Take Responsibility for Your Relationships

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“So what do you do?” asks someone you’ve never met before. “I’m in real estate” you answer.

Can you see what just went wrong here?

You were given the opportunity to build your business and form a positive impression of yourself in that 3 second window of meeting someone and you blew it.

The right answer is “I own a real estate business” because even if you’re self-employed (and don’t own a brokerage) you are your own boss and should be proud enough of what you do to reinforce that with everyone you meet.

After a few minutes of talking you’ve discovered a few things in common with this person. Maybe it’s what sport teams they follow, places they have travelled, maybe it’s what their spouse does for a living or maybe their kids have activities in common with yours. You’ve just discovered a few usable “touch-points” to keep in contact with this person.

The next step is to add their information, and the highlights of your conversation, into your contact database so you can keep in touch with them when the occasion warrants. The next day call them on the phone or send them an email saying how nice it was to meet them and add something of value to the conversation that they will find of interest. It might be an upcoming local event or a news story on a topic you talked about. This something should be of value to them, not yourself.

Whether you are using Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) or the old standby excel spreadsheet be certain to add keywords about your conversations and their personal information so you can easily search your contact list as you come across items to share with your connections.

Creating touch-points that give you a specific reason to make contact with someone over time is how you will develop your business and managing the information about your connections should be part of your everyday routine.

You are an “authentic person” that has professional services to offer, your contact database is built one connection at a time and is maintained one touch-point at a time. If you’re not effectively and actively managing your contact database you are turning down business that you don’t even know exists.