If you are a Realtor, consultant, or service provider, targeting your local business community for leads is a huge opportunity if you understand how to begin the process. There are many different ways to begin prospecting your business community. Here is what I would do if I were in your shoes.
Steps to Prospecting Your Business Community
List: all contacts who are friends or acquintences working in your local business community. Prioritize the list by importance or level of executive.
Lunch & Learn: create a free lunch and learn curriculum based on your real estate knowledge and what you believe would attract a audience. Partner with an equally valuable affiate for a team lunch & learn.
HR: approach HR depts with your offer to perform free lunch (you buy) and learn workshop for their company at their facility. Offer sandwiches remember your food at Open Houses?
Media: contact your hyper local newspaper offer same thing for their staff. Contact real estate writers offering interview or blog content they can convert into a news piece.
Affiliates: contact your trusted inspector, title insurer, landscaper, stager anyone who works within the real estate industry who you have a relationship with currently. Look for ways to trade referrals.
Affiliate program: offer a commission (if legal in your state) to referring affiliates.
It’s all about offering free value to your target prospects. It’s also very important to be liked. Do NOT underestimate the “likeability” factor.
Fortune magazine’s “The World’s Most Admired Companies” article focuses on companies that are the most popular workplaces. Most of these employees are paid well. Many of these employees are on the move so relocation is a constant for these companies. With all of these positives, have you ever thought to target these companies in search of business? But how would you start?
If you are willing to put the effort into wooing employees from top companies then you should consider two places to begin.
Connections: list all of your personal connections to employees, executives are a great source, and begin to make contact with them. Consider a phone call then follow up postal effort
Human Resources: if you don’t have any personal connections to employees or executives in your target firm then contact the HR department. Ask if you can provide a free lunch and learn session for employees, provide free estimates, or provide free one on one consultations
Twitteris now acknowledged, by savvy marketers and companies, as a full fledged direct marketing channel. According to many reports, unlike traditional channels like television, radio, email, postal, direct mail, and the telephone, Twitter and it’s digital brethren will see an increase in marketing activity and money spent on marketing campaigns. In our work as marketing consultants, we utilize Twitter as a direct real-time communications tool to initiate one one one conversations with consumers and prospective consumers. The following strategy, and the reasons for it’s effectiveness, will help you connect more deeply with your customers and prospective consumers.
Twitter Communication: Always Have the Last Word
Anytime a customer or prospect tweets their appreciation, approval, or a recommendation for you or your business, you should always respond. This response can be a simple thank you but it must happen. The most important strategy is to make sure you have the last word in the string of communication.
6 Reasons Why it is Important to Have the Last Word
Acknowledgment: by sending the last tweet you let people know that you received and understood their tweet
Etiquette: by thanking people you show the Twitterverse you have manners and will properly recognize people for their effort
Recognition: your tweet will provide the recognition that your customer/prospects are important to you
ReTweet: by retweeting a customer/prospect’s tweet you are sharing it with your audience of followers
Hashtags: by using the hashtags your customer/prospects use in their tweet to you, you are providing recognition of their importance to you as your tweet cirulates within hashtag streams they believe are important to them
Top of Mind: by thanking everyone and having the last word, you stay top of mind with your customer/prospects
When you are out at a networking event or meeting new people how do you answer the question: “What do you do?” If you are like most people you begin to dust off your elevator pitch in an attempt to dazzle and wow the questioner. Unfortunately your efforts to impress people with your “standard” elevator pitch is often the very reason why you do not connect. Eric Tsai’s “Creating the unforgettable elevator pitch” is a fantastic strategy that will improve your ability to connect and create business relationships.
Are you a Macro or Micro?
Most people when presenting their case for others to connect with them regurgitate two types of answers to the question: “What do you do?”
Micro: a micro pitch describes a person’s daily tasks, the mechanics of their job or business
Macro: a macro pitch describes the industry a person works within
Using either the Micro or Macro pitch is a mistake because, in most cases, neither pitch provides solutions to the problem(s) the person asking you what you do really wants to hear.
How can you help people?
The way to connect with people when they ask the question “What do you do?” is to “focus in on how you help people- specifically, the problem(s) that you solve.” As Tasai states “The ugly truth is nobody really cares about what you do; it’s about how you do it.”
If you and your business provide solutions to the problems your targeted prospect is experiencing in their business, you should use your pitch to describe those solution(s). By being succinct and direct with your answer, you will begin to connect and create a curiosity in your prospective networking partner.
Social media strategies often ignore one of the most important aspects of networking to produce leads: hobbies. Your hobby or passion can produce leads and new networking connections if you understand how to leverage Web 2.0 Social Media site. As a new fan to photography, equipped with a real camera, I am about to begin a life long desire to produce quality pictures. I am going to do both black and white and color shots concentrating on the beauty of Northern California. My social media tool of choice will be Flickr.com the photo sharing social network.
Social Niche Networking: Hobbyist
1. Make a list of your hobbies
2. Choose one hobby that you would like to write about for a community
3. Choose the right Social Media site for you
4. Provide articles, photos, podcasts, or video that communicates within the community
5. Link your work on this site to your blog, website, and your profiles around the Social Media System
Many times we connect through liked minded beliefs, hobbies, and interests. These efforts can lead to a business relationship as people begin to become more comfortable with new friends and the different ways to connect.
Twitter Grader is one of the new tools that helps Realtors, entrpreneurs and companies measure their social media presence on the social network, micro-blogging sensation, Twitter.com. Twittergrader.com is just one in dozens of open source measurement tools available to Twitter users. What stands out about this new tool is it’s special feature: CityGrader.
What is CityGrader?
City Grader is a listing of the top 10 Cities, calculated by number of Twitter users, with dedicated Twitter users. These users are consumers, companies, entrepreneurs, and public utilities. The list of participants is endless.
Here are some tips on how to utilize the information provided for each city network of twitter users:
Networking: mine city lists within your niche. Example: Los Angeles #12 prominent Twitterer is Jeff Turner Founder of Realestateshows.com
Leads: mine city lists for prominent entrepreneurs, small businesses, or firms that could use your services. Build a list from these leads for each city and trade with partners who are located in those markets
Research:Compile a list of the most prominent consumers, competitors, and possible networking partners in each city and research the information they “tweet” on their markets. Gain a direct understanding of each city’s conditions by reading about the experiences of those professionals in each city network
Every great sales professional, business development director, and account executive should be paying attention to the huge opportunities that Twitter represents to their bottom line sales quota and success. As a former national account executive in the software industry, I never had a tool like Twitter. If I had Twitter at my disposal, here is how I would drive my sales while driving my competition crazy. The following are 5 tips for lead generation.
Twitter Strategies: Lead Generation for Sales Professionals
WeFollow.com: Wefollow.com is a Twitter directory covering every niche market of businesses, entrepreneurs, and celebrities. Go to wefollow.com and register your account in the appropriate niche. This helps provide exposure. Next look for your competition to see if they are in the directory. Finally search for your peers who you network with or collaborate on projects. Tip: Give your customers and collaborators this information so they can take advantage of wefollow.com
Search: Utilize Twazzup.com and Twitter’s internal search engine to search for your competition, peers, collaborators, and consumers. Make a list of your competition and clients that are using Twitter. Tip: Again make this information available to clients using Twitter. Be a go-to source of valuable Twitter information
Blogroll: On the profile page for every Twitter account sits a microblogroll aka the Followers section with pictures of some of that account’s followers. The following is @guykawasaki’s blogroll:
4. Mine Blogroll: Mine this blogroll for your competition, for people or companies you wish to contact, and for recon on who your competition is actively engaging. The key is to scan this roll but then go deeper by clicking on the link “view all” at the bottom of the blogroll widget
5. Mine Competition’s Tweet Stream: Go to your competitor’s profile page look for:
Competition’s consumers or client communications
Who your competition engages with in conversation
How often they are engaging
Signs of customer service activity may signal an opportunity to “steal” an account or customer away from your competition
Search for announcements that your competition is partnering or about to “consult” with a desired account
Search for reputation management issues that could be a deciding factor in why your company is a better fit for a client
Search for “loose lips” or “bragging” where your competition could not keep their mouth shut. Approach companies with information about your competition’s “communication” tendancies