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My September and what I learned…

This September has been my toughest in the last 43 that I have had. Not in the business sense, mind you. But I have been dealing with health issues that I now (thankfully) am well on the way to complete recovery from. I will be stronger than ever.

Like most things that have been tough, it has been the source of great learning as well. Aside from not writing here much at all, the main thing that this forced downtime did was to force me to think. And think I did.

In evaluating many aspects of my life one of the main faults that I found with myself was was that I simply had not lived deliberately. I did not spend my time deliberately. I did not connect with people as deliberately as I intend to now. And the business side of my life was / is no different. I had not marketed deliberately as I would have liked. I need to be more direct and deliberate and to the point. I had contented myself with the notion that if I did this and that…then eventually my actions would create customers who would at some point pay for my services. Hogwash.

I found myself siding with many of the folks here. The Jeff Browns who get belly to belly with folks who can either say “yes” or “shove off”. The Brian Brady’s of the world that do not have time to waste on less than direct marketing with measurable results. the Greg Swann’s (who if you ask him why listing with him is better than the next REALTOR can actually give you a direct answer). Even when dealing with new technology, the idea that we don’t need to be direct and deliberate and to the point is amazing to me.

We must have a pipeline. Deliberately. Leads. No matter how you get them they need to be there. Buy them from others. Rent them. Advertise for them. SEO for them. Network for them. Cold call. Whatever. Maybe all of the above. My new focus is to be direct.

Much of today’s “social media marketing” is simply too indirect. It is not deliberate enough. What you end up with is wasted time, mis-spent effort and low ROI in the final analysis will only lead to regrets. It does not matter that it is cool. It does not matter all the cool kids are doing it. It ONLY matters if you can CONNECT (directly and deliberately) with enough potential customers to fill your pipeline and build your business.

REALTORS asking themselves those tough kinds of questions will be the ones who survive this market (in my opinion). Yes the questions are tough. Avoiding them (or honest answers to them) is far more costly in my opinion.

What I have been through has not been fun…but what I have learned has been invaluable to me. Now it is my turn to apply it.

So where can you be more direct and deliberate in your marketing / sales plan?

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  • 21 comments

    21 Comments so far

    1. Missy Caulk September 26th, 2009 7:03 pm

      Eric, I am sorry to hear you have been sick. We learn so much from times like this, but they are never fun to go through. I have been missing your posts.

      You said:
      “We must have a pipeline. Deliberately. Leads. No matter how you get them they need to be there. Buy them from others. Rent them. Advertise for them. SEO for them. Network for them. Cold call. Whatever.”

      Can I say, “Amen” without offending?

    2. Dan Connolly September 26th, 2009 7:39 pm

      Eric, glad to hear that you are putting that behind you. Significant health issues have a way of blowing all of the superfluous bull$#it out of the water. They give us a greater appreciation for the opportunities available and remind us that we don’t have forever to make the most of them.

    3. Teri Lussier September 26th, 2009 7:59 pm

      Eric-

      Continued thoughts and prayers as you continue to a full recovery. Gosh, it’s good to have you back.

      The thing about Bloodhounds is regardless of who I talk to here, they ask the same things: What are your goals, what are you doing to meet those goals. They all say it a bit differently, but it’s the same question- is this a business or not?

      I admit that sometimes it’s more business than others, and it’s always the business I earn, so either way, I’m getting out exactly, exactly, what I’m putting in.

      The world is waiting for you, Eric.

    4. Greg Dallaire September 26th, 2009 8:55 pm

      Eric,

      I’m so glad to have heard your voice this last week! It’s a true blessing to have you on a full recovery.

      Your new attitude is great and can only reap great benefits!

    5. Brian Brady September 26th, 2009 11:57 pm

      Missy,

      I’ll just say “Amen” to Eric’s statement which you parsed (and to the answer for my belated prayer for Eric’s health).

    6. Eric Blackwell September 27th, 2009 3:48 am

      @Missy- Amen’s are welcome any time!

      @Dan- Could not agree more. I would not wish what I have been through on anyone, but the re-prioritizing and clarity I have received has been priceless.

      @Teri- It is great to hear from you too! (Time to be direct) You and your family are some of the neatest people I know and you are a dear friend. My thoughts and prayers have been with you guys at TeamLussier as well.

      Thanks for your support and the phone chat(s) a few weeks ago. I am thrilled to get up and kick some serious butt, stronger than ever and with a better outlook.

      @Brian – Bless you and thanks. One thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as too many kind thoughts, well wishes, good karma, and prayers.

      @Greg- Good to talk to you as well. Enjoyed your first post. Looking forward to more good stuff.

    7. Benjamin Dona September 27th, 2009 7:04 am

      Hey Eric,

      Was wondering what was up with you lately. I’m sorry hear it had to do with a health issue, but am really glad you have kicked the ball down the road and are doing better.

      There is nothing worse I can think of than having to deal with an illness. I’ve carried one myself for over 10 years now, so I know firsthand how heavy the load can be.

      Sometimes though, life’s up’s and down’s do lead to little euphonies and it looks like you’ve had one. I’m glad to see your going to embrace it and want to welcome you into your new life attitude.

      In today’s PC world there is so much mammy pammy BS going on, folks tend to lose sight of their focus and purpose in life. However, for those of us fortunate enough to keep it or to find it again, life (and business) can be better than we ever thought possible.

      Good luck with it!

      All the best to you my friend.

    8. Eric Bramlett September 27th, 2009 7:14 am

      Hey Eric –

      Great to see you back!!! Fantastic returning post, as well. Obtain, track, quantify. Perfect.

    9. Louis Cammarosano September 27th, 2009 7:24 am

      Hi Eric
      Sorry to hear that you have been unwell.
      Good to see you come back swinging.

      I agree that in business you don’t need to be obnoxious, but you do need to be direct.

      The social media gurus who tell you to spend time on twitter following the 90/10 rule-spend 90% of your time talking about your dog and your life and only 10% on business are misguided.

      If you are in business, make it your business to do business. If you are socializing keep business out of it.

      Welcome back

    10. Brian Kinkade September 27th, 2009 10:09 am

      Hello Eric,

      Glad to hear you are doing better and wishing all the best with your full recovery. You are one of a kind my friend, take care of your self.

    11. Eric Blackwell September 27th, 2009 3:50 pm

      @Ben- Thanks! Great to hear from you.

      @Bramlett- Great to be back in the saddle.

      @Louis – direct, but not obnoxious. Exactly. Being friendly and sociable does not mean wasting time on online social networking that to date have proven to me to not have sufficient ROI to keep a REALTOR’s business going. It simply is about keeping the main thing the main thing ;-) in my opinion.

      @ Brian K. – Thanks for the kind words, my friend. It was good hanging out with you at both the REW conference and HomeGain Live Nation. It’s good visiting with you whenever I get the chance, come to think of it. (grin)

    12. Don Reedy September 27th, 2009 5:08 pm

      Eric,

      See if this sounds familiar….and true:

      New American Standard Bible (©1995)
      ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

      King James Bible
      So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

      ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΙΣ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ 3:16 Greek NT: Tischendorf 8th Ed. with Diacritics
      οὕτω ὅτι χλιαρός εἰμί καί οὔτε ζεστός οὔτε ψυχρός μέλλω σύ ἐμέω ἐκ ὁ στόμα ἐγώ

      Apocalypsis 22:21 Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgata
      sed quia tepidus es et nec frigidus nec calidus incipiam te evomere ex ore meo

      Apocalipsis 3:16 Spanish: La Biblia de las Américas (©1997)
      `Así, puesto que eres tibio, y no frío ni caliente, te vomitaré de mi boca.

      No matter how many different ways you say it, the truth is that making a commitment, being direct, speaking clearly and deliberately are exactly what we all need to be doing. What you have learned through this time of trouble for you would have not been as important had you not been so wonderfully direct in your writing to us about it.

      And yes, like everyone else, I, too, have missed you. You’re much loved and respected. I know that’s not too direct, because it’s simply the truth.

    13. Ashlee September 27th, 2009 5:19 pm

      Hope things turn around Eric. It is sad that it takes us getting sick to make us sit down and look at our lives and really evaluate them. I was in the same boat last year. It was almost like I was sick to make me sit down and realize what I really should have been doing and what I should be doing!

      Get better soon!

    14. Grog September 27th, 2009 6:20 pm

      Eric…get well soon!!!

    15. Greg Swann September 27th, 2009 6:34 pm

      I’m glad you’re feeling better, but I can’t imagine a circumstance where you are not Polaris, not just a star but the outstanding start in the firmament.

    16. Tim Shepard September 27th, 2009 9:20 pm

      Hello Eric,

      I don’t know you and don’t follow this board consistently enough to have missed your absence. However, my prayers are with you.

      With regard to your post, I have two comments:

      1. If you are deliberate and direct in CHOOSING who to work with, then you’ll find that you don’t have to be as much of either, while you are working with them.
      2. Passively overcome the common objections you encounter before they come up with your clients.

    17. Tim Shepard September 27th, 2009 9:21 pm

      Hello Eric,

      I don’t know you and don’t follow this board consistently enough to have missed your absence. However, my prayers are with you.

      With regard to your post, I have two comments:

      1. If you are deliberate and direct in CHOOSING who to work with, then you’ll find that you don’t have to be as much of either, while you are working with them.
      2. Overcome the common objections you encounter before they come up with your clients.

    18. Malok September 27th, 2009 10:08 pm

      Glad to see your first post back is full of “piss & vinegar” so to speak. Couldn’t agree more. You are given a limited amount of time on this earth. Choosing those activities that yield the greatest ROI should always be the highest priority. :)

    19. Chris Brown September 28th, 2009 6:06 am

      Eric – it was great catching up last week – even if you were seeing pink elephants in the room with you… and gosh it sure is good to have you back.

      I like your new resolve as well. I look forward to getting the play by play as you garnish results from it. After all, you must eat that pink elephant one bite at a time =0). [Is it bad form to mix allegories?]

      Your friend in FL

      Chris the Implementer

    20. Robert Worthington September 28th, 2009 12:54 pm

      Eric. Can I say I am honored to have you as an seo coach. You truly understand what truauthorthy really is, in life and in real estate. I’m so glad to be under your seo wing. We have seen my swet and your expert advice pay off. Congrats on reflecting on your thoughts while in the hospital. When your in a bed all alone, it reminds us what’s really important. Eric, I’m ready to hop the train for the next destination! I’m sure glad you leading the way! Thank You Eric for everything, but more importantly congratulations on your new found energy and kick butt attitude. WELCOME BACK TO HEALTH BUDDY!

    21. Jon Cardella September 29th, 2009 1:05 am

      I agree, no substitute for being direct and aggressively purusing lead generation and relationship building. The same tactics apply to SEO, I’m sure you’ll agree… Stay well and strong!