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Forging Your Sales and Marketing Mix
   by Ray Como   

You set up your new corporation. You opened a checking account. You got business cards, letterhead and envelopes. You're finally in business. What's next?

Selling. Marketing.

You must learn how to "create business" because that's what Entrepreneurship is—the creation of wealth.

UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION. Conceptualize your Unique Selling Proposition or USP—that special , appealing and unique notion that sets your company apart from every "me-too competitor" in the marketplace. Are you cheaper or more expensive? Do you provide supreme service or are you self service? Do you have a better selection or do you a sell one-of-a-kind items? Your entire marketing philosophy should be built on your USP and you should be able to articulate your USP in one hundred words or less.

LEAD GENERATION. Devise ways to get people to call you, visit your business or respond to your advertising in some way. Do things to get them to call you. I call this "prospecting." How do you generate leads?

Newspaper ads are a good place to start. When writing ads remember the AIDA Formula for advertising—

Attention....Get the reader's attention with a powerful eye-catching headline.

Interest...Use words and phrases that get the reader to think "tell me more."

Desire...Explain your product or service in the most colorful and desirable way. Eliciting "desire based motivation" is one of the traits of the true salesperson. They have to want to act now!

Action...Compel your customers to "act now!" Use a deadline, a date to act by or offer a bonus if they act now and in a certain way. This is called "direct response."

Run your ads as constant lead generators. Monitor the effectiveness of your ads until you know mathematically which works the best. Run the best ad continuously while constantly writing, testing and conceptualizing others.

The Consumer Report Strategy for generating leads is interesting and creative. There is a story about a contractor who was really looking to launch his business into orbit. He decided to write a consumer oriented report titled: How To Avoid Getting Ripped-Off By Unscrupulous Contractors.

He wrote it like a government publication, plain and simple, white paper, black ink and saddle stitched. Then he sent a press release to every newspaper in the country. (There are 1,648 daily newspaper and 1,349 weekly newspapers in the United States!) He spent less than $1,500 to tell every newspaper editor in the country about the little booklet he was offering for fifty cents. The newspaper editors thought it was a nifty, well written and very consumer oriented piece. Many of them sent for it, then printed the information on how-to-order right out of the press release.

The contractor got 55,000 orders @ 50˘ a piece or $26,000! That $26,000 just about covered the cost of printing and mailing the little booklets and maybe a tiny profit for him. But what did he really have? 55,000 leads! What can you possibly do with 55,000 leads? You can telemarket them like crazy and drum up business. You can send them direct mail letters asking them to "act now!" You can sell or rent their names to other non-competing contractors. You can structure joint venture deals with other, unrelated businesses. Here is the concept in a nutshell:

Who would write requesting that booklet? Someone interested in having contracting done, right? There were at least 55,000 people who were interested in contracting work and were willing to put fifty cents into an envelope, address it and mail it in—and that, my friends opens up oceans of opportunity...for the Entrepreneurial mind.

THE ORDER FORM AGREEMENT. Once you get a lead, you've got to know how to get the order. I am a firm believer in "order-form closes." I think they work like gangbusters. "Order form" agreements are designed to be "closed" or "negotiated" line-by-line. You must train to constantly back up and close doors. When the last door is closed, the only left for the prospect to do is buy!

Here's what you do. Sketch out and script an exact presentation complete with visual aids, mannerisms, inflections in your voice and facial expressions. This is called a "closing methodology." In other words, figure out exactly how to begin filling it out and finish by knowing exactly how to ask for the customer's deposit.

POST PURCHASE REASSURANCE. It is what happens after they buy from you. What will you do for your customers after they buy is how you keep them for life. Assure them that they made a shrewd purchase. Make them feel delighted about spending money with you.

This brand of customer service will all but guarantee you a great referral business. And referrals are the best, the easiest, and the least expensive kind of sales to have.

© MMI By Ray Como. All Rights Reserved

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Ray Como has created, produced, copyrighted and self-published 15 audio cassette programs and lots of other forms and tools for business, real estate, corporations, selling, marketing, finance, management and Entrepreneurship.
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