This post was originally published on the Trulia Pro Blog by Jovan Hackley for Follow Trulia Pro on Twitter: @TruliaPro

Quick agent fame, overnight sensations and companies who build crowd followings fast have always scared me. Why? Because I know, billboards don’t make deals.

Need an example? There are plenty of other case studies that speak to the same fact.

Whether you’re marketing mansions or selling special spoons, the buzz you generate isn’t half as important as the clients who actually close the deal.

So, who closes? What’s in the magic sauce that turns a million Web lurkers or phone calls into the happy handshake, recommendation and commission check you need? And furthermore, why aren’t all of these “leads” turning into clients?

Here are the top three reasons your leads may not be turning into clients and what you can do about it.

1. You’re not a human (until you’re a human).

These days the vast majority of people you meet you “meet” way before you meet. (Stop. Pause. I know that was an eyeful).

The fact is, long before you’re a smiling face to a prospective client, you’re an online profile, advertisement or a little line among quite a few others on a listing. That makes you Internet fodder, not a person someone wants to work with.

If you have the greatest lead generation tools in the world and no real plan or practice for connecting, converting and impressing, you’ll always be stuck with a bunch of unclosed opportunities.

According to real estate expert Tara Nicholle-Nelson, “You might know, logically speaking, that you are a rock star. But if you don’t act, walk and talk like one, you might not close [clients] like you deserve to.”

2. This is a moment, not business.

I know. You’re in the real estate business, but the fact is your clients are not. While you may have a ton of real estate moments in your life, your clients are having only one.

According to Susan Clayton, an environmental psychologist and blogger for Psychology Today, for most people, home is a significant part of their self-definition.

While you’re trying to close a deal, your clients are engaging in a serious identity crossroads. If you’re not closing as many clients as you think you should, make sure that during your lead qualifying you don’t neglect key questions that show your prospective clients you’re concerned with their needs like:

  • What makes you nervous about this process?
  • What’s your biggest reason for buying or selling?
  • What excites you most about this process?

If you are going to win the client who closes, you need to show that you’re a human — and that you’re a concerned one.

3. You’re hunting leads and not needs.

Last but not least, the most successful agents and companies I know all have one thing in common. They don’t see people as just leads. Their top worry isn’t web traffic, flashy ads, or wowing the contacts on an oversized prospect list.

In the book “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype,” Fortune 500 marketer and business consultant Jay Baer offers this insight:

“While being amazing [in business] can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce linear results. So instead of betting all of your money on “amazing,” what if you instead relied on that simple, universal method of marketing and business success … What if instead of being amazing you focused on being useful?”

If you’re really looking for the clients who will close, I’ll challenge you to look at your past client list and answer the questions:

Who on the list really or needed me? And, why?

Taking a look back at these closers and answering this question can unlock unknown niches, referrals and future business you might be missing while obsessed with filling your inbox.

If you’re good at lead generation or use the “right” tools, you can fill the funnel. But, the fact of the marketing funnel is that there are always more people in it than you actually need.

Make sure your scripts, email replies and client engagement tactics balance professionalism with the human touch that makes your clients feel like more than a check. If a client feels you’re not up to the job or just out for a commission check, chances are they’ll keep shopping for another agent.

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