When I first started working as a sales rep for Geico Insurance in 1999, one of the fields on the first page of our application was SOB. You can imagine what was running through my mind the first time I saw that combination of letters.
But this SOB was the one piece of info that "Marketing" insisted "Sales" spent enough time digging for. Perhaps "Marketing" should have re-thought their ad campaign that "15 minutes could save you 15% on your car insurance, as that were only true if the first 10 minutes weren't spent on the SOB. The answer to that one little question provided "Marketing" with invaluable material to pore over all year, dissecting and analyzing it, so that by the beginning of the next year, they would have introduced a more expanded list of possible SOBs, giving "Sales" an even more difficult task of getting those callers to narrow down their answer and offer a quote within 15 minutes.
But, "Marketing" wanted their data and "Sales" wanted their results. What I didn't realize back then was how closely the two departments were related and how much we depended on one another for success.
Now that I am both "Marketing" and "Sales", I love knowing the SOB too. Why? Without it, my time may be spend on the wrong things, and who wants to waste their time? But, when my time is spent wisely, my results are good, and my clients reap the benefits too.
So, the question in question here, and the long-awaited reveal of the long-form of the SOB is this:
Source of Business.
So, what's my SOB? Let me answer that question.
In general, the 2012 calendar year brought me 21 transactions, which earned me a ranking of #5 for production out of 84 agents in my brokerage. Not too shabby for the amount of time I've been in this business. Without a doubt, my 20+ years of prior sales experience at places like Geico that insisted on getting me to dig for important information has been a great foundation for my success, as I continue to dig for information under the Century 21 umbrella. Because of my smart approach to real estate, people have said that their experience with me has made it easy for them to refer their friends and family with confidence.
More specifically, of the 21 transactions I completed last year, here is where they came from:
6 were calls or emails on my listings, 4 were referrals, 3 were personal (loyal and super smart friends and family members who wouldn't dream of going elsewhere), 3 saw my ad in The Real Estate Book, 3 met me at open houses, 1 was an introduction through Facebook and 1 was a networking connection. But, I realize that there is always some overlap.
If I break it down even further, I believe that many of the calls that came from listings should be credited back to the fact that a good portion of my listings are business that is referred from previous clients or other business people that are part of my network. You should know that referred business is not just a handout. Many of them are more like leads than referrals, and some sound like this: "Oh, I was working on a project for a guy who says he's thinking of selling". But, it's up to me to work it and pursue it.
Last year, an associate of mine who is part of the same networking group sent me a lead and I followed up with the potential seller at least 1/2 dozen times before he contacted me and thanked me for being so patient and persistent. He just wasn't ready to sell when I first contacted him, but when he was, he remembered me. He knew that I would follow-up with potential buyers the same way that I followed up with him as a potential seller. And I've met many other clients through that one listing that started out as a lead from a thoughtful and conscientious associate.
This evening, my husband and I are taking this associate and his wife out for nice dinner. It's very important to properly thank the people who help you to build your business.
Sometimes we have no idea how much one little mention to the right person at the right time could be just the right connection needed to make 2 parties...or 3...or 4..or 5...very happy. There is a ripple effect when we keep our eyes and ears open and look for the right opportunities, and, of course, the right SOB.
Thank you to those who confidently referred me in 2012.