An underutilized sales tool


Seriously, people call you and you have 15-30 seconds to say something cool.  Credit to Jeffrey Gitomer who first put this thought in my head.  ” I am on my phone or away from my desk…”  Says nothing, shows nothing but it does waste the time of the person that called.  Help them smile, maybe even laugh.  Why not?

How about letting a call go to voicemail?  Absolutely!!  Stay on the phone with me, show me you are interested in just me.  Show me you are committed to speaking with me and getting something done.  Instead you click over or put me on hold.  You then need to try and reengage in the conversation.  We lost any flow we were in but hey you probably also just made another person feel unimportant as well.

Do you think you make anybody feel good when you tell them your are busy and will need to call back?

Now I understand sometimes things happen.  I do make exceptions for my wife, but not all the time.  She knows she can text or  email as well.  But if a child is sick or one of us is traveling, yes, in my world, this may constitute a good time to interrupt some business.  Beyond that, I am not rue of any reasons

Heck not answering the phone while on the phone or engaged in a task that already has your focus is more polite than interrupting someone.  On some level it also shows you are in demand

P.S. Please respond to all your messages and make some effort into leaving good voice mails as well.  Honestly, if a text or e-mail will work it is more important that you thoughtfully respond.

Just some thoughts, use as you see fit.

Math and value and flood insurance

Woke up early and was immediately thinking about one of my last conversations yesterday.  Let’s start with some math;

If you spend $1000 and in return I lower the cost of something by about $3000 what could you consider your return on investment(roi)?  $2000 not bad.  Not bad at all.

So in the first year of this new product you saved $2000 by spending $1000.  Now in the second year(assuming current numbers stay the same) you actually save $3000 since you do not spend the $1000 again.  So you have now made $5000 by investing $1000.  500% return.

Now let’s say you need to keep that product for 10 years so $2000 the first year plus $3000 *12 = $36,000 for a total of $38,000 . **Average time in a home is 13 years** All because you invested $1000.

DISCLAIMER; This is math based on the current situation in flood insurance.  Where a provisional rate is approximately $6000 but if  you invest $1000 there is a very good chance you will see that reduced by about $3000.  With this being a brand new situation(roughly 4 months old) it is to early to make these figures more accurate.

**Real Estate version;

Is not spending $1000 worth losing a buyer?

Is not spending $1000 worth delaying a sale…and possibly losing the buyer?

Is not spending $1000 today worth saving maybe $38,000?

This is no different than upgrading your bathroom, lighting, landscape, paint, etc.

So at the present time here is my explanation as to why I will not guarantee the above;

Let’s look at it another way; DEDUCTIBLE math

So you are getting $250,000 in coverage and want the same $1000 deductible as your home.  Your rate is $6370 BUT factor in you think FEMA is nuts (they are) and you firmly believe there will be NO FLOOD at your home.  So you take a $5000 deductible.  New rate of  $4988 savings of $1382.  The math looks weird, you take on $4000 more in risk but this year you save $1382 plus year two $1382 plus year three and what do you know you are now in the clear (assuming you saved this savings)  risk averted.

Remember insurance is an exchange of risk.  Flood rates are nuts because people were not paying enough into the big pool of insurance.  The only act of government that I believe will fix this is when the government GETS OUT OF THE FLOOD INSURANCE BUSINESS.

When deciding on how to spend your insurance budget don’t just settle for what the crowd says is right.  Your willingness to take on more risk is rewarded with a savings which you should value.  Especially if you place no value on the flood insurance you have to buy.

Just some thoughts.  Please open your mind to some new ideas.


Keeping the circle going

How many people do you spend money with that spend money with you?

How often do you CHOOSE to spend locally when an Internet or national chain option are available?

Now I am by no means perfect but I take the fact that I am a local business very seriously.  I have a massive amount of gratitude for those people that choose to spend money with me and therefore enhance the lives of my family.  So what else can I do?  Well for me it comes down to a couple of basic things;

  • If you have resources why wouldn’t you share them?
  • I can make my “network” stronger by introducing the various members than I can by making it bigger just to be bigger. BTW if your network is stronger so will be your business, your relationships and your bank account.
  • maxing out the effectiveness of my dollars and time
  • Because you never know

Now I really try not to over think it, not much different than “What does your agent do for you” .  It took a while to develop but once it does it is just so easy and feels really good so why not *it is really good for business as well*  Here are two things I did this week;

Months ago, a good client introduced me to a new client of hers(see it is easy and good for everyone).  Fortunately they trusted me to set up some insurance for their new business.  This week their company, Georgie Porgie went live!  So you could find out and do nothing or you can give them 10 minutes and post their link on your Facebook and Twitter and buy something from them.  Not a lot of effort but compound that and the results can be massive. Seriously Why Wouldn’t you do this? They chose to spend money with you, they are nice people, they are local, etc.  What else do you need?  By the way, the person that made the intro is a friend and is really good at what she does, yes I make introductions of friends to her whenever possible.  Easy, right?

Another instance, same idea; I was having a contractor do some work at a little rental my family owns.  Yes, I happen to provide his insurance so again; why wouldn’t you spend money with the people that spend money with you?  He is also really good.  So he was coming over so I was going to be home anyhow, figured I would call on an HVAC/Plumber I also insure.  Now it gets good.

How do you maximize what your dollars can do?

Well I was having my pipes cleaned out anyhow and I was having some work done at the rental anyhow(they are across the street) so I figured let’s try and max this out.  I like them both, I trust them both and they both spend money with me so why not introduce them to each other?  Now two skilled tradesman who never new each other  know each other, my tub drains way better 🙂 and some windows have molding.  Not bad.  What happens now is up to them.

How many opportunities like this can you create for your customers?

Start from a genuine place of wanting to share, apply some effort and watch what happens.  Why not?

Again, just some thoughts.  Do with them what you want?


Real estate, the internet and some random ideas to use

Random thoughts that are resulting from watching a friend try and sell her  home.

Started off good, Realtor helped them buy this home around 8 years ago and kept in touch.  Then, when approached gave some solid ideas on little things to improve the home.  So you have a homeowner doing the right things and now the house is on the market.  Now you also have 5 houses for sale in your neighborhood and yours only shows up when specifically searching for your address.

So your first listing that shows up only has one bad photo, FIX THIS.

Your Realtor has no on-line presence or contacts outside of his/her office.  If she does she seems to only want to invite Realtors from his/her office.  FIX THIS

**Folks, whether you like it or not you are always competing.  Why would you hire a Realtor with no digital plan.  Why would you hire someone who is unwilling to spend $200 to make $3000.

Pardon what some would think is a lack of knowledge; Aren’t open houses all about getting people to see your home?  I would say yes.  Now a Realtor would argue you want qualified buyers.  That Realtor also likely bought themselves a home in fantasy land.  Most Realtors realize an open house can be a heck of a two pronged marketing approach;  promote the listing and promote the agent.    So if most of them realize this why wouldn’t they do more to make these awesome?

So a few nights back the friend I mentioned above and I were talking in front of the computer.  We looked at all the listings near her and just thought out loud here is some of our “brainstorm” and some from a great cup of coffee I am drinking as I write this;

  • Would there be an open house?  Well the homeowner wants one so we said why wouldn’t the five homes for sale within a short walk of each other all have an open house and create some sort of a caravan/prize if you see all the homes?
  • Why wouldn’t she run a garage sale the day before to draw more traffic and hand out flyers?
  • Maybe she would have her driveway sealed by a company that does a good job promoting there work?
  • Why wouldn’t she bring in a Home Stager for a quick consult, maybe there is a little something she can do to help?
  • Bring in the landscaper to blow out the property, mow the lawn, etc. Clean homes sell  right?
  • Bring in a window washer for that extra pop?  Can a home be to clean?
  • Plan an awesome lunch/desert/gimicky food choice and have that person promote it **more local companies than you can imagine;Janes, Brother Bobby’s, Chocolate Mousse, Ice crea, Truck guy, Nilda’s cookies, etc
  • Get some neighborhood kids to blanket the neighborhood in flyers; stuff them in mailboxes, knock on doors, attach to mailboxes.  Maybe your neighbors would like their friends/family to live there.  Can these flyers go up on a neighborhood announcement board?
  • Throw a party for your neighbors, call it a thanks for being good neighbors party.  More traffic increases your odds of a sale right
  • PHOTOS; my gosh this is so easy yet always overlooked.  Now if you looked at the 5 listings we mentioned earlier my friends home and one other have solid photos.  The other three were awful.  Why chance it when you can have this;  video 1 or this even better one  Here is an awesome recommendation; Vivian Selling Real Estate, like photography, is better when done by a professional
  • *****1 more thing on Photography; first impressions are always important so maybe you can turn off the T.V., put away the cleaning supplies, make sure you are not in the mirror, put down the toilet seat, avoid photos of the not so good rooms, clean out your collections BEFORE you take the photos.  My gosh, take a day and watch HGTV or something.  If you apply 1/3 of what you learn you will help more people and therefore earn more money
  • BE PREPARED; my wife and I will not leave our home unless we feel; really good about a listing.  She found one she liked.  I said I will go after you call the Realtor and confirm the ceiling height in the unfinished attic and basement.  Realtor did not know the height and took two days to call back PATHETIC.  Now when I show up, to be a good husband, you are not a Realtor but instead a house sitter who knows nothing about a home you have been trusted to sell.  Think ahead about things the buyer may want to know.  Maybe you get a home inspection or an appraisal
  • Oh yeah, not much on the internet in this post because this is already long enough.

The world is a really busy place, getting attention for your customer actually takes a little work.  Pardon the length, just some suggestions.