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MICHIGAN EDITION

GOOGLE ADWORDS: How to Make Google do the Work for You Why Millennials are Now the HOTTEST SEGMENT OF THE BUYERS MARKET A Step-by-Step Guide to CONVERTING INTERNET LEADS TO REAL LIFE SALES

7 Reasons Why Your Prospects Aren't TURNING INTO CLIENTS

FEATURED AGENT

JOHN T. ROCKEY COVER STORY

MARY PEACOCK


MICHIGAN EDITION

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MARY PEACOCK

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JOHN T. ROCKEY

JOHN T. ROCKEY

John T. Rockey, Associate Broker a EXIT Realty 1st in Jackson, Michigan has achieved Top Agent status through a combination of hard work, honesty and a true concern for all of his many buyers and sellers. Affable, engaging and a true people person, John is often referred to as the Unofficial Mayo of Jackson, a sobriquet he finds both amusing and complimentary.

John began his sojourn in the real estate world sixteen years ago when he was invited by a fellow member of his local chapter o Business Network International to enter the profession. Obtaining his license in 2003, he jumped in feet first and hasn’t looked back since. Quickly establishing himself as a Realtor who can be consis tently trusted to place his client’s needs front and center during every transaction, John has built a solidly successful business tha continues to grow exponentially, year after year.

CONTENTS 4) 7 REASONS WHY YOUR PROSPECTS AREN'T TURNING INTO CLIENTS 13) WHY MILLENNIALS ARE NOW THE HOTTEST SEGMENT OF THE BUYERS MARKET

19) GOOGLE ADWORDS:

Serving South Central Michigan, John’s HOWprimarily TO MAKE GOOGLE DO consummately professional approach has resulted in a business that is based almos THE WORK FORandYOU entirely on repeat clients referrals from satisfied customers “It’s because I’m honest,” he says, by way of explaining this impressive level of client loyalty. “Also, my clients don’t sense any arrogance from me, and they canGUIDE tell that I’mTO listening to them 22) A STEP-BY-STEP ICONVERTING work very hard to get their deals done. Many of my INTERNET LEADSclients tell me that they wouldn’t trust anyone else.”

TO REAL LIFE SALES

The appreciation John feels for his clients is clearly reciprocated as is made evident by this glowing review on Zillow.com: “John was great. We received more money than we expected from the sale of our home. He had quick responses to my emails and kep me informed through out the whole process. I would recommend Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 John to anyone who is looking for an honest, trustworthy and hard working Realtor. I will definitely work with him again in the future mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com Keep up the great work John” No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S.

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7 Reasons Why Your Prospects Aren’t Turning Into Clients Real estate experts suggest prospecting daily so that your sales pipeline never runs dry. But sometimes all that effort doesn’t translate into results. If your prospects aren’t becoming clients, there’s a reason, which is better than it sounds because that means you can fix the problem. 4

1. You’re Too Slow The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States alone. Of course, not all these individuals are working in the same markets. Nonetheless, that

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If your prospects aren’t becoming clients, there’s a reason, which is better than it sounds because that means you can fix the problem.

means that realtors face a lot of competition. If you are slow to respond to messages from prospective clients, someone else is sure to beat you to it. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to return calls and emails within 24 hours. If you’re too busy working with active clients to return the phone calls and emails of prospective clients, consider hiring a real estate assistant who can help take administrative or marketing tasks off your plate.

2. They Don’t Trust You There are different reasons why a client might not trust you, some of which overlap with others on this list. When a client asks you a question, do you answer it directly or do you sidestep it? Do you have testimonials and reviews from happy clients publicly available? Do you have an online presence? Social proof of your skills and knowledge is key.

3. You Don’t Seem Knowledgeable Enough Is your client constantly coming to you with new listings or marketing ideas rather than the Top Agent Magazine

other way around? Do they mention real estate and finance terms you’ve never heard of or ask you questions you’ve never thought to ask yourself? Every agent starts somewhere, but if this seems to be a pattern, it’s one clients will pick up on too. Your clients want to know that you will add value to their home buying or selling experience, and part of that value is your expertise and passion.

4. You Have No Web Presence It’s not enough to be on Zillow or have a Facebook page. There are clients who don’t use these platforms, and at the end of the day, you don’t own the content or your access to it. Both platforms could suddenly go out of business and any following you’ve gained could be lost. It doesn’t cost much to create and maintain a website today. If customization matters little to you, sometimes you can even get up and running for free. At the very least, it’s a good idea to invest in a domain name because yourwebsite. wordpress.com looks a lot less professional than yourwebsite.com.

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5. You Don’t Seem to Care When clients don’t think you care, it usually means they don’t feel like you are listening. You may have systems, processes, and a proven marketing strategy. You may like to get right down to business, but to your client, this isn’t just business—it’s their life and their family’s livelihood. When your client tells you what’s important to them, they want to make sure that you really hear them. Make sure your body language conveys that. Slow down. Shut your office door. Make eye contact, nod your head, and pause before you speak so that they understand that you’ve put thought into your words—that they aren’t simply lines from a script.

6. You Use Too Much Jargon Remember that your clients don’t speak real estate. At most, they might buy or sell a home once every few years. They hired you to be their advocate and may even expect you to be a bit of a teacher too. Use layman’s terms so that your

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client fully understands how the two of you will work together.

7. Your Target Audience Is Everyone Your clients are home buyers and sellers, yes, but who is your ideal client? Some specialties you might consider are college students and recent graduates, working professionals, military families, seniors, CEOs, or other high-profile clients. As a newer agent, your target audience might be anyone who will hire you, but over time, you might find that you click more with certain clients, that their lifestyle is similar to yours, or that their goals align with your mission. Whatever the reason, marketing your business to this “ideal client” rather than every potential client will make selling your services easier. Remember: It’s within your power to alleviate your client’s concerns, but understanding why your prospects aren’t turning into clients is a good start.

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MARY PEACOCK 7


“We really strive to give the best customer service that we can. We work to give, not five star service, but six star service. We really pride ourselves on keeping our standards high.”

Mary Peacock How did Mary Peacock become one of the most trusted names in Michigan real estate? Mary ran an equine reproduction center until the economic downturn. At that point she set her sights on her other passion: real estate. “I love houses. I love interior decorating. I love helping people!” she says. With encouragement from her husband, she dove into her new career and soon had a thriving business. As the broker/owner of Peacock Real Estate, she now leads a team of ten serving the mid-Michigan area. “I have buyer’s specialists who work with buyers to find them their dream home, and then I have sales specialists who focus on maximizing the market price for each home,” Mary says. “I also 8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

have an amazing admin team that keeps the paperwork rolling.” As a result of the amazing service Mary and her team provide, over sixty percent of their business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps her clients coming back? “I think it’s our elite service,” Mary says. “We really strive to give the best customer service that we can. We work to give, not five star service, but six star service. We really pride ourselves on keeping our standards high.” Mary and her team are innovative, constantly improving their service as they receive client feedback and staying on the cutting edge of technology. “We are also very involved in the community and that’s huge for us and our success!” she says. Top Agent Magazine


To stay in touch with past clients, Mary hosts fun, well-attended client events and bi-annual client giveaways. She also reaches out by phone or text to say hello and let her clients know she is thinking of them. She and her team are out-and-about in the community, volunteering for local charities such as Sell a Home, Save a Child, a nonprofit that gives back to underserved children in third world counTop Agent Magazine

tries, and Homes for Heroes, a programs that allows firefighters, police officers, teachers and military personnel to purchases homes at a reduced cost. Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


“I love it when a seller is able to go to that next step that they are looking at; and I love it when buyers find that dream home they have been looking for, a place where they can make memories. Being a part of that is amazing!” To market listings, Mary starts with high quality photographs of the entire property, including drone photography, and a 3D tour of the listing. “We have a graphic artist on staff as well, so we really make sure we put our best foot forward when it comes to our listings!” Mary spreads the word about each listing through her wide network of conCopyright Top Agent Magazine 10

tacts in the area, as well as online on the MLS and all the major real estate websites. Currently in mid-Michigan it’s a sellers’ market, and Mary and her team work as home matchmatchers, bringing buyers and sellers together for a transaction that’s a boon for everyone. What’s Mary’s favorite part of the job? “Dealing with people!” she Top Agent Magazine


says. “I love it when a seller is able to go to that next step that they are looking at; and I love it when buyers find that dream home they have been looking for, a place where they can make memories. Being a part of that is amazing!” Top Agent Magazine

In her cherished free time, Mary loves to spend time with her family and her two-year old granddaughter. She enjoys traveling. “We went to Ireland last year for a graduation present for my daughter when she graduated from Michigan State University,” she says. “That Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


was a lot of fun!” She and her husband are big foodies and can often be seen out trying new local restaurants. For the future, she plans to continue to constantly improve her team’s

customer service. “It’s a lost art and one we believe in,” she says. “We strive to be better and better every day.” Now that’s a worthy goal, and one her clients will appreciate!

To find out more about Mary Peacock, contact her via email at mary@peacockrealestate.com or by phone at 231 - 856 - 4456. You can also check https://www.facebook.com/theninjarealtor/ her out online at peacockrealestate.com. http://

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https://www.facebook.com/theninjarealtor/

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Why Millennials Are Now the Hottest Segment of the Buyers Market

and How You Can Attract Them to Your Home There are many factors when it comes to knowing how to sell your home to the Millennial generation. Millennials are becoming an important part of the buyer market, and to fail to cater to their needs will cut you off from a large and important segment. But, why have Millennials all of a sudden become interested in buying houses when they were perfectly content to rent for the rest of their lives? Top Agent Magazine

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A number of factors contribute to what has recently made Millennials the hottest segment of the Buyers market. One factor is the improved job outlook for Millennials. Millennials took a serious blow during the recession. Unemployment in this group soared to 14 percent, compared to the 9.6 percent for the population as a whole. But, in recent years that number has been decreasing, with unemployment for Millennials being 9.3 percent this past year. Rising rents are also contributing to making Millennials more interested in purchasing homes now. Rents have risen so much that buying a home now just makes more sense. Half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Millennials are becoming increasingly stressed over the constantly increasing financial obligation to something that isn’t even theirs to own. The near-historic low mortgage rates are luring Millennials towards purchasing a home with their promise of affordability. When compared with the skyrocketing rental rates, buying a house looks even more enticing. Another factor helping Millennials get over the hump of purchasing a house is the lower down payment requirements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering new loan programs that require as little as a 3 percent down payment. This may just be the last push the Millennials needed to turn toward buying a home rather than rent. So, now that we’ve established that Millennials are finally joining the Buyers market, the next thing that it is important to understand is what exactly Millennials are looking for in a home. What kind of floorplans do they prefer? What locations are they interested in? Here are some of the essentials that Millennials are looking for in a home: • Updated Kitchens and Baths: Almost everyone wants to buy a

home with new kitchen and bath fixtures, but this is especially true for Millennials Buyers. Millennials are going to spend most of their savings on the down payment and furnishings, leaving little room to update the Kitchen and Bath, which are also the most expensive parts of a home to

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update. Millennials who are on a budget simply won’t have the money to sink into those areas. An updated Kitchen and Bath is sure to bring in a younger crowd. • Big Kitchen with Open Floor Plan: For Millennials, the kitchen has

become the room where they hangout in addition to the family room. This is why having an open space that can transition easily from the kitchen to the TV room is high on the list of things Millennials are looking for in a home. Along a similar vein, Millennials are attracted to an open floor plan rather than one that compartmentalizes the home. This has to do with how Millennials entertain. Millennials want their guests to flow through the rooms and mingle together, rather than be sectioned off in different rooms.

• Home Office: More than 13 million Americans now work from home,

and if you look at the trend, that number is only going to increase as the time goes on. With technology steadily increasing, more Millennials than ever have the flexibility to work from home. But, the home office isn’t just for someone working from home full time. Having a separate space dedicated to work helps people concentrate and focus on work while they are at home. They can separate themselves from the activities going on around the house and have a quiet space where they can set up their workday, plan a presentation, hold a meeting on Skype, or even pay bills.

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• Less Maintenance: Many Millennials work different schedules that

don’t conform to the 9 to 5 workday, as well as full social calendars. This doesn’t leave them much time to clean a big house. Lawn services and low-maintenance front yards are particularly appealing, as they take less responsibility to still keep the curb appeal high.

• Energy-Efficient Appliances: Millennials have been educated on

keeping the Earth clean from the time they were born. They want to do their part to help the environment and appreciate the long-term cost savings that come with it. Energy-efficient appliances and greener ways to heat and cool the home might end up being the tipping point that makes them choose one house over another.

• Hardwood Floors: Millennials don’t have the time or patience to clean

dirty carpets, especially those that own pets. Hardwood and laminate flooring is easy to mop up if there’s been a mess. The more time they can conserve, the better.

• Good Location: Millennial buyers are looking for homes that are in

proximity to public transportation and have a good walking score. Young Millennial buyers without children are more likely to want a location closer to the action of the city, while Millennials with children would prefer more residential areas.

• Technology: Technology rules the Millennial’s life. They do work on

their computers through an Internet connection and solely use cellphones for communication. They are going to ask about how strong the cell service is and about the Internet service provider. While these amenities are out of the seller’s hands, Millennials are still going to ask these questions, and you will need to know how to answer them.

Knowing what Millennials are looking for in a home will ultimately help you make the necessary changes that will attract these buyers to your home. Since they are the a serious segment of the market now, updating your home to fit their needs will lead to more buyers and better offers. So, get with the times and embrace the Millennial buyer. 16

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JOHN T. ROCKEY John T. Rockey, Associate Broker at EXIT Realty 1st in Jackson, Michigan has achieved Top Agent status through a combination of hard work, honesty and a true concern for all of his many buyers and sellers. Affable, engaging and a true people person, John is often referred to as the Unofficial Mayor of Jackson, a sobriquet he finds both amusing and complimentary. John began his sojourn in the real estate world sixteen years ago when he was invited by a fellow member of his local chapter of Business Network International to enter the profession. Obtaining his license in 2003, he jumped in feet first and hasn’t looked back since. Quickly establishing himself as a Realtor who can be consistently trusted to place his client’s needs front and center during every transaction, John has built a solidly successful business that continues to grow exponentially, year after year. Serving primarily South Central Michigan, John’s consummately professional approach has resulted in a business that is based almost entirely on repeat clients and referrals from satisfied customers. “It’s because I’m honest,” he says, by way of explaining this impressive level of client loyalty. “Also, my clients don’t sense any arrogance from me, and they can tell that I’m listening to them. I work very hard to get their deals done. Many of my clients tell me that they wouldn’t trust anyone else.” The appreciation John feels for his clients is clearly reciprocated, as is made evident by this glowing review on Zillow.com: “John was great. We received more money than we expected from the sale of our home. He had quick responses to my emails and kept me informed through out the whole process. I would recommend John to anyone who is looking for an honest, trustworthy and hardworking Realtor. I will definitely work with him again in the future. Keep up the great work John”

John’s comprehensive, intelligent and broad-spectrum approach to marketing has ensured that his listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible, and is just another factor in his continued success in the industry. Utilizing a robust web presence, staging, and professional photography for every listing are among the many tools he employs to great effect. “My listings are on the internet on at least a hundred sites,” says John. While the financial rewards of his chosen profession are not inconsiderable, it’s the more personal side of the transaction that provides John with the most satisfaction. “I love helping people achieve their dreams,” he explains. “I like that my clients have trust in me, and that they know that if they need something all they have to do is send me a text or give me a call.” John is very much involved in the Jackson community. Heavily involved with his church, he is a board member for their Marriage Matters organization that has the goal of preparing, promoting and preserving healthy relationships. He also continues his twenty-three-year membership in the Business Network International organization. When he’s not working, John enjoys spending time with his family. He is also an avid pilot, who has owned five airplanes during his lifetime, and will be building a new one from a kit that he hopes to begin flying in 2019. Basketball, woodworking and doing projects around his home account for the balance of his free-time activities. As for the future, John’s immediate goal is to hire an administrative assistant to help free up some of his time for building his plane and possibly spending time with his daughter and son-in-law, who are linguists in Ethiopia, as well as providing the ability to assist even more clients. “There are so many people to serve and take care of,” he explains. “It’s a blessing. God has been good to me. Without Him, I’m nothing.”

For more information about John T. Rockey, please call 517 - 745 - 1218 or email john.t.rockey51@gmail.com Top Agent Magazine

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Google AdWords:

How To Make Google Do the Work for You There is no denying that the internet is the first place a buyer begins looking for a new home in this digital age. Knowing how to put the powerful tools available on the internet to work for you can give you a decided advantage when it comes to attracting prospective buyers to your listings, as well as you as an agent. Google is easily one of the major superpowers of the internet, and they have one of the most powerful advertising tools available. Knowing how to utilize Google AdWords in the correct manner can make your internet advertising immensely powerful and possibly your best way to reach prospective buyers. Google AdWords is also extremely cost-effective. This multifaceted tool gives you much more control over your advertising campaign than other more traditional methods. You can target specific audiences, choose the specific search terms, also known as keywords, that will bring up your ad in someone’s search results, and you can set a budget for each campaign that will dictate it’s reach and how long the campaign will run. Here are some tips for how to put Google AdWords to work for you. Top Agent Magazine

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ent websites. You want to set yourself apart from every other real estate website users are viewing in their search for a house.

MAKE SURE YOUR ADS ARE GOING TO SEND USERS TO A SITE THAT WILL CAPTURE THEIR ATTENTION

You can spend an infinite amount of money on Google advertising campaigns, but if those ads don’t send users to a site that will capture and hold their interest, then you’ve just wasted all that money. Don’t put your cart before the horse. Make sure you are considering exactly where these ads are going to send users. To set up your website for success, at the very least you want to make sure users are greeted by clear call-to-action, such as a message that will encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog. You want to set up your website to maximize and capture the leads the ad campaign sends your way.

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BUILD CUSTOMIZED OR CUSTOM-MADE WEBSITES RATHER THAN TEMPLATE WEBSITES It is easy and tempting to use template websites, or to offer your agents template websites if you are a real estate manager or broker. While this offers a cost-effective solution to providing every agent with a website, it does little to set you or your agents apart and capture the attention of users that are used to seeing a wealth of differ-

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MAKE SURE YOU ARE OFFERING VALUE ON YOUR WEBSITE

Don’t simply use your website as a kind of brag sheet. Let users know what makes your particular services valuable to them. Highlight your expertise in a certain location through tools such as blog posts, providing market updates, or giving pertinent information on a unique type of property. This will ensure that your online advertising campaigns are much more successful.

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LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!

Location is everything in real estate, and the same holds true for Google AdWords. You can target specific locations in your ad campaign. While one approach is to focus on the area around your location, a more advanced approach would be to link AdWords campaigns to your Google My Business account. This is a Google service that includes your address in the ad, allowing people to then click on it and see exactly where you are located on a map.

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USE GOOGLE ADWORDS IN YOUR CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS IN GENERAL

Focus an AdWords campaign on expanding your business by incorporating specific zip codes and neighborhoods that will help you establish a presence in an area where you would like to increase your real estate business. Making sure that your ad appears in search results that are related to the real estate in a specific area will help shape the image and brand of your business as well as bring in new leads.

HARNESS THE POWER OF DATA

When you run a Google AdWords campaign Google Analytics captures a wealth of information about your target client demographic. You can gain real insight into your online visitors, such as when they visit, what they do and look at on your site once they get there, and what search terms they use. You can use all of this information to grow your business. Use Google Analytics to determine which users (location, gender, age) are utilizing specific aspects of your site, such as looking at multiple listings, reading your blog, etc. You can then use this information to target these specific demographics in your AdWord campaigns, Gmail ads, the Google Display Network, and other advertising.

Using the internet to help advertise your business and your listings is one of the smartest moves you can make as an agent in this modern age. However, you don’t want to simply go into the process blind or you’re wasting a lot of potential resources and data that could make all the difference. To reap the benefits of Google AdWords, you must apply an intelligent strategy to using these campaigns. Top Agent Magazine

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A Step-by-Step Guide to

Converting Internet Leads to Real Life Sales In the era of apps, instantaneous social platforms, and text messaging, it’s little surprise that the modern homebuyer begins his or her search for real estate representation online. Even if you’ve got a top-notch website or an influential social media presence, how do you connect with web surfers who have yet to commit to the services you offer? Take a look below to learn a few key techniques to bridge the gap between digital interest and real-world sales. 22

RESPONSIVENESS IS KEY Like it or not, our digital culture relishes immediacy and instant gratification. With that in mind, be sure to stay on top of online interest forms, e-mails, or newsletter signups. Don’t let an online lead go to waste by taking too long to engage and follow-up. Things move fast, and it’s easy for potential clientele to forget which websites they’ve visited. Even if your lead isn’t ready to commit then and there, you demonstrate your

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Mastering the fundamentals of digital communication is the first step to converting digital interest into concrete business. accessibility and attentiveness by following up swiftly—a characteristic anyone would seek in an agent or lender.

ENGAGE WITH OPEN-ENDED CONVERSATION When online back-and-forth goes stale, communication drops off quickly. If you’re following up via e-mail, social media, or text, be sure to keep topics focused squarely on the potential client. Ask open-ended questions to give your lead the opportunity to loosen up and engage on a personal level. There’s no better way to cement a digital lead than to take a pointed interest in the specifics of their situation. Doing so transforms the impersonal invisibility of the internet into a true connection.

GIVE ADDED VALUE Plenty of businesses send impersonal, automated messages in response to an online inquiry, but establishing a true connection may mean providing your lead with something of value. Perhaps you’re forwarding a property for sale that fits the interests of your lead, or a relevant article, or maybe you take the time to send a personal message—demonstrable value and a personal touch separate your follow-up response from spam. Other ideas to consider when Top Agent Magazine

adding value to your follow-up technique: incorporate area promotions and access to local events, make a date for coffee, or offer a brief consultation free of charge to make the first move.

DON’T STOP MAKING CONTACT If you don’t connect with your internet lead right off the bat—don’t be discouraged. It often takes multiple tries before a follow-up interaction sticks. Folks are busy and frequently flooded with e-mail blasts and junk mail. A lead may not engage without a little prodding that shows you’re committed to their business. Remember: it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Digital leads don’t have to be difficult to capture. The internet plays a powerful role in funneling modern clientele your way, but in order to take full advantage of the web’s reach, you’ll need to tailor your follow-up technique. Mastering the fundamentals of digital communication is the first step to converting digital interest into concrete business. Keep these tips top-of-mind as you build your online presence and mine the vast world wide web for an endless wealth of clientele. Earning a command of digital lead conversion is the surest way to bolster your business in the ever-evolving digital era.

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