It's funny - I notice that the questions that come into my in-box often have a common theme... one month it's grouping and categorizing your sphere, the next it might be getting feedback for showings, the next maybe it's making open houses more productive.
Well, this month's most popular topic seems to be about expanding one's sphere of influence without being a pest about it.
Just in the last week I've been approached by three different agents who realize they need to beef up their spheres of influence - and quickly - but don't know how to do it without coming across as pushy, desperate or mercenary. So, they're finding themselves hiding out at home being decidedly UNsocial, and then kicking themselves every evening for failing yet again to Meet More People.
Wanna know what I told them?
I told all three to go out there in that world AS A SECRET AGENT instead of venturing out into that world, business card in hand and elevator speech fired up ready to launch at every opportunity!
What? Are you serious, Jennifer? You're telling agents to BE a Secret Agent? You're nuts.
But here's the thing. No one out there in that world cares one bit about your real estate career until/unless they care a little bit about YOU. And when you head out with grand intentions of handing out business cards and delivering elevator speeches, you're gonna scare people. (In fact, I got an email from a real estate agent over the weekend who was nearly arrested for too-aggressively prospecting at a local Target! But that's a story for a different day).
These three agents who wrote to me knew this deep inside - they knew that they'd make other people uncomfortable if they pushed their agendas (and business cards) onto people prematurely, which is why they were having trouble motivating themselves to do it.
So, my advice to them to BE a secret agent went like this: "Go out into the world every day, be pleasant to the people you find there and keep your mouth shut about your career UNTIL/UNLESS someone asks you what you do. At that point, they CARE (at least a little bit) and you're free to answer them enthusiastically."
Will you miss a potential prospect or two by keeping your mouth shut? Perhaps. But I doubt it. And the more pleasant you are to more people (sans sales pitch), the more likely it is that those people will ask you about yourself and actually care about your answer!