"Jennifer, What Do You Think of Client Appreciation Parties?"

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Earlier this week, I spoke on the subject of Selling to Your Sphere of Influence - No Sales Pitch Required! at the Colorado REALTOR Convention.

As I usually do, I did my best to debunk many of the sacred cows of the SOI- business model training industry, such as how important it is to ask for referrals, why it's a great idea to categorize your friends based on their history of referring to you - stuff like that.

The crowd seemed to accept my protestations that this behavior is not only obnoxious, but that it's not terribly effective. Cool.

I closed my presentation by encouraging the audience to evaluate every prospecting strategy that crosses their path from their gut... to ask themselves if the strategy they're considering is one they're excited about and proud of; to be honest with themselves as to how they would respond to the strategy if used on them and whether or not it would annoy them, if used on them. And to trust what their guts have to say on the matter.Party on!

A woman in the back of the room raised her hand and asked if I "approved" of Client Appreciation parties. I asked her if she would enjoy holding such an event and she said she would. I responded with "then absolutely - have that party" with the explanation that if you enjoy doing something, it's probably a good prospecting activity for you. Me? Nah, I'd be too afraid no one would show up and it wouldn't be worth the pre-party stress!

But later I gave this some more thought and wish I had just another 45 seconds in that room to share the rest of the story...

Which is... I just can't get excited about the phrase "client appreciation party." Oh, it's not the worst thing in the world, but to me, it sounds like an event specifically held to make me feel obligated to the host with my future real estate business, as opposed to a party where I'll have a great time. I dunno - there's just something about that title that gives the introvert in me the heebie-jeebies - even more so than a run-of-the-mill party invitation might evoke.

Am I saying not to have the party? Heavens no! Party on, my friend! But call it something else! Have your party in conjunction with an event of general appeal - Oktoberfest, Halloween, your or your spouse's birthday, the World Series or Super Bowl, your housewarming celebration (even if you moved over a year ago!), or just your "first annual wine and cheese tasting" party.

Don't approach your precious Sphere of Influence as a real estate agent first and foremost, as if that's all you are to them. Be a friend or pleasant acquaintance, who throws a good party, and oh, yeah, also happens to sell real estate.

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Rainmaker
484,157
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Melina - you're preaching to the choir here - no one dislikes and preaches against cheesy, gimmicky nonsense more than I do. Inspiring your sphere of influence (which in my definition is "everyone who knows you and knows that you sell real estate") to send you business and referrals is not accomplished by sending out stupid stuff; it's inspired by being a great real estate agent (first and foremost) who stays in touch with the people he or she knows. Without pestering them for business or referrals.

And I know Rick supports this opinion 100% as well.

Christopher - You're asking the wrong gal for this type of advice! I'm SO not a party planner - I have no idea. I'll just say that whatever is most comfortable for you in terms of crowd size, budget, ambience and co-sponsors is what you should do. Stay IN your comfort zone when socializing and you'll see results fairly quickly! It's when you try to be someone you're not just because someone tells you "should" be a certain that you scare people off...

Oct 25, 2009 08:12 AM #65
Rainmaker
234,025
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I completely agree with your post!  I don't think it would be appeal to a past client because they probably won't know anyone at the party!

Oct 25, 2009 11:56 AM #66
Rainer
14,692
Carol Kerr
CARA Realty Group - a Private Label Realty company - Austin, TX

You're on the list Jen!

Oct 25, 2009 12:46 PM #67
Rainmaker
58,514
John Neil
Bank of Utah - Logan, UT

Good point! I guess when I really think about it I send most of my referrals to colleagues that I like and really don't have to ask me to send them referrals.

Oct 25, 2009 02:57 PM #68
Rainer
24,009
Lauren Briles
The Briles Company - Greenville, SC

Like the comment about going with what you enjoy and your gut and taking into account how you would like it if you were invited! I have been saying the same thing to my agents!! Thank you!

Oct 27, 2009 02:58 PM #69
Rainmaker
468,727
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I am copying and pasting my comment I typed to the post you pointed to in the link you gave with your response to my comment, Jen.......... here it is again:

=======================================================

Ok... I read your post on the explanation of the word "seduction" in your newsletter.....

From what I see... you are saying that in order to get something (sex in marriage, or business in life) you have to be:

  • making them (prospects ~~~ friends~~~ spouse) feel special and cared about
  • fun to be around (inviting them to parties, involving them in your vacations by sending them a postcard, etc.)
  • courteous
  • a person who genuinely listens to them
  • helpful
  • honest
  • Send them marketing materials for THEM (relating to what is going on in THEIR lives), rather than being merely self serving (HEY... I'm in real estate, remember me.......do ya have any business for me, "BUDDY"?)

It sounds as if you have a VERY good marriage if your husband and you treat each other this way, Jen. To appreciate each other by being a giving, loving, considerate spouse will ALWAYS result in romantic sparks flying and at the very least, it keeps the embers of a relationship warm and cozy.

The same goes for any relationship............... real estate included........ everyone wants to be cared about.... and listened to... and feel as if they mean something other than just a commission check.......... you have put it in a slightly sassy and fun way, Jen.

I will subscribe to your newsletter, lady...... I'll let your husband take out the trash and help with the dishes..... I am sure you will find some way to thank him.... have fun, Jen............hehehehehe  ;-)


=-)

============================================================

I just want you to know I appriciate your response to my comment I made in this post.... AND the fact that you responded the way you did, Jen.... I KNEW there was a reason why I kept coming back......

You are FOR REAL..... you are not "just about the money......" (I wish I could put this a better way, but I have not had my morning coffee yet...... ;-) )

I LIKE THAT!!

=-)

 

 

Oct 29, 2009 04:21 AM #70
Rainmaker
484,157
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Well, THANK YOU Alexander! I was nervous when I saw that you'd responded - but obviously I shouldn't have been... I appreciate all the kind words AND the excellent analysis of what I was trying to say.

And, I'm not married, so the trash is still my responsibility!

Oct 29, 2009 05:55 AM #71
Rainmaker
468,727
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I will take that as a complememnt that you were nervous... that says
to me you CARE about what you do, Jen.... and what you do shows your
reputation.

Seriously... don't be nervous when someone asks you what you are all about....

Just be YOU...... that smiling, sweet person you are, lady.....

I haven't subscribed to your blog for nothing.... I do believe in what you teach.

And...PLEEZE...call me Alex... Alexander is so..... formal.... ok?

Heck, I call you Jen...and you have said nothing to me about it.

So...call me Alex.....

=-)

 

Oct 29, 2009 07:25 AM #72
Rainer
51,145
Jody Deeds
Key Realty, LTD - Columbus, OH
"Helping You Move On With Your Plans"

I really like the way you see things.  Definitely like the change in words from "client appreciation"  to "a friend or acquaintance who happens to throw a good party." 

Oct 31, 2009 06:07 AM #73
Rainmaker
484,157
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Jody - I'm keeping a list of terms we use that need replacing! But yes, I love the way you put that - "a friend or acquaintance who happens to throw a good party." 

Oct 31, 2009 12:00 PM #74
Rainmaker
468,727
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Jen............... I thought you had a newsletter.............. or did I read wrong???

 

Oct 31, 2009 12:15 PM #75
Rainmaker
484,157
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Nope - on my home page you can sign for any or all of my newsletters - www.sellwithsoul.com. Let me know if you can't find it!

 

Oct 31, 2009 01:17 PM #76
Rainmaker
468,727
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I found it, Jen....... I went back to your post you had the link to....... I registered.....

Thanks......

I just hope I start to have fun with my new friends in Chicago......

(I am glad you did NOT call me "Alexander" again, Jen..... it sometimes makes me feel as if I need to go get a Macedonian dictionary... if you understand where I am coming from....hehehehehe =-) )

Oct 31, 2009 01:44 PM #77
Rainer
80,366
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

I am also for throwing the party under a new name.  I always want reasons to invite people over although I do stress with the menu, etc.  Ends up being a great evening.

Nov 01, 2009 01:15 PM #78
Rainer
14,078
Lois Kubota
Keller Williams, Walnut Creek, California, DRE#01865028 - Walnut Creek, CA
DRE#01865028

Alex, welcome to the Sell with Soulers.  Jen and I have been personal friends since around 1992, way before she started in real estate.  She was just as true blue then as she is now!

Nov 02, 2009 03:09 AM #79
Rainmaker
468,727
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Thanks, Lois.................. If my name was Clark, I would have a
really funny joke for ya.....hehehehehe...nothin nasty mind
you... hopefully just funny....

Jen is a really nice girl.... I have been subscribed to her blog for over 2 years.
I cannot for any reason understand why such a nice girl is single.

 

=-)

 

Nov 02, 2009 03:24 AM #80
Rainer
17,576
Adele Irving - Easton Area Homes
Prudential Patt, White Real Estate - Easton, PA

Jennifer,

When my Broker suggests a client appreciation party, I get a sick feeling in my stomach.  I always thought I had to work through that.  But your way is much more comfortable for me.  The only problem for me is where to have the party.  My house is kind of average and small. Restaurants are expensive. Do you have any suggestions?

 

Thanks

 

Nov 08, 2009 08:30 AM #81
Rainmaker
484,157
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Adele,

I struggle with that, too. I have three dogs and not much furniture these days, so any sort of get-together at my house is out of the question. I hate the idea of renting a place - that would push me out of my comfort zone too much. Do you have a self-employed friend (lender, insurance agent?) who might be willing to host and "share" SOI's?

I have a good friend who is a lender and she lives in a fabulous house - we always planned to have a Women Who Wine party there and invite all our women friends... it never happened, but we had good intentions!

Nov 08, 2009 08:37 AM #82
Rainer
17,576
Adele Irving - Easton Area Homes
Prudential Patt, White Real Estate - Easton, PA

Thanks for the idea Jennifer.  How do I buy your book?  I know you have a website for that.  Please let me know what the site is.

Thanks

Nov 08, 2009 08:52 AM #83
Anonymous
Harry
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