Business is sometimes right at your feet
month I wrote briefly of some the prospecting options that
would help you list through the winter. This winter has
seen the typical fall-off in listings but the buyers are
giving the industry an early spring. This has continued
to place pressure on those salespeople and agencies, which
have never developed high intensity and consistent prospecting
I continually get requests for new and on the edge prospecting
ideas and when I test the person requesting such ideas,
I nearly always find they have never bothered to look at
what is probably at their feet. Why look for a special advantage
when you have never bothered to test the waters of what
is probably only an ask away. Too many salespeople
and their agencies are showing their hand by relying on
discounts, vendor inducements with free draws, additional
marketing and competitions etc., in a vain hope that it
will make their agency look good. Attracting business this
way only detracts from your image buying the business
could indicate you dont have the skills and consistency
to compete it may even indicate that your negotiation
skills are weaker than they should be.
Surely the best image is a truly professional one
one where clearly you are a great marketer and negotiator
one who has a focus on the vendor and getting the
best price you can for their property?
So before you go searching for business by broadcasting
to strangers, have you really made a consistent and professional
search of the market base that you already have? In my list
of suggestions last month I suggested you looked at your
advocates and I would like to expand that further in this
If you have never considered who your Advocates are
then there is no more vital time than this market. Put simply,
an Advocate is someone who refers you business someone
who sends you the best sort of referral what I call,
a Preferral. This is the business that is the easiest
to secure because you come highly recommended by someone
your new client already knows.
How do you create and use your Advocates?
The simplest way to use you advocates is to talk with them.
These people are those who are most interested in your success
and enjoy the fact that they may have contributed in some
way to that success. Sometimes the simplest of actions dont
seem to be given their true value I remember being
sold insurance many years ago and I clearly recall the salesman
asking for a referral. Once the business was done, the cheque
and proposal all signed, he simply asked if I knew anyone
else he could call. Having given him a name he then asked
if he could use my name when he called. In the book The
Million Dollar Consultant the author claims that this
is still the number one way to get new business. Word
How many people have you asked that question of recently?
How would your business be if you asked 3 people that question
5 days a week?
But back to your Advocates.
What could you do to make sure they do the following three
things for you?
Always use you for their property transactions?
Refer people to you that they come across who need your
Meet with you regularly and assist you in expanding your
So what can you do to nurture an Advocate base that
works for you?
Make a list of your favourite contacts and make sure
you immediately write to them and then remind them at least
10 times a year that you are in the business
Make a list of your favourite professional affiliates
and call on them to hand them business cards, ask for some
of theirs, and then ask for referrals. Include these people
in your regular mail outs and then follow this with a visit
and make referrals to them. In the case of your favourite
solicitors always try to hand-deliver your new contracts
so you continually remind them where their business is coming
from. Repeat this for all your favourite professionals such
as Mortgage Brokers and Valuers.
After each mail out phone every Advocate to check
if they have any leads for you.
Visit every Advocate face to face every month. Set
aside time each week to have a coffee and even
make a time each week (e.g. Friday morning) to have breakfast
with one of your Advocates.
Make sure Advocates get their referral gifts hand-delivered
and repeat this at Christmas Advocates get their
calendar and Christmas gift hand-delivered by you.
Host your Advocates in your corporate box
or your own functions. Dont just have a function,
offer something of value. Invite your advocates to a function
where you provide some refreshments and perhaps a guest
speaker. Ideas could include, Wine tasting with a wine maker,
Interior design, Investment seminars, sports events, theatre
Gather your Advocates together at functions and create
your own business network. You add value for them if you
are able to encourage referrals amongst your advocates
they will see you as the common denominator and they will
respond positively when you invite them next time.
Make sure your Advocates always have plenty of your
business cards. And make sure you have theirs. Every time
you refer them to someone, make a phone call or send a card
to follow up the referral. Likewise, if you receive a lead
always let the referrer know what happened. I little loyalty
and follow-up goes a long way with your real Advocates.
All your Advocates will also receive any pads, pens,
magnets, calendars you send out as well. Never take these
people for granted never refer them with out their
permission always respect every confidence and always
recognise their support.
I am continually amazed at the sales people who never explore
this option. They feel they couldnt ask their friends.
They feel they are being too pushy. They might lose their
Then when their friends list their property with a competitor,
they complain. If only the friend knew your were in the
business and interested in them.
Always look to the business that may be at your feet
its easier. Its more fun; its repetitive
and once they see you how good you are, and that you care,
they will enthusiastically refer you to others. That seems
a whole lot easier to me than chasing strangers.
So take a moment and create a simple strategy to target
these warm and friendly contacts and start calling. It will
pay dividends so long as you persist and let the business
come. And best of all get face to face with your