In our industry, there is nothing more valuable, and simultaneously nerve-wracking than a new lead. While most of your big wins or successes start off as a simple lead, trying to chase those leads and turn them into paying customers can stress you out to no end.
If your leads are becoming a source of stress, instead of a source of hopeful optimism, you may be doing one of two things wrong:
1. You are judging your leads based on your emotions and feelings
2. You aren’t tracking your leads and results systematically
While different concepts entirely, failing to track your leads with a defined system usually is the cause of you to judge your leads emotionally. Without hard evidence and statistics to refer to, it is all too easy to make decisions about your leads based on emotion.
I don’t know about you, but personally, when it comes to business, I try to base all of my decisions in logic – NOT emotion.
Don’t Worry – Even the Best Real Estate Agents Still Make This Huge Mistake
That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake that’s OK to make – it just makes it a mistake that is more common than you might imagine.
Have you ever gotten a lead, looked it over and quickly made the decision that the lead wasn’t for you and didn’t follow up? You just rejected that lead based on emotion, not on facts or hard evidence.
Now, it’s pretty safe to say, the lead didn’t just give up looking for a house, simply because you decided they weren’t for you. They found an agent willing to work with them, and eventually found a house, putting money right into your competition’s pocket.
The old (slightly modified) saying rings true here: “One real estate agent’s trash is another real estate agent’s treasure.” You might even comfort yourself by thinking of this saying when you lose business to your competitors. Only you didn’t lose business to them — you GAVE business to them. All because your decision on that lead was made emotionally, without any basis in fact.
Now your competitor, who was likely better prepared to analyze the info from this new lead, is quite literally making money off of your mistake. As if it didn’t hurt enough already to lose a sale, but you have to live with the fact that you helped your competition make the same sale.
If your ego isn’t completely crushed yet, we can move on to:
How to Stop Making Emotional Decisions with Your Leads
This is the tough part, since humans are emotional creatures, and a lead is essentially just another human. So how do we break the vicious cycle of one emotional creature dealing with another creature based on emotional decisions?
The quick answer is going to sound very blunt: You need to stop thinking of your leads as human beings.
Now, don’t take that the wrong way. I certainly don’t mean to let the door slam in your lead’s face as the enter your office, or to direct them to the tree behind your office if they ask where the bathroom is. That strays away from not thinking of them as humans, and enters the territory of thinking of them as animals, and not what we are talking about at all.
Instead, you need to start thinking of your leads as numbers, especially when it comes to your results. There is a whole lot you can tell about your leads, absolutely none of which should be based on the gut feeling you get by looking them over. Next time you have a gut feeling while reviewing your leads, get yourself an antacid and then get back to reviewing your leads systematically.
Tools like our own Follow Up Boss, help you to execute this seamlessly. Unlike humans, systems don’t have emotions and only enable you to look at the cold, hard facts you are presented with.
I can see people getting out their pick axe’s already, leads aren’t numbers they are people. Just to reiterate we are talking about top quality people first service with a numbers driven approach to growing your business. All businesses run on numbers, even the unsuccessful ones, the numbers cannot be ignored if you want to improve your business. I guarantee you top quality service companies like Zappos look at numbers all day long, average call wait time, complaint numbers, leads, websites visits and so on.
The number of people that referred you because of your excellent follow up and service last month? (good number right).
Man vs. Machine
It’s an age old debate, with the outcome usually being that man simply can’t trust machines. When it comes down to making logical, unemotional decisions about your leads though, until you can learn to separate yourself from those self-defeating emotions, the machine is going to be your best friend.
Have you ever not followed up on a lead, because you thought what they were looking for wasn’t descriptive enough? If so, why? Isn’t there a chance those people simply didn’t know how to properly describe what they were looking for, and a follow up would have told you everything you needed to know to help you make a sale? The thought process behind that line of thinking is logical, but often gets buried deep beneath our emotional decisions.
On the other hand, using a system to track your leads, you don’t give that opportunity to start thinking that emotionally. You don’t see a lead who is less descriptive than you might like – you see a lead who you haven’t followed up with yet, and until you follow up with them, you will continue to see them as a lead that needs to be followed up on.
See how the emotional aspect is taken out of the situation entirely? No longer do you have the option to justify to yourself why you were “in the right” for not following up with your lead. You get a glaring reminder, that won’t take “no” for an answer, that you have a lead that needs following up on, plain and simple.
Balancing the New, Less Emotional You
It is important to note, that while dealing with your leads and other financial matters of your business, being emotional can certainly be your biggest downfall. From losing leads, to making bad hires or fires based on emotion, your feelings can do a whole lot to sabotage you in the business world, the real estate industry in particular.
Thinking in this new way should prove to bring you some quick successes, manage your leads better and even help you to make better decisions about your business as a whole.
At the same time, you need to know when making emotional decisions and reactions, especially outside of the office is called for. While a great personality to have for business, in a social setting, no one likes the person who is “all logic, no emotions”. Don’t be that person.
Lastly, if your significant other is looking for some attention from you upon you returning home, DO NOT reply with “I have to stop being so emotional and seeing you as a human being. You’re just a number!”
Yea, definitely don’t say that, but if you do, you can always save yourself with “Of course you’re just a number. You’re number one, honey!”