Early on in my career I learned that working by referral only was a comfortable but unsuccessful way to run a sales business. In those formative years I believed the only true way to stay in the business was to focus on the people I knew (sphere of influence). I was told people who were cold calling, door-knocking, and doing other selling activities that helped them meet new people through hard work and determination were crazy and wasting their time. I discovered quickly that nothing is further from the truth and the most successful sales people follow a Business Growth Formula that yields consistent business growth year after year regardless of the type of market. The formula is simple and one that by referral only agents are missing out on:
Why can’t you work only by referral and spend your days calling and meeting only with the people you know and love? Because that is only half the equation and we’ve learned over the past four years that when a real estate market and economy are both in decline, referrals from past clients and sphere of influence drop considerably.
I wish I knew the full answer as to why this is but I think it has to do with existing home owners being depressed about the value of their home and many home buyers being unable to purchase due to the stricter guidelines on lending. People would rather find more positive things to discuss than the real estate market. This translates into your sphere of influence not doing business with you and not referring business to you either.
The formula above has worked for me and I highly encourage you to implement it into your 2010 business plan. The goal in executing each phase of this formula is to build a high trust relationship with new people, friends, family, and referrals. This takes time, effort, and determination. New relationships do not automatically have a high trust level. You will need to prove your commitment and value to these people.
The question you have to answer going forward is, “How am I going to meet new people and convince them to work with me?” There are lots of ways to do this and you need to commit to trying multiple ways before you abandon the idea altogether. Here is a list of some ways you can begin to create relationships with new people:
- Follow-up your Just Listed postcard with a personal invite to an Open House
- Call cancelled and expired listings
- Call For Sale By Owner listings
- Hold an Open House 2-3 times per month
- Join a networking group
- Use social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter connect with friends of friends
- Hold Real Estate Market Update seminars in your hometown – invite everyone!
- Start a Blog that is focused on the real estate market in your hometown
- Call your Sphere of Influence and ask for referrals
In the next few days I will discuss with you four key knowledge areas of a successful broker. It is within these knowledge areas that you are able to demonstrate your value and convince new relationships that you are the best person for them to work with when it comes time to buy or sell real estate.
Question: What are some of the unique ways that you have created relationships with new people in your business?
Make it a great day!
P.S. – If you would like to brainstorm how you can use the Business Growth Formula in your business, just drop me a line and we can setup a coaching session.