Great post by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn on a topic many sales people struggle with – including agents. If you want to broaden your SOI it’s critical to understand the right – and wrong – ways to engage with people you meet. As usual, Jennifer puts it SO WELL!
Yesterday, one of my readers sent me an article from her local newspaper that was a list of Do’s and Don’ts for new college graduates. In the Top Ten list of Don’ts was this gem: “Never ‘Friend’ an Agent on Facebook.” No explanation; apparently, none needed.
Also yesterday, an article came out in Inman about a “sure-fire” prospecting technique that basically advises agents to accost anyone who comes within three feet of them with “I’m a real estate agent, do you know anyone who needs to buy or sell a home?” If the accosted person does not, in fact, know anyone who needs to buy or sell a home, the agent should smile sweetly and tell them they’ll give them a little time to think of someone and check back in a bit. Or something like that.
I may rant further on the Inman article in a future blog, but for today, I’ll just try to be helpful ;-] not rant-y.
So… here’s me being helpful on this beautiful Friday.
Imagine having coffee with a potential new friend who, you find out, sells life insurance. Being self-employed yourself, you realize that this potential new friend would luuuuuuv to tell you all about his products and services, and persuade you send all your friends his way so he can do some “financial planning” for them.
Truthfully, you’re really hoping he won’t, right? But, sigh, you know he will. Just as you’re tempted to do as soon as he finishes HIS pitch.
You settle in for the inevitable presentation, comforting yourself with the knowledge that it’ll be your turn soon enough (you hope).
(Now, this behavior might be appropriate, or at least tolerated at a networking event, but it’s actually rather obnoxious over a friendly cup o’coffee.)
But what if… what if this potential new friend pleasantly surprised you by NOT launching into his elevator speech? What if… after you exchanged the obligatory “what do you do’s?” he instead launched into… a funny story about one of his clients? Or a poignant story? Or even a light-hearted PITA story? But a STORY about his insurance business, without a hint of pitch, presentation or persuasion?
And then… when he finished his story, he turned his attention to YOU and seemed sincerely interested in your reciprocating with a funny, poignant or PITA story of your own about your real estate business?
Of course, you could return with: “Wow, that’s really interesting. So, do YOU know anyone who needs to buy or sell? I promise to take great care of them, just like they’re my family, and my company is awesome and I have a 168-point marketing plan and I have a promotion I’m doing right now that for every referral that goes to closing, I’ll give the referer an iPad and the greatest compliment I can receive is your trust in me when you send your friends my way for professional real estate services…?”
And watch your potential new friend sigh, and politely disengage at the first opportunity, never to be heard from again.
Surely there are plenty of things you can share about your wonderful real estate career besides the fact that so you’re so desperate for business you must beg for it at every social opportunity? Right?