Marketing That Moves Business
Over the course of my career, I have always provided professional services in one form or another.
On the one hand it has been a source of pleasure to apply my skills and knowledge to help others resolve problems or realize new levels of achievement.
On the other hand, I have always felt somewhat uncomfortable selling my services.
Sure, I'm comfortable even proud of how I help clients. But despite my best intentions and effort, not every one who will benefit from my help knows what I can do.
So like every one else who provides any kind of service, I have to market myself and yes...sell my services.
Needs Satisfaction Selling
Marketing I love--but selling, not so much.
For many years my approach has been to consider my sales philosophy with a needs-satisfaction approach. For the most part, this has removed much of my discomfort.
I recently came across an idea that helped reduce the discomfort level even further.
In his excellent book The Key, author Joe Vitale comments on the fact that many speakers and teachers create various products to help others achieve better results in their personal and work lives.
Frequently, these products and services are promoted, if not sold at their presentations.
Vitale explains “...When you mind-set is open, you thank them for their services. When your mind-set is closed, you say they are just 'selling' …”
What a great insight.
From a marketing perspective, this means that if I target and connect with open-minded people (who are the best people to be with and to serve as clients) my marketing message will be positively received.
Conversely, if my message falls upon the ears of people whose 'mind-set is closed' my message will be dismissal as “just selling”.
With this background, I was delighted to read the item “Mercenary "Use" of Sphere of Influence?” in the January 20 edition of Realty Times.
As suggested by its title, this article addresses the issue of developing and 'using' friends to hire you and make referrals to you.
The author, Jennifer Allan, a real estate agents offers what I believe to be the perfect resolution of the issue:
“If you run your business with integrity and truly want to be the best thing to ever happen to your clients, you're providing more in value to your clients than they are providing to you in paychecks...
“Furthermore, if you're prospecting with integrity, your promotional efforts with the people you know won't annoy them one little bit. Whatever you do, remind your sphere of influence that you will be of value and interest to them.”
By way of example, I have created risk-free real estate marketing coaching to help individual agents achieve better results.
As valuable as I believe the service will be to clients, I have been reluctant to actively promote it.
Two factors have contributed to this reluctance.
One is that even though I am eager to promote and provide the service... I do not want to be seen as selling.
Second, I have no desire to annoy anyone—either in person or in print—by talking about my coaching service.
Now, thanks to Joe Vitale and Jennifer Allen, my reluctance has been virtually eliminated.
For purposes of real estate marketing, by all means 'use' your friends and sphere of influence to build your business.
If you promote yourself and your services with integrity, you probably won't annoy your friends and acquaintances one little bit.