In some ways, prospecting members of your personal circle feels more difficult than calling up random strangers. What if you offend somebody by asking for new business? How do you make the distinction between a social call and one that’s meant to drum up new leads?
For starters, stop thinking so hard about things! The members of your personal circle can be one of your best sources of new seller leads, but you’ve got to know the best way to approach them.
The first step is to define the members of your personal circle. Depending on your comfort level, your personal circle could include:
The sky’s the limit! Really, what makes someone a member of your personal circle is whether you have a personal relationship with that person outside of your real estate activities. You don’t have to be best buddies, but you do need to know each other well enough that a call out of the blue won’t result in a response of, “Who’s calling?”
Once you’ve got the members of your personal circle identified, you’ve got two ways to reach out to them – on the phone or on social networking websites.
If you prefer to conduct your prospecting via telephone, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when reaching out to members of your personal circle:
Now, what do you do if you reach out to your personal circle members – only to be greeted by an answering machine? Don’t hang up immediately. If your name is stored in your contact’s phone, it’ll show up as a missed call from you – leaving your personal circle member wondering whether you called to shoot the breeze or because of some emergency.
Instead, leave a message to the effect of:
“Hey there, Brad. This is Kevin Ward calling. Just wanted to check in with you to see if you have any current real estate needs or if you know of anybody else who might. If so, I’d love to chat with you more – you can reach me at 123-456-7890.”
Simple, sweet and effective.
If, on the other hand, you don’t feel as comfortable reaching out to members of your personal circle using the phone, you can always go the social media route – as long as you remember the one cardinal rule of using these sites as a real estate agent. It isn’t about you!
If you post a status update to your Facebook Page that says something like, “Give me a call if you’re looking for a real estate agent who can get the job done for you,” be prepared to be greeted with dead air. (For comparison’s sake, try posting this type of update one day and a picture of your cat the next. I guarantee you the cat picture will get more interest!)
The way to advertise your services on social media sites is to do so indirectly. Instead of calling out members of your personal circle directly, use your social profiles as opportunities to recognize others in your life. For example, immediately after closing a deal, use your Facebook Page to say, “Congrats to the Smith family for getting $20k over asking price on their recent sale!”
Those in your personal circle will see your success and keep the idea of working with you in the backs of their minds – without having to beat them over the head with irritating sales pitches. It’s a “win-win” scenario when it comes to reaching out to these all-important business contacts.