How to become an 'expert' in picking your clients: Part III

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Over the past couple of days we have created our niche to differentiate ourselves, and we have researched that market and know the inventory.

It’s time to create a detailed persona of your ideal client!

ideal client image from wikicommons

If you have a clear idea of who your clients are likely to be, the laws of attraction will kick in, making your life much easier. Once you know who your ideal client is, you will have no trouble recognizing your client when you meet!

If you have worked in the business for a while, this becomes a little easier — you can create a composite of the best clients you ever had.

If not, look at the demographics of your niche, visit local businesses, and hang out at the coffee shops to figure out who is buying the types of homes you hope to sell.

To bring your persona alive, give the person a name, a car, a job, even a dog — create a strong visual image of what this person or couple looks like.

Making a sketch of this persona should help you remember what the person looks like. For instance if the person likes basketball, your persona could be wearing basketball shoes.

basketball shoes image via shutterstock

 

Now you have something really powerful — an identity that you can “market to.”

This will all make more sense when you later begin writing blog content about your niche. You will have a laser focus on your target audience: your potential new client.

Qualify every potential client, every time.

It never ceases to amaze me how some agents throw any customer who comes along into their cars and then spend hours and hours — maybe days — touring homes, without first asking the right questions.

Time is your most valuable commodity. There are only so many hours in a day. To be successful you must make sure that you qualify everyone you work with before you invest your time.

When a client is referred to you by a friend or acquaintance, the job of selling yourself and your service should be that much easier — you already come with a recommendation of some sort.

You must remember, though, to qualify the client. Qualifying is easy if you ask the right questions.J

Having a “Must move by X date” is a good indicator of motivation.

People love to talk, especially if you are attentive and willing to listen. So, literally, all you have to do is ask. With the right series of questions they will tell you anything you want to know. People love to talk about themselves: their likes and dislikes, problems and needs.

You also need to know and understand the difference between a real customer and a pretender (in the car trade they are called “tire kickers”) — intuition is your friend. It comes naturally to some and can be learned by others in the “school of hard knocks.”

Qualifying sellers.

Qualifying goes both ways on a listing presentation. The seller thinks he is interviewing you, but you must be qualifying the seller, too. First and foremost, please learn about your potential client’s needs before you launch into your presentation.

For instance, ask (delicate) questions to determine whether, if the asking price is initially going to be too high, can the seller be counseled to be more realistic over time?

When and where to qualify.

Some agents swear that the best way to qualify buyers (and sometimes sellers, too) is to ask for an initial appointment in your office, where you can be in total control. Starbucks works for some — it’s a lot less formal than an office setting.

Sometimes people just qualify themselves. Those who are unmotivated will resist, or avoid meeting you, if they don’t want to or are just not ready.

If you are going to work together, make sure you use your financial services people to run a credit check and prequalify your new client for a loan, just to make sure that the client is not delusional about the price range.

This article is the third in a five part series during the course of this week. Tomorrow’s topic offers a dose of realism: building a viable marketing plan to attract those clients we want to work with, and setting target goals for the all-important budget.

Read the whole series: 1, 2, 4, 5