Thursday, December 07, 2006

Does "asking" for referrals make you feel like you're "begging?"

I was sitting at Starbucks this morning in Atlantic City drinking my quad-espresso when a Realtor walked up to me and asked if I had a moment to talk with him.
I have never met this person before but he knew me from my 3 Minute Referral Tips.
I offered Brian the Realtor a seat.

Our conversation quickly turned into a personal coaching moment.

Here how it went:

Brian recently picked up my training manual for the first time since being on a teleconference with me over a year ago.

He said “I'm ready to start what I should have started last year. And my biggest concern is asking for referrals.”

He felt that asking for referrals is like begging.
It makes him feel so uncomfortable he doesn’t ask.

He also told me that two of his company’s newer agents who attended one of my classes have learned what to say and ask for referrals and they get them.

Brian has over 15 years in the business and they get more referrals than he does.

Then Brian asked “What's the best way for a veteran like me to start?”

This was my advice to Brian and my tip for today.

The best place to start is to ask for help.

There are a lot of people who just don't like to ask for help or referrals.

Asking triggers an internal response that is often a negative reminder brought about through established patterns in one's upbringing.

It can range from being taught that asking is rude to the idea that asking is one of the characteristic of a "pushy sales-person" and who wants to be like that?

It reminds some of their vulnerabilities which may be perceived as a weakness and an insecurity.

We all know that selling requires confidence and why would anyone want to intentionally do something that makes them feel insecure?

The irony is simply that asking for referrals is the most secure characteristics of a confident individual.

The deep rooted belief in your talents and abilities is projected by your behavior to want to help and serve the referred friends and family of people who you are working with or people that you know.

You are your most important customer.
If you know, believe, and love what you do your confidence and enthusiasm will be felt by others.

It's really a matter of perception.

This is not the first time I've heard that asking for referrals is like "begging."

So here's the advice I gave over coffee.

  • Begin with small steps
  • Set the stage and plant the seeds of referrals
  • Make it fit into your style
  • Be consistent

It's as simple as this.

During any transaction and at a time you feel comfortable, try saying something like this:

"Pete, we are a couple weeks away from closing and I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed working with you. How do you feel you've been treated so far...or how do you feel our service has been?

(Always wait for a response)

Thanks for noticing. I'm glad you feel that way. I just want you to know that when you refer someone they will be treated the same way."

That's it.
Say it to everyone you work with before they close.

Remember the steps.

  • Take small steps
  • Plant the seeds
  • Make it fit into your style
  • Be consistent

You don't have to ASK to get started.
The referral conversation will happen if you begin by planting the seeds.

Note to Brian: "Thanks for asking."

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!


Who can you share this blog with right now?
Pass it on to one agent that you like and respect.

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