What you must do now to strengthen your brand

It should be mandatory for every senior executive in a company to experience their brand from the same perspective that the “people” do. It’s imperative to get out of the corner office and mingle among the people you serve.

This is an excerpt from an article Shawn Parr wrote for Fast Company back in 2011 titled, “If You’re Not Sitting Where Your Customer’s Sitting, You’re Really Not Seeing Your Brand. 

I recalled this quote this morning when I wondered…

When was the last time you sat through an agent’s listing presentation? 

You know – the thirty-minute soliloquy and slide deck accompaniment replete with dozens of pages of charts, graphs, images, colorful arrows, syndication site logos, testimonials, and market share stats. The one your agents recite to every prospective seller.

Sat through one recently?

Go ahead and you’ll discover it’s all about the agent. Regardless of how long it is, all the listener hears through the entire narrative is me me me me me and very little you, your house, your transaction, your comfort, your trust, your journey. Inserting [seller’s name here] and [seller’s address here], along with MLS data on their neighborhood or comps isn’t personalization. It’s paint-by-numbers service.

I suspect you, as a broker/owner, want something more for your company and your brand. You want to stand out. To matter. To distance your brand from the salesy stereotype and instead foster a more progressive and professional aura.

To accomplish this, you might consider training agents to…

Talk less and listen more

Imagine you’re escorted into the exam room at your doctor’s office. The physician enters, sits across from you, hands you a tablet and proceeds to tell you all about him.

The whole time he’s talking you’re wondering, when is he going to ask me where it hurts or why I am here?

Imagine how you feel when he never asks.

Consider this: If an agent has been invited into a seller’s home to give a listing presentation, the seller likely already knows a thing or two about that agent’s qualifications. The agent could yap on about himself and his company, believing that’s what the seller wants to hear. Or he could take a different approach. An empathetic one. And begin the conversation with:

Thank you for inviting me into your home. Tell me about yourself. 

Karl Menninger, renowned psychiatrist and author of the book, “The Human Mind,” wrote this back in 1930

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing. It’s a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

Karl abides.

For eons, agents have been shouting, hoping that people will listen. The shouts reverberate through nugatory copy scripted across their websites, and the endless array of canned emails, newsletters, Facebook memes and gobs of other marketing ooze so-called gurus constantly lead them to create.

Sadly, it’s the exact same debris everyone else creates, most of which remains largely unread.

Maybe it’s time to shout less, and listen more.

Every seller has a story. We all want to be heard. It takes just one simple question. And the restraint required to really listen.

In their shoes

Consider taking this challenge:

Be the consumer.

Give it 30 days. Call about listings. Leave messages. Wait for return calls. Search local agent sites. Schedule a few listing presentations. Sign up for agents’ newsletters. Follow them on social media.

Bring it all into your life. Front and center.

After 30 days, let’s talk. I’ll be interested to know if at any point you felt like screaming SHUT UP!

I promise to be a great listener.