For most Note Businesses the last couple months of the year marks the final stretch to get your marketing and transactions in order to close out the year strong. With the smell of fall in the air, many people look to this time of year to spend vacationing, at holiday events, and with friends and family. This leaves not only less “workable” hours, but it can also be harder to get a hold of potential note holders. Let’s take a look at a few ways to amplify your marketing plan at the end of the year to help you close your year out strong and prepare you for a more a great 2020!
First, begin with day one. Steven Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.” Meaning for this article, we take this one day further and instead of thinking about how we want to end 2020, let’s prepare for day one of 2021. Think about the day of 2021. What does your business look like? What do you want your business to look like? How is it different than it is today? How many transactions do you want to see in your pipeline? How much monthly traffic do you want coming in to you by phone? By website? By email? What marketing processes do you want to see automated, if any? What social media platforms do you want to see your note business on? Take some time to write down your answers.
Next, schedule everything on a calendar (and I do mean everything) the end of the year is filled with so many holidays, social times, obligations, travel, time off, etc. It’s hard to squeeze everything in if you don’t have time planned for it. Mark down and declare the time you need to participate in these activities (the social ones), but also realize that many of your note holders, investors, processors and servicers are also taking time off for these activities. We all need time away from the business (fishing, golf, boating etc.) so mark this unplugged time out on your calendar as well. Schedule your time to plan for the end of the year and into next year. After you’ve marked out your obligations and time away from your office you will have a clear idea of how much time you truly have for the rest of the year (X number of days) to achieve the results you want.
Third, set your SMARTER goals. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of SMART goals before but I have a tweak on the original SMART goals (S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R= Realistic, T = Time Specific). SMARTER goals are:
S = Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish. Example = I’m going to mail out 250 letters per week.
M = Measurable: Quantify the result. Example = I am going to follow up with 5 past note holders per day.
A = Actionable: Start with an action verb, not a to-be verb. Example = Email or schedule a call with one known influential industry professional per month with a couple of specific questions.
R = Realistic: Recognize and implement the power of incremental change over time. You’ve already marked out your availability on your calendar (first step above) so you know how much time you have for the rest of the year. Example = Increase transactions in my pipeline by 3 from the last quarter.
T = Time-Bound: Set a specific deadline. Example = I’m going to place two classified ads from November 2nd to December 11th.
E = Exciting: Make your goals personally compelling. Example = I will reward myself with an extra day of fishing for every transaction I close after I close 15 more transactions this year.
R = Relevant: Make sure your goals are appropriate to this stage of your business. Example = I’m going to create a follow up mail campaign for every note holder that contacts me to increase my exposure to them.
You should be able to come up with 2-5 SMARTER goals for your year-end marketing goals. Write them out. Print them out. Put them where you can see them and read them aloud to yourself every day.
Lastly, now that you’ve got your SMARTER goals set, you know what you want to accomplish, and how much time you actually have available to do so, plot out how you’re going to get there. Get out your one-page marketing plan and use it as a guide to plan your exact budget, marketing methods and placement through the rest of the year and into next year. These next couple of months are the perfect time to set yourself ahead of your competition. After all, they most likely will not take the time to go through the steps for year-end marketing success like you have, and I can guarantee that most of them won’t take advantage of my tips in this article at all.
With lighter schedules during the holiday seasons, note holders are more open-minded and willing to explore opportunities to sell their notes than in other times of the year. Think about this as well, the end of the year is the perfect time to position yourself with potential note holders that would like their transaction to close next year to avoid or delay any tax repercussions when selling their note. Let them know that you can make that happen.
If you take time to go through my above-mentioned year-end marketing steps this just might be your best year and ever and lead the way for an amazing new year as well! Hope this helps! Be kind, keep safe and stay healthy. Remember success demands action, keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)
Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital has been a note investor and broker specializing in the performing seller financed note industry since 1991. For more updated and current information on how he can help you with your note business, note investments, note appraisals or to request pricing options on a note visit www.armstrongcapital.com to email him and subscribe to his weekly Note-Able Newsletter.