There once was an old bull and a young bull standing on top of a hill overlooking a herd of cattle. While admiring the cows, the young bull says, “let’s run down and get romantic with one of those cows,” to which the wise, old bull responded, “no, let’s walk down and get romantic with a bunch of them.”
You might be surprised by how much logic there is in the story above, and how directly the logic applies to prospecting in real estate. Like the young bull, when most agents first meet a buyer or seller, they want to immediately ask questions relating to the purchase and sale. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t allow the prospect to become comfortable with the agent. It’s also a little pushy and self-serving. Like the wise, old bull, it makes a lot more sense to take your time and do things the right way.
What is the right way? It’s getting to know your clients by showing that you care about their wants and needs. When prospecting, treat the client almost as if you’re meeting them at a social event. Use FORP and ask questions about their family, occupation, recreation, and plans for their future. Share personal experiences you’ve had that they can relate to. You can almost pretend that you have no product, and that you genuinely enjoy spending time with them.
AllianceBernstein is one of the most successful investment management firms. When they first hire new advisors, they don’t allow them to sell any investment products during their first year with the firm. Instead, they insist their advisors build relationships by helping future clients become more successful. By using this approach, the average AllianceBernstein advisor manages a much larger portfolio than advisors that work for competing firms.
By using a “get to know before you go” approach like AllianceBernstein, you can double, or even triple your income and actually have more fun. Remember, people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. So, take your time, serve your clients well, and have fun!