November 5, 2010

How to Create an Educational Course for Lead Generation

I have the privilege of marketing many home builders and real estate agents. They make big commissions, but the business requires a heavy time commitment for prospecting and a large advertising budget to attract buyers. For the lone home builder or real estate agent, how to you compete with very expensive keywords to get the attention of buyers, especially when you don't have a call to action or a reason to respond now?

Think about it - why would someone respond right now to your postcard, flyer, or radio advertisement? "Wow! I'm ready right now to buy a home! I should act NOW!" It doesn't work that way. In fact, many of the print advertisements I see involve open houses or event promotion. In my opinion you're paying to attract a lot of 'lookers' - and more often than not you don't have a follow up strategy in place other than a few phone calls and emails asking "Hey, are you ready to buy a house yet?"

That's alright - I'm here to solve your problem.

Why You Must Create A Video Course

Rather, I recommend you create a 7 or 9 day "How to Buy a Home" or "How to Build A Home" course. Make 7 different educational videos to teach the viewer what they need to know to make a smart decision. No selling, you're going to charge for this course - not financially, but people must give up their contact information to get it, which is your lead. Put the videos on a webpage only you know about, then send this special link to prospects when they call or email to request your course.

How to Get The Word Out To Get Leads

To get the word out, run a testimonial radio ad with an individual who has taken your course. Make sure your talent mentions your course is simple, informational, helpful; and saved them time, frustration, and money when making their decision. Have them recommend that everyone must go to your website to download your course or call for the free link. Say you normally charge $99 for the course, but for the next 48 hours you can get it free as a special promotion. Your course is called "lead-bait", just like a free brochure or DVD in a Bowflex Commercial. You want the right critter (your prospect) to take your bait (the free course) so you generate leads.

For example, here's the radio ad to run - you could do the same in a newspaper ad or on a postcard.

"Hello, I'm Stacy Adams a busy mother of three and a high school teacher right here in Omaha, NE. With my growing family, we needed to build a home to fit our needs but we've only heard horror stories of bad contractors. I want to let you know I took this (realtors/builders) course and now I'm the smartest person in the room. I saved a ton of money and frustration, and now I have the home of my dreams! I recommend you go to their website right now to download it - it's very helpful."

So who will respond to this ad? People who are looking to build or buy a house! Now you have yourself of list of prospects to hustle, and you've already positioned yourself as the trusted expert from the start.

Need ideas for what to put in your course?

Visit www.amazon.com and find a few books on your topic, then take a look at the FREE table of contents. You can film your videos with a $150 Flip camera, host them on YouTube for free, and put the links on a www.blogger.com page for free.

Your course also works great for lead follow up if you already have an interested prospect who did not respond because of the course (for example, someone who came to your open house or event). You can promote your course on your website, using Google AdWords, on your business cards, on postcards, fliers - the possibilities are endless. In short, your course is called your secondary offer - a reason for a prospect to respond RIGHT NOW so you can nurture them into your primary offer with is selling them a home or large ticket item.

Remember, before people make a large buying decision, they are looking for information - this is the information age. Be the trusted broker of that information and you'll generate all the leads you'll ever need.

November 3, 2010

How to Introduce Yourself to a Cold Prospect

Let say you don't have a strong network of relationships to work for referrals, which is by far the best way to get the attention of your ideal prospect. So now what? You must go in cold!

That's right my friend - either purchasing a list, find names in the newspaper, or search out membership organizations for those who need your services. But what's the best way to reach out to a cold prospect when they know nothing about you?

First, the wrong way is to call out of the blue and ask for an appointment.

The right way, rather, is to send a letter introducing your services and call to follow up on the letter. In other words, you want to follow up on information you've sent and ask for an appointment. This will make you the invited guest, not the annoying pest.

Here's what your letter must contain:

1. Sales Letter - Benefits, Call to Action, Special Offer
2. Testimonials/Success Stories
3. How It Works
4. FREE Report

Pick a beautiful letter and handwrite the address. Use blue pen so they know it's your handwriting. Use a stamp. Make the letter as personal and authentic as possible - it must look nothing like direct mail.

Mail your letter and schedule a phone call follow up every single week until you get a yes or no for an appointment. When you call, here's what to say:

"Hello Mr. Smith, last week (or a few weeks ago) I sent you a letter about my services and how I can help you (benefit). How did you enjoy my letter?" 

If they didn't read it, tell them you'll call follow up again in a few days - or ask to set an appointment.

Remember, the entire goal of the letter and follow up calls is to get the prospect on the phone so you can qualify them and set up a time for a formal sales presentation about your services. Keep your sales presentation under 20 minutes.

So let's recap:

Prospect > Letter > Phone Calls > Appointment > Follow Up > Sale

Here is your action plan:

Marketing is a process, not an event. Get a list of 100 prospects and send out 3 personalized letters every morning before you check your email. This should take you 5 minutes. Schedule the respective follow up calls in Google Calendar as re-occurring events or just make a note of it on the list of names you'll have printed. If you want to get real fancy, send a sequence of letters which I wrote about in my Dan Kennedy 3 Step Letter System for maximum results.