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Business: Markets

The power, and danger, of your database

One of my clients is a land developer in an executive lake front community. The homes are $750,000 ' $1.5 Million dollar custom built beauties.

We were brought in to "be" their marketing department. To most outsiders, our firm looks like we are actually employees.

The reason we were brought in was their past marketing manager.

She got fired.

For a VERY good reason.

This was a person who acted as if the company was her own, and as if she was not accountable at all for marketing funds.

When I first started digging around, it was very evident that this person loved to spend the companies' money ' without any thought to results.

Ads being run in newspapers and magazines that DEFINITELY did not target the right demographics.

Radio spots being run on stations that 18 year old skateboarders listen to (how many of them do you think will buy a million dollar home?)

A website that looks pretty but is seriously lacking good quality content. The one VERY good thing they have on the site is a form to fill out for more information...but this is part of the big problem.

People were filling this form out ' and NEVER hearing back from anyone.

I tried to find all their databases.

"Data what?"

No one had a clue on where the databases were or even what they were.

After a month I managed to compile a list of ~ 2,000 interested prospects that had either been to the website and filled out the form attended an event phoned in or visited the information centre or had expressed some form of interest at one point.

Remember ' these are people who have not heard a word back from the developer ' some of them filled the form out a year or more ago!

First thing I did was send an apology letter to everyone on the database. Imagine the shock the staff had when I told them we have to apologize for being so tardy (and downright dumb) about lack of follow up.

Then I invited them all to 2 parties coming up.

Then I sent an email as well ' giving more information and reasons to attend.

The first was a VIP party held on Wed night. It turned out fabulous! We had 80-100 people show up and were very happy to hear from us and see all the progress being made. We served them top quality wine, cheeses, and bread. We gave them leather bound information packages with a ton of content and information inside. We gave out prizes. We had a Harley on display alongside a 1967 Mustang.

We treated them special.

And they ate it up.

The problem though is the responses I got back from the email list.

People replied back saying they waited and waited ' but never heard back and ended up buying elsewhere. At least 10 of those responses (let's see now ' 10 people x $1,000,000 homes = $10,000,000 down the drain!).

People called me names ' some nasty.

Overall, people were very thankful.

Which leads me to the whole point of this article...

You MUST collect leads from interested party but even more important is you MUST follow up with them. If people express their interest ' the job is at least 50% done. Then it is in effective follow up to close the deal.

This company neglected this database ' and even worse, neglected these peoples trust.

It will be interesting to see what we can do with some effective follow up.

From what I have seen so far ' simple letters and emails will help sell million dollar home sales. Of course it will take more than just that ' but most people were very happy to get emails and print letters from us.

I will keep you updated on the progress of this project ' it is a fun one.

Remember, keep a database ' and follow up with them! Invite them to special events. Give them gifts. Treat them like gold. And follow up with them again, and again, and again.

You are criminally neglecting these people if you take their names and do nothing with them.

The sad part?

This client is much like 95% of the companies out there in existence today.

Which is why it doesn't take much to stand out from the crowd as people are sadly quite used to this kind of neglect?

Be the one that does pay attention.

And be the one who shows them that you DO care about their business.

PS ' If you are looking for investment properties or are looking for one of the best communities to live in ' let me know! In the first 24 months, the lots in this community have gone up 250% in value.

The one person who lives there now has tripled his money in less than 2 years! Calgary (where I live) is a SCREAMING hot real estate market right now ' average home prices are going up at 10% a month right now. And this is the ONLY natural lake front community being built ' or even available right now. Let me know if you want more information.


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