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Building Personal Relationships with Prospective Customers
Last week, we reviewed an example of Relationship Marketing as it applies to existing customers. We definitely need our customers to buy again, but we also need to build recognition and relationships with prospective customers (a.k.a. prospects).
A perfect example can be found in the world of residential real estate. My empty-nester husband and I are toying with the idea of downsizing in the next few years. This has inspired us to visit a large number of Open Houses.
Given that we are in the marketing consulting business, we evaluate not only the houses, but also the realtors on duty. There are two things we always look for:
o Does the realtor ask for our contact information? Surprisingly, many do not.
o If the realtor does ask for this information, does that person follow up? Generally, they do not.
Let’s think this through! Those who visit open houses tend to be 1) neighbors, 2) people who are actively looking to buy, or 3) people who are thinking about buying in the future.
The realtor on duty may not care about the neighbors, who are often simply curious. However, a neighbor’s visit may signal the early stages of interest in selling an existing home – and, perhaps, buying another one locally. That person might need a realtor soon! If the neighbor shares contact information, it should be added to the realtor’s follow-up list.
The people who admit that they are actively looking are signaling that they are definitely in the realtor’s target market. At that point, they may or may not have their own agent. The realtor should determine if they need assistance to explore other homes in the area. At the least, they are good prospects for buying that Open House.
The people who are thinking about buying in the future are, in fact, great prospects (a.k.a targets) for the realtor. And, they may not have an agent. In addition, they may have just walked into the house of their dreams – and need immediate help to make a purchase happen much sooner than they had expected.
If you are the realtor at an Open House, why not politely ask for contact information? If you get it, a brief follow-up note might win you a new client, or a valuable referral.
Do you have people who signal that they are in the target market for your business?
What do you do to follow up on their interest, thereby increasing the chance that they will become customers?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend