There is so much written about crafting a value proposition – or an elevator speech. I’ve written about it in the past as well. You can read that post here for information on how to craft it.
What I want to share with you in this post is how dynamic a value proposition can be – and the different version you need at the ready.
A value proposition communicates three things: why you, why your company, and why now. It does so in terms of the benefits for the prospect.
But it can’t be rote memorized. Your value proposition needs to be dynamic. When you explain why you, you need to do it in a way that speaks to your audience. In other words, if I’m speaking to an institutional investor, I may communicate how I produce returns for my clients. If I’m talking to a widow, I may communicate how I take the headaches out of a real estate transaction and simplify the lives of my clients.
You don’t commit intellectual suicide when you are prospecting. You have to think and anticipate. And then act accordingly.
Beyond having dynamic topics to insert into your value prop according to the need of the moment, you need at least 3 versions of your value proposition.
- Super Short Form – This is when you have 30 seconds or less. It can happen on a prospecting call when these 30 seconds can earn you the right to continue the conversation for the next couple of minutes. Or it is for the fortuitous meeting. Think about when you are in line at Starbucks and realize the prospect you’ve been pursuing for a year is standing in front of you. You need to be ready.
- Long Form – This is when you have 2-3 minutes. You can communicate so much in 180 seconds – if you are prepared.
- Written Form – You should be using prospecting letters in your prospecting system. A written version of your value proposition needs to fit in one paragraph. You don’t have much space in a prospecting letter so you need to brief and razor-sharp.
- If you want to sound like every other broker, call a prospect and talk about yourself and what you do. I promise you they don’t care. Focus on how you benefit the prospect.
- If you are bored delivering your value prop, guess what? They are too. Go back to the drawing board and add some energy and passion.
- Practice. Then practice some more. Then role play with someone in your office. Then practice some more. I used to tape myself giving different versions of my value prop and then listen to it. Go practice some more.
Entrepreneurs suffer from what John Maxwell calls the Law of the Lid. This law says that the entrepreneur is the cap on what can be accomplished. In other words, he or she is the bottle-neck of their own business. Most entrepreneurs I know suffer from some version of this. The truth is just because you can do it better doesn’t mean that you should.
There is one particular conversation I have had with my wife about 4 times now. We had it again just last week.
I want to hire someone to come and clean the house. She doesn’t like to clean (though she does a great job). And I want to free her up so she can spend her time on other things. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
The problem is she doesn’t want a house-cleaner. She stays home with the kids. She feels like it is part of her responsibility to clean the house.
What I think she is missing is that our family would run better if she spent her time on the most important things. My guess is that if I asked her to make a list of the most important things, physically cleaning the house wouldn’t be on it. Spending time with our kids would be on the list. Volunteering in their schools would be on the list. Working out and taking care of herself would be on the list. Have more time for the things that matter – that is real benefit of a house cleaner.
The same is true in your business. What is it that you are doing that you shouldn’t be doing?
Every business owner (all of you CRE brokers are business owners) should achieve virtual freedom by following these 4 simple steps.
4 Simple Steps to Achieve Virtual Freedom and Build Your Team
- List all your tasks over the course of a week – If you’ve ever kept a food diary, you get the idea. List everything that you do. Everything. Check emails. Return calls. Create marketing package. Prospecting calls, etc. You are going to have two reactions. The first is you will be surprised at all the things you do. The second is you will be shocked at all the time you waste.
- Decide which tasks are the most important – Important tasks aren’t always urgent. They are normally high dollar activities. Prospecting activities. Creating presence in your market. Investing in your team. These are the most important things.
- Delegate anything that anyone else can do – Or ask yourself, which of these tasks are the ones only I can do. Everything else becomes a job description for someone else. Keep in mind here what you are worth an hour. If you aren’t sure, just hold on for a few days. I have a post coming up about that.
- Consider virtual assistants – I get that some of you don’t have teams. For you, I would consider virtual assistants. I have used them and highly recommend. There are thousands of exceedingly qualified free lance virtual assistants who can do anything from research your prospect list, create marketing packages, graphic design, to manage your email (doesn’t that sound awesome!)
I have some recommended reading for you and some sites if the idea of virtual assistants has tickled your fancy.
- Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker
- The Virtual Assistant Solution: Come up for Air, Offload the Work You Hate, and Focus on What You Do Best by Michael Hyatt. This is a really quick read and is only $2.99 on Amazon. This ebook will open your mind about what is possible with virtual assistants.
- Upwork (formerly Elance.com) – This is the site I’ve used most often – especially for graphic design work, copywriting, typesetting, etc.
- 99Designs – This is a super cool site. You can submit a contest for anything from a logo (I’ve done this twice), to all kinds of other website and graphic design needs. You submit the project, and dozens to hundreds of freelancers compete to win the business. It produces great results.
- EAHelp – This is the creme de la creme when it comes to virtual assistants. They are more expensive than overseas VA’s, but they are all professionals and English speaking. Plus, the EAHelp staff does extensive interviews and vetting to make sure they pair you up with the perfect VA. They are pure pros.
One of any Marine’s favorite movies is Full Metal Jacket. If you haven’t seen it, know that it is very R rated. It is also a very accurate picture of what Marine Boot Camp was like.
In one scene, the recruits are reciting the Rifleman’s Creed. I, along with all my fellow recruits, had to memorize and recite this creed when I was in boot camp as well. It is one of the ways the Marine Corps indoctrinates its recruits. You can read it by clicking here.
I’ve taken the liberty of writing the Prospector’s Creed. Instead of a rifle, we have our CRM…
The Prospector’s Creed
This is my CRM. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My CRM is my best friend. It is my business. I must master it as I must master my life.
My CRM, without me, is useless. Without my CRM, I am useless. I must use my CRM true. I must dial more than my competition who is trying to beat me. I must out dial him before he out dials me. I will…
My CRM and I know that what counts in business is not the calls we make, the noise of our presentations, nor the smoke that we blow. We know that it is the meetings that count. We will have meetings…
My CRM is dynamic and changing, even as I, because it is the foundation of my business. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its features, its functions, and its benefits. I will keep my CRM updated and ready, even as I am poised and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God, I swear this creed. My CRM and I are the prospectors of my business. We are the masters of our competition. We are the benefactors of my life.
So be it, until the business is mine, and there is no competition, but complacency!
Lists. Anyone who sells anything needs a list. A list of prospects. A list of influencers. A list of connectors. Your database is where those lists live.
I have a coaching client who has a complete database mess. He literally has 3 different databases that live in different places. One list lives in this CRM. One list lives in that CRM. His other list is an excel spreadsheet.
But at least he has a list.
My first years in commercial real estate were full of fits and starts. I didn’t prospect. I simply relied on our company’s presence in the market. Business would just walk in the door or call. Or it wouldn’t. Even if I wanted to prospect, I didn’t have a database.
Again in 2010, I restructured my prospecting focus. I didn’t have a list. So I built one (actually, my assistant did most of the work. I hope you all have a Teresa.)
Regardless of where you are in your career, you need a database full of all the people, prospects, and/or properties in your farm area. It is crucial that you can go pursue the business you want. To do that, you need to know who they are and how to contact them.
My most popular post ever is on the 3 ways to build a database. You can read it here. As a recap, here are the three ways to build your database:
My mom’s side of the family is from the Chicago area. I love it up there. When I was younger, I would go spend some time in the summers with family.
One particular summer, my great aunt and uncle took me to a very large house in their neighborhood. Whatever size house just popped in your mind when I said ‘very large,’ think bigger than that. It was the largest house I’d ever seen at the time.
The reason for our visit was to see the owner’s garage. He had a four car garage with 8 Ferraris in it. He literally had a lift in each bay with one Ferrari held up over another. The owner walked into the garage from his house wearing a Ferrari racing suit. He was passionate. And incredibly wealthy.
I got to see a 1958 Spider (classic yellow). I sat in one of two F40’s that he had. I remember not being able to move after he strapped in the 5 point harness. I did not get to see his Testarossa as it was in the shop.
This man – this Ferrari enthusiast – was one of the top brain surgeons in the country. He was a specialist. You didn’t go see him if you had a bad case of poison ivy. You didn’t go see him for the flu or a muscle tear. You saw him if you had a problem with your brain.
I spent 5+ years in the Marine Corps. It changed me, and there was a ripple effect.
When I was in college, and my wife can testify, I was a slob. My room was more than messy. My bathroom was frightening. Before that, my mom made me do my own laundry because I would not pick up my room. When she saw that I was ok with that deal, she made me keep the door to my room shut so my younger siblings would not see my bad example.
Then I enlisted. The Marines are fanatical about cleanliness – from the head (bathroom), to personal hygiene, to our uniforms. Everything should be perfect all the time. I was married after 1 year in the Corps. For the sake of my marriage, I had to get over my heartburn because my wife did fold my undershirts 6″ x 6″.
In fact, I took my 3 kids to see the Marine recruiter earlier tonight after we ate dinner. I was actually embarrassed walking in there because I did not shave today. Sheesh.
The Marines are also fanatical about systems. Everything they do is thought out and time tested. There is no reinventing the wheel. The reason we are so passionate about systems is they produce a predictable and desired outcome.
I am a Dave Ramsey fan. I think I started listening to him on the radio when I was in high school. His latest book, Entreleadership, is outstanding. I would highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.
Dave has this saying about momentum. He says that momentum is focused intensity over time.
I love that.
Don’t we all want a little more momentum in our lives – or a lot? Momentum is that mysterious force that makes things go your way. If you share my worldview, you would call it favor. Regardless, it is a great place to be.
I’m challenging you to manufacture some focused intensity – over the next 30 days. Each weekday over the next 30 days, I’m going to publish a blog post. Understandably, these posts are going to be a little shorter than what I normally post. However, they will be packed full of tactics and best practices you can instantly apply to your business.
Free Webinar: How to Start Your CRE Career with a Bang by Knowing EXACTLY How to Spend Your Time, Prospect, and Produce Consistent Deal Flow
||August 26, 2015
||3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern
||CRE New To The Business (N2B) Webinar - August 2015
||Click here to register.
Free Webinar: How to Simplify and Grow Your Business with the Right CRM
||August 19, 2015
||3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Eastern
||ClientLook Webinar - August 2015
||Click here to register.
I’ve written about this before, but I get asked about my recommendation on CRMs more than anything.
And rightfully so. A great Customer Relationship Management application is a crucial part of the technology backbone of any business – especially commercial real estate.
I’m really excited to announce my first webinar with ClientLook this Wednesday, August 19 at 3pm Eastern.
Claim My Seat for the Webinar!
You want to be on this webinar if:
- You are frustrated with complex CRMs that suck your time instead of save your time.
- You want all your data with you at all times so you can maximize your productivity on the move.
- Or in other words…never feel chained to your desk again!
- You waste too much time with data entry – ClientLook has a brilliant solution for this.
- You spend too much time reporting deal activity to your clients and owners.
- You want a CRM that will not only help you find and track, but will actually help you win business.
- …and so much more!
John Dawson, VP of Sales for ClientLook, is going to join me on the webinar to give a product demonstration. If you have ever wondered what ClientLook looks like behind the curtain, or what it can do, this is your opportunity.
I’ve also negotiated a special deal with ClientLook that you can only take advantage of on the webinar.
So I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday at 3pm Eastern. You will be glad you did as ClientLook is everything you need in a CRM, and nothing you don’t.
Claim My Seat for the Webinar!