Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

10 Ways to Create a Personalized Client Experience (Give Them a “Yes Day”)

Find Out What They Want.

1. Find Out What They Want.

Use a survey to ask them questions which will help you narrow down what services you may provide them with, when, and how often. The goal is to satisfy what they want to accomplish by discovering what’s keeping them from getting there. Use their answers to craft a personalized service offering that is unique to them.

Reward Them.

2. Create a Client Loyalty Program.

People want to be rewarded for hiring (or shopping from) you. Offer them a rewards card or send them random gifts to show them how much you value their business.

Send Handwritten Notes.

3. Personalize Your Communications.

People tend to get lost in technology these days, so bring things back to the good ole days with a handwritten thank you card. You can also up your impact by sending random gifts and company swag.

Discover What Their Long-Term Goals Are.

4. Learn About Their Ongoing Needs.

If your clients/customers will be shopping or using your services more frequently, consider offering them a discount for frequency and throw in a occasional freebie – this is an excellent, low-cost opportunity for you to improve the “lifetime value of a client.”

Get To Know Your Clients.

5. Build Rapport By Getting to Know Your Clients Upfront and Stay Informed.

Let your prospects do most of the talking during your initial consult. Use sifting questions to discover their problems/goals so you can curate a personalized solution. Stay informed of their changes by being their friend and trusted advisor.

What Are Your Hobbies?

6. Find Common Interests.

What are your hobbies? Finding prospects while participating in common interest activities is a sure fire way to build bonds faster and get to the Know-Like-Trust stage that is a prerequisite of doing business. Take note of your favorite sports, music, restaurants, recreational spaces, faith and so forth, then brainstorm activities around those interests. Scan your community events postings to schedule which events plan on attending. When you and your prospects have the same tastes, your connection will happen naturally.

It’s Yes Pet Day!

7. Start With Humor.

The best way to get your prospects to let down their guards is to inject a little humor in your introductions. Laughter is a positive emotion and helps move a person from “skeptical” to “know-like-trust” faster than normal pleasantries. Humor makes us more likable to others. Use funny stories or clean jokes that are related to what you do or sell, but don’t overdo it. (Don’t be a Bozo!) 🤡

People LOVE Talking About Their Favorite Subject – Themselves.

8. Let Them Do The Talking.

We all know it’s hard to be in the backseat of a conversation, but resist the urge to yap and only speak when asking clarifying or prompting questions. It’s okay to paraphrase what they said occasionally to show them that you’re actively listening. When you can get your prospects to “trip” on the idea of using your products or services as the solution to their problem or desire, you will have mastered the art of subtle persuasion, while earning their trust in the process. People don’t like to be sold to, but they do like buying things that improves their quality of life (whether it be to resolve a pain point or to elevate their pleasure and happiness.)

Speak Their Moral Language.

9. Discover Their Values.

How does your product or service align with their values? Are you a good fit for them? Prospects are more apt to buy what they are looking for from a provider who aligns with their internal value system.

Apply the Law of Reciprocity – Add Value.

10. Begin With Giving.

According to the Law of Reciprocity, the recipient of a gift will naturally want to reciprocate your kind gesture by doing something favorable for you in return (such as hiring you or buying from you). You can open the reciprocity loop by giving a free initial consultation (but I’m afraid that’s been overused) or boosting an initial consult by throwing in a high-value bonus offering if they engage you at the close of your session. Retailers use loss leaders to allure shoppers into their stores, then up the sticker prices of commonly purchased goods that are prominently displayed at the front row, making it easy for shoppers to pick up along the way.

Pro Tip: Making an irresistible offer improves your close ratio!

In closing, making your products and services personalized vs. standardized is something your clients and customers want and expect in the 2021. It’s time to give your clients a “yes day” to a more personalized client experience.

A special thank you to the following content creators (in order of appearance) for their photos from Pexels: Andrea Piacquadio, Brigitte Tohm, GiftPundits.com, Marko Klaric, Edmond Dantès, JEShoots.com, Anna Shvets, Juan Vargas, Eva Elijas, and Gabby K.

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

“Red Carpet” Service Can Reap Your Business Regal ROI!

Treat Your Clients Like Celebrity VIPs

How Are You Treating Your Clients?

If you are not already treating your clients like the VIPs that they perceive themselves to be, you’re at risk of losing them as lifetime clients. Many professional entrepreneurs claim to be interested in serving their clients for life, but their actions speak otherwise.

Why You Gotta Be So…Blasé?

Do your clients feel like this after the conclusion of your first business transaction?

Reach Out To Your Past Clients and WOW Them!

It’s time to think outside of the box and differentiate yourself. Send your clients a thank you gift. Not only will this put a smile on their faces, but you’ll stand out from the crowd of other professionals vying for your market share, earn repeat (hopefully lifetime) business, as well as prime your client pump for new referrals.

Stir Things Up With a Surprise!

Do a little creative brainstorming to identify some simple, but effective and meaningful gift ideas. Here are a couple of examples to help you out:

  1. If you work in real estate sales, finance, or title, offer your clients a movie night at home by sending a gift box with a downloadable movie gift card, two bags of popcorn, a package of twizzlers and a box of chocolates.
  2. If you work in law, send your clients a gift certificate for a simple will and advanced directives consultation along with a home fireproof safe.
Create an Opportunity for Your Clients to Win!

Have you considered sponsoring a “client of the month” on your social media channels? A great way to improve your brand image is to select a client of the month who either provided you with the biggest transaction or who sent you the most referral business in the prior month. Sending the winner tickets to a upcoming play with notoriety or to an upscale restaurant will win you major client loyalty! (Be sure to ask the winners to tag you in their social media posts during their “night out on the town! so that your other clients can see it and get inspired to be your next VIP winner!)

“I would like to thank my personal agent [insert your name here]!

In closing, finding ways to honor your clients with elevated experiences AFTER the transaction will help you stay top of mind, win loyalty, earn repeat business, and generate more referrals. While you will take on a bit of costs to implement this brand loyalty program, the ROI can be your very own golden globe of a reward!

Posted in Quotes/Motivation

Have You Ever Felt Physically, Mentally, or Spiritually Out of Alignment?

Image Courtesy of Deva Darsha from Pexels

I was listening to Dr. John Maxwell talk about “Do Overs” during this morning’s Minute With Maxwell motivational video message, a weekday morning ritual I have become accustomed to participating in for about six years now. The key takeaway is this: if you didn’t make the mistake, then you couldn’t learn from it and be who you are today.

The problems you experienced and the bad decisions you’ve made in the past guide you to become a better person. If you learn from your regrets, those difficult life lessons often called “the school of hard knocks,” then you should be able to avoid repeating those same bad choices because you know from your personal experiences how they will end.

Image Courtesy of Cotton bro from Pexels

When you come to a fork in the road where you have two choices, pause for a moment to reflect on where each road will take you, then make a choice.

Be mindful of the choice you’re making and take notes of the consequences that follow, good or bad, so as to learn from them.

Image Courtesy of Engin Akyurt from Pexels

As I think about my own life journey and the recent choices I’ve made, I think about my decision to move to The Woodlands (north of Houston), Texas last July. As a person of faith, I believe God answered my prayer in enabling me to move to Texas in 2020, even though it wasn’t the right place for me to be.

By that October, I was right back in Jacksonville, Florida where I belonged. I realized that we have to be careful what we ask for when I heard a biblical story about an ancient King who received a prophecy that he would die within a year.

He prayed fervently for life – and God answered his prayer (to the detriment of his people.) During his extended 15 years of life, he had opened the city doors to an enemy that eventually robbed the city of its gold and enslaved their people. It would have been better for Israel if their King had died as was originally planned.

Moving to Texas last year cost me about $10,000 and a lot of loneliness. I contracted shingles in my first month there and I was all alone with no friends or family to care for me. I spent my birthday alone with no cake, no company, and no birthday gifts. And even though I tried, I didn’t make any new friends. It was a beautiful location, but not the right fit for me.

This biblical story, and my own recent life experience, taught me to “be careful what you ask for.”

Self-discipline is not about refraining from making bad choices, in and of itself, but about being a good student of yourself (disciple means student). In the end, you’ll look back at your entire life and realize that your own self-discipline was the roadmap to a better life.

Image Courtesy of Snapwire from Pexels

Let your bad decisions propel you to make good decisions going forward. We are all on a journey and we can strive to live 1% better with every choice we make.

Wishing you lots of success on your journey!

Posted in Real Estate: Buy, Sell, Lease

Can I Become a Homebuyer if I Have Bad Credit?

Image courtesy of Gabby K from Pexels

You may be a good candidate for a credit restoration program. Once you’ve improved your credit scores above the qualifying standards and have the eligibility income required, you can get an approval from the lender. If you need help with your down payment, there are sometimes local housing grants that are available on homes being sold in certain regions. You should consult with a credit repair specialist and a mortgage lender for an analysis of your current income and liabilities, as well as guidance on your next steps. Lenders can be found on Rocket Mortgage. Lexington Law specializes in credit repair. If you would like to speak to one of our preferred partners, we can arrange an introduction. Stay persistent in your pursuit of homeownership, your future self will thank you.

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

Charitable Giving Can Grow Your Social Media Channels and Increase Your Revenue!

Image courtesy of Max Fischer from Pexels

I just finished reading a case study about the following pizza co. who’s earning more dough by being a benefactor to charities (sorry for the blatant pun.) 😚

Here’s What They’re Doing:

i Fratelli promotes their charitable giving weekly using social media, allowing residents surrounding their 10 corporate-owned and 5 franchise stores to vote from a selection of local NPOs, churches, and high school booster clubs as the beneficiaries – on any given day, 15% of a stores sales are contributed to a worthy cause. More than 100 charities have benefits since 2016.

The Results?

In the first quarter of their charity campaign, the pizza restaurant chain tripled their Facebook impressions, grew their retweets by a whopping 5X, and earned a 300% ROI in sales!

Here’s How They Do It:

  • Uses influencers to share the story
  • Cross-promotes posts on FB, IG, T, and blog
  • 1 in-house team member spends 20 hours/wk on content creation (4-5 posts/wk)
  • Uses Google Analytics to monitor PPC AdWords campaign
  • Occasionally uses FB Ads campaign to promote a specific sweepstakes or event (less than $500 spent in total)
  • Targets the organization’s supporters when promoting a fundraiser to ensure they reach the right audience
  • Tags the Convention & Visitors Bureau on “DoughNation” posts so it gets retweeted to their followers

The Conclusion?

Charitable giving bolsters your biz’s positive brand image, increases sales, and provided an opportunity for viral sharing which translates to free marketing exposure (wider reach).

Action Steps:

  1. Consider what charities you can align your business with
  2. Capitalize on post shares and retweets with allies such as the chamber of commerce, the visitor’s bureau, and other civic-business entities
  3. Allocate your social media charitable marketing tasks to an in-house marketer or outsource to a reputable media company

Want more info? Here are some stats on the impact of charitable giving in 2019.

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

How to Define Your Target Client Avatar: A “Persona” Deep Dive

Image courtesy of Pixabay from Pexels

Some time ago I had the privilege of speaking with a former director of marketing of a condo conversion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The gentleman had been responsible for driving sales for this project during the pre-recession boom, and back then anything superior to a cardboard box was flying off the market like a SpaceX rocket headed towards the International Space Station in 2020.

I remember seeing lines of buyers waiting to get into a new pre-construction development sales office to buy a condo or single family residence similar to what you may have seen outside of a popular night club or at an Apple store the morning of the release of a new iPhone!

Image courtesy of freestocks.org by Pexels

Even with all of the fast equity buildup hype, developer sales still had lots of competition and I was very curious to know how this marketing pro ran his customer targeting to optimize sales. Here’s the “Aha!” result I got from his answer: market segmentation!

Start With Building Your Buckets: Market Segmentation

Image courtesy of David Waschbüsch of Pexels

The former marketing director told me that he identified 20 types of potential buyers – that’s 20 different client avatars – and created a landing page with copy and graphics that specifically spoke to the wants and needs of each customer segment. Now, I was not a novice about market segmentation. During grad school, I took a feasibility studies class on hotel development and we segmented our prospective hotel guests into three groups: business class, government, and travel/leisure. But this was way beyond that! To identify 20 types of buyers is hyper-focused, granular research (and a lot of work!)

I LOVE IT!

So, the next obvious question should be, “where do I begin?”Fortunately, you’re reading this article and I’m about to guide you through the marketing segmentation forest!

Image courtesy of Harry Cooke of Pexels

5 Ways to Segment Your Target Market:

  1. Demographics (age, race, gender, marital status, income, education)
  2. Geographics (location specificity)
  3. Psychographics (Lifestyle)
  4. Purchasing Behaviors (by life stages)
  5. Brand Loyalty (Affinity)

Disclaimer: This segmentation is not intended to redline or dissociate any class of persons, particularly U.S. federally protected classes, from being presented with an opportunity to purchase your goods or services via your marketing efforts. Rather, you should market to all classes using communication skills that speak to each class in a way that resonates with them while accomplishing your marketing objectives (making sales). I would not travel to France and expect the wonderful residents there to speak in English to me. In point of fact, while studying abroad there, I tried to speak the little French I knew at every encounter. C’est mon plaisir!

You can use these 5 marketing segments as “characteristics of your client avatars.”

For instance, you can start defining a client avatar as: male, 25-30, 4-year degree, mid-level professional, married with children, $75k-$100k salary, lives in Miami, works from home, wants to home school his children, needs two extra rooms, one for a home office and another for home schooling, drives luxury vehicle, enjoys smooth jazz, fine European wines from Total Wine, follows Jane Monheit, Emilie Claire-Barlow, and Sophie Milman (my personal favorite jazz singers), and enjoys outdoor recreational activities that include hiking and paddle boarding. Websites visited include Pottery Barn, Ashley Home Furniture, Toll Brothers Homes, and Lennar Homes. Favorite clothing includes Nautica and Polo by Ralph Lauren. (Okay, so I’m borrowing my own personal characteristics – you gotta start somewhere!) 🤷🏻‍♂️

So there you have it, we just defined ONE client avatar; 19 more to go. 😉

After you go through the tedious process of defining your client avatar…🛑 (hold the phone! Isn’t there an easier way to get this task done?! Yes, there is. You need 20 profiles, so target yourself first, then ask 19 people that are different from you in 19 ways, but would still have a need or desire for your product or service, to target (identify) themselves, bada-bing! Get it done smarter, not harder.

Image courtesy of Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

Next, craft your marketing message to each client avatar with the following Q in mind: “How can I satisfy this person’s wants and needs”❓

Your answer should include a curated version of your brand message; the main content is about the features and benefits that your product or service offers, graphics and video that (1) showcases the value and benefits of the product or service in action, (2) includes testimonials that validate your authority and reliability, and (3) includes a call to action, all of which appeals to that one specific client avatar.

Third, find out where they are. each niche client avatar has social media platforms that they prefer to hang out in. Go there.

Fourth, give them what they want. Attract your client avatars by presenting information that either solves a problem or satisfies a desire. Your goal in the initial engagement stage is to drive them to your webpage, so present a compelling call to action that drives traffic to sales or a lead capture page.

In closing, getting hyper-focused on who you are trying to serve will improve your chances of getting higher conversions and the bottom line is the bottom line. 😉

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

Are You Using Video as Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

If you haven’t taken the dip in the video marketing waters, now is the time to start – if you like connecting with your community where your future clients exist and you realize that inbound marketing is superior to outbound marketing. 🙀

Okay, so you may be timid about getting in front of the camera, we all are. But, if you turn your attention away from “how you’ll look” and towards “how you will help,” then recording yourself isn’t so bad and is worth a bit of temporary discomfort – being of service often requires some self-sacrifice. 🤨

To help you with your foray into 🎥 recording, I’m giving you a 5-part outline for video content creation that’s applicable to any subject.

1. The Hook.

Start with an attention grabber – this could be an analogy or a question. For example, what if I start my video by stating, “in this video, I’m going to show you how Fozzy the Bear can make you a better writer!” I then show an image of the cute bear and rewrite his name as FOSC, which stands for Focus, Organization, Support, and Convention (which is how the FSA writing test is graded for middle and high school).

Now let’s try a Q: “What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring a Lawyer Who Specializes in Estate Planning and Probate to Draft My Will Versus Going to a General Practitioner?”

As you can see, either hook can draw your audience in with curiosity and open a loop that they will feel compelled to close by watching your video ‘til the end.

2. The Intro.

This is where you’ll give a quick intro to yourself and claim your authority (why they should trust you). You can include your name in writing (a graphic) in the lower third of the screen to identify yourself and your firm.

3. The Bumper

Switch up your video with a mini call to action (CTA) with the following suggestion, “If you get value out of watching this video, hit the like button so others can know.”

4. The Body.

This is where you answer the question or explain the metaphor. Using an outline and sequential order helps your audience follow along each step. Content is critical! Do your hw before making your video.

5. The Conclusion.

This is where you wrap things up with a CTA. For instance, you can ask your audience to book a consult, call your toll-free number, or hit subscribe to learn more.

There you have it, a 5-part outline for making a video. If you have a smartphone, then you’ve got a 2-in-1 high tech camera and video editing studio at the palm of your hands. Now it’s time to take 🎬 “ACTION!”

Posted in Uncategorized

What Can Super Bowl LIV Teach Us About Modern Marketing for 2021?

Summary of Super Bowl LIV Commercials

Four Lessons Learned from the 2020 LIV Commercials

A few things stood out during last night’s commercials and I thought I should share my point of view, for better or worse, about what I observed. So without further ado…

I. Abstract Trumps Realism

Why is it that the content creators of big brands believe we prefer abstract art over realism? The majority of last night’s Super Bowl commercials were prevalent in animation and augmented reality? Are they creating commercials for adults or kids, because what I saw looked like their target audience was adolescents.

II. Throwing Celebrities Into A Commercial Does Not Improve The Content.

Why on earth would you throw in a handful of celebrities into your commercials, yet have no discernible storyline or clear CTA in the content? (“Garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind.)

III. 80s and 90s Music and Characters Are Making a Comeback.

I did enjoy seeing Wayne and Garth, as well as hearing the jingle for The Greatest American Hero. This says, people in the age range of 40-50, we’re targeting you! At least we marketers can’t pick up on that one good cue when creating new content for the near future.

IV. The Lousy Lemonade Lesson

Smh. The 2020 crisis metaphor of “when life gives you lemons, make spiked lemonade” was a poor choice. This commercial added insult to injury with the despotic lemons pelting passers by, and the suggestions that we have a drink to get through it is sadly lacking in humor, at best, and poor advice at worst. What we need is a sober stance to overcome our serious issues in our country, not more alcohol or drugs. We need to step up as a society and act like better role models for the kids who are watching us and how we deal with life’s challenges. Having a drink during a sporting event is fine, but that’s not what was conveyed here. I challenge you to do better next time.

There you have it, my comments on what I saw in the super bowl commercials. I hate to sound nostalgic, but the “good ole days” were better than what I saw last night, apart from the FPL commercial – that one, I liked.

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

How to Target Your Ideal Clients Using Keyword Research

Image source: Pixabay from Pexels

In today’s noisy world of information, your marketing message needs to be more than just a face in the crowd. To do that, you’ll need to shape your content to reflect what your potential clients want by conducting keyword research and weaving the results into your copywriting. Here’s how.

What Are Your People Searching For?

Image courtesy of: @fotografierende from Pexels

Reflect those words & phrases (KW terms) inside of your content to drive qualified leads, with higher conversion potential, to your landing page while weeding out disinterested traffic (that will cost you money and lead to high bounce rates.)

5 Steps to Conducting Keyword Research!

  1. ⌨️ Start with Google Search. Type the topic of interest into the magic search box to see if any autosuggestions surface.
  2. 🖥 Select a Keyword research tool. The top apps include: VidIQ, Google AdWords, Keyword Planner, Keyword Researcher Pro, BuzzSumo, and Google Trends (for seasonal keywords).
  3. 📝 Create a “seed list.” Brainstorm a group of initial seeds (KWs) to work from. To expand your list, think of some questions your ideal clients would ask, then make a list of words and phrases (KWs) they might use to search for answers.
  4. 📑 Refine your results. You want to locate words and phrases that are high in search volume, low in competition, and highly relevant to your business offerings. For instance, if you are a personal injury attorney, common phrases like, “personal injury lawyer” have high search volumes, but they also have a high amount of competition too. 🚩High Volume + High Competition = Low Relevance. 😧 Everyone else is using it, so take “…the road less traveled” and try ranking by using long-tail KWs (phrases with 3 or more words). Be EXTREMELY specific. For example, you could identify your practice area by location: “How can I find a car accident lawyer in Jacksonville Florida” has relevance (car accident = personal injury), “lawyer” is a common KW, and the search phrase is geo-specific! That’s hyper-focused and specific enough to bring a narrowly defined amount of semi-qualified (interest + location) leads. ✅ Lower Search Volume + Less Competition = Higher Ranking! 🏆☺️
  5. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Go SEO. Include your newfound targeted keyword phrases within your content. This is not so “ninja” marketing these days, not since SEO became a stamp of features offered by companies from A to Z. So, how do we do it? By creating videos, blog articles, and any other types of verse or written communication to your target audience that weave these KWs into the fabric of your messages. When you write ad copy with KWs scribed within the message, you’re creating data-driven coding that catalogues your answers to your prospects’ questions, which is what the algorithm digital spiders are searching for within the web.
Image courtesy of Gerd Altman from Pexels

In closing, taking a shotgun approach is like spinning the slot machine 🎰 at a casino and hoping you win clients. Without a targeted audience and a tactical approach to attracting their eyes and ears to your message, you’re essentially 🎲 rolling the dice 🎲with advertising. Instead, take a 🎯 targeted approach! Implement this 5-step KW research model into your marketing and start attracting the right prospects to you. You can thank me later. 👏

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

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