Good Afternoon and happy back to work week for those of you that had some spring break time off.
I went to the car show this weekend in Vancouver and met a very interesting gentlemen/Sumo wrestler as you can see by the picture above. I'm the one on the right.
Sumo has very similar parallels to business. Focus, commitment, planning, systems, habits and when done consistently produce dramatic results. So, I thought I would take a moment to share with you this great article I came across a few weeks ago outlining marketing tips to become a Mega Agent - or Sumo Agent.
As always, our business is built on referrals from all of you great folks. If you know of anyone that needs financing advice, please do not hesitate to pass along our name.
Top 5 Marketing Elements
Below are 5 critical marketing elements identified by Ingrid Menninga, director at Jolt Marketing (www.joltmarketing.com). Ingrid works with real estate, mortgage and sales agents to develop their branding and execute highly successful marketing campaigns.
As we know, marketing is at the foundation of every successful sales person and can transform a struggling sales rep into a Mega Agent. But to have that marketing work for you like it should, you need five critical elements:
1. You need systems in place. Without a system and a plan for how you will nurture your leads from the initial phone call into the repeat client cycle, you are not taking full advantage of your marketing – and you are also not realizing how easy it can be to have an excellent marketing plan that regularly drives sales. Mega successful sales reps have a clear understanding of what to do when – from sending a thank-you card two days after meeting a prospect, to adding clients to their social media profiles 24 hours after they received their email address, to perfecting the art of post-sale follow up that will develop a repeat and referral business. When you are trying to grow your business, you must be “locked and loaded” with your professional marketing materials ready and your systems in place, and then execute according to plan.
2. You must know who your target market is. If you do not have a clear definition of your target market, how will they know who you are? Think “everyone” is a target market? Think again. You will never be able to be all things to all people, and your services and style is not the best fit for everyone. You must have a clear definition of your target market in order to be the clear choice for these types of people – be it corporate employees who buy downtown condos, investors, or young families looking to move to the suburbs.
Everything from your knowledge base and technology choices to your font choice, your logo and tagline, should be confirming the notion that you are the best choice for your target market. This will allow you to excel in this category. Worried that you will get less business overall? Your sales will likely increase in other categories too. When you are really successful in one area, people believe you can be successful in other areas too, so they are likely to hire you as their agent even if they are not an exact fit for your target market.
3. You must differentiate yourself from the competition. There are a lot of sales reps out there, and if you are not separating yourself and defining what makes you different you will get lost in the background. You must exploit your natural skills and abilities, use the assets of your personality to separate yourself and give your clients a chance to see more to you than just “real estate” written on your business card. Are you a great negotiator, a former accountant, a sports enthusiast or actively involved in your community?
These are great starting points to help differentiate yourself.
4. You must know your strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to outsource everything you are not excellent at. Unless you are a professional copywriter, web designer, admin assistant, accountant, graphic artist and photographer all wrapped into one, in addition to being a sales rep, you are doing many things not very well. You should only be doing things that you can do at a professional level and outsource everything else. If you want to take your business to the next level, you must present yourself as someone who is already at that next level. If you are out shooting photos of your properties on your digital camera and trying to create your own brochures, while also answering your phone, faxing in offers, and doing the staging for your property, you are subliminally telling your clients one of two things – that you are not that busy, or that you do not make enough money to hire a professional.
Neither of those choices presents you well. While the DIY version is tempting – and seems like it will save you lots of money – it is very likely that it’s costing you a lot of business, which means it’s costing you a lot of money. Doing everything yourself does not build client’s confidence in your services and does not present you as successful. Do what you are good at, focus on those skills, hone them, refine them and be the best at that. For everything else that you are not a master of, get a professional in that category to do it for you.
5. You should assess, refresh and re-launch about every five years. Every smart business person looks at what they are doing, what’s working, what’s not and what’s missing to get maximum results. If you are using the exact same tools you used five years ago, and are re-using all the same materials, chances are you are getting stale and your marketing dollars are not delivering the ROI (return on investment) they should.
New looks, fonts, styles and technologies are released every day, and many agents incorporate these into their marketing strategies. After you’ve been adding new things to your marketing tool box, your branding will start to unravel and eventually you will have inconsistent messages and different looks and colours and your tight branding that you started out with will be a mish-mash. That’s why you need to assess, refresh and re-launch to tighten your message and collect all the loose ends you’ve developed over five years into one cohesive campaign. Having a consistent look and feel presents you as a serious and organized professional, and increases your brand recognition and familiarity – all of which is good for business.
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The origins of sumo date back 2000 years; however, it never really flourished as a spectator sport until the early 1600's. There are strict rules and traditions that are observed throughout the sport. The beginner watching his first sumo broadcast on television soon realizes that very little time is actually spent grappling. Rather, the rikishi spend most of their time performing pre-bout ceremonies steeped in Shinto tradition.
Sumo was originally performed to entertain the gods (kami) during festivals (matsuri). Sumo as part of Shinto ritual dates as far back as the Tumulus period (250-552), but it wasn't until the 17th century that it began adopting the intense purification rituals that we see in sumo today.
Sumo’s daily practice sessions (called keiko) begin at 5:00 am and consist of regimented exercises, stretches, practice bouts and planned meals throughout each day – 365 days a year. Nothing in Sumo is left to chance. Everything is tediously planned and regimented to provide the greatest opportunity for success.
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