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How To Generate Clients On A Poor-Boy Budget

How would you like to learn a prospecting system that’s cheap, easy, and incredibly powerful at generating new clients, referrals and repeat business for you?

Who wouldn’t, right?

Well…take a minute and read this quick article (and check out my example) on how to create a “Social Proof Prospecting System” for your practice.

It’s a take-off on using testimonials, only in this case we’re not using the client’s voice, but yours  (by the way, if you want to read about how to use testimonials to grow your business, check out my article in Issue 1106.)

The point to remember is that if a person hears a success story from someone in their same shoes, they become convinced they can get similar results.  It’s a dynamic of persuasion called “Social Proof” (Dr. Robert Cialdini addresses this subject in his book “Influence” – get yourself a copy on Amazon.com).

The prospecting system I’m going to share with you today involves using client stories on simple post cards.

Yes, I said “post cards,” but this system could also be used on your web site, farming letters, “just sold” notices, email marketing, listing presentations or anywhere you want to convince prospects and clients of your value – and why they should work with you.

I’ve known agents to make up to $10 to $1 return on this system – so pay very careful attention.

Here’s how you do it step-by-step…

How To Create A “Social Proof Prospecting System”…

STEP 1:  Identify the PURPOSE of your promotion

If you’re prospecting for listings, you’ll use a success story from one of your past listing experiences.  If for buyers, use a story for buyers.  Don’t confuse the two or this won’t work.  Generally speaking, I like to use this to prospect listings or use as a “Just Sold” on a great transaction, then use the listings as a magnet to attract buyers (as I detail in Step 2 of our 3-Steps System).

STEP 2:  Think Of A Great Story From Your Past Experience

Think of how you’ve helped a client in a tough situation, or how you did something out of the ordinary to help a client buy or sell real estate.  If you have a funny story, or a strange story, that’s good too.  Your objective here is to find a “stand-out” example of how you helped people just like your reader either solve a pressing problem, or achieve a desired benefit (save time, save money, etc.).

STEP 3:  Determine The SIZE Of Your Post Card

I suggest you take a standard-size sheet of card stock (8.5 x 11”) landscape, and cut it into 4ths – thus “4-Up” on a page.  Why?  Because first-class postage will be almost half what you’d pay on a larger post card (check with your local post office if you have questions).  Keep in mind you’ll have a fairly small space so your story needs to be concise.  You can easily create these in Microsoft Word or any other software program – just create text boxes for the 4 cards on 1 sheet, print, then cut to size.  ALSO, use an ultra-bright card stock, as it will “stick-out” from other mail and get noticed.

STEP 4:  Write your HEADLINE

What’s the best way to get attention?  The same way the newspapers do it – with a captivating headline.  Your headline is your “ad for your ad” so you need to say something that not only gets your prospects attention, but also conveys the central benefit of your services.  And using it as a title to a story helps give it more credibility.

NOTE: If you’re sending this card to a community or farm area, use the community name somewhere in the headline.  Specifics help match the message to the market better.

STEP 5:  Write your STORY

Write out your story similar to the example below.  Using specific details gives it more believability.  Include the name of your clients (if they’ll allow you), a summary of their exact situation, and the emotions they felt during the problem in the story – and especially how you solved their problem and saved the day.

STEP 6:  Motivate ACTION

Remember: No one will do anything without a self-serving, meaningful REASON for doing so.  So you need to also include and OFFER with your card – a reason for the reader to actually pick up the phone and call you.  Remember, if you give no offer, you’ll get no response – and you’ve wasted your money.

What to offer?  Well, offer something valuable to your prime prospects such as a Maximum Home Value Audit™ for sellers or a free report for buyers revealing “7 Secrets for Saving Thousands When Financing Your Home”.  Call my office if you want information on how to get a bank of “pre-written” Special Reports for real estate (800-622-2540).  They work as great “response-magnets.”

STEP 7:  Make Your Cards Look PERSONAL

When you get the cards ready, simply create a mail merge from your database (you can set-up the exact paper size and fields with your word processor, then merge the names from your database into your documents).  Or you can run it as a full sheet, then cut later.  Then, run your post cards right through your laser printer. Try not to use mailing labels as they are less personal.

A few more tips:

  • Try to use a first-class postage stamp (commemorative, if possible).
  • Consider signing your card in your own handwriting (if there’s space), then reproduce it with each card.
  • Put your name and address on the front of the card – you can obviously disclose your brokerage, but don’t go plastering your logo all over the place.  Remember, you want this to look a bit “down home” and hokey.  It’s intentional, and it works!
  • You can create 4 to 6 of these in no time, and you have enough cards to rotate for years – just send a different one every month or so.  If you find one that works better than others, consider using it in different communities and mediums.
  • Most important, make sure you send your cards monthly at the latest – many agents drop them in the mail along with their Service For Life!® Personal Marketing Newsletter.

That’s all there is to it!

Here’s an example post card…

aic_1154_Post_Card

click to enlarge image

[Ed note: This article is a small excerpt from the "Fast-Track to Success" Turn-Key Real Estate Business Building System. To learn more about this system click here.]

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