Archive for June, 2015

Real Estate Agents FSBO Is Your Opportunity to Increase Sales

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) real estate market is expanding.  Many realtors look at this as a barrier to a no sale. They fail to recognize the vast sea of opportunity to increase sales.  Some real estate agents are even resentful of this emerging market and whine to others within their industry or spheres of influence.

increase sales

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From my own experience in selling our home under the FSBO sales process, I am astounded as to how easily most real estate agents give up.  Having several long established friendships with successful realtors, I reached out to one of them and asked him (Paul Kennedy) if he and his wife, Jackie,  ever sold FSBO homes?  His response was “Yes, quite frequently.”  He and his wife did this years before the current expansion of the For Sale By Owner industry.

Salespeople must adapt to market changes if they wish to increase sales.  For Sale By Owner is just a market change as buying cars online or the rise of the Big Box Stores.  Those real estate agents who can adapt will increase sales; those who cannot adapt will lose sales.

Here are my steps as a Red Jacket in a Sea of For Sale Signs to turn For Sale By Owner residential real estate properties into opportunities to increase sales.

#1 – Engage in Research

If I was a real estate agent and came across a FSBO residential real estate property, I would first do my research.  Possibly the home is on Zillow, FSBO or Craig’s list?  Then I would check out the property at the Recorder’s office at county courthouse. Additionally I would attempt to learn as much about the seller as possible.

#2 – Check Out My Pre-Qualified Buyer’s List

My next action would be to see if I had ideal customers as pre-qualified buyers interested in a home in that price range, square footage, school district, etc.  Additionally I might call my favorite mortgage broker or banker and ask him or her about any more recent pre-qualified buyers.

#3 – Call the FSBO Homeowners

Next I would call the homeowners. I would ask if  I could tour the property.

This first meeting would be all about building the relationship.  This is not the time to be adversarial with the homeowner nor is it the time to make snide remarks.

Also I as the real estate agent I want to ensure it meets those qualified buyers I have in my “back pocket” as I do not want to anger them as well.  Finally here is where the real estate agent picks up additional and very valuable future negotiating information such as:

  • What is prompting the move?
  • How did the FSBO sellers determine the price?
  • Where is there room for negotiation such as flooring allowance?
  • Does the FSBO seller have a time lime for moving (urgency)?
  • How many people have called or tour the home?
  • Is there a bottom line number that must be met after everything is said and down?

#4 – Ask to Bring a Sales Lead

Now is the time to ask.  If I was the real estate agent, I would ask the For Sales By Owner sellers if they are open to having one of my pre-qualified buyers (think sales lead) tour the home.  If the FSBO seller brings up the sales commission fee, I would say:

“Let’s hold off at this time because such discussion is rather premature.  Neither one of us know if my client is truly interested in your home and more importantly is interested in making an offer. May we hold this discussion to later?” 

This question provides a psychological advantage for the real estate agent especially if he or she learns the seller wants to move by a certain date.

#5 – Tour the Home with the Sales Lead; An Offer Is Presented

The real estate agent tours the home with the pre-qualified sales lead.  They leave and the sales lead tells the realtor he, she or they want to make an offer.  Now is the time to discuss and negotiate commission.

#6 – Negotiate

I, as the real estate agent ,would make a call to quickly schedule a face to face appointment with the sellers.  During this in person meeting, I might say something like:

“Earlier you mentioned my sales commission and I said such discussion was premature.  My clients who just toured your home have expressed a solid interest in making an offer at full price.  So what are your thoughts about this offer? “

Here is where negotiation enters because the truly top performing real estate agent has all of her or his facts and can crunch the numbers.  Of course, depending upon the agreement with the real estate broker there may be some limitations.  However, as one of my residential real estate builder friends and another client who became very wealthy in flipping homes said “Everything is negotiable.”

If the real estate agent has already done his or her number crunching based on the information she or he has received, the likelihood of a sale has just been dramatically increased.  Bottom line the FSBO sellers want to sell the home.

Even if the offer is not as full asking price, there may still be movement to allow some commission.  Again, this is where the research comes into play within the negotiation process.

Personally, if a real estate agent showed some real sales skills (and conducting an open house is marketing not selling), I would be more than willing to discuss his or her sales commission fee.  The challenge is many (not all) real estate agents within residential real estate are not top performing sales people with demonstrated sales skills.

The lack of demonstrated sales skills is why real estate agents cannot increase sales.

FSBO becomes an excuse not to sell and not an opportunity to sell.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

 

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Want a Low Risk Small Business? Try Selling Residential Real Estate

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.  Individuals are opening up small businesses at a record rate. Over 70% of all US businesses are single owner (non-employed).  To ensure the success of that venture, identifying risk is part of that equation.  If you are seeking a low risk small business, then selling residential real estate may be the solution.

selling-residential-real-estate

Low Cost Threshold in Selling Residential Real Estate

Depending upon the licensing state, the cost of entering the residential real estate industry is relatively low.  You do not need a MBA, a Masters or even a college degree.  In doing some cursory research, the cost to become a licensed real estate agent in Indiana is around $600.  This is far less expensive than a post graduate degree that ranges between $30,000 to $12o,000.

Yes there are required continuing education units to maintain the license. However many of these courses are free or at a nominal expenditure between $25 and $50.  My professional development is budgeted for $2,000 annually and I am not mandated to have any continuing education courses.

Low Cost Marketing Through Social Media

The advent of social media has become social marketing.  Since the majority of social marketing is 100% free except for one’s time, the paid advertising is becoming a thing of the past. On demand searching through Zillow.com and other sites is now the driving force from the buyer’s and seller’s perspective.

All small businesses must market themselves.  They must attract attention and build relationships.  Investing money on marketing is part of the cost of doing business regardless of industry.  Yes there are some fixed marketing costs. However much of the marketing is free and hence is truly low risk.

Limited to No Financial Risk

Outside of the real estate industry, legal orders such as garnishments and online auction sites, all businesses both profit and not for profit must deal with customers who pay their bills directly to them.  These organizations do not have a third party distributing the dollars earned for the sale of their solutions.

Cash flow is 100% dependent upon customers paying their bills. There is no third party unless the small business goes to court or places a lien on the business.  Their income may wait up to 120 days before payment is received.  This is not the case for those selling residential real estate.

In selling residential real estate, a third party, the title company, distributes the funds to the various parties including the listing real estate agent and the selling real estate agent. Wow, what a terrific way to get paid.

No worries about:

  • Checks bouncing
  • Delayed payments
  • Discrepancies between the invoice and payment

And best yet the seller and buyer of the home assume all financial responsibility. There is no financial risk for selling residential real estate.

Now some may argue that selling residential real estate is risky because of the economy.  My answer is welcome to the real world.

Small businesses must always adapt to market conditions.  And the economic research still reveals most millionaires are created during a recession because these individuals take risks and innovate where others just stand back and watch. The question remains are you willing to do what it takes to be successful in a very low risk small business of selling residential real estate?

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Faith Conquers Our Fears

Faith, we all have it and I don’t mean just a religious or spiritual faith.  When we travel back to the origins of this word it means “to trust.”   We all trust someone or in some instances something.

RollercoasterWhen we have faith, we trust that something will become better.  By having that belief of getting better, we have a greater ability to  conquer our fears of what may or may not happen.

Yes the “what ifs” in life can be overwhelming.  How we handle those unknowns is how others view us and more importantly how we view ourselves.

Each day our behaviors reflect our faith.  We have trust that may include:

  • Gravity will keep us on the ground
  • Roller coaster will not fall off the tracks
  • Our neighbors will not rob our homes
  • Our personal safety will not be challenged
  • Our children will be safe
  • Our businesses will continue

Some of the trust we have is taken for granted such as gravity.  Other trust such as personal security may no longer be take for granted given the increasing unrest in the world.  For those who have religious faith, they too may be tested with the attacks on certain religions.

Probably for me, one of the most poignant memories of faith is from the original movie War of the Worlds.  The scene is toward the end of the movie where people are gathered in church.  They have fears of the world coming to an end and yet they retreat to a building of faith.

Each Sunday I attend church because of  trust that I have in not only my religion but in our community of faith. Our members trust each other and support each other as well as those outside of our small community.  This small church has been engaged in building trust for over 150 years.

Faith does conquer most if not all the fears we all have. For us to have trust, we must think outside of our own abilities, our own ego and place trust in others or even in a higher power.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Seven Lame Attitudes for Not Engaging in Self Improvement

My belief is human beings are innately wired for self-improvement.  If this was not true, we would still be living in caves, cooking over fire pits and wearing animal skins.

self-improvement

Yet after 18 years in the executive coaching to organizational leadership development industries, I am still surprised at the reluctance of people to engage in a personal development, self improvement plan of action.  Over this time frame, these seven attitudes (habits of thought) appear to consistently bubble to the top of not taking action.

#1 – Got No Time Attitude

How often have we heard “I got no time” for self-improvement?  Most people admit to wasting 12 minutes per day not too mention all the time spent in front of the smart devices or television watching less than quality programming.

#2 – Can’t Do Attitude

Then there are those folks who continually whine about “I can’t do it”  The can’t do it is anything connected with changing behaviors from losing weight to expanding one’s mental capacity.

#3 – Too Expensive Attitude

Self improvement costs money.  I cannot afford it.  Really?  Maybe this is not an issue of “too expensive” but rather an issue of priority?

#4 – Don’t Know How Attitude

In spite of all the free information from libraries, to the Internet to even local seminars and workshops, some still hold onto this lame attitude of “I don’t know how.”

#5 – I Don’t Need It Attitude

Human beings have an ego. This ego sometimes prevents self improvement because some believe they don’t need it.  Again, we are designed to be in a process of continued improvement.  When this lame attitude surfaces, there is more than self improvement required.

#6 – Doesn’t Work Attitude

Have you heard someone say self improvement doesn’t work?  This usually happens after some noted failure or a realization that such improvement may result in hard work.  Possibly these folks believe in the quick fix?

#7 – Not My Priority Attitude

Life can become very busy.  We have the ability to prioritize what we believe should be accomplished. When we make a conscious decision not to take action and place other “to dos” in front of our own self improvement, we are shortchanging ourselves.  Improving any aspect of our life can have a direct impact on other aspects.

There are probably more lame attitudes for not wanting to become better. Each of us has 100% control over our personal decisions to be better, to maximize our own capacity for improvement.  The question is will you continue staying where you are, comfortable or will you push the envelope and start changing for the better?

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How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 05

If we remember marketing extends beyond paid advertisements and the importance of word of mouth marketing, then our actions or our company’s actions specific to delivery can generate sales objections.  How often do we hear the negative comments about this company or that company not delivering on time?

sales objections

Credit www.gratisography.com

Delivery or the inability to deliver your solutions (products or services) within the ideal customer’s (sales lead) time frame is usually the last sales objection.  How you as a salesperson handle this objection is essential to ensuring your ability to increase sales.

Bad PR Sales Objections

Word of mouth is unpaid PR.  Good comments about your firm are embraced.  Bad comments can be a disastrous. Some firms actually pay people to watch social media for any negative or even misleading comments because social media is a marketing channel.

Documented Historical Behavior Sales Objections

Any ideal customer can conduct his or her own research to learn if your firm delivers on time.  When delivery is not as promised, this might be the time to get ahead of the potential bad PR and issue a statement.

Implication in the Marketing Message Sales Objections

Sometimes we hear the boastful salesperson talk about exceptional delivery and then later learn he or she was not completely accurate.  This inaccuracy harms the credibility of the salesperson and the small business he or she represents.

Delivery of solutions is always dependent upon many factors.  Salespeople need to know these factors such as a strike, plant maintenance or shutdowns.  By having this knowledge and sharing it when conducting business to business networking (marketing), reduces resistance to future sales barriers.

Peter Drucker said (paraphrasing) when marketing is done well, selling is effortless.  In today’s competitive world, the ability to increase sales starts with effective marketing that turns off sales objections instead of turning them on.

If you missed any of these postings on how marketing turns on sales objections, please feel free to review them as follows:

How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 01 – You as the barrier

How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 02 – Your company as the barrier

How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 03 – Your solution as the barrier

How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 04 – Your price as the barrier

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 04

If you have been following the posts for this week, you will notice all cover sales objections that are created by poor marketing.  In some instances, marketing that worked in the past no longer works today because buyers are far more educated before they engage in any sales conversation. This is quite true when it comes to price.

sales-objections

Price – The Fallback Sales Objection

Unfortunately, many small business owners lead with price in their marketing.  This is a big mistake because they have lumped themselves as transactional sellers.

One of my colleagues Rick Gosser used to post his embroidered corporate wear with a price on social media. Now he posts only the finished product and when possible includes his delighted customers.  The result is he sells far more products without a price than with a price.

One of the bad direct mail pieces I received from a local real estate agent here in Northwest Indiana made this statement as a headline:

How About 3%?

This direct mail piece immediately jumped to price.  I did not know this real estate agent, I did not know his company and I did not know his solution for marketing or selling my home.  He presumed the reason I was listing the house as For Sale By Owner was because of price.  Really bad presumption on his part not too mention poor marketing.

Apples Versus Oranges Sales Objections

Price is in many instances is one of apples versus oranges especially within the service industry.  Two solutions may be similar, but not the same and hence may have different prices.  For example within my executive coaching and small business coaching practice, I have three (3) price tiers for the first four months based upon distance from my home.  Once I in depth knowledge about the client I then can provide only one investment level.

When I am asked what do I charge by a sales lead out of the gate, my response is I truly do not know because I do not know what your people and process problems are.  To market any solution with a price may possibly confuse the buyer and truly does not provide you the opportunity for differentiation.  People are not buying your price, they are buying you and what you can do to meet their wants and needs.

Free Sales Objections

Believe it or not, free does create sales objections. The buyer may think if I get this for free, what else can I get for free? The seller has created unbeknownst  to him or her a self-fulfilling prophecy

Within my 18 year old established executive coaching and organizational corporate leadership  development, I only meet with qualified sales leads who meet my ideal customer profile.  We may have one to two and sometimes three or four meetings depending upon the scope of the project.  Free is not part of my vocabulary during these discussions.

Recently I completed a project for a large healthcare client in Texas.  Beyond giving him what was articulated in the signed scope of work, I also gave him a participant workbook when I realized it was needed.  The time involved was 15-30 minutes as it was more a matter of cut and paste.  When I included it in the electronic deliverables, I noted its presence without any reference to free.  The client immediately emailed me back and thanked me for going the extra effort.  The client did not look at the participant workbook as something free, but rather viewed it as something of value.

People who market on price fail to understand that marketing is not selling.  And,

Free has zip, nada, no value. The value is elsewhere.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

 

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How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 03

So you potential ideal customer has bought you and your company.  Now your marketing must not start creating sales objections about your solution.  This is why your marketing message should look at the “what of what you do
and not the “how of what you do.”

sales-objections

Credit: www.gratisography.com

The How of What You Do and Sales Objections

When you responded to this infamous question “What do you do?” or any variation thereof, how did you respond?  If you opened your remark with we are  in commercial banking, residential real estate, legal, accounting, marketing, photography, business coaching or consulting, you were revealing the how of what you do instead of the what of what you do.

The response of “how” only reaffirms to your ideal customer you are just the same as all those other bankers, real estate agents, lawyers, accountants, marketers, photographers, business coaches or consultants.  Your response has created a sales objection.

Then worse yet, the memory of the ideal customer kicks in and possibly even more sales objections are raised.

Ignoring Results and Sales Objections

When marketing your solution, the fallback position is to ignore the results while focusing on features and benefits.  Features and benefits are old school because today’s buyers are far more educated and now this may create sales objections.

For example, a local real estate agent here in Northwest IN who sent me his third direct mail piece made a statement about being a top producer with X amount of homes sold at X value.  This truly had no value for me because I know figures do not lie, but liars figure. What would have truly grabbed my attention would be a result statement such as:

“My last five clients sold their homes in less than 30 days and all at listing price.

This statement reflects the results of a quick sale and asking price were received.  Both results are important to those selling residential real estate.

Presumption of Ignorance and Sales Objections

Today’s buyer are far better educated.  Unfortunately, the majority of marketing insults the buyer’s intelligence and creates additional sales objections.

Returning to the aforementioned third direct mail piece, another statement was “online traffic reports emailed to you weekly.” This statement was to justify why I should ;allow this real estate agent sell my home as we are currently For Sale By Owner and listed on Zillow.

Zillow by their process already emails weekly reports to the individual. This real estate agent is presuming I am uneducated and ignorant.

When marketing your solution, it is essential your message is not creating any sales objections.  The reality is one sales objection can quickly be transferred to another category and very quickly all five sales objection buckets can be filled.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 02

Eliminating sales objections is one of the goals to being a top sales performer. However for many small businesses including real estate agents (yes you are a business even if you work with a broker) to small business coaches, their marketing messages unfortunately creates sales objections.

sales-objections

The Sales Objection of Your Company

As noted in Part 01, all sales objections can fit into one of five categories.  If the buyer senses he or she knows you and can begin to trust you, then your next objective is to overcome any resistance to your company. For those who sell professional services this resistance may extend into your industry such as real estate or executive coaching.

Commonality of Marketing Message

Have you ever attended a business to business networking event and met:

  • Financial advisor after financial advisor?
  • Marketing consultant after marketing consultant?
  • Real estate agent after real estate agent?
  • Small business coach after small business coach?
  • Web designer after web designer?

Everyone sounded the same or nearly the same.  Internally possibly you thought “he or she is just another….?” When your marketing generates these reactions, they are creating internal sales objections because your firm has not been “bought” by the buyer.  Your business sounds like every other business in that particular industry.

Business Ethics

As noted previously, professionalism sells.  Salespeople reflect the professionalism of the company’s leadership. Professionalism is embedded in business ethics.

When the marketing message suggests a lack of professionalism by the representatives of any company, for many this suggests weak to poor business ethics. For example, when salespeople send out a copy of a copy in a direct mail piece what does that say about the company their represent?

Even if the salesperson is a sales representative such as in real estate, they are still representing the broker who holds their license.  Yes brokers have limited influence and that is why they should monitor what is happening because as they say one bad apple spoils the barrel.

Credibility of Longevity

Building credibility for any business takes time. This is why sales referrals become so important for any small business especially those just starting out. Sales referrals establish credibility when longevity is not possible.

At a recent networking event, I was asked how long had I been in this industry of “small business coaching.” My response was 18 years.  Then I heard a statement that made me realize the importance of the credibility of longevity.  “Well, it seems like everyone is a business coach, but you have been doing this for quite a while.”

Now I preface my 30 second elevator speech with “For the last 18 years.”  This helps to remove the sales objection to my business because I have the credibility of longevity.

Facing sales objections happens and many start within the marketing messages, marketing actions and overall marketing behavior by the sales professionals. Even if you have been bought by the buyer, your business must also be bought.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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How Your Marketing Turns on Sales Objections – Part 01

Marketing, in today’s business world, is what attracts sales leads.  From a firm handshake, a friendly smile, a well crafted telephone script,  a television commercial to even direct mail, all of these marketing actions are designed to turn on a positive reaction.   Yet, much of today’s marketing is not achieving this positive reaction instead we are witnessing the turning on of just the opposite – sales objections.

sales-objections

All sales objections can fit into one of these five buckets:

  • You
  • Your company
  • Your Solution
  • Your Price
  • Your Delivery

The Sales Objection of You

People buy from people they know and trust (Sales Buying Rule #1).  Your marketing must showcase how knowledgeable you are as well as trustworthy.

For example, I just received the third direct mail piece from a local real estate agent here in Northwest IN who is attempting to attract my positive attention.  His direct mail turned me off from the first contact because he turned on a waterfall of sales objections.

Professionalism Sells

My first direct mail piece was a copy of a copy as was the third direct mail piece.  If that was not bad enough, he or someone in his office sent the marketing message in a envelope without a return address.  Normally, I throw those away without looking.

All three direct mail pieces were not personalized.  Most savvy sales professionals know using the name of the person helps to build trust.

Leave the Ego at the Door

When I wrote Be the Red Jacket, the Keys to Unlocking Sales Success, one of the sales coaching tips was to “Leave the ego at the door.”  This particular real estate agent is 100% ego driven and all three direct mail pieces have been all about him as the seller and not me as the buyer.

In the most recent marketing message, I did not learn about how he sells home at list price, but rather how many homes he sold.  Without any verification, anyone can say anything. Now he is again continuing to insult my intelligence.

I also learned he received numerous awards.  From my experience, awards do not sell anything especially when the awards are given by your local realtor association.  The first four bullets were 100% about him.  His ego is beyond big and a real turn off.

Honor Your Marketing Message

The first direct mail piece I received from this ego driven real estate agent asked me to call him.  I did call him out of curiosity. Unfortunately, at 9:30am on a Tuesday morning, his office phone rang six times without even a voice mail.  Then I called his cell and it rang eight times.

Then the third direct mail piece second to the last bullet stated:

“Constant communication and very easily accessible.”

This last marketing message only reaffirmed my initial sales objection of not being professional because he did not answer the phone when I called him.  Sales objections are inter-related.

In sales, one of the very first lessons learned is to answer the phone quickly.  When I was in corporate before the days of cell phones and voice mail, our sales office answered all calls by the third ring if not sooner.  I trained all sales people both inside sales and outside sales that a ringing phone was not acceptable.  Even the owner of the company would grab a phone if he heard a third ring.

Selling in any industry is difficult.  Those industries with high turn over of sales representatives such as real estate and even small business coaching must turn on their sales leads, their ideal customers with their marketing and not turn on sales objections.

Marketing is 100% not selling.

When small business owners, sales professionals including real estate agents learn this lesson, they may stop turning on sales objections and actually achieve the goal of marketing:

  • To make a friend
  • To be asked (called) for a coveted face to face meeting

During the next 4 days, this blog will look at how marketing turns on each of the other four sales objections.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Challenging the Status Quo Requires the Courage of Your Convictions

When I first conceived of this blog, I wanted it to be different to its target audience and its content.  Many sales coaches, business coaches to organizational development consultants write for the big guns, the Fortune 500 to the firms with hundreds of employees.  For me that was the beginning in challenging the status quo.

challenging-the-status-quoWhat I have learned is when one writes against the status quo or challenges the status quo, there must be a great source of internal courage.  Not everyone will put there thoughts out in the public arena for fear of ruffling fears, upsetting potential clients.

Of course, there are exceptions. Some of my colleagues are those exceptions such as Dan Waldschmidt and S. Anthony Iannarino and I proudly share their courage of their convictions in challenging the status quo.

To have the courage of your convictions you must know what those convictions are as you go forth in challenging the status quo.  Convictions are your core positive values, your business ethics, your morals. These convictions are demonstrated by your behaviors 24/7.

For the past couple of weeks I have been challenging the status quo when it comes to those involved in selling residential real estate.  This challenge surfaced after listing our home as For Sale By Owner on Zillow.  We have received numerous contacts ranging from telephone calls to direct mail to even social media posts from local realtors who want to list or sell or do both.

What is interesting to note is over 9 years ago I wrote an article the 7 Tips to Real Estate Success posted to EzineArticles and what was happening then before the Great Recession is still happening now.  The status quo remain unchanged.

The marketing messages we have received have been on average very poor. Then the professionalism of the majority of real estate agents has been average to poor with only one real estate agent sending us a personal thank you for allowing her to walk through our home. If we decide to hire a realtor, she is number one on the list.

I recently learned that several real estate agents have publicly expressed their anger to others.  From my experience, their anger suggests I have hit probably more than one nerve of truth.  As I posted, numbers do not lie and the majority of real estate agents do not make $100,000 nor even come close to that figure.

Yes challenging the status quo does require the courage of your convictions.  Sometimes it takes someone to say the emperor is naked as long as that person does it with respect, truthfulness and necessity.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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