With customer intelligence advancing at lightning speed, a robust sales system will require a lot more than a three-fold sales brochure—how you spend your time and who you spend it with is everything.
So why are so many sales pros spending all their time on lead gen at the expense of lead conversion?
According to the Harvard Business Review, "Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one." Ouch.
Make no mistake. It's far cheaper to leverage your existing clients than generate new ones.
No one knows the value of leveraging your network of past clients better than a rockstar real estate leader. Today, we're sharing a select lineup of real-world case studies to help you sell like a multi-million dollar real estate entrepreneur.
#1 The Simple Past Client Marketing Plan Worth $30 Million
Sometimes the best sales systems are the simplest ones.
Case in point: Atlanta-based rockstar real estate team, The Graham Seeby Group. When co-founder Justin Seeby had to turn down a $800,000 home listing from a past client because he didn’t have time to help them, the light bulb switched on.
“I started to recognize that I was ignoring all my past clients, my whole database…I’m just basically pushing them off because I don’t have time for them,” he recalls.
When Justin finally decided to act on his coach's advice to optimize his network of past clients, the group went from $0-$90 million in just 4 years.
Here's how they did it:
- On the 15th of every month, they sent a postcard to everyone in the database
- On the 7th of every month, they sent a short video email
- And on the 21st of every month, an email
- Once a quarter they would call all the contacts on their list
At first, the idea of reigniting a conversation with someone who hadn't heard from him in two years (or longer!), was daunting to the point of paralysis. But with this simple strategy, and just 279 contacts—the listings started flowing in.
"For example, we did $2 million worth of sales to one couple I hadn’t talked to in 13 years. I mailed them a postcard, because I was afraid to pick up the phone and call them. I didn’t know if they’d know who I was. When they got the postcard they called me. They ended up spending $1.2 million on a new house, and selling an $800,000 house," says Justin.
"Imagine if I hadn’t sent that postcard! Because even though I had been in business for a long time at that point, I was still afraid to pick up the phone and call them, for the fear of rejection that they might not remember me.”
If you're ready to get over your mindset hurdles and generate more sales with less effort, there's no time like the present.
#2 Breathe Life Back into Your Database with a 'Last Minute Availability' Email
Former broker owner of Tropical Realty Beachside, Mitch Ribak, is known to his peers as "the grandfather of lead conversion."
And with an impressive 5.5% conversion rate for long term leads, it's a title he's definitely earned.
According to Mitch, if you’re itching to see some movement in the sales pipeline, try sending an email once every month or two to your list saying, “I had a last minute cancellation. Would anyone like to take their spot for a showing?”
Here's a template you can use:
Hi [First Name],
I’ve been sending you listings for a while now.
I have some availability this weekend. See anything you’d like to check out?
This 2-second email can end up bringing you some major ROI.
Of course, this example is specific to real estate, but by simply swapping out the word 'showing' to 'appointment', 'consultation, or another industry-specific term, you can easily achieve the same goal.
Just make sure you mix up the language a little each time you reach out to the same leads. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re reading a template.
#3 Always say thanks
This one may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many business leaders are leaving money on the table by forgetting to show a little appreciation for their past clients.
At CRG real estate companies, Preston Guyton and his ace real estate team tripled their conversions and closed over $25 million in sales volume simply by going the extra mile.
Rather than focus on blanket follow-ups for all past clients, the team has a dedicated Client Care Coordinator who takes responsibility for all post-closing follow-ups. They receive regular training on the latest market trends so they can pass that knowledge on to existing clients and leads via personalized emails sent straight from their CRM.
Of course, the Client Care Coordinator also attends closing meetings, bringing along a basket with goodies like coffee mugs, local honey and a thank you card to get the relationship off to a great start.
The secret to re-engaging past leads? Get creative.
Whether it's offering up a box of chocolates or a juicy insight on the latest industry trend, the secret to winning with past leads is to find fun, unique ways to show them you still care.
Many agents will send client appreciation gifts, such as; bath salts, lottery tickets, gift cards, etc. Keeping in touch is also a super-effective (and often overlooked) way to stand out amid the competition and nurture a personal relationship with past leads. And it doesn't have to be complicated.
Holiday cards are the classic example, and who doesn't love a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates on their birthday? Start with one of these proven methods and then evolve your system over time.
Fact is, each and every one of us is a salesperson—and that's doubly true for those of us running a business. You need to sell yourself to your team, your suppliers and of course, your leads and prospects, both past and present.
About the Author
Dave is the Head of Marketing at Follow Up Boss. In his role he spends a lot of his time 'under the hood' of many of the highest performing real estate teams in North America, helping them grow their businesses and collaborating with them to share their learnings and experiences with other ambitious team leaders.