I find that many of my clients avoid marketing when it comes to their sphere of influence. Yet statistics show that your sphere of influence can be the greatest source of referrals. Let's look at how you can dig in and get the "gold."
Tip 1: Define and Rate your Sphere of Influence
When is the last time that you took a good look at your contact list? What is the total? What are the categories in that group? Do you have past clients, friends, acquaintances, people you hardly know? Before you do anything else go into your data base and group your sphere of influence in categories.
Do you know who in your sphere is likely to refer to you? Do you know who in your sphere already works with another agent? How many have moved away? Start deleting the inappropriate ones.
Be sure to ask all of them this question at some point: "If you were buying or selling a home do you have a real estate agent that could help you?" If they say "yes" delete them. There is no point in continuing, they are not prospects. By keeping in touch with your sphere of influence as we will describe below, you'll begin to find out who is an A,B, C, or D.
A = someone likely to refer to you
B = someone who with a little more contact with you, would refer to you
C = Questionable
D = Delete
Tip 2: Send an Item of Value to your sphere each month
In my 15+ years of coaching Real Estate agents to double their incomes, I am amazed at the fact that sometimes their list never gets a mailing. Or sometimes the mailing is not well thought out. I worked with a client today who admitted that the material she was sending to her sphere was standard and boring. We brainstormed about Items of Value that would be interesting, fun and unique. So far, she has come up with recipes and inspirational quotes. What do you send to your sphere of influence?
Is it something you would want to receive and find valuable? If so, then I guarantee that your sphere will like it too. How many creative Items of Value can you come up with?
Tip 3: Overcome your blocks to calling your sphere
Everyone I have ever worked with resists calling their sphere. They tell me things like:
- "I don't want them to think I want something from them"
- "I'm afraid they won't like me"
- "I don't want to be like a telemarketer"
The list goes on, but I think you get the idea. What you need to understand is that you're a giver. When givers give to other givers, they get back. So, in other words, if you send an Item of Value, you are giving, when you chat with them and listen to what's going on in their lives, you're giving again. So at the end of the call, say something like, " Oh by the way, if you hear of anyone even whispering about buying selling a home, please give me a call with their name and number." Then say, "I'll be happy to send referrals to your business, as well." Guess what? You're giving again.
After doing these calls monthly (after mailing of Items of Value) you'll begin to know your sphere of influence and they'll know you. You'll begin to learn which ones are you're A's, B's, C's and which ones to delete. Then what will happen is that you'll be in their stream of consciousness. So you're the first one they'll think of when they think of real estate. Don't be surprised if you get referrals in the first few weeks.
Tip 4: Be in the right mindset
Don't make these calls if you're feeling anxious, upset or desperate. Remember, desperation doesn't sell. So psych your self up in the right mindset. Think of your self as a giver and how happy they are going to be to hear from you. Tip: if you have been thinking negatively, switch your focus to what you are grateful for. That usually puts you in a much better mood to pick up the phone.
Tip 5: Make it a daily ritual
Just like brushing your teeth, calling some people out of your sphere of influence is essential. Even one a day is OK. Call several times a day if you want your income to rise quickly.
Decide when to make your calls and keep at it until you've reached the people you were trying to call. Expect that several weeks after doing this; it will feel a lot easier. An extra perk is that you're going to be deepening some great relationships and you'll experience the same pleasure of calling them us as you would with a good friend.