Marketing to Your Sphere of Influence? Don't You dare!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

In early 2007, I held my first teleseminar entitled "The Seduction of Your SOI."

Notice I didn't call the seminar "Successfully Marketing to Your SOI"or "Mastering the Art of SOI‑Marketing." In fact, I refuse to even use the term "marketing" in conjunction with the concept of pursuing business from the people who know you and know that you sell real estate.

Why? Because no one wants to be marketed to. I mean, c'mon, when was the last time you heard someone say "boy, I sure do like my accountant, he markets to me all the time"? When you "market" to someone, do they feel special? Do they feel loved? Do they have warm fuzzy feelings about you? No, in fact, they might feel irritated or even used. Best case, they feel nothing toward you and toss your "marketing" into the trash.

I think most agents know this, deep inside. That's why they have a hard time committing to and implementing their own SOI business plan. They DON'T want to market to their friends. They DON'T want to pester people they know and risk their friendships. Besides, when they've reluctantly put these tactics into play, they haven't worked real well anyway.

And that's because they think that pursuing business from their SOI is essentially the same thing as pursuing business from strangers. They think they are supposed to cold call their friends, to remind them that they sell real estate. That they're supposed to send out newsletters screaming their own praises and bragging about their listings and closings. And it doesn't work. So they abandon the whole notion of SOI business and return to their cold‑calling and open‑housing.

But there is a big difference between ASKING PEOPLE YOU KNOW for business and GETTING BUSINESS FROM PEOPLE YOU KNOW.

So, how do you GET business from people you know? With Seduction? Read more here!

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Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen
Ever heard of Mike Ferry? I am at the productivity school this week and most are getting an appointment a day or more from calling their sphere.
Mar 07, 2008 01:03 AM #1
Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA
Maybe it is all about being honest in the first place and putting the other persons interest in front of your own.
Mar 07, 2008 01:15 AM #2
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK


Are you still doing your daily emails?  I'm not getting them anymore.


Bob Haywood

Mar 07, 2008 01:36 AM #3
Elaine Hanson
Compass - Topanga, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

I despise being marketed to -- it puts me on the spot and makes me feel like avoiding that person in case they want to throw their business at me again.  Your style is my style, and with your help, I'm finally getting it together in an organized way.  Thanks, Jennifer!

Mar 07, 2008 01:45 AM #4
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Bob - I'll check to see - you probably got to the end of the series... There are 25-30 of them, I think...
Mar 07, 2008 01:46 AM #5
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate
Very nice post and I agree it is important to network with your soi
Mar 07, 2008 03:24 AM #6
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

I always market to my Friends.  I sent out recipe post cards for a year, once a month, (I found a deal on them).  I warned many of my close friends that they were on the list, but I needed to know that they arrived.  It was a mixture of SOI and farm group.  I at least knew that the mail was being delivered.  Once in a while I would get off schedule and the phone would light up asking for the new card.  Some would be some SOI, some not. 

Then I would get calls from people requesting recipe cards.  A member of the SOI showed them and they loved the recipes and asked to be on the list.  This year its kind of expensive to do so but I have to continue.  People count on these cards, and the referral value is great. 

I belong to a VFW Club.  I have extra marketing material, recipe cards, baseball schedules, etc.  I take them down to the Club, set it out, its free, take it if you want.  I have no use for it, it is branded with my stuff though.  Its cool stuff though and free.  Its also very casual the way I present it.  The members do call me now for RE needs, they can use somebody else as well and still welcome to the freebies. 

Alot of agents get offended when a member of their SOI signs or uses another agent, they look at it as a betrayal and strike that person from their list, write off a freindship, and will never talk to that person again.  Then the friend calls wanting advice or support, and gets none?  A friends dad of mine used another Realtor to sell and purchase a property recently.  I know his Dad, we are friends, he is on my list, and the Dad felt bad about it.  He felt as though he had to justify to me as an agent, why he used another agent that has handled every RE need for 20 years for his family?  I simply told him you do have one hell of an agent, and I am not offended at all (nor was I).  The other agent served his customer well for many many years.  (The sell and resale would have netted me over 10K in 2 months, but not worth ruining a frienship over.  Would have been nice money but, I did not expect it, and the other agent earned it through years of service to his client). 

Sorry for the long post. I think it is important to Market to the SOI, it just has to be done in a different way, a non-selling way, with no strings attached.  The results will follow soon enough. 


Mar 07, 2008 05:08 AM #7
Debbie DiFonzo
Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri - Lebanon, MO
Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate

Very well said Jennifer. Everyone likes to give business to people they know, trust and feel has their best interest at {heart}  I don't understand the whole sending out recipe cards with pre-printed mailing labels on them - no warm, fuzzy feelings there.

Mar 08, 2008 07:12 AM #8
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert
Good post.  I will subscribe.
Mar 08, 2008 07:28 AM #9
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Debbie - Exactly! The beautiful thing about our business is that every little extra step you take when communicating with the people you know can pay off big time.
Mar 08, 2008 07:42 AM #10
Robert A. Lopez
GMAC Real Estate ServiceMax - West Haverstraw, NY
I would have to say that a much more personal approach works best.  Calling my SOI weekly would definitely allienate them but I do bring it up casually.  As a new Agent I think its important to talk about it because they are important to me.  They all know that I am not a pest just working on building a business.  I've gotten positive feedback and and working on a few leads thta I have developed.  I wouldn't write it off. But I will be cautiious.
Mar 08, 2008 07:46 AM #11
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor
Great post as usual Jen.  Thanks for being there for us newbies. 
Mar 08, 2008 08:29 AM #12
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jennifer - Okay, so I am getting in on this a little late, but better late than never.  Off to read more!

Sep 18, 2009 02:00 AM #13
John Neil
Bank of Utah - Logan, UT

I think it is important that my friends and family and everyone that I come in contact with know what I do for a living. This doesn't mean that I am going to sell them everytime I see them. That would just be awkward and I'm sure that I wouldn't have very many friends after not to long.

I think a friendly reminder with no strings attached is very appropriate. One of the things that I do is recipe cards and I know that people love them. A lot of them keep them. It's a simple way to remind 300 people every month what I do for a living.


Dec 28, 2009 09:05 AM #14
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