In an earlier post, I shared with you the 4 “A”s of service: Asking Questions, Anticipating your client’s needs and wants, having a great Attitude, and showing your Appreciation. Today I want to share with you the 5 “F”s of a having a successful and balanced life.
Faith: Faith is twofold. First you must have absolute faith in yourself and your abilities to achieve whatever you wish to achieve both in your business life as well as your personal life. Confidence is sexy. The second part is having faith in a higher being. No matter your religious beliefs, it helps to have a spiritual side that you can gain additional strength or wisdom when things get a little rough.
Friends: Friends can not only help you celebrate your victories and commiserate your defeats, they can also help you grow your business. Don’t be shy about asking your friends for their business or their referrals. That’s what friends are for!!
Family: Family, both immediate and extended, is crucial to your life balance. Having a “safe” place to return after a tough day at the office gives you comfort and perspective. The key to balance is in being present when you are with them, which is often easier said than done. Like friends, family members can be a key source of business as well as a huge part of your “sales force,” telling all their friends and associates about you.
Fitness: Physical Fitness is important in keeping both your body and mind sharp. Take time to exercise on a regular basis. If your body isn’t healthy there is a good chance your business won’t be either. It’s difficult to conduct business from a hospital bed, so take care of yourself.
Fans: Fans are those people in your life who think you are the absolute best. They may be friends, family or past clients but they are the people who will sing your praises to everyone they meet. Clients are great but advocates are better. Have a fan base that raves about you.
So have your 5 “F”s to have a 1A life.
I know you have all heard the expression “learn from your mistakes.” There is a longer expression that says “the smart person learns from their mistakes, but the wise person learns from the smart person’s mistakes.” Since I want you all to be as wise as possible, I hope you can learn from my mistake which involves a recent hike I took.
I live near the Las Trampas Regional Park. I often take hikes on the trails exploring the area. I happened to take a look at a map of central Contra Costa county and noticed that St. Mary’s College in Moraga (where my step-daughter will attend in the fall) is only 6 to 7 miles due west from my house. So I had the bright idea that I would hike with my fiancée from the St. Mary’s campus to our house. I had done numerous hikes around St. Mary’s and dozens on the Las Trampas Trails so I just needed to put all the legs together to be successful.
So we set out at 11:30 from St. Mary’s. We quickly learned that we had forgotten our map. I decided this was not an issue since we just needed to head due east. I knew the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so we just needed to follow the sun. What I didn’t realize was that it was the middle of the summer, therefore the sun has a southern exposure. About two hours into the hike, when I thought we should have reached a recognizable landmark, I began to worry, especially when I saw a large body of water that I knew was not supposed to be on our path. It was only then that I discovered my phone had a compass on it. Long story short, after a little over 3 hours and 12 miles, we found ourselves in the heart of Castro Valley – perfectly south of Moraga. The good news is that even though we ended up in the wrong place, we made great time getting there.
The business moral to this story is this: to be truly successful, you need to have more than a vision. It is not enough to say “I want to make x amount of money” or “I want to close x amount of transactions.” A clear VISION is certainly important but you must also have a detailed PLAN or map to help you get there – your Business Plan. Look at your “map” monthly, weekly, daily, even hourly to help you going along the right “trail.” Tweak it if you have to, to keep you heading in the right direction. The third part is making use of your TOOLS and RESOURCES – your compass – to help you execute your plan – coaches, CRM’s, your sphere of influence, trainings, and technology. So use your Tools to help you execute your Plan that will help you achieve your Vision. Use all three and learn from my mistake to make you more successful.
Are you in touch with your clients? I submit that there is no such thing as being “too touchy” when it comes to client follow-up, retention and/or prospecting. National sales studies vary on the number of touches to capture or keep a client, but the consensus is around 7 to 8. Here are 7 ways to get the ball rolling or to keep you in top of mind of your client:
- Email/Text – technology is great if you use it right. When emailing or texting a client make sure your content is: a) relevant, b) sent in a timely manner, c) sent to a segmented audience, and d) has a clear call to action and/or future conversation goal. Spam is no way to build a relationship.
- Phone calls – email are a good start but phone calls are a better way to build or keep a relationship. Personal contact – if only by voice – allows you to gain insight to your client’s frame of mind by hearing voice inflection and spontaneous responses to your inquiries. Make sure you ask a lot of open ended questions and have a plan in mind to a next step to future the relationship.
- Surveys – Asking for feedback is not only crucial in evaluating and improving your own performance but also shows the client you care about them and what they think. It involves them in your business and makes them feel important and valuable (which they are to your success). The surveys can be simple, easy and rather short – just asking a few crucial questions that will help you to improve your service. There are companies that can assist you or even do them for you. Survey also allow you a reason to follow up with a call, email or text.
- Social Media – Social media opens up a two-way communication channel and offers you a broad based and inexpensive way to reach mass markets. It also allows you to reach the “millennial.” Surveys suggest that 78% of recent real estate purchases used the internet to do research before they ever contacted a real estate professional. By using social media correctly, you can be the real estate professional they contact first or be the “viral” professional seen by a large number of potential clients.
- Gifts – Everyone loves gifts. Expressing your appreciation and gratitude is not only a great way to stay in touch but shows your clients that you value them. Even though sending gift baskets of food or flowers are nice, they may not achieve the long term result that is best for your business. The best use of a gift is one that keep you “top of mind” that they see or use every day.
- Face to Face – make a face to face appointment with a client for lunch or coffee. Nothing beats getting in front of client or prospective customer where you can gain keen insight on them as well as express your value proposition. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help in growing your business.
7. Handwritten Thank You Cards – Have an attitude of gratitude and do it in writing. Thank you cards are an appreciated and non- threatening way to connect with your clients. Once again, they show you care by taking the time and effort to show your appreciation.
As in all aspects of your business and marketing – be purposeful with these ideas and do them on a systematic basis to maximize their effective. If you touch enough people, your business should see the results. Wishing you all the very best and much continued success in growing your businesses.