Nothing Sells Quite Like a Demonstration – Even for Appraisals 

Last week Nancy and I explored the “Big E” in Springfield, Massachusetts with a few family members.  It’s the equivalent of a huge state fair and highlights the New England states.

My favorite part of this huge festival is watching how vendors hawk their products and services.  There are slicers, dicers, choppers, peelers, car wax, jewelry cleaners, sneaker whiteners, cosmetics, wrinkle removers, polishing cloths, and almost any product or service you can imagine.

These powerful, entertaining, and informative presentations SELL product.  

It’s true: Nothing sells like a demonstration.

In our profession, as trained and tested appraisers, most of our prospects and potential clients have no idea what an appraisal is, what it looks like, what kind they really need, or how it can help them. 

How can appraisers demonstrate their proficiency, competency, and the true need for our professional appraisal services?   – – The same way the live hawkers at the fair do – Give ‘em a demo!!

Before Johnny Cash made it big in the music business, he was a door-to-door home appliance salesman.   He wasn’t very good at it. His opening line was “Good morning ma’am, you don’t want to buy any appliances today do you?”

Naturally, we can’t go door-to-door like Johnny Cash, but I sadly hear, see, and read, that kind of “demo” on appraisers’ websites, marketing materials, telephone calls, and casual conversations.

Successful appraisers must also have their own form of a “demo.”  Your demonstration can be presented in many forms.   

Articles on your website, blog, newsletter, or social media posts, must explain the benefits (not the features) of your services and products.

Your presentations at Rotary Club meetings, Bar Association mixers, and Financial Planner Association dinners are great places to ‘demo’ your wares.   Your local library, community college, and senior center, or retirement community are also perfect venues for sharing your knowledge and ‘soft selling’ your services. 

Your demo can be in the form of a sample appraisal report; complete with comparable sales data and your reasoned justification.  Create one sample report for each of the major intended uses so your prospects can see how it fits their needs.

Marketing materials must also reflect the benefits of your services, and of a USPAP-compliant, narrative appraisal report.  Explain the difference between a ‘road-show’, ‘walk-thru’, and on-line ‘values.’

Create a short script or bulleted outline for handling telephone inquiries.  Ask the caller the questions that lead you to the sale.   Provide just enough information so they discover that you are the expert, but don’t  “give away the store.”  Lead them to the sale.

Develop a standard email reply that includes an article on the appraisal process, your CV, links to your website – AND be certain to include the next steps in the appraisal process.

Be proactive with lines like:  

– “I will call you later this week so we can discuss how to get this started.” 

–  “After you’ve reviewed the attached, give me a call, and we’ll figure out our next steps together.”

–  “Next week looks pretty flexible, can we set up a day to conduct the onsite inspection?”

Don’t let it happen.  Make it happen! – – With a prepared and professionally presented demonstration.

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