Sphere Marketing May 8, 2018

What Is in Your Wallet?

By Matthew Ferrara, renowned Philosopher & Speaker

contact database cleanliness Remember the days when you kept a few business cards of influential people in your wallet or purse? Perhaps they were friends, advisors, peers so important to your career, you never wanted to be without their information handy. Today you store hundreds of these contacts in your smartphone, but it’s still the same: What’s in your database are your keys to success.

Most of us have a database, filled to overflowing with everyone and anyone we’ve met over the years. If you were to scroll through that list today, you might be surprised to find you recognize only a small percentage of the records. Much like social media accounts, we’ve collected more than we’ve connected with in a meaningful way. Perhaps it’s time for a little housekeeping.

A well curated database should focus on the people who are most influential to your success. The people you’d take a call from at 2am in the morning; or could rely on to answer your email in the same day. Are you developing a list worth more than any other data you could download? If not, start by reducing it to a group of relationships that matter most. Move everything else into a separate address book.

As a salesperson, your sphere of influence is the heart of your business. Every system, tool and technique at your disposal should be aimed at strengthening relationships with this core group of connections. Every part of your growth strategy should start from your clean database of key people: The clients who work with you repeatedly. The friends who refer you regularly. The peers who help you solve problems and delight clients reliably. Only a painstakingly-nurtured database makes this kind of difference in your success.

High performing individuals know the difference between quality and noise. You get noise every day – filtering through dozens of half-baked emails that make it impossible to connect with a real person – when you would have been better off a quality conversation with one past client. It’s not volume, but deepness that matters in a database. Your database should help you recall what’s important to each individual: The depth of their lives, the context of their needs, the details of their last transaction, and their hopes and dreams.

In so many ways, a well-appointed database fuels your prospecting performance. How to reach them is just the beginning: What to say, and why, matters. Whatever the tool – an email, a call, an online ad – your database drives decisions around content and message. The higher the quality, the better the results of every engagement. Strong data goes beyond purchase history: it’s a matter of personal history. It helps you stay connected so strongly, you’re beyond the reaches of any competitor.

A deep database is a powerful asset; it helps build business today. It’s also something to sell in the future. When the time comes for an exit strategy, selling your business will depend upon the value in your database. Potential buyers of your database – a new agent, a growing team – won’t want a mere address book. They will pay for insights, reflections and recommendations on how to transfer your relationships to them. Any artificial intelligence could tell salespeople how to call your people, for a few pennies per contact. But your well-maintained database filled with stories – your human intelligence – will be a priceless ticket to retirement.

If you doubt how important your database is, consider this story: In 2010, the creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s rolodex sold at auction for about $1200. It contained contact cards for William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and others from the now-famous series. And yet it didn’t do very well at auction because it was just a list of disconnected phone numbers. Nowadays people can connect directly with Shatner and Takei in an instant: They can forge their own relationships for free. A database of contact information is meaningless.

And yet if Shatner were to write a book about those relationships, fans would spend millions to get a copy. A book is just another kind of deep database – one in which context matters more than contacts – chapters more than the index. So, consider your database today. Is it full of clean, deep and high-quality content about the people you consider most important to your business? If so, you’re well on your way to taking your career where few have gone before.

Tips and Tricks March 7, 2018

Trying Easier to Create Growth

By Matthew Ferrara, renowned Philosopher & Speaker

Trying Easier to Create Growth header image

What will it take to grow your business this year? Will it be more mailings, longer hours or a social media campaign so outrageous, you finally go viral? Let’s hope not, because none of these ideas are desirable or sustainable, something that thousands of salespeople will realize as they beat their goals this year by doing the opposite of such strategies. They won’t try harder to be successful.

They will try easier.

Trying easier is an idea first introduced to me by Dr. Price Pritchett in his book, The Quantum Leap, and it has helped me create consistent and dramatic growth in my business year after year. It works by challenging ourselves to look away from the common-sense approaches to growth – like making uncomfortable prospecting calls or sending out thousands of generic emails – to the uncommon sense of discovering true paths to growth. For real estate professionals, this contrarian mindset puts our focus back on the most productive source of achievement and encouragement: Our sphere of influence.

Any top salesperson will tell you the same story: They tried the harder approach many times. They doubled down on lead generation schemes, bought more marketing and poured money into mailings. They learned snazzy new scripts and six ways to overcome objections to a free lunch. And for a while, they got busier and handled more emails and chased more leads. Some of these even turned into deals, because with huge volumes, some percentage is bound to pan out. But the effort, the costs and the impact on their overall performance eventually wore off.

Today those same top salespeople will tell you the rest of the story: That one day they just happened to call up a past client to talk. Or they caught up with a friend from college. Maybe they sent an email to a good neighbor or had a long chat with someone in their social club. Simple, easy, comfortable conversations with people they already knew and who already knew them. All of which led to the easiest deals they ever did, the simplest presentations they ever made, and the most profitable growth they ever generated.

When you discover that trying easier leads to better results, you should listen to your uncommon sense. Over the life of your career, or just the next few months, you don’t need to perform crazy, risky, uncomfortable techniques to generate growth. Just make a concerted effort to contact a few friends a day. Reach out to them on social media, or send them a text, or leave them a voicemail to meet for lunch. The technique doesn’t matter – do whatever is easier for you – because the key is that you’re reaching out to people who are most likely to engage in a conversation.

You don’t even have to remind them that you’re in real estate or you love referrals, or you’d like to help them again sometime. Just listen to them; talk casually about how your career is unfolding, and perhaps ask them for a little help or advice. As your friends, they’ll do the rest – easily. Decades of experience bear this out: Most career salespeople confirm than 80% of their growth comes from nurturing relationships they already had, as opposed to prospecting to people they didn’t know. More business will be generated by people who already like you, already trust you, and want to see you be successful. That’s what friends do.

Imagine if you started every day with a friendly conversation or an encouraging text message or an inspirational social media post to someone you already know. Imagine if you told your technology to keep your sphere of influence front and center – in your CRM and on your social media feeds – because you wouldn’t hesitate to engage with them. What would it be like not to have to use stale scripts and bland clichés to convince complete strangers to contact you? How much more fulfilling will it be to add so much value to your sphere of influence, they become bursting with enthusiasm to introduce you to even more people? That’s what happens when you get referred by a client you keep in touch with more than a few holidays a year; or your cadre of peers who share your latest positive message on Facebook with the rest of their social network. Even as simple as looking up the name of a for-sale-by-owner on LinkedIn, to see if you might already know somebody who knows them, so your offer to help can be introduced to them rather than hoping your email interrupts their attention.

There’s a lot of growth to be earned in your career. It’s up to you to decide to win it. You can try hard to get strangers to notice you, trust you, and pay you. Maybe you’ll take the challenge and try easier this year instead and strengthen your contacts with the hearts and minds that are happy to see you grow, too.

Productivity December 22, 2017

How to Set Your Business Goals for 2018

how to set business goals header imageBy Tiana Baur 

The year is coming to an end and it’s time for a moment of reflection. How close are you to hitting your goal this year and where were you this time last year? Are you guilty of setting lame, mediocre goals? There is a right way and a wrong way to set your business goals. Matthew Ferrara, real estate mogul, keynote speaker, and consultant, has some serious tips for how to go about and set your business goals. These best practices for goal-setting will help get you to where you envision yourself and your business to be, because when you care, you succeed.

First, take time to clarify your goals.

Matthew says, “Don’t start with a dollar figure. But, instead ask yourself, ‘What is the reward for all of your hard work?’ Maybe there are personal goals like saving for your retirement or putting your kids through college. Maybe it’s a professional goal such as being the best in your market place. Whatever those goals are, and they might change over time, you need to sit down and clarify those goals.” Focus on rewards first.

Next: What will it take to reach that goal?

This is where your numbers start to come in. How much revenue do you need to generate? What about in units? How many sellers/buyers does that mean? What’s the price point? Once you’d figured these out, you can find the system that helps make them a reality. As Matthew says, “The right system will go to work for you.”

The right system will…

  • Take a look at historical data
  • Analyze your current pipeline of contacts and prospects
  • Give you a current status
  • Help you build out a plan for success

You can expect some of the plans for success to include how many people you need to add to your sphere or actions the system can take care of for you like automated emailing or creating marketing tools. “The best systems don’t just organize your information. They need to activate them and help you work through that information using a process that is aimed at your goals.

Bring focus: Accountability starts with you

You need to be able to see your goal every single day. You need to see how the actions you’re making are generating the results necessary to reach the goal. Also, the technology you use should show other steps needed in order to attain said goal if you aren’t doing enough as is. This kind of information helps you with: Budgeting and planning, managing expenses, highlighting gaps in your projections, comparing current performance to previous time periods, and focus on tasks and goals.

To summarize

  • Goals are critical.
  • Focus on the rewards then determine revenue necessary. Then take a look at the work required to generate the revenue.
  • Connect your goals to your systems. Make sure your plan is driven by the right data that guides you step by step to the goal.
  • Always be measuring progress. Make sure your system helps you keep an eye on your own progress, not just daily tasks.

If you’d like, you can watch the entire video below on how to set your business goals for 2018:

For those Moxi Engage users reading this, you can now review your previous years’ goals in Moxi Engage and compare and contrast how things are going in your business. This enables you to better choose your goals for the future.

If it’s financial guidance you’re seeking, we have a recorded webinar for you to watch here.

So, what are you waiting for? Hit the ground running in 2018 with goals and grit beside you! Trust us, your future self will thank you for doing this.