In that the last two years I have attended at least 10 tradeshows for real estate and met at least hundreds of people. One thing that always amazes me is the lack of follow-up in real estate. Out of all those trade shows I have attended, and you know which ones, the ones where you drop your card in a bowl in the hopes of winning the beach towel or basket of wine, and of all those places I have had maybe 5 companies contact me from dropping my card in. This has always blown my mind. Companies spend a lot of money to have the booth, buy the marketing materials for display and handout, and the gift, just to throw away those business cards?
So, why is this? Why do companies do this? I will tell you one reason and that is the people that staff these booths are rarely commissioned people, but salary people. This is like asking your McDonald’s employees to bring in more business.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with salaried people, that is needed for a lot of job functions, but, when you put salaried people in charge of following up with potential clients, you get the kind of response I have experienced.
A second reason is business owners just do not get it. I know some of these booths are manned by the actual owners. Surely, they will follow up right? WRONG! Business owners are usually too busy putting out fires and being reactive to actually conduct proactive marketing tactics. They spend the money on the booth, maybe get a new client or two, and stop at that.
So, how can you be more effective at networking and follow-up? First of all, if you run a booth, within 48 hours you should be TOUCHING those people that dropped their card off. Now, I don’t mean physically touching, I mean calling, faxing or emailing them. You do this in a non-threatening way by saying something along the lines of:
“Thanks for stopping by my booth, I hope you had a fantastic time! I did want to let you know that my company does XXXXX, and if you are ever in need of my services, please feel free to call or email me personally, and I would be more than happy to take care of you. Also, if you would like to be on our free email distribution list, simply reply back with the word “ADD” and I will get your on our preferred client email list!”
You do have an email list right? You should. I have had people buy houses from me that were on my list for over a year and told me they had been waiting for the right opportunity.
One more way to be more effective with follow-up is don’t go shoving your beautiful business card that you spent a lot of money on in everyone’s face. When you talk to someone, be sure to get theirs, THEN, if they ask you for one, give them yours. See, if you get theirs, you control the communication, you shoot them an email they next day saying it was nice to meet them, not wait for them to possibly email or call you.
Just a couple tips to increase your business!
About the Author: Ray Higdon is owner of RLH Holdings (www.buyahousefromray.com ), a wholesale investing company in Southwest Florida. Ray works with investors to get deals closed. Ray also speaks on Sales and Real Estate Investing. You can reach Ray at email@example.com
RLH Holdings, LLC
Cell: 239-248-2182 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org