Your sphere of influence can be the greatest source of referrals and repeat business. Why avoid marketing to your raving fans?
We refer to it as marketing to the low-hanging fruit – as illustrated by our cute cartoon above. These are past clients, friends, relatives, suppliers, neighbours, local merchants and people you meet at open houses.
Start by making a list of the 10 people you consider to be your core sphere of influence. Then add additional names to this list as they come to mind.
1) Examine and Assess Your List
Reflect on where you met them and why they are on the list. Then grade them:
A= Likely to refer to you
B= Needs a little more contact with you and then they would refer to you
D = Delete
2) “Touch” Your Sphere On a Regular Basis
There are many ways to “touch” your sphere, depending on your business and your budget.
- Mail a letter
- Phone them
- Email a newsletter
- Mail a note card
- Mail a newsletter
Need a reason or excuse to get in contact with them? Here are 12 good ones:
- Follow up after a recent transaction
- Deliver an annual gift – calendar, marketing items, etc
- Provide an annual equity analysis
- Wish the clients a happy one-year home anniversary
- Personally thank them for a referral
- Invite them to your open house that is nearby for a cup of coffee
- Ask them an opinion about their area of expertise
- Stop by after listing a home in their neighborhood
- Wish them a happy holiday
- Ask for a testimonial and permission to use it
- Ask for referrals and any neighbourhood activity
- Introduce them to a new neighbour or new professional
3) Keeping in Touch is Not Imposing
There is a natural barrier to keeping in touch. We feel like we are imposing on them or wasting their time, but that is the wrong way to think. Successful sales people are givers. We are not imposing, we are giving them information. It is often referred to as “give to get” marketing. If you send market information or call a past client, you are giving them something. Maybe you are just listening to their problems, but they appreciate you are giving your time.
Your sphere of influence sees your “touches” as giving something to them and it makes them open to giving back to you. As long as you have a good reason to call, they will be happy to hear from you.
It is a good idea to have a script that you adapt for each person you call.
4) Relax: No One is Keeping Score
Don’t create an unrealistic timetable that will stress you out. Whatever you do should be sustainable. A Christmas card once a year may be all you can do. If you can add in a quarterly newsletter that would be great. If you could call two past clients each week, even better. Create a keep in touch program that fits your budget, your personality and your schedule
5) Spend a Proportional Amount of Time
Look at your sales this past year and determine how much business comes from people you know and people who are referred to you. If it is 80 per cent of your business, spend 80 per cent of your time, effort and marketing budget accordingly. It is fun to attract new clients and necessary to build your business, but it is expensive, hard to track results and takes time away from your raving fans.
6) Make it Part of Your Daily Routine
Just like brushing your teeth, calling people in your sphere of influence is essential. Start with one a day and work up to calling several people a day.
Decide when to make your calls and keep at it until you’ve reached the people you were trying to call. After several weeks it will feel a lot easier.
Our advice is to exhaust the possibilities with your sphere of influence who are already your raving fans before you spend time and money on total strangers.