How To Manage Online Leads? Astound Them!

Posted by: Mike Farmer on March 19th, 2008

I once impressed a CEO in another line of work, distribution, by making a statement regarding a Wal-Mart account – “I don’t want to meet their needs, I want to astound them.”

I know, it sounds like I was kissing up, but I really meant it, it’s how I was trained early on—nothing special, just ingrained into my mental model of doing business.

It’s difficult to practice this over and over with online leads that you could easily dismiss as “not serious” or “just lookers”.

But the trick is to train the mind to visualize each email address as an embodiment—living, breathing people who you are meeting in theory, and, if all turns out well, face to face.

You’ll want to astound those who can make you successful, but first you’ll need to believe.

Having gone from 5% to 20% to, last year, 80% of my revenue coming from the internet, I’m a true believer. When email addresses turn into satisfied, happy clients receiving keys at a closing table often enough, you become a true believer.

However, I must confess, I was a skeptic in the beginning—however, when I thought about it and could visualize real people behind the addresses, I was able to act as-if in spite of all the naysayers who constantly told me the email addresses were weak and the conversion rate was low.

I started by acting as if everyone was a ready, willing and able buyer until proven otherwise, even the janedoe43567athotmaildotcoms.

I gave them not only what they needed, I tried to astound them.

Some frustration set in when the realization sank in from reply after reply that they were looking to buy next summer, or two summers in the future or, some, FOUR summers in the future, but I kept responding, over and over—sending them listings, setting up automatic sendouts of new listings coming on the market, dropping a line every so often, sending them area information, sending them links to useful sites, developing a website just for home buyers, keeping notes and creating reminders for tasks two, three, six months down the road.

When the first call came through, it was out of the blue—

“Hello, my name is David and I’ve been receiving listings for about four months and me and y wife are coming to Savannah in two weeks to look for a home. Do you want the addresses of the ones we like or do you need the MLS #s?”.

I was ecstatic!

That pipeline I’d heard so much about was full, and it had started pouring—I’d struck oil! I can’t tell you what a thrill it was, but if you’ve been there then you know.

It’s not like I’d been sitting around not doing any business—I was doing about 40 transactions a year through traditional methods, but this was special.

All the hard work was being vindicated. My faith was being rewarded.

Like I said, the first year the pipe started pouring it accounted for about 5 percent of my revenue, the next year it was 20%, and last year when the market slowed down for many, 80% of my revenue came through the internet (I was lucky that my biggest deals came through the internet, the actual transactions were probably fifty-fifty traditional and online).

Now, I’m astounded! I appreciate the honor of being a contributor here on the HomeGain Blog. I’ll share my successes as I go along, what I’m doing that works, what I’ve found didn’t work; but one thing I know, the internet is made up of real people (people who have afterwards become good friends) and it does work.

Astound them.

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