Improving Your Business Through Communication

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  • Improving Your Business Through Communication How to Go from Relationships to Referrals! by Richard Smith In this article, we'll show you exactly how to go from relationships to referrals! But, before we do that, here are some important guidelines on preparing your mind for success! Begin with the End in Mind! If there were only 12 words on your tombstone, what would you want them to be? Who would you want at your funeral? What would you want them to say about you? Why ask these questions? Because what you want said at your funeral has everything to do with how you do business today!Your business should be a vehicle for helping you live and leave a legacy that makes a difference in people's lives. Use the flowchart below as a guide to determine where your attitude is at right now and adjust accordingly: Bottom Line:You really need to dig deep and know what your "why" is! Where Should We Spend Our Time and Money? We should not spend it on cold calling, door knocking, and advertising. This is trying to attract and close people we've never met. Instead, we should spend our time, energy, and money on people we actually know, like, and trust! These are people in our sphere, in our database, etc. Think about who you sold in the last six months. They've probably come from someone you know or from a referral source. Our goal is to make that number of people a lot bigger! Key Point: The number of your relationships - not the size of your advertising budget - will determine your future! You don't need a ton of money to become successful. 1
  • As your relationships turn into referrals, the more you give, the more you'll get. If your goal is to get 50 referrals over the next twelve months, then you need to give out 100 referrals. You need to start connecting people in your database to each other. Remember, tt's not about who you know; it's about who you know, how well you know them, and who they know! The bottom line is that you need to help them so they'll want to help you in return. And you can help agents, potential clients and others by having an abundance mentality! Believe us, there's an ocean of business out there, and here's the math to prove it: 150 = 9,000 Here are the numbers to explain the above formula: Assume there are 150 people in your database.The National Association of Realtors estimates that the average person moves once every five years. So, that means one-fifth or 30 people will be moving each year. (If they sell and buy, that's 60 transactions!) If you were an agent and did 30 transactions last year, you'd be in the top ten percent of all real estate agents nationwide! Now, let's say that each person you know also knows 150 people. 150 x 150 = 22,500 in your community. So, if 22,500 people are in your community and 20% of them are moving each year, then 4,500 people in that community are moving. That equals 9,000 potential transactions! So, adopt an abundance mentality as you learn about turning relationships into referrals with the seven levels of communication! The Seven Levels of Communication As you can see below, Michael Maher's seven levels of communication form a Communication Pyramid. The levels are: Level 1 is advertising. Level 2 is direct mail. Level 3 is electronic communication. Level 4 is handwritten notes. Level 5 is phone calls. Level 6 is events and seminars. Level 7 is one-on-one meetings. 2
  • You'll notice that as you go up the pyramid, the more impact there is. That is, the more personal you get, the more influence you have. That's why the top three levels are termed the "Influential Zone." The bottom three levels are called the "Informational Zone." They're the best levels for educating people on a broad level. Let's look at several of these levels in more detail, starting with handwritten notes. Level 4: Handwritten Notes There are seven steps to a handwritten "power" note: Step 1: Use unbranded cards with a symbol or monogram that represents you. Don't send a card with the company logo! Remember, this is a personal note, and logos have no place on it. At this point, you're trying to build a relationship and don't want the recipient thinking that you're just interested in getting something from them. The personal touch is critical! Step 2: Use blue ink. It looks original and positive. Step 3: In terms of the language on the note, use words like "you," but avoid "" You want the emphasis to be on the person receiving the note. Step 4: Be specific in your praise; that is, identify and acknowledge a characteristic, a talent, a unique quality, etc. For example, won an award, went on a trip, participated in an athletic event, etc. It's easy to find this information; simply go to their Facebook page! Step 5: Leverage the power of positive projection. Identiy a personal characteristic that you want to improve and express respect for others who possess that quality; for example, happiness, wealth, balance, etc. Step 6: Write "rightly." That is, slope the text slightly upward from left to right. If you want more information on this, read the book, Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life by Vimala Rodgers. Step 7: Use a P.S. as a call to action. Ask the recipient to do something specific like emailing or calling. Start writing these notes to everybody you know. Find a person by picking up a business card, looking in your email, looking in your database, etc. Then, select a person, identify a positive characteristic, and write a note to him or her. Write at least 50 with a compelling P.S. this week, and your phone will ring! The key is to do it now! 3
  • Here's an example of success using this method: One agent sent 350 handwritten notes to an apartment complex where rents were going up and affordable homes were nearby. The note let residents know that when they decided to look for a home, she wanted to be their agent. She also let them know that she was having a home buyer seminar and invited them to come. Out of 350, she had 77 respond! The agent was busy for six months handling the respondents. Level 5: Phone Calls We all have call reluctance to one degree or another. To overcome that reluctance, adopt this attitude: If you're reluctant to make phone calls, you're being selfish and thinking about yourself. If you think about the needs of the people you're calling and helping them, then it's much easier to pick up the phone. So, always be proactive and ask yourself, 1st and 10 calls.First thing in the morning, call ten people before you do anything else! Contact people showing houses that week, referral sources, cooperating LOs/agents, recent networking contacts, team members, potential clients, and so on. Go into each and every call you make with a "heart to help." The people you're calling may need a recommendation for a vendor, a job recommendation, etc. Then take time after each call to send them what they need. When calling, forget about thinking how this person can help you grow your business. Instead, focus your attention on finding something you can do for them by the end of the call. Make sure you assign yourself at least one action item to complete when the call is over, just as with one-on-ones. And don't forget your "Hour of Power!" Schedule at least four hours per week for focused phone calls to people in your database. These could include those you've worked with in the past, networking contacts, friends, family, anybody you don't have to call but should (doesn't include returning calls!). Of course, as with any skill, you want to get better at it. So, rank yourself after each call on a scale from 0 to 10. A zero might be someone who hung up on you while a 10 might be reconnecting with somone as if they were on the level of your best friend. Bottom line: you want people to see your number and be excited to answer the phone. Level 6: Events and Seminars Attending a seminar, a networking event, or other live event with someone (agents, etc.) is powerful because it provides you with such an effective opportunity to build relationships and turn them into referrals! If you're nervous about what to say at such events, here's a great method of getting past that anxiety: 4
  • Check out the website to find out who's in charge of membership so you can call them ahead of time. Ask the chairperson two questions. First, ask if introductions will be formal or informal and the names of the top three or four most influential people attending the event. Second, ask if the chairperson will introduce you to those influential individuals at the event. That way, you're going into the event with a plan! Tip: Be sure to Google the chairperson and the influential people ahead of time so you're armed with great conversational knowledge! At the event, go with a spirit of helpfulness. People can smell a "taker" a mile away. Be sure to get there 30 minutes early. Wear your name badge on the right side so when you shake hands, it's thrust forward and easy to read. Introduce youself to the meeting organizer and remind him or her of what they promised you. If they get busy, don't pester them; simply give them a polite reminder of their promise. Use the FROG acronym. This is a great methodto help maintain focus on the other person and to know what kinds of questions to ask. FROG stands for "Family, Recreation, Occupation, and Goals." Everyone likes talking about these areas of their lives! As a follow-up strategy, be sure to send power notes to everyone you meet. This will set you apart from everyone else because few people use this strategy! Level 7: One-on-One Meetings This is the most element in the pyramid because you're developing those allimportant relationships that can build your da