. You should try being creative and add as many different ways of restating your guarantee as possible. There are all kinds of ways to guarantee a product or service that aren’t even tied to money: 1) On Time Delivery, 2) Satisfaction Guaranteed, 3) Zero-Stress Guarantee, 4) Done For You Guarantee, 5) etc.

• Don’t Offer A Guarantee = Another unique way to do your guarantee is to not offer one at all. These are a little tricky and your marketing needs to be full of personality to do it, but you can always say that your product is so good that I don’t offer a guarantee. The only people that ever ask for a refund are people that are trying to return your product are losers that are trying to rip you so you don’t offer one. Besides there is no way anyone would want to legitimately return my product. This type of approach will work, but you have to be careful.

• Length Of Guarantees = You will also be better off if you have a longer guarantee period than a shorter one. People respond better to these types of guarantees, but there is another reason as well. Typically, people are lazy and if you give them 30 days to return an item, they will remember that and do it typically on the 30th day. But if you give them a 12 Month guarantee they will put it off or forget about it for a very long time, and likely will never return it even though they “meant to”. However, this is no excuse for producing shoddy goods or services.

• Proprietary Language & Guarantees = While these guarantees are useful you can use them in much better ways. First, I would recommend using a stronger or more unique guarantee. For instance, “If you aren’t entirely happy with everything I’ve done for you I will personally buy my product back.” This guarantee stands out more, yet you are not saying anything different than before. You could also try adding phases like: “No-Strings Attached”, “No Questions Asked”, and “100% Risk-Free” to your guarantee.

• What Can You Do With It? = 1) Put It In All Sales Materials, 2) Business Card, 3) Use It In Network Marketing Situations, 4) Tell Your List About It, 5) and More.

• Example #1 = A shamelessly irresistible, doubly better than risk-free proposition: If you decide that you don’t like your purchase from <Business Name> (which quite frankly is highly unlikely), I want you to keep the <FREE Widget> worth <$Value> as my gift for trying <Product / Service>.

• Example #2 = I guarantee that I you will be thoroughly excited with your purchase from <Business Name> or we will by our <Product / Service> back!

• Example #3 = All of our <Products / Services> come with no-questions, no quibbles, 90 day money back guarantee. If for any reason, you find that my <Products / Services> isn’t perfect for you, just bring it back at any time in the next 3 MONTHS, and I’ll give you every cent you paid back. You have up to 90 days to try my <Products / Services> – to make sure that it is everything that I say it is. What could be better than that?

Information Marketing 101

Information Marketing 101

Speaking On The Information Economy: “We have for the first time an economy based on a key resource [Information] that is not only renewable, but self-generating. Running out of it is not a problem, but drowning in it is.” – Naisbitt, John

 So What Is The Information Economy & Information Marketing? = Information marketing is about identifying responsive markets with a high interest in a particular group of topics, packaging information products and services matching that interest. These materials can be written and assembled by you or by others. Your primary concern is how to sell these things first. You can then create the product around the desires of the market.

 Okay… So What… Why Should I Care? = Information Marketing can be an interesting supplement to your current products and services. By its nature, Information Marketing is a low stress, portable, and flexible way to generate thousands of dollars in supplemental income. As a primary business it can generate 6 or 7 figure incomes as well as generating celebrity or “guru” status. Here are some of the ways current members in the group could use information marketing to boost their bottom lines: 1) Dr. Craig / Me / Volkmann = Create Marketing Products, 2) Jerry Case = A Book On Mortgage Pitfalls, 3) Mark Wallace = A Video Series On How To Do It Right For The Blow & Gos, 4) Any MLM Business = Coaching Products That Help Others Attain The Same Success You Have…

 Benefits Of Information Marketing = 1) You’re selling to groups, not 1-1 situations, 2) People that buy products tend to buy more, 3) You don’t have to deal with the customers, 4) Little staff or overhead is required, 5) Small investment in inventory, 6) Automatic credibility, and 7) Lots of money to be made.

 What Is The Process For Developing Information Products? = 1) You need a quality product, 2) quality leads to target, 3) a marketing funnel (Buy or die), 4) strong guarantees, 5) built in continuity income, and 6) start all over again.

 Information Marketing Fast Action Plan = You always want to be shooting for at least a 10X markup on your product. Beware of product formats that have a well established and preconceived retail price. You want to be on the lookout for content and be organizing it into different categories that you can use to create product. If at all possible you want to publish on demand. You can joint venture or license other peoples products to get the ball rolling faster. You can recycle, change formats, or just repackage products. Any live event should be videotaped or at the minimum audio taped. You can also hold FREE teleseminars (great for lead generation) or bundle other forms of communication like eMails and newsletters.

 Ultimately I believe that there is a place in every business for the intelligent use of information marketing. Furthermore, getting into this phenomenon now will allow you to take greater advantage of the changes to come.

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