Excerpted from my soon-to-be-released third book, Prospect with Soul (woo hoo!!)
Is it Mercenary to "Use" Your Sphere of Influence for Business?
I often toss around the phrase "You never know who might lead you to your next $10,000 paycheck."
What I mean by that is that in our business, we get big paychecks we perform. And since most people you're going to meet either own or know someone who owns or wants to own real property, most people you're going to meet can potentially be or introduce you to your next client.
I've always been pretty transparent as to my "mercinariness" about my social life. Before I went into real estate, I didn't have a lot of friends. Didn't bother me at all; I've never been all that socially-inclined and am usually happy to stay home at night and watch Survivor. But when I hung my shiny new real estate license on the wall of my new office, and was made aware that I was going to have to drum up business for myself, it suddenly occurred to me that having more friends might help me do that.
And I was right. As soon as I had a "reason" to have a social life, I went out and got myself one. And in the process, discovered the joys of having friends, of having plans, of having people in my life who care about me, and I about them.
But yes, there was also joy in having those friends hire me and refer business to me.
Back to the original question: IS it mercenary to intentionally expand your social network so that you can make more money?
Sure it is. But so what? Assuming you're selling real estate in hopes of making money, you have to go get yourself some buyers and sellers. And "use" them to make money from. Whether your clients come from traditional prospecting methods like cold-calling, door-knocking, open-housing or mass-mailing, or from throwing a party, going to lunch or just being pleasant to people, your prospecting efforts are done with the intention of getting business from those efforts.
But here's the kicker.
If you follow the principles of Selling with Soul, you're providing more in value to your clients than they are providing to you in paychecks. You're the best real estate agent you know and are horrified by the thought that anyone you know would hire or refer anyone but you. Not because you need that paycheck or your feelings might be hurt, but because you know you'll do the best job for them. And you'd hate to see anyone you know hire or refer someone who won't do as wonderful a job as you will. That's just not right.
Further, if you're Prospecting with Soul, your promotional efforts with the people you know won't annoy, irritate or bother them a bit. Whatever you do to remind your sphere of influence that you exist will be of value and interest to them, not all about you. It's a win/win.
Hey, you gotta get business from someone, so in that regard, you're "using" everyone who hires you to be their real estate agent. But if you feel in your heart and soul that you're the best thing that could ever happen to your clients, you'll have no qualms about it!