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March 9, 2011

Simple Ways to Increase Your Business, Part 1

by mark mclean

A few weeks ago, our office hosted an informal gathering of company agents to listen to Jonathan Lister, LinkedIn’s Country Manager for Canada.  For the hour plus discussion, Jonathan showed us how we can use LinkedIn to propel us to the next level in our business, actually, any business.  I came away with eight really great bullet points that I hope to discuss in future blogs, but the one that stood out the most almost seemed the easiest, and is probably the one we are most afraid to ask our current clients for. Do you know what it is?

Answer; A recommendation.  Why are we afraid to ask for a simple recommendation? Most people would agree that they don’t ask because they think it is beneath them, or cheesy, or they simply don’t want to put their clients on the spot. Maybe it is as simple as the fact that you did a bad job.   A thousand years ago, I attended one of those rah rah sales training seminars and the instructor did some role playing about calling past clients. He always ended the conversation with “Ok Mr. Seller, great talking to you oh and by the way, do you know anyone who is thinking about selling?”  I have to be honest, if I were Mr. Seller, I would instantly draw a blank. I don’t like the idea of putting anyone on the spot like that.

It has been proven time and time again that people are many times more likely to try a product or service if it has been recommended to them. When was the last time you picked up the phonebook or looked on line to find a body shop for your car? You don’t. You call your friends and ask them to recommend one to you.  Same goes with real estate. If your experience as a buyer or seller was bad or sloppy, your next choice in a realtor will most likely come as a result of a recommendation from a friend or associate.

So, how do you get recommendations and how do you use them? Start by doing a great job. Great recommendations are earned by exceptional work. After the deal is done, have your completely satisfied buyer or seller write a little note to your manager or broker. Call them and thank them for the kind words and ask if you can use their note in your marketing (minus last names and addresses of course). Post your recommendations on your website and your blog and make them easy to find. If you and your client are connected through Facebook or LinkedIn, ask them to post a recommendation there as well. Use recommendations on flyers, newsletters, brochures and even feature sheets.  In this day and age they must be one of the fundamental building blocks of your business.

The views expressed in this blog may or may not be the views of Bosley Real estate Ltd.

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