Follow Up With Your Clients: Staying In Touch 101
Today I want to talk with you about the importance of staying in touch with your clients; that is, to take a look at the underlying principle. If you aren’t following up with your current and past clients, this article will show you why and how to start staying in touch!
Look around you – we’re suddenly in the midst of probably the greatest consumer attention crisis in U.S. economic history. We are over-communicated and over-marketed to; it’s physically impossible to pay attention to the 3,500 or more marketing messages that some studies have found we are exposed to each and every day. That works out to 24,000 a week – you can do the math for the year.
To put this number into context, there are 40,000 items in a grocery store, yet the average family fills 90 percent of its needs with just 150 of these items.
Once there were just four styles of running shoes; now there are 500 plus. Once there were only 17 over the counter pain relievers; now there are in excess of 150.
When I got into the real estate business 40 years ago, there were only a comparative handful of real estate agents, and few of those were women; today, there are over 2 million, and more than half of these professionals are women.
How To Follow Up With Clients
So how can you possibly capture the attention of a buyer or seller? It’s about teaching them to remember you. It’s about communicating with them to get to the sale… and then communicating with them after the sale.
What I find so amazing is that most agents spend most of their money on suspects – people who don’t know you, and therefore don’t trust you. They don’t believe you and they don’t even know it’s the right time to do business with you.
Where do the successful real estate agents spend their time and money? They spend these precious commodities on their current, existing customers. That is where a loyal relationship is, and where retaining a relationship begins.
Think about it; your best friend was once a stranger. How did you become friends? That bond was built the same way as a suspect becomes a prospect, then a customer or a client, and then ultimately a customer for life… and, an evangelist for you. This connection gives you the highest lifetime value of a customer.
Frequency of communication is the way this relationship is built. It is only through communication that one is transformed into a lifelong customer.
And, it can’t be done via just another item thrown at them. If you are trying the Internet, keep in mind that there are more than 100 million web sites out there today, with 50,000 being launched every day. It’s a fine way for the consumer to find information in general, but being impersonal does not build relationships of trust. That is what you want. From earned trust comes loyalty.
You must break through the noise and clutter to capture and maintain mind share. You have to learn to NOT be a part of the noise and clutter.
Don’t Forget your Customers
Statistically, the No. 1 reason for divorce in this country is the complaint (from either husband or wife) that “my spouse stopped paying attention to me.”
The No. 1 reason for defection in business is the company stopped – or never started – paying attention to the customer.
It is a lot easier to get referrals from your customers and friends than to find clients with no connection to you or your business.
If you want the truth, survey your customers, not your suspects or prospects. Did you do a good job? If your customer was not happy with your service, in most cases they will tell you.
By staying in touch and asking about your service, you learn better how to build your business. Surveys are great ways to learn what you do right and where you need to improve.
Give customers a reason to come back. They will need to buy or sell, or know a friend who will, in the next few years.
The most successful real estate agents build their businesses though long-term relationships. Last time, I discussed the reasons why it is important to follow up with your clients in order to grow your business. The National Association of Realtors has found that 74 percent of home buyers and sellers use an agent whom with they have a relationship. However, only four percent of licensed agents have a marketing plan or system in place to build and maintain relationships with their clientele. The majority of agents starve on the minority of available business. Decide to feast on the majority of business by join the 4% of agents who follow up to build lasting relationships with their clients. Be a real and true success in a business, like Mark Kachigan, who decided staying in touch with clients was a top priority:
“Although the past few years were tough (due to the economy) I’m starting out with a gang buster year – absolutely due to the mailings!!! They really do work!
Twenty years ago I thought a person got listings because they were smarter, harder working, more honest, etc. Although that is important, I now believe that getting your name in front of them IS WHAT PRODUCES RESULTS! My continually getting calls and listings from sellers who comment on having received the postcards for years is proof that repetition generates calls, proving what I was told when I first signed up with you 20 years ago.
After 35 years in this business I plan to retire soon. I can thank, for a good part, The Stay in Touch Follow-Up System® for helping me achieve my goals.”
Realtor for 35 years
Wrapping It Up
When you make the decision to follow up with past clients, and stop focusing on the minority that your peers are focusing on, you join the top producers. You are ready to recession-proof your business and increase your income exponentially.