When I was in the planning phase of my Home Staging business, I worked out a deal with a Realtor friend. I staged her house in exchange for the privilege of taking before and after photos for my portfolio. Since she lived two hours away, this involved me staying at her house for a couple of days. It also included a variety of shopping trips in search of the perfect accessories.
I came away from that experience with more than just some great before and after photos. I had the privilege of observing a networking pro in action! My friend took advantage of any and all opportunities to hand out her business card to everyone we met...from the wait staff in restaurants to the people in line at Pier 1 or Marshall's.
Not only did she give out a lot of business cards, she had a clever way of minimizing the likelihood that they would end up in a dumpster. When she handed a business card to someone, she did so with a big dose of WIIFM. (What's in it for me?)
She would smile and say "hello" to everyone she came into contact with. When the timing was right, she would hand them a business card and verbally instruct them to write their name and phone number on the back of the card and then to put it in their wallet for safekeeping. The puzzled looks on their faces quickly turned to smiles when she told them that, should that card ever find it's way back to her, after close of escrow, her friend "Benjamin Franklin" would be on his way to see them. She kept a crisp, new $100 bill in her purse to show to anyone who needed a little extra incentive.
I asked her how many times she had to send "Ben" on a trip and she said, "Ben was a frequent flyer!"
Unfortunately, I never mastered that technique. As a stager who predominantly does consultations and hands-on staging of occupied homes, setting up a travel itinerary for Ben Franklin was too rich for my blood. And sending Alexander Hamilton in his place just didn't have the same allure.
After having this info lie dormant in the recesses of my mind, I recently had an epiphany...in a convenience store. The prospect of being rewarded with $10 is not likely to stir up much interest, but what if the $10 was transformed into 10 chances of winning a lottery?
As I waited my turn at the counter, I envisioned myself passing out business cards and saying, "If this card lands in my hands after payment for a consultation or hands-on staging, $10 worth of lottery tickets will land in yours!!!"
Woo Hoo!!! Visions of huge jackpots and rolling in dough would surely be great motivators for passing along my card.
And I intend to make it crystal clear that this offer only applies to completed transactions...not inquiries or free estimates.
This should make it easier to hand out business cards to everyone I meet. Because, not only would it be beneficial to me, it could possibly benefit them as well....in more ways than one! Who wouldn't want to receive $10 worth of lottery tickets for doing nothing more than giving a business card to a friend or family member? It would also be an incentive to hold onto the card in hopes that they or someone they know would be able to use it in the future.
So what you do think, is it worth a try?