Had a conversation with my DBF's 17 year old daughter about dating. She's going into her senior year of high school and is involved in her first serious relationship. Two months already! I, being a way-out-of-touch-42-year-old asked her if teenagers still "go together" officially or if they date casually - as in - more than one person at a time.
She looked at me as if I were a loon and explained that yes, they "go together" and it's unheard of for a teenager to date more than one person - that would be called "cheating" or worse.
Fair enough - that's how it was in my high school days; probably in yours, too. After all, high school is a micro-culture and it would be pretty tough to have two boyfriends without causing a ruckus in English class or at the football game.
But as we get older and begin to look for a lifetime mate, we realize the wisdom of shopping around. Of not committing to someone after a date or two. Of not pledging "loyalty" to a virtual stranger. Heck, in the real world, you could date someone different every night of the week and two on Sundays without ever hurting a feeling. And perhaps you should. After all, you're on the hunt to find just the right person for you and the only way to do that is to explore your options.
During our collective searches for The One, someone's gonna get hurt. Someone's gonna get dumped. Someone's gonna feel misled. It's happened to all of us and we've done it to others, probably more than once. It's part of the process of finding The Right One for each of us.
And if I date five men and reject four of them in favor of the one I like most, have I done something wrong?
No, I haven't, not even if those other four men are disappointed. Not even if I went out with some of them more than once. Not even if I shared personal information with them and they shared some with me. (Of course, this assumes I haven't made promises to anyone I didn't intend to keep.)
It's the same in our business. Our prospects are out there in the world searching for just The Right One to do business with. They're visiting open houses, asking for references from friends, and dropping in at real estate offices in hopes of finding someone they can see themselves working with for an extended period of time. During their investigation period, they will share personal information; they'll allow the agent to provide free advice and they might even indicate an interest in seeing the agent again. It's part of the process and they should be allowed, even encouraged, to do so. The fact that they're "dating around" should not be construed to mean that they are "disloyal" people who are not to be trusted.
And yes, when they do select one agent over the others, the others may be hurt. They might even rant about the experience in a blog or around the coffee machine. They might proclaim the need for an earlier discussion of Buyer Agency and a commitment to enforce tighter "rules" in the future. They may even complain about the lack of loyalty among the general public.
My friends, no one owes us loyalty unless they've overtly promised it to us. We earn loyalty and we continue to earn it throughout the course of a relationship. If you get dumped (or better said "selected against) by a prospect, trust that the prospect found someone they were more compatible with and be happy for them. Move on, continue to trust the process, and don't lose hope that the Right One (actually, several "ones") is/are out there looking for you. Because they are. Put on your happy face and jump right back in!
Are you registered for Tuesday's show - "Negotiations - Games People Play!"?
Hope so! It's free and it'll be fantastic!
Go here for more info: www.sellwithsoul.com/negotiation-seminar.html.