In this weekly series, David Friedman shares the five keystone habits for effectively prospecting the affluent, distilled from over a decade of advising global leaders in luxury. This week, learn how to take stock of your existing relationships and identify potential referral sources.

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In Part 2 of WealthQuotient co-founder David Friedman’s five-part series on the keystone habits real estate agents need to effectively prospect wealthy potential clients, you’ll learn how to take inventory of your clients and identify potential referral sources. Check in weekly on Fridays and on Agent Edge for your next strategy-turned-healthy-prospecting habit to add more affluent clients to your database.

Habit No. 2:  Take an inventory of your relationships and clients, and identify the key sources of both your past and future referrals

Most sales professionals, if they took a moment to do the analysis, would see that the 80/20 rule applies to their existing clients and is predictive of their future clients. 

It may flex up or down from that statistic, but the principle remains that a majority of their future clients will come from a handful of their existing relationships and clients. 

Agents know this intuitively, but it’s different when you actually experience the data that supports this proposition. Assuming for the sake of argument that this is correct, the implications of this reality are both profound and liberating. 

It is profound in that you can predict where your future clients are most likely going to come before you even know who they are since they are submerged in the social networks and relationships of your key existing clients. 

This reality is liberating because it frees us from a tyranny of the urgent driving most of our emotional energy toward putting out fires while releasing us to an actionable and proactive strategy.

It further liberates us from having to feel the daily burden created by our massive CRM database of contacts, which yields little return and to which we are broadcasting our standard marketing emails. 

The Gospel of Effective Prospecting frees us to focusing our limited time, emotional bandwidth and resources on the few key people who have the highest probability of making referrals and introductions to our future clients. Knowing is half the battle — and a good foundational start to creating new habits and mindsets.  

Baby-step activation tool

Go through your clients from the past two years, and identify or tag the source of where they came. You will see after doing this exercise that many of your new clients over the past two years came from the same existing relationships.  

Additional best practice tools

In addition to clustering the source of clients around existing relationships, you can also identify other potential referral sources by filtering your book of business or your relational network by the following three key questions:

  • Do they like you? This does not mean they are your best friend or have you over every week. It simply means that you have a good rapport with them.
  • Are they social? We have a very specific definition here for “social.” What we don’t mean is they appear frequently on Page Six. What we have our eye on here is that they have some kind of public footprint of their boards, philanthropic giving or other community associations or activity.
  • Would they be willing to help? This question serves as more of a sanity check on the other two questions. You may have clients or relationships that like you and are have a public footprint, but they might not be — for whatever reason — willing to help in making referrals. 

Weekly resolve

Once you have identified and inventoried those key ambassadors or advocates or run your relational networks, including your clients, through these three filters, resolve to invest and engage those individuals.

Do this on a monthly basis with information and articles that have nothing to do with real estate or what you are selling but are instead about the passions, hobbies and interest that are relevant, unique and important to that individual. 

Some top agents who have walked through this process have these key referral sources laid out on their desk or on their wall to ensure they are top-of-mind each week.

David Friedman is the co-founder of WealthQuotient. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter

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