I was always taught that the goal of marketing was to drive a large quantity of potential clients to my door. And I had become good at it. But, after attending a session at the Maryland Association of Realtors convention, my whole perspective shifted. One of the significant things I gleaned from keynote speaker Danny Cox was that I was marketing to the wrong client. A better goal was to drive a large quantity of quality clients to my door.
What characterises quality?
The process begins by defining what a quality client is. There are only three categories of clients: strangers, referrals and repeat. Strangers do not know you at all and as such, are more likely to question everything you do. Referrals are predisposed to trust you as someone they know and respect has raved about you. But your focus should be on repeat clients: they already know, like and (most importantly) trust you. When they come back for a second or third time, they do not question your professional fee or your interpretation of fair market value.
Most people in the US move every 10 years – give or take. So the question is, what do we do in the meantime? Luckily, there are still referred clients and strangers. So which of these two categories would you say is the better quality option? It would have to be referrals as they are less likely to question your opinions and industry knowledge.
If all your clients were repeat and referred clients, clients who had sought you out and begun the process already liking and respecting you, your ability to influence those clients would be greatly enhanced. And to control the quality of client you attract, the number of those quality clients and consequently the likely outcome of every future negotiation, a proactive and focused marketing strategy is essential. After all, a large quantity of quality clients changes the dynamic entirely.
With that in mind, let me ask you this: how much of your time, energy and money do you spend trying to get the attention of the worst quality client – the stranger? Either you can focus on attempting to get the attention of strangers. Or you can spend your time, energy and money maintaining the attention of those who already know, like and trust you.
Words Ed Hatch
President of Ed Hatch Seminars and a senior instructor for the Council of Residential Specialists in the US, UK, Europe, Africa and Asia