What I’m working on this week (Oct. 31 – Nov. 3)

I confess: I’m so excited about November that I’ve started working on my November projects even though October isn’t officially done yet.

Here are some highlights of what I’m doing this week:

  • Getting a real estate investor’s blog underway. (I started on his content last week and this week we’re hammering out his blog content for the next year or so, along with some downloadable products.
  • Writing a report for an insurance broker that he’ll give away free to drive leads to his website.
  • Writing some articles for a stock pick website.
  • Writing some articles for an income fund.

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How to use personality analysis to improve the effectiveness of your marketing

As you develop content for your financial or real estate business, it can be easy to just write naturally in your own voice. That’s good because you come across as personable. However, you tend to attract people who are exactly like you (i.e. whose personality is similar to yours).

If you want to improve your marketing, look at who your top clients are and then work backwards through your sales funnel to develop marketing that resonates with those personalities.

START WITH YOUR EXISTING CLIENTS

Ask yourself: What kind of personality do my biggest, most profitable, and most frequent clients have? (If you work with consumers, you probably get a variety of personalities. If you work with businesses, you might get a few types of personalities for big businesses and a few types of personalities for small businesses).

For example, I work primarily with financial and real estate entrepreneurs — these are two highly competitive industries that take confidence, perseverance, and even some professional aggressiveness to be successful. Therefore, I try to match my marketing and sales content, as well as my workstyle to meet their needs.

Familiarize yourself with a personality-profiling/behavior-styles systems (like Myers-Briggs or the DISC profile or maybe there’s a different one that you are more familiar with). Just make sure it’s not too complicated and easy for you to “read” your contacts quickly and easily.

REVISIT YOUR MARKETING

Once you have a handle on the personality types that make up your client list, revisit your existing and figure out which personality types your marketing tends to resonate with. Then plan to create marketing content that gives the same message but communicates it in a way that some of the other personality types will respond to.

Also, look at your upcoming marketing efforts to make sure that there is content available for all personalities you serve.

In some cases, you might want to create separate sales funnels for each personality type (if you tend to work with one buyer through the entire sales cycle).

EXAMPLE

Here’s an example of how I would handle content for the 4 DISC behavior types, and I’ll use a real estate agent article as an example. Let’s say we want to write an article about how to find the perfect home. Here’s how I would write the same information for each of the following DISC behavior types:

  • Dominance: These people are busy decision-makers. Keep the content focused on benefits and potential return on investment at a higher level. Consider an article like “The 6 Most Important Things to Look For in the Next Home You Buy”
  • Influencers: These people are key people and potential evangelists. Make sure the content is easy for them to buy into and communicate with others. Consider an article like “8 Useful Tips to Make Your Next Home Purchase Easy and Painless”
  • Steadiness: These people are looking for safety and predictability. Make sure the content demonstrates your reliability and minimizes the pain of moving. Consider an article like “How to Ensure that Your Next Home is Perfect (and How to Make the Move Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible)”
  • Compliance: These people are analytical and structured. Make sure the content is sequential and provides them with all of the information they need to know. Consider an article like “The 5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Home to Fit Your Needs”

See the difference? Using the four DISC behavior styles, we reworked the article to match it up to the expectations and thought-processes of that style. The title is listed but the content would need to be modified, too.

37 ways to improve your sales skills

I can help you get more web visitors and warm leads… but you need to take it from there and “close the deal” with awesome sales skills. Schedule time each and every day to hone your sales skills by performing one or more of these tips below.

By the way, I’m just scratching the surface. Please include your sales-skill-improving ideas in the comments!

  1. Create flashcards of features and benefits. Drill through them by (1) memorizing them, (2) practicing the transition from the feature to the benefit, (3) answering with a benefit when a client asks about a feature.
  2. Watch videos in the SellingPower YouTube channel.
  3. Outline your sales funnel and determine what your prospects have already learned and thought about by the time they get to the sales presentation. Figure out how to make your sales funnel more successful. To help you perform this step, download the Sales Funnel Quick Reference Guide and the Sales Funnel Worksheet.
  4. Role-play sales conversations with your peers. Or, consider using case studies instead of role plays.
  5. Describe the mindset and potential questions that different types of clients have – the cold lead, the warm prospect, the enthusiastic repeat buyer, the skeptic, the prodigal client who left and came back, etc. To figure out how to effectively use mindsets in your sales, check out my blog post Sell more by mapping your content to your buyers’ mindset.
  6. Collect objections and practice overcoming them. Check out my blog post Objections are Awesome and this related YouTube video about objection-handling for insurance brokers.
  7. Shadow a more successful salesperson while they are making a sale
  8. Read Jeffrey Gitomer’s The Sales Bible.
  9. Set sales goals for yourself for the next 10 years then break them down to yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  10. Identify the biggest challenges and fears and obstacles you have in selling and figure out how to overcome them. (You might include specific objection-handling here but I cover that in another point on this list. Instead, I’m talking about challenges like persistence, staying positive, internal resistance, a dislike of cold calling, or whatever). Be sure to include both internal challenges and external ones.
  11. Keep a sales journal and write in it every day. Record your thoughts, feelings, fears, and ideas each day. Include positive statements and motivational quotes that inspire you to sell. List your sales successes and failures.
  12. Find a sales mentor and meet with them at least once a month (or more often)
  13. Record a sales presentation (on video) and critique it yourself.
  14. Teach someone to sell.
  15. List all of the needs and pain points that your clients have. Make as big of a list as you can. Review past clients to see what prompted them to buy. Then tie each need or pain point to one or more solutions that you offer. Make sure you have memorized each pain point and can smoothly articulate which solutions are best.
  16. Read Tom Hopkins’ How to Master the Art of Selling.
  17. Create a list of low-pressure non-sales-related conversations starters to start up conversations with prospects and clients.
  18. Present your sales presentation to a peer and have them critique it.
  19. Practice your ability to carry any conversation and artfully turn it around to a sales pitch by having peers start a conversation about a random topic.
  20. Practice transitioning from a conversation into a sales presentation.
  21. Create a big list of fact-finding questions to ask prospects.
  22. Practice the flawless delivery of a sales presentation.
  23. Create a big list of ways to ask for the order (or however you define “closing the deal”).
  24. Review articles from SellingPower Magazine.
  25. Present your sales presentation in front of a child. Give the presentation in such a way that they understand what you are saying. Pay attention to when they get distracted (because your adult prospect may not have much more patience than that).
  26. Experiment with presenting with visuals and without, on the phone and in person, standing and sitting, in a large room and in a small room, in a short period of time and in a longer period of time, to a noisy crowd and to a rapt audience.
  27. List your top 5 most successful sales. Describe what made them successful (don’t just describe what you did well, but rather describe what you did well that was NOT present in your less successful sales).
  28. List several unsuccessful sales. Describe what challenges you faced and what made them unsuccessful. Brainstorm ways to improve next time.
  29. Watch videos in Jeffrey Gitomer’s YoutTube channel.
  30. Prior to making a sales presentation, list the goals you want to accomplish in the sale. (Not just “I want to make a sale” but something like, “I want to close the deal for $X.XX and I want to do it in 25 minutes.”
  31. After every sales presentation, review the presentation to determine how you did. Did you close the sale? Did you achieve your goals?
  32. Create personas describing what your typical client is like. (“Mary is 36 years old. She works in middle management at XYZ Company. She is a single mother of two school-aged children and she saves diligently for her children’s college education. She had saved a little for retirement but the recent recession wiped most of it out. (etc.)”
  33. Buy from a competitor then review their presentation afterwards. Determine the factors in your competitor’s sales presentation make them more successful, as well as opportunities you have to outshine your competitor.
  34. Next time you’re shopping for something (anything – from new shoes to a new car) pay attention to the sales presentation for that product or service. Analyze the salesperson’s presentation and determine if there are skills and techniques you can borrow. (You might be surprised at what you can learn by going outside of your industry).
  35. Tweak and practice your sales presentation for different audiences (for example, different industries or different levels of decision-maker)
  36. If you’ve never done it before, record your sales presentation and have it transcribed. Then read it aloud and silently, and have someone else read it, too. Find ways to say things differently and pay particular attention to verbal quirks that could distract rather than enhance your presentation.
  37. List the pieces of information you need to know about someone to effectively build rapport, uncover their needs, establish your expertise, handle objections, and close the deal. Create multiple questions for each piece of information you need and then practice incorporating these questions naturally into a conversation.

Got other tips and ideas to improve selling skills? Add them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them.

How the ‘Good, Fast, Cheap’ concept can help real estate professionals build better relationships with clients

You’ve probably heard the well-known, often-quoted concept that all products or services possess two of the following three qualities:

Good, Fast, Cheap.

It means that every product or service you buy will be…

  • Good and fast but not cheap
  • Good and cheap but not fast, or,
  • Fast and cheap but not good

Every client who wants to buy a product or service will have an innate preference about which two qualities they want their product or service to possess. And they will seek out products or services that match their preference.

Knowing this, most businesses specifically sell their products in a way that fulfills two of the three qualities. For example, a fast food restaurant might offer food that is fast and cheap but not very good, or a freelance writer (ahem) might offer writing services that are good and fast but not cheap.

HERE’S WHY THIS MATTERS TO REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

If you’re a real estate professional, you might be wondering how this applies to you. I think the answer is quite exciting and can help you become even more successful because it will help you build better relationship with your clients.

Yes, the good, fast, cheap concept applies even to your real estate practice! Here’s how:

Every client you work with — whether they’re listing or buying — wants the home listing or home purchase to satisfy two of the three qualities.

For example, they might want to buy a house quickly and with your great service and therefore they will have less concern about the cost. Or, they might want to buy a house cheaply and with great service and will therefore maybe not get a house as quickly as others.

I’m sure you read the above paragraph and said: ‘Aaron, all of my clients always want all three of those qualities and I deliver all three qualities every time‘.

Here’s my response: I believe that all clients want all three qualities in the service they receive from you but there are only two qualities that are extremely important to them (and the third is less important).

Even if you offer all three qualities all the time and with every client, you will build better relationships with your clients when you intentionally identify what is important to each of them and you highlight that aspect of your service to them whenever you interact with them.

Let’s say that you identify a client whose must-have service qualities are good and cheap and they really don’t care that much about how fast you are. You will build a stronger relationship with them by highlighting the depth of your service and how hard you’re working for them, as well as how much money they are saving. Don’t worry about talking about how quickly you can close the sale or how fast they can find a home. Those don’t matter as much to them.

It’s all about finding out what is important to your client and then making sure that your interaction with them resonates those two most-important qualities.

By highlighting the aspects of your service to them, and by going the extra mile in the two must-have qualities that are important to your client, you’ll demonstrate your value to them much more effectively than if you tried to establish your credentials and ability in all three.

Want to dive into this good-fast-cheap concept even more? My blog post Why good-fast-cheap might be wrong (and how to fix it so you can sell more) will give you an in-depth look at the good-fast-cheap model and help you use it more skillfully to work with your real estate clients.

HERE’S A BONUS IDEA TO SUPER-CHARGE YOUR BRANDING

You can construct your entire business around one of these models — which is exactly what some real estate professionals do. (The flat fee real estate agents are using “cheap” as one of the must-have qualities while other real estate professionals might use “good” or “fast” as one of their must-have qualities).

Although you’ll drive away some clients because you’re focusing on something they don’t care about, you’ll attract more clients by marketing in a way that truly resonates with the must-have qualities they are looking for in a real estate professional.