We’ve often quoted that people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. You can be the most knowledgeable agent in the local market and an excellent salesman, but if people question your integrity or motivations, you’ll absolutely lose business. Obviously, the key is to get to know your clients by using FORP. Find out about their:
- Family – do they have kids and who lives nearby?
- Occupation – what they do for work or their profession before they retired?
- Recreation – what they do when they’re not working?
- Plans – where they see themselves in the future?
Remember, people love to talk about themselves. By asking questions you’ll also be able to find out what motivates them, or their “hot button.” If you start new relationships and maintain communications in existing relationships with this approach, your prospects will enjoy talking to you, want to do business with you, and your business will explode (who knows, you may even develop new friendships).
But there’s another piece to this puzzle. We say it’s a good idea to focus your efforts an “inch wide and a mile deep.” This is done when you farm an area of 500-1,000 residents. Another example of the “inch wide” principle would be maintaining relationships with past clients, advocates, and your sphere of influence by communicating 24 times a year. Here’s the challenge: If it’s important for you to know your clients, than it’s important for you to memorize pertinent information with everyone you do business with. At first blush, this appears to be impossible. How can you memorize information about 500-1,000 residents personal lives like where they’re from, do they have kids, what they like, etc. Although this challenge appears to be overwhelming, it’s not (the greatest limitations are self imposed).
We’re all quite familiar with famous movie stars. I think we’d all agree most of them aren’t any smarter than we are. If they can memorize hundreds of pages of a script for a movie or play, I’m pretty sure we can memorize 500 “stories” about people. It’s just a matter of practicing. The beautiful thing about our profession is there’s no time line like there is for Tom Cruise or Cameron Diaz when they start a movie. It can take us several months, a year, or even several years to get to know our clients and it would be ok. Imagine how appreciative your clients will be when you show that you cared enough to listen to them and remember things that are important to them.
As part of the process you can also keep this key information in a contact management system that allows you to access it when a client calls, or when you call them. Show your clients that you care. Develop a movie star memory!