Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Listen, Share, Show, Tell and Ask...

This weeks 3 Minute Referral Tip comes from my Mail Bag:

Dear Jeff,

A few weeks ago you spoke at our company. Our office has been buzzing since your presentation.

People are really thinking and acting different.

A few of us were sharing notes over the Magic Words section and the process of telling a customer on the first meeting about how we want to build our referral business and the benefits to them.

We are struggling a bit.

Could you go over the 5 steps you shared with us so we can really get it down right?


Tony C

Dear Tony,

In the most simple terms..."first seek to understand, then be understood."

From Steven Covey's, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" this is Habit # 5. It is what I consider to be the most important first habit in interpersonal communication.

Yes, we are often begging to be understood. We sometimes feel it is easier to speak about what we do and our company, or programs, than it is to really listen to someone else.

It's where you begin.

Empathic listening is risky.

It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep, deep listening experience because you open yourself up to being influenced.

You may feel vulnerable.

It's a paradox, in a sense, because in order to really have influence you have to be willing to be influenced first.

This means you really have to understand both the transactional and the transpersonal aspects of your customer's situation or problem.

You have to understand the "What" and the "Why."

You are teaching your customers how to treat you by your own behavior.

If they feel understood, the Law of Reciprocity (Robert B. Cialdini: Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion) will give them the desire to understand you.

The order is critical.

Then a true partnership can begin and you can explain how you do your business, show the benefits, and begin the referral conversation.

Here are the 5 Steps you can take on your first meeting with a new client:

5. ASK

I'll explain the simple level 1 dialogs...


This is the Process of Understanding.

Can you describe for me your current situation, where you are in the process, and your time schedule?

What major concerns or questions come up when you think about the process of buying/selling/borrowing?

Reflect back on your past buying/selling/borrowing experiences or those of others you may know, what problems or situations would you like to avoid?

What do you need to know about me, my company, or our process that we have not discussed?

(Repeat to them the key points exactly as they had said them, "Did I hear you correctly", "What I understood you to say is...", “So you want…”, or “You would like…”)


Let your clients know how you depend upon Satisfied Clients as your "Business Plan."


The "benefit to them" is a higher level of attentive, professional service and follow through with intentional behavior that creates a world class client expertise.


I can't do it without your help.


"I want you to be so delighted with our service that you will feel comfortable referring me to your friends and family while we're working close together and after you sell your home/move into your new home/refinance your home. Can I count on your help?"

When a client says, "Jeff was different. He was the only person who really seemed to understand our situation and genuinely seemed to want to do what was best for us. He was the only one that listened to what we were saying. We decided fairly early in the process that our business would go to Jeff."

This doesn't happen by accident...it is in the process.

Thanks for a great question,

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


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