Several months ago (egads, in September) I wrote a blog with a teaser promise at the end to "stay tuned" for more... and that "more" never came. I sure hope too many of my readers didn't lose sleep wondering when I'd ever get back on topic. Here's the post... At the end of the post, I promised to discuss the difference between "touching" and "impressing."
To recap, in our business, we often talk about the need to "touch" as many people as possible with our message, whether those touch-ees are people we know (our Sphere of Influence) or strangers. We get all revved up about volume touching campaigns, to ensure that we get that message out into the world as efficiently as possible. After all, Real Estate is a Numbers Game (blech), so the more people who get touched by us, the more often, the better, right?
Eh. I dunno. First, I'll debate to the ends of the earth whether or not our business IS a numbers game; after all, we get some pretty juicy paychecks and it doesn't take too many of those paychecks to add up to some serious nickels and dimes. We don't need to sell 40,000 houses this year; for some of us, 10 or 20 might pay the bills just fine, maybe 30 or 40. In either case, that means only a few dozen people in our whole city need to think enough of us to entrust us with their precious real estate business.
With me so far?
Many Sphere of Influence (SOI) prospecting programs mention "touching" as many of your SOI as you can, as often as you can. However, I want to make a distinction between "touching" and "impressing." I can touch 100 people in a day with a mass email or a postal mailing, pretty easily. And that's fine - it has its place. But what if I also make an effort to impress the people I run into during my day-to-day travels, whether it's business or personal? If you combine the two concepts - a volume "touching" campaign with a concerted effort to make a good impression on people when you have the opportunity, your prospecting results will improve exponentially.
What if you were to impress just one person per day? That's 365 impressed people in a year. Two a week? Even one a week? It sounds pretty obvious, but we get so caught up mass-prospecting that we forget the Power of One - that is - if every person you know refers just one person to you in a year, you'll have a banner year. And the chances of that happening are a whole lot better if everyone you know thinks you're pretty darn cool... instead of simply sort of knowing who you are.
Maybe I should explain what I mean by "impress." You can probably guess that I don't mean "brag about" or "blow away with a fantastic elevator speech." No, by impress, I mean that the person you just interacted with walks away from the interaction feeling just a little bit (or a whole lot) better than he did before. Obviously, he's not saying to himself "Thank GOD I got away - I thought she'd never shut up." Or "That's the last time I answer the phone when HE calls" or "What a flake."
The cool thing about impressing someone is that the positive impression you make on them will stick around a lot longer than the impression you make with a farming postcard, drip email or quarterly newsletter. If someone goes out of their way for me today, I'll still feel good about him for months, maybe even years!
So, take an hour out of your day to impress someone whenever you get the chance. It might be a far better use of that hour than whatever prospecting you'd be doing otherwise...