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6 Ways to Build Referrals

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By Kelle Sparta

RISMEDIA, Jan. 22, 2008-One of the most inexpensive and effective forms of marketing yourself is networking. Many people realize this, but few do it well. Here are some tips to keep you on the path to success.

1. Have a Goal

When you go out to network, make certain you have a goal that you are looking to accomplish. For instance, your goal might be to meet 10 people, discuss real estate with them, and give each of them two of your cards while collecting at least one of theirs. Once you have your goal, make sure you stay on track. It’s too easy to get sucked into a conversation with just one person and miss out on the opportunity of meeting everyone else.

2. Have a Creative Answer to “What Do You Do?”

When people ask me this question, I respond with “I help real estate agents create lives and businesses they can love.” This type of answer is one that makes people say “Really, how do you do that?” It gives me permission to talk to them more about my job. Then I can go into greater detail about what I do (coaching and training) and what the focus of my work is. This is a far more effective approach than if I just said, “I’m a real estate sales coach and trainer.” Boorrriinnggg. What can you say to make your job more interesting sounding? (Think outside of the box here. See if you can avoid using the words home, house, property, and dream – they’re all overused.)

3. Have an Elevator Pitch

Once you’ve gotten someone to ask for more information, then you need to be able to give it to them in a quick, coherent, compelling fashion. In 30 seconds or less you need to make what you do sound like what they need. Use emotional hot buttons and clear statements to get to your point quickly and effectively.

For example, my “Elevator Pitch” goes like this: “I help real estate agents get deeper into relationship with their clients. I teach them to help their clients not only through the transaction, but also through the transition that they are going through in their lives that caused them to make the move in the first place. In this way, they build happier, stronger, longer-lasting bonds with their clients. And this allows them to get more repeat and referral business while operating on a more fulfilling level in their businesses. I also provide coaching, mentoring, motivation, and emotional support to my agents so that they have someone to lean on while everyone else is leaning on them.” Sounds good right? What can you say about your business that is just as compelling?

4. Have a Follow-up Plan and Marketing Materials

Once you’ve sold them, you need to close them. Make sure you have marketing materials in your car covering all the services you offer. Make a date to follow-up with the person if they seem interested. If they have a referral for you, then make a plan to follow-up with that referral or to get his/her contact info from the person.

5. Give Back

If you want people to give you business and referrals, you need to offer the same in return. Make a list of the people you network with regularly. Work on finding them leads as you meet people the more business you feed to other people, the more they will feed back to you.

6. Have Fun

People like to talk to happy people. The more fun you’re having, the more popular you will become. (And the more fun you’ll have – bonus!) Greet everyone with a smile and see how many you get in return. We didn’t get into real estate because we hated people. Enjoy yourself and make a great living at the same time. What could be better?

Kelle Sparta is the author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent – Building Relationships that Create Loyal Clients, Get More Referrals, and Increase Your Sales, as well as being a speaker and trainer specializing in the real estate industry. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides tools, products, and training to empower agents and brokers to create lives and businesses they can love.

For more information, visit www.spartasuccess.com.

© 2006, Kelle Sparta. Used by permission.

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