It is estimated that more than 50% of sales are made and business relationships are kept because of friendship and referrals.
You don't need more sales techniques, you need more friends.
Who are your best customers? Who are the people that send you referrals? For most successful real estate professionals, your best customers and sources of referrals are your family friends and your previous customers. How did they get that way? What makes them give your name to potential customers? Don't you have great relationships with them?
Start a database of contacts
You can create your database on paper, in an excel spreadsheet or you can take a step up and download a CRM app or program.
Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
Apps and websites such as Hubspot or Zoho provide free CRM accounts. With a CRM tool, you can take note of the times when you make contact.
Start building your database with...
- Friends: School Friends, church friends, sports friends, parents of your kids' friends, friends from previous employment, Facebook friends, LinkedIn friends
- Previous clients and customers
- Referral partners such as mortgage brokers, lawyers, title insurance representatives, interior designers, landscape architects, and contractors.
As you are showing homes ask good questions and keep mental notes. Use the "Mackay 66" – which are 66 points of information to know about your customers which include things like name, address, employer, occupation, spouse and kids names, birthday, anniversary, high school and college graduated from, special interests like community groups or charities they are active in, where their kids go to school, favorite foods and restaurants, hobbies and favorite sports teams. You can use one of these points of interest to make contact in meaningful ways such as sending an anniversary card. Sending an interesting article or gift related to their hobby or community interest.
How do you start? Slowly.
Make it a point to not eat lunch alone or on the go. Invest the time at least once or twice a week to share lunch with a friend, customer or referral source. Think of taking a customer or friend to events to build your relationship. Invite spouses if applicable. Don't make the mistake of giving away tickets and not going WITH the customer. You can learn a lot (and give value to a relationship) spending a few quality hours with the people who provide the money to your business.
Join a business association and get involved. The Chamber of Commerce or The Rotary are great places to start. Other networking groups such as LeTip or BNI (Business Network International) are lead referral groups. Members attend with the intent to generate leads for each other.