There’s always something to howl about

Talking Dogs and Skinning Cats: An Anti-Sales Message

So I’m about to reopen my doors.  I’m up and delivering now, but I have some anti marketing to kill, and I’ll get to it over the weekend.  I had to learn a I recently attended a real-estate trade conference in the Pacific Northwest.  I won’t say which one.  I went to blogworld. sat in the back and mingled little.  What follows is overheard snipets from attendees, booth speakers and vendors.

“You,  can–and you should–finally…graduate from selling.  That’s the goal of every agent, right?  You deserve to rise above the crowd and become an online marketer, an avatar…an icon.  Let me help you do that.  Selling?  That’s for the lesser lights amonst us.  Let them handle it.  And, since it’s for lesser lights, then you needn’t learn to do it at a high level. All you need to do is turn some of your worthless GCI into digital credits.  We’ll bring pre-sold, can’t miss buyers to your door.

“And if our widgets fail…at least you  have provided them with their new entitlement: automated regurgitation of data without context.  Because that’s what buyers and sellers want, right?  They want to be in charge of their own experience and decide what’s right for them.

”Well,  sure I respect him.  Why wouldn’t I?  What happens in Vegas is between adults.  Of course he’s honest, sure.  Just because he lies to his wife, betrays his children in plain site doesn’t mean anything bad will happen business wise.  I think he’s as honest as the day is long.  I trust him implicitly. I mean, you gotta do what you feel is right, right?  He’s kept secrets for me, and you know, at the end of the day, marriage is long.

“Look, I want to provide value.  I don’t want just another pitchfest.  But, you know, if it feels a little festive, great.  If there are pitches going on, hey, what can you do?

“ROI?  Why would you ask about that? Puh-leaze. Hello, Old fashioned.  You need to become a personal brand. You need to become a recognized authority amongst all the agents.  Don’t you know?  Nobody’s ever really figured out the ROI for television and TV has sold millions of products.  So don’t even bother with ROI.  Obsessing over ROI hows greed, and that’s most unseemly.

“Believe me, Consumers obsess over agent rankings and who’s who in the RE Netopshere..  They all ask: before I sign this listing agreement, have you got enough Active Rain points?  Have you commented at Agent Genius, Lenderama (when @tcar still ran it)?  Do you guest post on dozens of blogs?  Your customers need to know. This impacts how people will feel when the aggregator shows your Minnesota listing to a Tampa Bay agent.  That could lead to a blog comment.

” Haven’t you heard? The boomer-era of greed is over.  You, sir, are in fact, greedy if you don’t give us $79 bucks a month for our people helper widget.  You need to take care of the clients that have BUILT your business, right?   The people that you serve deserve to know what the market is like.  And you’re hiding it from them if you don’t buy our mega-ultra-transparentometer.   How dare you make a profit, when there are extra services that can be given to your clients?  For shame, don’t you realize that we’re in a recession?

“We’re all in this together, so that Beamer is unseemly.  You don’t need to have possessions like that.  Generation Y won’t respect or relate to you.  And you know how important they are.  We don’t expect you to understand.  Is that an Amex in your pocket?  If you have an Amex you must be doing well, and therefore should really share your largesse with my corporation.  After all, we’re all in this together in this new era of real estate.   I’m just trying to make a living, just like you.  We’re the same.  Your Card starts with a 3.  Go ahead and fill out this form.

“Your own website?  That’s a bunch of crap.  You need me to make a Facebook Fan page.  For $900 I’ll put an image map together for you and you might get 25 fans.  If all of those fans referred you a deal, you’d make more than the $900, right?

“You don’t want to be an individual.  There’s no room for that.  Team players are what we’re about these days.  And every team player has anted up and earned the right to put our badge on their website.  That badge makes you the number1 agent, instantly respected by your peers.   If you don’t put it up, bad things might happen to your listings.  We might um, lose them from our reaggregation of the rets feed.

“I know, we have a free version, and if you want to take advantage of us and hurt our company, feel free to use it.  Every member gets some promotion, but the premium members get exposure and listings on our website.  You just have to pay.  Yes, that’s in addition to your annual dues.

“Yes, of course, our designations are everywhere.  No, they may not be widely respected, accredited.  But they are letters in the actual alphabet.  And when you put them after you name, other vendors will know that you’re an easy mark.   It’s professional courtesy, so when you pay us your $397, you get a one day course that allows you to be a Certified Expert.  So put our designation CDVS on your website.  That way our other vendors will tag it with google alerts and call you each time they see that pop up.

“Control your content? Come on.  It’s not 2006 anymore.  Nobody has the time to do that.  Just pay our low $90 monthly fee and the 8 people that visit your website will be treated to premium bandwidth.

“Why would you say anything mean about a vendor?  You’re talking about one of us.  You know that that’s unethical.   Even if the product sucks, do you want to spoil it for others?  They don’t know their product sucks, and do you really want them feeling bad about the contract they just locked into?  Come on, nobody likes a wet blanket.

So now, at least I know what it’s about.  I’m really, truly glad I went.  Because I now don’t have to go back.  And if and when I do, I’ll have an agenda that I will pursue with skill vigor and zeal.


11 Comments so far

  1. Keith October 22nd, 2010 1:26 pm

    That is hysterical! –

    “Yes, of course, our designations are everywhere. No, they may not be widely respected, accredited. But they are letters in the actual alphabet. And when you put them after you name, other vendors will know that you’re an easy mark. It’s professional courtesy, so when you pay us your $397, you get a one day course that allows you to be a Certified Expert. So put our designation CDVS on your website. That way our other vendors will tag it with google alerts and call you each time they see that pop up.”

  2. Mark Madsen October 22nd, 2010 1:28 pm

    Hey Chris – good recap, and great seeing you in Vegas.

    I went to the problogger and copyblogger keynote Sat morning and walked away with the following points:

    1. Set boundaries on social activity – you can’t effectively be everyone’s friend

    2. A business related target audience doesn’t really care about full “Transparency” or what you’re doing, unless it benefits them

    3. Commenting on blog articles, while a lost form of communication due to the rise of facebook and twitter, is still the best way of establishing strong relationships with other bloggers and their communities

    4. Giving away “Free” information on your blog is not a business model, it’s a means to a financial end

    5. If you do not have a business plan, then simply giving away free information on your blog will only leave you broke

    6. People will pay for content and education if it is packaged right, and if they trust the people providing it

    7. A business blog should not be about the Author, it should be about the readers and solving their needs and questions

    8. Use your blog to build an email list of people who look forward to receiving and reading your message

    9. It’s OK to make money from a blog

    10. Blogs help build trust, and people will buy from you if they trust you

    11. Business blogging is not dead

  3. Keith October 22nd, 2010 5:57 pm

    I guess it pay’s to be a blogger if your one of the biggest…

  4. Jolenta Averill October 22nd, 2010 11:28 pm

    Unbelievable! As i read through this piece I could have sworn the whole thing was one giant parody of snippets of conversations you had heard. But I gather you’re actually *serious*.It’s really hard to believe such profoundly inane things still come out of the mouths of the technerati these days…please tell me it was the booze and lack of sleep talking!

  5. Rodney Ash October 23rd, 2010 7:58 am

    I can’t believe what you heard. Are people insane. It’s almost 2011. This kind of stuff makes me laugh and feel good about myself. Thanks.

  6. Jeff Brown October 23rd, 2010 9:51 am

    Apparently, my decision to forgo attendance this year was prescient.

  7. Doug Quance October 24th, 2010 9:47 pm

    “Apparently, my decision to forgo attendance this year was prescient.”

    I waited for the Cliff Notes.

    Or Chris Notes, as the case may be.

  8. Cheryl Johnson October 25th, 2010 6:57 am

    I often wonder how the folks that seem to attend every single convention, seminar, camp or meet-up actually get any work done.

  9. Al Lorenz October 25th, 2010 11:11 am

    Thanks Chris! It’s always nice to have a quick reminder to stay focused.

  10. Kevin Dwyer October 26th, 2010 9:54 am

    Chris, you need to warn a guy when he’s drinking coffee, staring at the laptop, reading your post. Laugh Out Loud Funny, but now I may need a new laptop.

  11. Jeff October 30th, 2010 2:15 pm

    Great post as usual.