Monday, January 30, 2012

Be noticed, be the best

A successful business today is innovative, resourceful, agile, connected and memorable. It is what keeps a business alive, fresh and in growth mode. However it also means that you are constantly evolving and changing which, for many, can be quiet challenging.

Growth of any business is dependent on culture, environment, standards, goals, accountability, technology, your relevance to the client, customer service and that “wow” experience that engages clients and creates raving fans for a lifetime.

Same or standout?
To our clients we all look the same. What sets us apart is our service delivery and how we make the client feel at the point of interaction.
From the customers prospective, your business exists only to create value for them.
Clients are looking for an experience that engages them with your business.

How are you standing out to your clients, are you providing the same or similar level of service as your competitors?

There is a hotel in Hong Kong called the Upper House. What makes this hotel a standout is they have given their team permission to delight their clients and create memorable experiences every opportunity they get.

Check in is done in your room via an iPad; you receive gifts when you depart with a handwritten thank you card; everything in the mini bar is included in the room rate.
Does your team have permission to delight your clients? Do they understand what that looks like?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Importance of being relevant

What did we all do B.G (before Google)? Have you ever wondered why Google has had the immense success? One of the reasons is their ability to stay relevant and be a trusted advisor.
When you execute a search within milliseconds are number of solutions are provided to you that are relevant, we trust the information provided. Notice also cleverly placed marketing and advertising that may pop up depending on what you may be been researching recently?

How are you being relevant? Many of us will do letter box drops, door knocks, place ads in the local paper, send out recently sold/listed letters however the success rate from these activities can be quiet low. These are hit and miss activities as you don’t really know who is ready to sell, buy or rent, therefore your ability to be relevant is non-existent.

How do you become relevant?

Build your database, call your clients regularly, record the data, build a relationship, ask the right questions and when your clients are ready to move you will become relevant because they know you, like you and one would hope trust you.

Building a database from open for inspection attendance – current and past, past clients, your circle of influence is much easier and has a better return.

The trick for most is have the discipline to make the calls, ask the questions, record the data, have performance measures, coaching and accountability in place to keep them on track.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Dip is where you create success

There is a book called The Dip by Seth Godin that is worth a read. I am reading it a second time and here are some of the interesting insights.

We all want the best, for example if you went into an ice cream shop you are not going to say give me the worst tasting ice cream there is please. Often you may have a taste test of several flavours before deciding on the best one for you.

How often in a restaurant when you are not sure which dish to choose you ask the waiter what is the best one.

Or if you are say hiring a receptionist there is no way on the planet you will choose to employ the person who interviewed and presented poorly.

Well you are not the only one who constantly searches for and expects the best, we all do. And there is only room at the top for a few. Scarcity makes being at the top worth something.

So when someone chooses to sell or rent their home through you they are going to select the best agent for them. What is best for them right now based on what they see as their critical needs. As the agent are you finding out what the critical needs are of your clients?

Now to be the best it takes a lot of training and focus and determination. How often do we get told don't quit what you are doing, try harder, focus more, train more and the end result is often the same. Extremely fustrating.

The book "The Dip" talks about strategic quitting. Most people will quit when the going gets tough. What you need to understand is when is the right time to quit and the right time to stick.

Cast your mind back to when you first started your job, you were excited, making calls was something you looked forward to, hell you were even prepared to door knock with that winning smile just to get traction. Your perseverance paid off initially and you were rewarded with appointments and listings. Everyone in the office cheered, you rang a bell or got an award and it was fun.

Then you hit the dip. You haven't had time to make the calls because you were out doing appraisals and opens. Your database hasn't been updated because you simply have not had the time or you are not good at using the system.

You are busy, actually busy doing not much. You started out wanting to be the best in the world but right now you are way off it.

You start to focus on things you can't control... the market, no interest rate cuts, no one at opens, Europe is a mess, China is slowing down.

Or worse you start to make excuses... I cant, it wont work, I should, I may........or the best one yet... I am a realist.... in whose reality?

If these symptons sound or feel familiar then you are in the dip. 

It is at this point that you will either strive to be successful and actually make it or like so many other before you, you will quit or fail.

Becoming a CEO of any organisation is not an easy road. From personal experience there are a number of dips along the way; some quite huge.

The choices when you hit the dips are to push through, make the changes, go harder, quit the stuff you need, to just buckle down and survive is not actually an option; that's what others do; not the best.

The dip is where success happens. If you are pushing hard through the dip, changing things along the way,  putting time energy and focus on where you want to be and how you are going to get there then you are probably well along the way to become the best.

You need to get through the dip in an exceptional way.

Today as it gets harder to find buyers and deals are harder to put together make sure that you don't make the mistake of having the attitude with potential buyers "if this one isn't interested I am going to have to call the next one on my list". Because guess what your buyer will pick this up and move on themselves. You would have heard many trainers tell you that selling is a transference of emotions.

As the market continues to soften you will constantly be reviewing your business in terms of costs, investment, people... however now is the best time to re-invest, why because everyone around you will be cutting back to simply survive. Run your business as if you have had a 20% drop in your market place, ask your agents to consider the same, you may be suprised at the results.
If cant see yourself getting through the dip and you intend to simply just keep showing up and doing the same stuff you have been then you may as well quit now.

However if you have done your market research, understand what you need to do to be the best in this market, prepared to make shifts, changes and be held accountable, know what you need to quit doing then you are well on your way to being successful and being the best with the other few who have pushed through the dip.