So often we are operating in starvation mode. Desperate for any clients, sales, projects and income. We are running on fumes chasing every lead and tease that comes our way. We are afraid to say no, terrified to walk away, worried that turning down a client would somehow ruin our business.
But do you ever stop and reflect on how much time you are wasting on chasing those prospects that lead to nowhere…or even worse… sucking the life out of you!
When you say Yes to someone, You are saying No to someone else.
Be careful who you chose to accept as a client. YES! You can accept your clients. This also means, you can turn down clients as well. Seriously consider what saying “yes” to this client means. What else will you be saying “no” to. Will you be turning down the opportunity to work with 3 awesome clients while you’re bending over backwards and busting your hump for this one? Will you be turning down better experiences and resume building contacts while you’re dealing with a fussy, ignorant, inconsiderate client?
Don’t be afraid to ‘just say no’. You do not have to answer every knock that comes to your door. And more importantly, its okay to shut that door even after you opened it. Just as your clients can fire you, you can fire your clients. Your time is worth more than you give yourself credit for. Don’t let others zap your time, and talents.
Its Okay…Fire Your Client!
It sounds silly, of course you wouldn’t turn down a paycheck, but do you REALLY know how often you are non-intentionally doing it?
I often try to remind people that networking happens everywhere; soccer practice, book club, church luncheon, waiting in line at the DMV, birthday parties, backyard BBQs, and anywhere else you mingle with people. Its easy to say “ya ya I know that” but if you can start saying “there’s my next paycheck” I truly believe that can change your whole mindset.
Look at Cathy sitting next to you watching your sons play soccer. Have you talked to her? Do you know what neighborhood she lives in? Do you know if she’s happy where she lives? More importantly, does she even know what you do?! Cathy could be sitting there, right now, glancing down at Zillow listings and wondering how to even get started at making a move. Wouldn’t you kick yourself if you found out at next week’s game she purchased a house with some strange agent she found online?
Letting people know what you do, and staying in front of them doesn’t need to be pushy sales. It can be subtle. Here are some ideas:
- Wear clothing with your logo on it
- Bring a camping chair to the game with your logo on it
- Provide reusable plastic water bottles for all the kids, branded of course
- Provide goodie bags for your women’s retreat
- Become Facebook friends with EVERYONE and make them part of your sphere (they will see you being a successful person and want to know more)
- Sponsor the team BBQ
- Hand out branded towels at the swim tournament
- Carry notepads and/or branded pens to give the guy next to you searching for one
- Take an ACTUAL interest in their lives
- ALWAYS have business cards on you
Don’t miss out on opportunities to earn your next client aka Paycheck.
We has adult humans, and especially us females, have a very hard time asking for help. We feel that asking for help makes us less, or weak, or incapable, or incompetent. When in fact, asking for help makes us stronger and more successful.
Sometimes I think the road block we hit is actually using the word ‘help’. Here’s some tips to taking that step and getting the support you need.
- Build a support team. Surround yourself with people that you are able to help and that can help you. These can be people in completely different fields that can bring outside knowledge or find those you can trust that are in your same industry that can share knowledge and experiences you have yet to conquer.
- Start using the word ‘Team’. You’ll find find it easier to ask your ‘teammate’ for help than anyone else. Because, well isn’t that what teams do?
- Help others first. If you become a resource to others they will be asking to help you in return. Catch here tho…don’t turn down their help!
- Keep your goals in mind. If you need an assistant, or partner to achieve your goals, do it! There will be learning curves and growth pains and communication struggles but in the long term it will pay off.
- You can’t clone yourself, so don’t expect to find help that is just like you. Find someone that is like minded, but brings other skills to the table. Someone that compliments you but will also put you in your place if needed.
- Let go. Just do it. You can’t help yourself if you don’t learn to delegate. You’re just spinning your wheels and not moving up in the world if you think you can do it all yourself. If you want to grow, you have to let go.
- Help comes in all shapes a sizes. It may not be an assistant at the office, maybe its someone to clean your house, or pick up your kids, or cook for you, or run errands, or watch your kids so you can have date night. Make a list, find out where you really could use an extra hand to achieve your goals.
Hope this helps on your path to growing your success.
Today lets chat about the infamous ‘elevator pitch’. In my 11 years of networking, I have heard probably a bazillion of these, maybe more. What bothers me the most is when I hear someone say the exact same thing I just heard someone else say.
I’ll give you an example:
Lame Jane: Hi, I’m Jane, I’m a realtor who helps people buy and sell homes. Do you know anyone looking to move?
Wake up Jane!!! The average person has 3 realtors in their sphere of influence and I have over 100…so you need to say something to get my attention and stand out from the hundreds of other realtors that I know.
Fun Jane: Hi! I am Jane and I am a home ownership specialist helping people all over the city discover the home of their dreams.
Hi! I’m Jane and I use my passion for helping others everyday to work with individuals in the search for their new homes.
I turn houses into homes by finding their perfectly matched owners. I’m Jane and I am a Real Estate Agent.
There’s just a few examples, but the point is, change up your intro. Share your passion not just your title. Stand out from the crowd.
I was honored with the opportunity to present LinkedIN 101 to a room of college administrators this week and thought I would take some of that presentation and pass the cliff notes on to you.
Most of us HAVE LinkedIN but not many of us USE LinkedIN. Whether you use it regularly or not, here’s some basic tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure all your contact information and work experience is up to date
- Check phone numbers, email, blog links and other websites
- Respond to messages as you would any others
- Have the app on your phone so you can get immediate notifications
- Status Updates
- Updates go out to newsfeeds but do not stay on your profile history
- Share knowledge, its not always all about you or your business
- A post stays on your profile for others read in the future
- You can see stats on how many people read, liked, commented and shared your post
- Treat a post like you would a blog post or article
- Join and be active in groups
- Share knowledge, present yourself as the expert in your field
- Give to Receive
- Write recommendations for others and ask them to do the same
- Introduce connections to show that you’re a great resource
- Know Who You’re Meeting
- Look up the person you’re having coffee with to learn more about them
- See what they look like
- Impress them with a few fun facts you know about them
- Stay On Top Of Things
- Keep your experience and photo updated
- Congratulate people on job changes and anniversaries
- Log in and browse your feed at least once a week
Feel free to contact me for more tips or for more information on my presentation.
Pet Peeve #17: If I have taken time out of my day to send you a referral, you better take time out of your day to thank me.
Isn’t that how we are supposed to function? The Golden Rule: Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated
Its definitely easy to forget to say Thank You. Especially when the reward comes long after the initial introduction, however those 2 little words can play a large part in re-occurring referral business. When people feel appreciated and remembered they will keep doing what it takes to feel that appreciation again.
A Thank You can be as little as a quick text, a handwritten card, maybe a phone call even, or small gift. It does not have to be huge, time consuming or expensive. Just set your Thank You plan in motion and stay on top of it.
Wouldn’t you love it if your business was all referrals? Just remember this…the more Thank Yous you give the more Thank Yous you’ll give. (Get it)
Now its my turn, THANK YOU to everyone who reads, shares and comments on my posts. It means so much to me to know that you’re getting something out of them and its worth my time to keep writing them. It lights a little spark in my heart every time I get feedback. Keep it up!
Today’s tip is a little less networking and little more organizing.
Have you ever received that call or text that’s just a number…no name? And you’re like…do I answer? Should I answer? You get that pit feeling in your stomach when you think of stopping what you’re doing to answer it. Or worse, you answer the call with your regular “hello” script and the person on the other end replies with “wth! Why don’t you have me saved in your phone?”
Avoid both these situations TODAY! Stop what you’re doing and go into your phone and find every text that doesn’t have a name assigned to it and save their name. Go through your voicemails and save those contacts.
Then get in a habit of saving those contacts EVERY SINGLE time you get a new one. I promise you’ll thank me.
Want to take it even one step further? Save your contacts first name with a reference of how you know them. Example: I save all my realtors like this REALTOR Casanova Brooks so then I automatically know when my phone rings who he is, how I know him and if I want to answer my phone or not. (I also started adding a fun emoji for some contacts too, like a house, so their name stands out even more)
ALSO once I save all my contacts like this, if I have a text I want to send to all my realtors I just sort my contacts by “REALTOR” and there they all are. I don’t have to think over and over about hmmmm who do I have in my phone.
This may sound time consuming, but I promise, you’ll enjoy it.
Are you familiar with the term “Sphere of Influence”? If not, here’s a quick review before we move forward: Your sphere of influence is the people closest around you that contribute to your mental, physical and financial well being. That’s not Webster’s definition but for the sake of this post, that’s the version we are using.
So today, I want to remind you that you should ALWAYS BE NETWORKING and growing your Sphere of Influence. What does this mean?
- Networking does not only mean when you are at a “networking event”
- Networking means anytime you are around human beings 😉
- Entertain casual conversations with the parents at your son’s soccer games
- Get to personally know the ladies in your book club
- How about the young gal that always helps you at the bank, does she need a home?
- Chat up your workout buddies at the gym
- Build a relationship with the caddy at your favorite golf course
- How well do you know the gentlemen in your bible study?
My point is, that everyone around you is, and can be, a great referral source. So don’t forget to always be networking with them and growing your sphere of influence. HOWEVER, be cautious and don’t be that annoying guy at the BBQ that comes in flashing his business cards around and selling used cars…Be the guy flipping burgers and handing out cold beers and chatting people up. They will open up to you, I promise.
So often I hear people say “What do you mean you bought a house with your friend and not with me?!” or “How did you not know I provided that service” or even “Well if I would have known … I would have used you” or the WORST is “Oh…I didn’t even think to use you”.
Those are some of the hardest, gut wrenching words to hear. We often get so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget not everyone is living and breathing our business like we are. Of course we would like to assume that our friends and family think to use us first but that just doesn’t happen.
Did you know that the average person has 3 realtors in their own personal sphere of influence? And that’s just the average Joe…you and I who are active networks are surrounded by so many more professionals and industries.
So how can you help avoid losing out on referrals? My best tip… You ready… ASK FOR IT! You have to ask your friends and family for referrals. You have to remind them regularly that’s what you do for a living, what you do to feed your kids, and what you’re professionally trained to do.
Here’s some quick samples on asking:
- Oh hey Aunt Jody, I see your friend’s kids are moving out, would you please introduce us so I can see if she needs help moving into a smaller home?
- Hey Bob, I heard you say your client just bought a new home, would you mind introducing us so that I can help them with any plumbing needs they may have now or in the future.
- Cindy, I want to introduce you to Ron because I think the two of you would be a great referral source and by the way, don’t forget I can also help both your clients out with their needs.
- Kathy! Congrats on the baby, have you thought about moving to a larger home?
- Tim, its been so nice working with you, do you have 2 contacts you can introduce me to next week?
Also…ask you friends and family to post testimonials about the work you do. They can tag you in them on Facebook and LinkedIN so all their friends see.
Just remember, if someone has used your services and was happy, they used them because they like you and if they like you they will not have a problem referring you, you just need to ask.
Alright, let’s admit it, we don’t post video blogs because we are camera shy…right? RIGHT? You know it, I know it. I’m totally guilty of this one. We always think we are too fat, or our hair doesn’t look right or that double chin just has to go!
Well… I have news for you… you (and I) still have that double chin in person!
Why are you hiding behind the camera when you can be in front of people and letting them get to know you…every wrinkle, pound and out of place hair! People don’t learn to trust you by hearing your voice, they learn by seeing your body language, by being drawn in by your smile and they even learn to love your quirky mistakes.
Live video (Facebook and Periscope) can be super scary, so try this… shoot a video just on your phone. Don’t go live, just practice, then practice again and again and again.
Here’s a few other tips:
- Don’t read from a script. Write down a few bullet points if you must, but don’t read them
- Don’t shoot while you’re driving. Or in your car at all…its very unprofessional
- Its okay if you mess up, no one, I mean NO ONE shoots a perfect video every time
- The more videos you shoot the more comfortable you get, so do them often
- Keep them short and sweet, 2 -5 minutes at the most
- HAVE FUN! The more “real” you are on camera the more people will get to know you and that will turn into great relationships