It's one thing to talk about service to others, and another to do it.
Irish immigrant Brian Buffini knows a thing or two about building customers for life. After a successful real estate career, he began a company to train others to be more service minded. Part of what Brian shares:
"Studies have shown most clients forget the name of their Realtor within 12 months of the transaction. I believe that most of these clients had a good or great sales experience, but after closing, the agent was off to the next deal. A referral-based business builds relationships even when there appears to be no immediate business opportunity.
There is a huge difference between a word-of-mouth business and a referral business. A referral business is a commitment to a philosophy of how you will run your business. It requires you to put your clients' needs ahead of your own. Completing a financial transaction is much easier than building relationships. However, in my own business and in the businesses of those we coach, building relationships is the critical difference between having an average business and having a great business."
I sold my last house in '98 - and other than an intial "thank you" - my realtor - otherwise a very nice guy, never followed up with me specifically about purchasing again. As the listing agent, he sold the deal to the first person who put an offer in - so I don't think that he had a bad experience, in fact it must have been fairly easy. I have seen him several times over the years socially - and professionally (he's part of an ownership group for one of my clients) - but never a note - never a call. It's funny because I've referred at least three deals to others and am currently looking again.
The value of a simple handwritten note COULD have meant another sale to my realtor. Instead I feel that I'm too insignificant for his time - quite the opposite of what he would intend, I'm sure. His lack of formal follow through (not just a chat at a social event), could have cost him tens of thousands of dollars.
Think about your clients and customers - which five could benefit from an inexpensive, three sentence, handwritten note this week? It certainly is one of the easiest ways to be genuine and get back in front of your customer.
side note: Another seller sent me an email today with this excerpt:
Considering the discount authority our directors have just extended in order to drive new business here in the final week of Q3, I am confident we now have the flexibility to put forward a starter package that makes sense for your company. If the timing is even close on your end, it may be worth 10 minutes of your time on the phone or in an online meeting to discuss what is available.
What a turn-off. This seems to be all about them (Q3 end of quarter deals...) and so much less about me. It sounds desperate.
Think before you write - and write or call those that you value.