I am like a broken record when I give marketing advice to Realtors and people who run small businesses. At the top of my list of free advice is to nurture your sphere of influence (SOI). Why? Because most people want to do business with someone they know and trust and most people feel good about helping your business and their own SOI by providing a referral. So why market to total strangers when you have dozens of raving fans itching to help your business?
There is a fine line between staying in touch and communicating useful information to your SOI and pestering and I thought this list compiled by Jennifer Allan, a top producing real estate broker in Denver, a published author, a speaker and a trainer was perfect to share with you. While it is geared to Realtors it applies to all businesses.
Twenty ways to blow it with your SOI:
1. Ask a friend to lunch and give her your sales pitch (every time).
2. Call your friends on the first Monday of every month and ask if they have any referrals for you.
3. If they don’t, ask them why not.
4. Angrily (or tearfully) confront your friends and family if they use another real estate agent or service provider in your field.
5. Take on business you aren’t qualified to handle.
6. Blow off your friend’s housewarming party, but expect her to be loyal to you.
7. Attend your friend’s housewarming party and sales-pitch everyone to death.
8. Tell everyone you know how lousy the real estate market or economy is.
9. Tell everyone you know how overwhelmed you are.
10. Tell everyone you know how depressed you are about your business.
11. Send out an announcement letter with typo’s and misspellings.
12. Send your friends frequent “forward this on for good luck or else” mass emails.
13. Pepper your language with four-letter words.
14. Borrow money or books or tools or whatever and don’t return them in a timely manner.
15. Don’t return social phone calls or RSVP’s.
16. Try to hijack referral fees from your family’s pre-existing real estate relationships.
17. Ignore your SOI in favor of mass-advertising projects (then get your feelings hurt when they use someone else).
18. Contact your friends only when you’re looking for business.
19. Offer bribes to your friends for referrals.
20. Sell real estate “on the side”.
To learn more about Jennifer’s books and philosophies, please visit her website.