Lead generation and feeding the funnel

Prospecting for business is a vital tool that creates leads and activity then hopefully is converted into business opportunity – if it’s done right. Great operators have prospecting and lead generation well sorted and sales flow as a result.

Over the years a business collects a great amount of data about its clients and suppliers, but often they fail to capitalise on what’s lying dormant in digital systems. Data mining can be a very profitable initiative that every enterprise should employ to discover patterns and trends. Off the back of this create a tailored followup program with personalised calling.

Let’s for a moment consider this example… all people that attend open homes with particular characteristics are recorded for 12 months:

Data mining for Lead Generation
Open homes per week 6
Total for 12 months 300
Average number of parties attending each one 7
Total number of parties attending open homes 2,100

If you managed a conversion rate of only 5% on this example at $12,000 each there’s a staggering $1.26 million of potential business ready for you to uncover!

Peter Adams is just one of our thought leaders at INK Consulting Associates



Creating a seminar with a difference

In today’s business environment, it is important to remember that many of our clients demand more support, information and help than ever before.  Even though they have access to considerably more information and data than previous generations, we are still seeing them struggling on how they use it more effectively and create better outcomes for their future.  As a business focused on a successful future, it is very beneficial for us to create events and meetings that enable our clients to attend either online or in person to get a better understanding of our product.  Regardless of industry or product type, it is crucial to create content and events that enable us to better skill our customer.  Helping them understand how our product works and the advantages of using it will assist in creating a stronger sales funnel with more loyal clients.

Target Markets

One of the main reasons for failure of small business is not understanding your customer. Identifying ‘target markets’ is therefore not just an exercise in segmenting customers by age or income, what is needed, is a deeper understanding of what drives your target customer’s decisions.

For example in Real Estate, the key question when trying to understand your customer is “why”.  When they explain they are interested in a 3-bedroom home in a certain area, you need to understand why. For an empty nester, a spare room may be needed for visiting family, while for first home buyers they may be looking for a room to rent out to generate income.

Understanding someone’s stated ‘position’ is easy, but to be effective you need to understand their ‘interests’ – the why. Moving from positions to interests is the first rule of negotiation, so whether it’s your vendor or a buyer, make sure you invest the time to find out what drives their decisions. This understanding of your customer not only avoids making dangerous assumptions, but can also lead to creative solutions, and delighted and loyal customers.

Contact David on 0800 800 303 to chat more.

David Ferguson
Negotiation Strategist



Who are your clients? What are they concerned about? Why do they buy from you?

Say hello to Mr Potato Head, he is 52 years old, married, lives in West Auckland and has a cat called Zeus.  Mr Head is a CEO of a medium-sized business, loves fishing at the weekend and only goes on social media to check up on his kids.

My question for you, does Mr Potato Head sound familiar? Is he one of your clients?

Can you describe your key clients in a few sentences?

You may have clients from different generations, from different walks of life. They are all at different stages of life too and your brand needs to have a clear message to each of them. Each of your target markets will understand influence in a different way, their core values, attributes and how they deal with money, are also individual for each generation.

Knowing who your customers are and how to help them connect with your business, is key and makes it easier to promote whatever you’re doing and bring them along on your brand’s journey. While we know you’d love to buy a coffee with ALL of them, another way to get to know who they are is to create Buyer Personas. The buyer persona concept will provide you with a handy template around the how, what and why to create your own individual fictional client. You can have as many as two or twenty depending on how many demographics you’re targeting in your business.

Contact Tom on 0800 800 303 to chat more about how to set up your buyer personas.

Tom Newton-Smith
Brand Strategist


Understanding your client

One of the key things for you to do this month is to really get an understanding of who your client really is.  Review sales for February, March and April and create a client profile or demographic that gives you a clear understanding of who your customer really is.  Consider location, age group and employment characteristics to build your profile.  By doing this, you will have a much clearer idea of who your client is and how to get more of them.  I am consistently seeing businesses that have not defined their target market of clients and understand how they can get more of them.  Spend the time to review your sales history and you may very well be surprised on how easy it is to get more of them.

Real Estate Communication “The Secrets” of becoming a better listener and speaker in real estate

The Four Levels of Conversation

Level One: Small Talk

Small talk is sometimes but not always, superficial conversation about the weather, the traffic, current events, school drop off and the like. Some people think it is purposeless, but it isn’t. This is your chance to size up another person and decide whether you have something in common. You don’t know the other person and you aren’t expected to reveal anything personal about yourself.  It is about getting a “feel” for them, creating a connection and is usually part of our first impressions.

Used during: Networking, social events, visitors to an open home, school drop off/pickup, que at the café or supermarket, a first time meeting.

Level Two: Fact Disclosure

Should the small talk phase go well, we are ready to move onto the second level of communication with our conversational partner. It maybe straight after small talk, or the next occasion. This time we will reveal a few facts about ourselves to the other, such as our occupation, our hobbies, sales experience. Now that you are revealing a bit more about yourself you may find more you have in common. There is give and take in this conversation as you ask and answer questions with your conversational partner.

Used during: Networking meetings and events, serious viewers at open homes, auctions, coffee catch ups, the start of an listing presentation.

Level Three: Getting Specific; Viewpoints & Opinions 

Conversation(s) at this level starts to get personal and relvealing. You may even venture into areas as politics or religion (but be cautious). The general rule is “low and slow,” don’t reveal too much too soon. You maybe asked your opinion on the market outlook or interest rates, it’s important to choose your words carefully when expressing opinion over fact.

Used during:  Monday phone calls; Listing Presentations, sales negotiations, open home feedbacks

Level Four: Personal Feelings

This usually doesn’t come until you feel very comfortable with your conversational partner. The surest way to get here is to not reveal too much too soon. It usually takes a lot of conversations with someone you feel very comfortable with before you progress to level four.

Used during:  social situations, post-sale, personal relationships.

Being aware of these levels of conversation can help you judge how your relationship with a vendor or purchaser is moving forward.  By following their lead you will make them more comfortable.  You can switch levels and give them the information they need more quickly and therefore create rapport. A sales consultant that is “easy to talk too” is more likely to make a sale.

The 7 key steps to create great business systems – Peter Adams

It’s vital to understand who your customers are and what you are doing that makes them want to spend more with you:

    1. Understand the outcomes.  Who are your dream customers, what do they want, and what can you do to make it easier for the really good stuff to happen?
    1. Document your best practises.  Now redesign them to accommodate the outcomes you have just defined.  
    1. Design a set of customer first principals.  Lock in the outcomes so everyone in the team understands what they need to deliver.
    1. Review and understand what’s working. Create a list of the good and the bad. 
    1. Eliminate in the name of efficiency. Getting rid of the bad stuff reduces the need to fight fires!
    1. Develop an implementation plan.  List a logical sequence and create a timeline for your redefined business system to be implemented.  
    1. Benchmark results & review performance.  Set regular review dates for incremental improvements.  

I look forward to hearing of your implementation success – peter@inkca.co.nz

The key components of using a database – Tracie Mattar

You need a database to help maintain the relationships of your past and potential clients. You need to ensure you are being kept front of mind for when people need to call on your services. Leaving it to chance or thinking people will just remember you, isn’t enough. Constant, regular contact is important, as is choosing the right system in which to capture your data and then work it.

If starting from scratch, you need to look at the network around you, who do you have currently in your email address book and phone contacts? Think of the sports groups/Community Groups/Networking opportunities. You can start by introducing yourself to the other businesses around the village that you are based in and include the professional sector of Solicitors, banks, Accountants, Doctors. It’s all about networking and becoming known around your area. Once you have collated all the information, make sure you take the time to enter the data cleanly and correctly – the most common method of capturing data is on an excel spreadsheet – this can then be easily imported into most CRM (Client Relationship Management) systems. 

Another thing to consider when looking choosing a system, is how easily can I access it from my mobile devices. Does it come with an APP? Can I log in remotely? Does the information synchronize so if I enter it into one device, will it update to the others?  Cutting down on double – entering data is what you’re looking for as this will make you more efficient and minimize on errors as well as having it available to you 24/7 on a mobile APP.

The other feature you need to consider is how easily you can create newsletters, marketing material, Just Listed, Recently Sold, Auction Invites etc and can you filter your database so you can send relevant information to specific people. Gone are the days of blanket marketing your database. Get creative – send content specific material of what’s important to your clients out to them.  You also want to have the ability to make and save notes, set tasks and store information so you can start to form a history around each person and hopefully a long lasting relationship, which is the key to a great database.

Getting started

When you have made the decision to prioritise the development of a systems and processes philosophy in your business, it is important to get the entire business to understand the key reason and purpose of this project.  

Once you have committed to get the team involved, we can begin following a process implementation system that will create a greater lift in your enterprise value.

10 key steps to creating a high performance process:

  1. Team meeting to explain purpose of systems and processes development and create buy in from the team.
  2. Identify a list of systems and processes within your business (heading only).
  3. Review each of these headings and decide on what would be an appropriate outcome if this process was followed.
  4. Define what the outcome level in dollar terms, customer satisfaction or business efficiency that you would expect if this process was followed correctly.
  5. Develop a list of activities in the process order that would deliver this outcome.
  6. Create an on-site delivery mechanism that enables your staff and contractors to follow your prescribed process.
  7. Create an audit process to ensure the process is being followed and its effectiveness towards achieving the outcome.
  8. Create a review of actual process outcome versus target and review success.
  9. Research and investigate industry benchmark outcomes that you can measure your businesses effectiveness and results against.
  10. Update and improve the process to move outcome towards target required.

Connecting Better

Ok, so it’s early in the morning, some of us have to work and we have got to hit the road fast to beat this crazy Auckland traffic. My thought after going to the Global Speakers Summit is “how do we connect better with either your workmates, clients or even with the community?” Steve Sammartino talks about box life.  We live, drive and work in boxes. We heat and eat from a box and finally die in a box. Unsettling and a great wake up call to how we do life. I even write this post with a box shaped tech, resting on a box sitting in my box office talking to myself after buying a box drink from a person in a box…lol.

Does work have to be box like this all the time? Is your brand in a box, which will one day die confined? So how do we change this? Do we need to change how branding is perceived and done in the future? I have always been told that customers are right from an early age and I truly believe this more and more in these times. For myself, it is about how customers experience your work, your brand, how personal you are, the touchpoint you give and the energy between those connections.

Your brand touchpoints need to be thought about from a head, heart and hands perspective.  How do your clients view your credibility, difference and relevance.  When was the last time you considered the five senses in your meetings, show some emotions and what buzz have you created through the media? Unlike the box metaphors, when was the last time you got out to participate in the local community or build local relationships?

To conclude, think about your client community, engage with them if only to encourage them, find a touchpoint to show you care. If you want to go deeper, explore further, contact us and we can help to deliver a brand strategy that expands the norm, challenges the past and provides hope for the future.

Dream Bigger

Many self-employed business owners enter into self-employment with the dream and vision of creating a hugely successful business that generates a high level of income.  As they begin the road of developing their business and then working within that business, the vision and the direction of where they can go gets distorted by the market and their economic factors at the time.  One thing I want you to do this month, is to think about what your initial dreams were when you first entered the industry you are in.  Are you achieving at their level or have you been held back by market forces and your own interpretation of your ability to achieve that higher result?  I encourage you this month to really focus on developing a much bigger vision for your business.  Think about how it could grow, how many more staff you could have and how many more customers you could work with, to grow a hugely successful company.

Many of our clients ask us to support them in their vision and mission development in their business to help create a much clearer direction of where they should head and how big their opportunity lies.   Please do not hesitate to give us a call to further discuss the strategic opportunities for your business being bigger, better and even faster.