We all know we have to prospect on a regular basis. Some of us need to prospect more than others depending on how long you have been in the business and where your business comes from. Truth be told, it is important that everyone knows where their business comes from and is always focused on cultivating new opportunities by establishing or maintaining referral relationships and prospecting.
As we have discussed in the past, we are constantly working a balance between “Fishing & Farming”. Working a plan that generates both instant and long term results is essential. The key to this is being very clear as to what you are trying to accomplish. To do this, we need to follow three very basic steps:
- Preparation. What is the goal? What is the plan of action? Who is my target? When do I do this work?
- Performance. During the time of doing the actual work, am I clear of what my message is and am I providing value to the potential referral partner or client as I am asking for the opportunity?
- Connection. After completing the work, have I connected all the information through social media making it simple for people to see and share?
A good example of this would be to take a page out of my “Coaches Playbook” and show you exactly how a day “running the Realtor® route” looks. A Realtor® route is simply seven to ten Realtors® in a similar geographical location that are placed in order from closest to furthest in a “route” format. Some people work the route from home to the office, or out and back from the office, or from the office to home, depending on the location and the objective. I prefer running the route from 10am to noon, but some people prefer the afternoon schedule better. In either case, it should not be more than a two hour time frame or it likely won’t get done!
Once I have established the “Realtor® Route”, we have to follow the steps. First step is Preparation. To prepare for the route we must have a physical piece of material we are going to deliver. A printed article, blog post, or any form of information that is printed. We take a copy of this information and place it in an envelope and put the Realtors® name on it. We do this for each agent on the route that we intend to visit. We place the envelopes in route order and begin to run our route.
The second step is Performance. We have to go out and do the work. We drive to the first stop on our route and go inside the office. Then:
- We ask for the agent by name.
- If the agent is there, we give them the envelope and share with them a brief description of what is inside and then ask if there is anyone they have been working with that you should be talking too?
- If the agent is not there, which is most likely, leave the envelope with the receptionist and head back to your car. Once in your car, call the agent on the phone. If they answer or not, the message is the same. You tell them your name, and let them know that you just left something for them at their office. If they have any questions, they can just give you a call. You also ask them if they are working with anyone that you might be able to help.
The last step in running the route is Connecting the information you just delivered through your social media outlets. If nothing else, you must have a professional Facebook® page. You need to share the information on your page. Very simply post the information and be sure to mention the agents you left it for. Even if you are not “friends” or they haven’t “liked” your page, put it out there so it can be seen and shared.
You must remember to touch all the areas people are connecting.
- Physical office visits help create schedule discipline and create opportunity to meet new people.
- Physical handouts create a long term reminder of your visit and value.
- The call from the car reinforces the visit with a personal connection.
- The social media connection allows for the potential of easy sharing and the opportunity to reach people you don’t know yet.
If you follow these three simple steps, you will find your prospecting will yield higher quality relationships and referral opportunities.