Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn wrote a blog post before Christmas about reconnecting with your Sphere of Influence – reprinted with permission below. But I think one of the most important points that often gets overlooked is that you don’t HAVE to do this only at Christmas time. In fact, AFTER the holidays may be an even better time as people are much less stressed, they’re more focused, and your personal message faces FAR less competition for attention. So if you missed getting those Christmas Cards in the mail, don’t panic. Rather, view it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd! Use your real estate CRM system to ensure you’re keeping and staying in touch with your SOI. You’ll be a better real estate sales professional for it and you’ll start to see real estate leads and referrals come pouring in.
From Jennifer Allan:
Pretty much everyone agrees that one’s sphere of influence can be a great source of business. But lots of agents hesitate when it comes time to actually implement a sphere of influence campaign – they don’t know how to take the first step without coming across as phony or even mercenary.
I mean, really, you have this list of people – some friends, some acquaintances – to whom you’ve never, ever written, and most haven’t heard boo from you in years… and suddenly you’re just supposed to start communicating with them out of the blue?
I hear ya. Even I struggle every time I send something out to my sphere – worried they’ll “see thru” my attempts to communicate with them and <gasp> realize I’m doing it to subtly promote my business. And I’ve BEEN in touch with my sphere on a fairly consistent basis!
But here are a few thoughts to, perhaps, get you past this emotional hurdle and back in touch with your SOI.
First, ask yourself how you’ll feel if you find out that five old friends hired someone else to be their real estate agent because they hadn’t heard from you lately? Or, shoot, just one old friend?
Or how you’d feel if you heard that someone you “used” to be really good friends with referred a sweeeet listing in your favorite neighborhood to someone else because she wasn’t sure you were even selling real estate anymore?
Or if, as scrolling thru your MLS Hot Sheet one day, you see a new listing come on the market – one you sold to your buyers a few years back, but-never-got-around-to-following-up-with-and-now-it-feels-weird-to-do?
Does that motivate you a little bit?
Just do one of those tried-n-true annual family newsletters – make it interesting, authentic and include pictures (and this can be done after the holiday season if you’re overloaded with holiday stuff before). Or, personally signed and short & sweet-noted holiday cards, if that’s more your style. Or a customized photo-postcard with a cute & clever message will do the trick. Or, of course, your annual doo-dad (calendar, magnet or whatever) delivered with a card with a nice note.
Then… the trick is… once you’ve reconnected, keep up the good work throughout the year so you aren’t in this position again next holiday season.
Hey, I know it’s a busy time, but since we’re all making plans to ensure a sweeter 2011, this seems like a great place and time to start making that happen!
Reprinted by permission from Jennifer Allan’s Selling To Your Sphere Of Influence – No Sales Pitch Required! http://sphere-of-influence.net .