How to use your sphere of influence to make more sales
I always say that the key to success (in real estate or in any business), is to get as many people as possible to know, like, and trust you. Once you have their trust, they will do business with you. And who are the people who already know you, like you, and trust you? Well, that’s your “sphere of influence” or S.O.I. (as I like to call it).
So, what is an S.O.I? Your S.O.I. is a collection of people you know, personally, whether it’s an ex coworker you haven’t seen in 10 years, or a family member who you speak to daily. At its core, this is a group you have influenced with just by having a personal relationship with them. Your S.O.I. is the first place you should start when thinking about an overall strategy for growth and success as a real estate agent. Now, I’m not talking about being one of those people that jump all over their friends and family for personal gain. No, I am talking about having true, authentic conversations where we lead with value, and not sales. Expanding your S.O.I. is going to be beneficial for your life and your career in so many other ways outside of selling homes, that it’s something you should be doing regardless. As a real estate agent, this is even MORE important because the more relationships you have, the more chances you have that people will do business with you, or refer others to you. The goal is to tap into other people’s S.O.I. to keep your business growing and flourishing, no matter what is happening in the market.
So, how do you grow your S.O.I.?
I’m going to share with you my top 3 strategies on how I’ve accomplished this for the past 15 years in selling real estate.
Strategy #1: Get An Organization System.
Organization is key. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but you’ll want to keep it as simple as possible. Start by organizing your list of people you know by your relationship with the person, whether they’re family, friend, acquaintances, etc. Once you get to know them, you can break it down even further into sub categories like buyer or seller leads. When you start out, you don’t need anything more than a simple spreadsheet, and once you get rolling and start to make some bucks, you can invest in a fancy CRM.
Here’s a pro tip: identify the really influential people in your list that have an impact over a lot of people. Put a star next to them or highlight them. To be able to scale your business, these “influencers” will be key, as you will be able to tap into their large sphere of influence as you deepen your relationship with them.
Strategy #2: Deepen Those Relationships
So now that you have everyone organized, you need to start deepening those relationships. So get your phone ready and start reaching out to these people. I can’t emphasize enough, you are not contacting them to sell them something, just reach out to them, to share maybe a funny story, a helpful tip, or maybe just to check in to see how their weekend was. Maybe you want to think about mailing or emailing your S.O.I. some valuable content every month, but most of the time a good old phone call or a text message does the trick, just to let them know that you care about them.
When I first got into the business. It actually helped me to have a framework when making contact. So, follow these three easy steps from Dr. Lee Davenport, to help build rapport when you call someone and remember the acronym: C.A.L.L. Number one: Check in. Show you care with genuine interest in their life. Number two, Ask. Ask “how can I be of support to you”, or something like that. Number three, Listen. Their answer might not be related to real estate but it will help them know you’re there and ready to help when real estate needs arise. Number four, List. When they ask how things are going for you, start by listing the positive things you’re experiencing in real estate before discussing other areas of your life. Having a framework like this will help guide your conversation, and let them know that you truly care about them. Remember what Theodore Roosevelt said: no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Strategy #3: Put Yourself Out There
Now that you’ve sorted out and organized your S.O.I. list, as well as jumped on the phone and made a few phone calls, it’s time to get your butts out there and become active. You can do this in three ways: Number one, become active in your community. Number two, expand your presence on social media. Number three, use both online and offline media.
Set a few days per month to attend community events such as fundraisers, sporting events, etc, anywhere where there will be people you may know, or better yet, people who you can get to know. If you’re in a smaller city like I am, just head to Costco, sure enough, there always seems to be someone I know that I can stop and say hello to. On social media, make sure you’re just not scrolling through your feed. Actively engage with people and drop some thumbs up, some thoughts or comments on a few posts. Lastly, paid advertising. This can be costly when you’re starting off, especially if you’re looking at traditional forms of advertising, such as TV, radio, and the local newspaper. I find the best bang for buck is running social media ads or Google AdWords which have the intention, will be to drive people into your website.
Now that you know the three strategies, remember that it’s key to keep things simple, or you won’t do what you know you need to do. Take a few points I’ve laid out here for you, and build on those every day by adding others before you know it you’ll have built an amazing system to keep those sales and referrals flowing in. I challenge you to start today. Not tomorrow, not the next day, today. Don’t put it off until the time is right because it never will be. You don’t need to be great to start, but you have to start in order to become great.
Hope you found that useful! Let me know!
Until next time, wishing you all the best!