This guest post is part of a series on the topic of online lead generation for CRE brokers and firms. It is written by Greg Schraff, Managing Director, digetry, LLC –  digital strategy and marketing company.  The Massimo Group has had much success working with digetry related to their digital strategies.


In today’s competitive marketing and sales environment, it is not enough to simply reach your target market or prospect, you need to also resonate with them – you need to speak in a way that they understand and can relate to.

[Tweet “Effective marketing language must be relevant, valuable, and useful.”]

Effective marketing language must be relevant, valuable, and useful.

This also applies online. If you expect to create messaging that resonates and builds trust online, you need to understand your prospects.

The best way to understand your prospects is to speak with them directly, or more practically, speak with your customers to understand what they were thinking when making the decision to work with you.

Interviewing your customers is the most direct way of learning about your prospects’ attitude towards your product or service, and how to best craft and position messaging that will gain their attention and turn them into sales prospects.

Talking with your customers and prospects has many positive benefits. Among them, it allows you to:

1) Reveal differentiators

Learn what is unique about your service, what your customers appreciate, and what it is that you are really good at – what they appreciate in the service you provide. This will allow you to highlight the unique value proposition you bring to the table and feature it in your marketing.

2) Confirm/identify opportunities

It is always nice to confirm the opportunities that you know exist, but it’s great to uncover opportunities you might not have thought about previously. Interestingly, talking with your customers about what it is they like about working with you often uncovers areas where you can provide additional value.

3) Clarify messaging

Speaking directly with your customers to get their impression of the sales process often reveals that you believe you are saying one thing but your prospect is hearing something entirely different. This insight will help you better convey your message and identify the communication obstacles you need to overcome.

4) Identify gaps

Along with clarifying messaging, talking with your customers can uncover any discontinuity between what you offer and what your consumers want. That is, how closely aligned yours services are to what the customer actually needs and expects.

[Tweet “Talking with your customers directly helps create messaging that resonates with your ideal customer.”]

The insight gained in talking with your customers is incredibly important in setting marketing strategy and has direct sales benefits by allowing you to create messaging that resonates with the right type of customer, i.e., your best customer.

One of the more effective, and efficient, ways to get your customers’ perspective is to simply call them on the phone. You’ll be surprised how many of your customers are interested in speaking with you, particularly if you explain that their feedback will help make your product and service better.

When conducting customer interviews, you only need to speak with enough people to the point where you identify trends and themes in the responses to your questions. This may happen with as few as 6 to 12 respondents.

Be respectful of your customers’ time. These calls don’t need to take more than 15 minutes; your questions should be well considered and conceived in advance, and should not include more than 10 questions or so.

[Tweet “Get inside your prospects’ shoes and look at your business from their point of view.”]

You can also get valuable customer insight by conducting an online survey. Surveys don’t reveal as much detailed information as talking directly with your customers, but they do allow you to ask more questions. Sometimes a combination of phone interviews and online survey is a good approach.

Talk with your customers and move away from what you think to what they think. Get inside your prospects shoes and look at your business from their point of view. This is the best way to learn how to create marketing that will reach and resonate with your audience. Remember, it’s not what is important to you, but rather what is important to them.


For a greater exploration on the topic of online marketing lead generation, please join us for a free webinar, “How to Get Your Commercial Real Estate Website to Generate More Leads” on Friday, September 30th at 1:00 pm eastern. Click here to register.

commercial real estate marketing webinar

Recent Posts

The 5 Pillars to Grow a Great CRE Business

When I was running my own commercial real estate firm, I was busy. I would characterize most days as chaotic. Even when I did have a plan for the day, distractions, interruptions, and opportunities would appear from nowhere and knock me off course. I had bought into...

A Simple Yet Powerful CRE Marketing Tool

The following blog post is from HBS Resources President and Massimo Group coach, Blaine Strickland. I am thrilled to share that Blaine has just launched his first book, Thrive: Ten Prescriptions for Exceptional Performance as a Commercial Real Estate Agent. In today’s...

How to Find Your Specialty with 3 Questions

I am continually surprised by Commercial Real Estate brokers who lack a specialty. All top performers in CRE have a specialty. Yet, those mired in mediocrity refuse to hone in on what they can be awesome at doing. In fact, business owners of all kinds often have this...

4 Ways To Make Telephone Prospecting Easy

I once worked with a commercial real estate brokerage manager who said there were two types of people in the world – those that didn’t like to cold call, and those that lie about liking cold calling. He might have overstated his point a bit, but he does have a point....

Here’s My Weekly Plan for Maximum Results

With our coaching clients, we implement a productivity program - appropriately termed I.P.A.I.D.™. This process allows them to look back at every day and answer “yes” to the question: “Was I paid today?” I also use this approach in planning for my week. Every Sunday...