I was reading a Seth Godin blog post this week, and one line jumped out at me. “The key in understanding someone’s actions is understanding their agenda.” While the context of the post wasn’t referring to homebuyers or sellers, it is completely appropriate. This is true from the first meeting with them, when you are figuring out if the client relationship is going to bloom, to the negotiation process, when you are working to get them everything they want in a purchase/sale contract.
Since I’ve been focusing so much on public relations, and prospecting for new business, this was definite food for thought. Then, I read a blog post by David Meerman Scott on implementing the new rules of marketing and public relations. He advises to cut back on “product-centric advertising and communications,” and get out to talk to potential clients (he calls them ‘buyer personas’) to understand how they make decisions and what is most important to them. Across the board, every marketing/advertising/public relations source I’m reading is now advising that relationship marketing is how to reach consumers.
People are Bombarded
Interruption marketing (television ads, print media) is now passe. People are bombarded with so many messages that they now tune them out. Tivo = no commercials! Think about it from a real estate standpoint: are they actually looking at your just listed or just sold postcards? You can’t build a client base with “look at me” messages, when the consumer wants to know “how does this benefit me?”
Using social media as a way of communicating with your clients is a logical progression: interupption marketing has given way to permission marketing, as the consumer allows you to engage them in genuine conversation, and you allow them to know you as both a professional and a source of information. Keep in mind that the goal is to converse with your clients, not talk at them.