As we often do, after last week's "SOI for Advanced Practitioners" show I collected feedback from the audience as to their "Favorit-est Tip(s)" from the show. Below are the results.
If you'd like to read more about what the show was about, you can do that here, but in a nut, we discussed various approaches to inspiring the people you know and the people you meet (your "sphere of influence" or SOI) to think of you as someone they'd trust with their business and referrals. And no, doing that has nothing at all to do with bombarding them with bi-monthly postcards or incessantly reminding them of your affection for referrals. No, it's much simpler than that; in fact, THAT was one of the underlying themes of the show - that there really isn't any such thing as "Advanced" SOI! The simpler and more authentic... the more effective your SOI efforts will be. The more complicated or sophisticated they are... the less effective they will be.
So... here are the Favorit-est Tips!
Favorit-est Tip #1: Avoid the "Predator" Approach (thank you Deb Stephenson!)
When you go out into the world hoping to inspire the people there to think of you as someone they'd trust with their business or referrals, avoid the "predator" approach - that is - if what you're doing makes you feel like a mountain lion crouched on the desk ready to spring on his prey, DON'T DO IT. When you're talking to someone about life, love or your business, always check your intent... if your goal is to pitch your stuff... it will come across exactly as that... an annoying pitch that the person on the receiving end will want to flee from... and avoid in the future. Yes, you can talk about your career, but do so authentically, not with the goal of subtly marketing yourself. No such thing...
Favorit-est Tip #2: Reward ALL referrals immediately (not at the closing, again, thanks Deb Stephenson!)
If someone sends you a referral, whether it's a great one or a crappy one, reward the BEHAVIOR right away, don't base your "reward" on whether or not the referral goes to closing. You want to thank people for thinking of you when the subject of real estate comes up, not just when you make money. TIP: if you're going to send a thank-you gift for a referral, send it to the referrer's place of work, not their home! As they're sharing the brownies or cookies or smelling the flowers you sent, they'll obviously mention you and your wonderfulness... and that's a very good thing.
Favorit-est Tip #3: Get out and have fun with people who enjoy the same things you do (instead of trying to market to them!)
A lot of real estate agents want to "brand" themselves with their hobby or passion - for example, maybe they love horses so they want to brand themselves as the "Horse Realtor." Or they love to hike, so they market themselves as the "Hiking Realtor." A much more effective approach is to go out and DO that thing you love to do WITH other people who love to do it too... create a community of friends and acquaintances with whom you have a natural rapport and at some point when they find out what you do for a living, they'll be happy to support your business because they know you, like you and trust you, not because you came up with a catchy tagline!
Favorit-est Tip #4: Don't market to your SOI
A common myth in traditional SOI teachings is that because your friends like you and care about you, they'll be more receptive to your self-promotion, but that's just not true. First, most people in your SOI are not your bestest buddies, and they don't really care on a day-to-day basis what you're up to, and second, no one really likes to be "marketed to" whether by friend or stranger. But at least when strangers do it, we can ignore them, however, when a friend or acquaintance markets to us, we feel we have to listen, to be polite, even though we're annoyed. Related to Favorit-est Tip #1, you really can't "subtly" market to anyone without their realizing they're being marketed to.
Are we saying that you shouldn't let your friends and acquaintances know you're in the real estate business? Of course not, but when creating your SOI business plan, leave the word "marketing" out of it and focus on doing things that: "Inspire the people you know and the people you meet to trust you with their real estate business and referrals."
Other Favorit-est Tips
- When going out for lunch or coffee, let the other person pick up the check (if they offer) which creates an opportunity for you to reciprocate.
- Always ask a new acquaintance what they do for a living, which will inspire them to return the favor, thus creating the opportunity for you to...
- When asked what you do, say: "I'm a real estate agent!" as if it's the coolest job in the whole world. No other cleverly-crafted "elevator speech" comes close to authentic enthusiasm.
- Categorize your SOI (in your contact management system) into Group 1 (social network) and Group 2 (everyone else). Keep it simple!
To see what's on tap at the SWS Virtual Studio in August, just go here: www.SellwithSoul.com/about/calendar. All shows are free to attend live!