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The Real Definition of Insanity In This Market

Remember when Enron was still everyone’s darling?  Remember when they were a high flying company that could do no wrong?

Remember when AOL was high flying and had the audacity to buy Time Warner?

Or even Bear Stearns?  Kmart, Qwest, MCI/Worldcom,  Lucent Technology, Arthur Andersen, all were at one time ‘highly regarded’ companies that lost a huge percent of their value.   That’s a ‘top of head,’ list without considering the Airlines.

There are countless more examples of big companies getting wiped out in a day.  People’s pensions are inevitably the big story.  Middle class families get wiped out because they had all of their ducks in one basket.   Employees sue the company because senior executives didn’t tell them that there were risks inherent in the stock.   The media has their normal pity party.  But the real shame?  Nobody stops to think for a second: no matter how good the company, is it sane to put all of your money in one place?

When I get on someone about blogging (un artfully), the real message was meant to be this: if you only have one widget for getting money, you’re nuts, and you’ll be destroyed someday.   Maybe not soon, but someday.  It might, temporarily, be a most efficient to do what works, and chase a single source of leads.  How was business done 15 years ago?   We didn’t predict the nature of today’s changes.  Blogging is great, and it might last a long time.  But you cant operate with the assumption that it’s going to be here.  That leads to complacency and obsolescence.

To have a healthy business, you have to have many sources of income and leads, so if one of ‘em dries up, you’re not on the streets.  Because…no matter how good the widget, no matter how efficient the model, you MUST have several great sources for your business.  It’s a baseline survival requirement for this new market. 

What would happen to you if the top 2 sources of leads dried up in a short time.  Even if ROI from one source was going to be great, have more. Think about the top source of business–your network, for most people.  What if you had a few too many, pulled a Michael Richards, and suddenly were a pariah?  Maybe something like that is unlikely, but could you survive?   Are you doing 5 or 6 things that work so you can assure yourself some survival?    There are a million ways to skin a cat.

To get business, I have done all sorts of things…

  • Cold Calling
  • Door Knocking
  • Networking 
  • Sending mailers.
  • Chased Expireds (I was a Realtor for 3  fun years)
  • Print Advertising  (worst ROI)
  • Social Media (since 2002)
  • Hunted Down Vendors
  • Shpere of Influence
  • Flyering in apartment complexes
  • Flyering in neighborhoods.
  • 911 Deals

Most of my business has always come from my sphere of influence. 56% of it.  And quite frankly, I’d have a hard time without it.   But, that doesn’t mean I should be complacent at that level, right?  We want to make sure we are relevant and growing, and if our business is growing both organically, and because of the force of our will, it’s more likely to survive. 

Where do your ‘deals’ (deals, citizens, clients, people) come from?   Have you looked lately? 

What would happen to you if you lost your top 3 sources of leads?  Would you still survive?

What are you going to do about it?

And for the rest of you, what’s the most unusual, sustainable lead source that you have?

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