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RISMEDIA, October 24, 2009—Building client-for-life relationships is one of the keys to success in the real estate industry. Mastering the process of acquiring leads, nurturing them into clients and continually providing outstanding service takes practice, but once you are able to establish yourself as a trusted source of information, you will begin the process of creating client-for-life relationships. Here, Todd John, chief operating officer of Listing Book provides basic principles that you can live by in order to gain repeat business as well as referrals. 

todd_johnTodd John
Chief Operating Officer
Listing Book 

The most successful salespeople I know have one thing in common. They have mastered the process of acquiring leads, nurturing them into clients and continually providing outstanding service. It results in repeat business and forming client-for-life relationships. 

One of the most critical questions asked is: what is the most important aspect of sales? Choosing an attribute such as empathy, drive or persistence is the expected response. Those characteristics, although essential, are just the “price of admission.” 

The most important facet of sales is the inherent aspiration to bring value to another person’s day. Receiving a fair price for that value is secondary. Combining those two components, regardless of where the customer is in the sales cycle, builds a client-for-life relationship. 

A key to providing exponential value and gaining an advantage is understanding what your client wants and delivering it to them better than anyone else. In our industry, customers crave information. Over 85% of buyers and sellers are getting it on the Web. This provides an opportunity for consumers to get incomplete, outdated or inaccurate information. As a result, more than ever, they need information delivered to them from a professional. Establishing oneself as the trusted source of information requires adherence to simple skills and principals. 

Listen to them with empathy. This builds an environment for a trusting relationship to grow. Truly effective salespeople can manage the acquired information and maintain control of its flow.

Empower them to become an integral part of the process. Clients feel empowered to make an educated decision when provided with complete and accurate data. You continue to build trust and loyalty when you are the one handing over this sought-after information.

Respond to them in a timely manner. Reliability is a key to any good relationship. Being responsive to a client’s needs with updated market information, in an easily digestible way, is essential to building a solid business.

React to their feedback. Agents become the reliable, trusted source for the best information available. It is important that you, as their advocate, can be reached when they need you.

Collect all of the pieces. The key to establishing a client-for-life relationship is providing value. At the end of the day, did I, as a professional sales consultant, exceed the cost/value equation by delighting my customers? If the answer is yes, you receive several payoffs, including satisfaction and a client for life. That’s the lifeblood of a successful business. 

Adherence to these principles helps fulfill the client-for-life promise, resulting in repeat business and the ultimate compliment—referrals. Today, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to live by these principles and be a part of something that exceeds the cost/value equation and truly enriches the lives of real estate professionals and their clients.