I Don't Buy Leads, I work My "Spear". Oh, Do You Really?
I’m one of those Realtors that says, “I don’t buy leads, I work (or prospect) my Sphere of Influence (SOI) or my Database is the term I prefer to use. Now, in my case this is effective, because I really do. But, do you…really…work yours? Your Sphere of Influence is essentially your database. And yes, its a Sphere, not a Spear folks -I hear so many say “spear”; the title is tongue and cheek folks.
What is a database though?
Well, 90% of agents treat it like a solicitation list of phone numbers, email and mailing addresses to drip market on or to eventually neglect as they are lured away by shiny object syndrome over in the "land of purchased “leads”." Lead-lists made up of names of very angry people over solicited by sales agents, because they were sold to multiple agents without a business plan.
I invite you to join the 10% of us who treat a database like a relationship bank. Why a bank? Because you are looking to make deposits, not withdrawals as often as possible. Many agents are over drawn or worse, never opened an account.
Your database first needs to be built and filled with relationships: “With whom?” you ask. With everyone you’d invite to your wedding, send a Christmas Card to or with whom you already do business with: your dentist, your pet’s vet, your dry cleaner, your lawyer, etc.
Then you need to rank them. Why?
So, you can prioritize your time, energy and focus on them appropriately; because they don’t all warrant the same amount of effort. I use what I learned both in Ninja Sales and Buffini & Company :
- A+ Are advocates that send you multiple referrals
- A = Will proactively refer you
- B = Will refer you if asked
- C = Will maybe do business with you; they're new in your database.
- D = Would like to get to know (Ninja) and = Delete (Buffini)
- Hot List = Wants to buy/sell in next 90 days (Ninja only)
- Warm List = Wants to buy/sell in the next year (Ninja only)
What does it mean to work your database i.e. your sphere? What does it mean to make deposits? Well, it’s one in the same:
- It’s occasional calls to check in on them and the house you sold them.
- It’s popping by, maybe with a little item of value: I drop off CMA’s in Q1 and HUD-1’s to help with taxes in Q2 for example.
- It’s sending a quick “I was thinking about you” video text or email on their birthday, anniversary or maybe something you saw them celebrate on social media.
- It’s mailing them a monthly item of value: great info like Identity Theft Prevention, Paying off their Mortgage Faster, Top 10 Curb Appeal Tips, etc.
- It’s popping a personal note into the mail to thank them for the referral, to follow up on a call or meeting you had with them.
- We learned this as F-O-R-D in Ninja Sales: Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams of your clients are all great ways to connect with them.
- Hosting events that invite your VIP’s to: Client/Vendor Appreciation Parties, Gratitude Gatherings, Community Outreach Events your involved in, etc.
It’s saying to them through actions, not words, that even when there’s no hint of a sale in their future, you’re still a trusted advisor. I’ve been called on to advise “sold clients” on:
- Kitchen Remodels: style & budget
- Backyard Projects: ROI
- Room Additions
- CMA information as it relates to equity, refi’s and capital improvements.
- Referral needs for trust & estate lawyers, CPA’s, future including retirement, etc.
Your database or your sphere goes into your CRM (Client Relationship Manager) and gets managed from there. A good CRM helps you organize your keep in touch plan, marketing plan and important dates and appointments. It keeps a record of all your interactions with your sphere. It can even help you set your goals through knowing how many contacts it takes to generate a referral and then home many referrals = a sale. Your closing ratio reversed engineered tells you how many calls, notes and pop-bys you need to do daily to generate X referral and closings.
A well-maintained relationship with a client is less likely to be solicited or lured away when discount brokers come a calling. You build loyalty through staying in touch and remaining a person of value to your database. Most of the time, it’s never going to be about real estate when you call on them. But, very often, they will bring it up for you.
It helps that you respect and even like each other and continue to build upon that respect; that they trust you and you never get transactional on your relationships with them. Keep their needs up front and yours away from any interations with them, it's all about them.
When you give first, you earn the right to ask for a referral, but don’t do it every time you contact them, or the "giving" comes off like a sales technique, not an authentic gesture, which it needs to be!
Disclaimer of the Obvious: We are all wired differently, not everything this blogger, dare I say any blogger shares is a one size fits all antidote or anecdote. But, you can mine blogs for nuggets of gold and pearls of wisdom and then throw away the rest. This is difference between being a student and a follower. Be a student, make up your own mind. Be a product of your own conclusion as the great Zig Ziglar taught me.
Oh, by the way, I use and highly recommend:
Image 1 courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
All other Graphics courtesy of Buffini & Company trainings I've attended.
It's Finally Here!
CHECK OUT: THE PLAN TO SAVE REAL ESTATE
& THE HISTORY BEHIND "STOP ZILLOW"