Whenever you make a contact with a new person, or reconnect with someone that you haven’t contacted in a long time, you want to strengthen the relationship using different means of communication.
We all meet new people every day — on the way to the office, at the office, on the phone, in meetings, while shopping, etc. As professionals, it is extremely important that we use all of our interactions to turn these new contacts into fans of what we do.
Regardless of what product or service we offer, at the end of the day, we all want people to call us for appointments, and we want to be known in the industry as experts in what we do. The easiest way to accomplish this is to work with each new contact without thinking about how this contact can help us professionally.
The first thing you want to do is to make notes about the new contacts as soon as you finish your conversation with them, while all the information is still fresh in your brain. The minimum information you want to have is their name, how you can contact them, or someone that you know who knows them, and most important — something personal about them, either a topic that they showed interest in, or an upcoming event they told you about. This will give you the opportunity to start your next conversation with something that’s important to them, and that will build instant rapport.
When you get back to the office, write them a personal hand-written note thanking them for meeting you, or talking to you, and wishing them good luck in whatever they do. Depending on what your conversation was about, you can add something personal to them that will make them smile.
Let’s take a typical example: you are a loan officer and on the way to the office you stop at the rest area for a cup of coffee. While on line you introduce yourself to the guy standing next to you. You have a 60 seconds chit chat with him, and he tells you he is an attorney that specializes in divorce. He gives you his card, takes his coffee and goes his way. Since you only had sixty seconds, there is not much that you know about him, but you do know that his coffee of choice is a Colombia Nariño Supremo from Starbucks because this is what he ordered and he was willing to pay $4 dollars for it.
You go back to the office, and you write him a personal note saying, “It was a pleasure meeting you today at Starbucks. I hope I will never be in a need of a good divorce attorney, but if I am, I have your card. Enjoy your Colombia Nariño Supremo and make it a wonderful day”.
What do you think will be his reaction when he gets the card? Will he be angry? No way. Will he throw it away? Not so soon. Why? Because he is not used to getting personal hand-written notes from guys he meets at Starbucks. So he has to look at it again, and again, which creates a file in his memory with your picture, his favorite coffee, and a smile.
Two days after you mailed out your personal card, you mail him a brochure or another short description on what you do, and you finish the letter or note with “enjoy your Colombia Nariño Supremo… “
Now he can add to your file in his brain a work description for you, and he is curious and a little interested in meeting you. Now, you can start to think how to go to the next step, and that depends a lot on what you do. Sometimes you just want to keep him on a quarterly mailing list to keep your name in front of him. Sometimes you want to call him (and start by asking him how his “Colombia Nariño Supremo” was this morning) to see if he or someone that he knows is in the market for buying a new house.
Once you get used to following up, it takes only minutes a day, and within a few months you have a strong base of fans that know what you do, and like you.
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK.
For the next ten days, write three personal hand-written notes each day to new people that you spoke to in the last 24 hours, or old contacts that you haven’t been in touch with for awhile. Try to be creative and use your sense of humor (if you have one, if not you can borrow from others).
Warning: don’t worry whether or not this person can give you business. Just send it from human to human, and trust the universe for the rest. The results will amaze you!!!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
“A salesman minus enthusiasm is just a clerk.” Harry F.Banks
QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
How can you improve the lives of the people you met today?
© 2008 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.