In this weekly series, WealthQuotient co-founder David Friedman shares the five keystone habits for effectively prospecting the affluent, distilled from over a decade of advising global leaders in luxury. Here, we’re tying together all five habits with baby activation steps and weekly challenges. Implement one per week to transform your prospecting game.
Habit No. 1: Avoid ‘hope marketing,’ and decide to shift your mindset from being reactive to proactive about building your business through referrals
In Part 1, you’ll learn how to make the shift from being reactive to proactive.
Baby-step activation tool
Decide that you stop practicing “hope marketing” based on your hope that if you serve your clients well enough, the referrals will just continue to roll in and be enough to sustain your business.
Determine that you will have an “inward-out” mindset and approach that recognizes that referrals are the key driver of new client acquisition.
The mark that you have made this mindset shift from reactive and ad-hoc “hope marketing” to proactive and strategic growth is that you catch yourself the next time this question start to utter this question, “How do I get to [fill in the blank]?”
Resolve that you will refuse to ask “How do I get to [fill in the blank],” and start a mindset change to asking how can foster and architect a specific referral.
Declare that you will not waste time on “outward-in” approaches that sap your time and resources but that you will spend time on “inward-out” referral-driven strategies.
Habit No. 2: Take an inventory of your relationships and clients, and identify the key sources of both your past and future referrals
In Part 2, you’ll learn how to take inventory of your clients and identify potential referral sources.
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.
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.
Habit No 3: Avoid open-ended generic referral requests, and transform referrals into introductions by being specific
In Part 3, you’ll learn how to transform referrals into introductions by avoiding open-ended requests.
Baby step activation
If you are going to ask for a referral, to ensure you actually get an introduction, don’t make your relationship do the work — always have a group of potential individuals you are trying to build relationships with that you believe are connected to someone you know.
Take someone from habit #2 and find the bio page from their company or LinkedIn profile and see if you can identify three to five people to which they are connected and next time you are with them, ask for an introduction to a couple of them.
Make sure that if you are meeting a referral source or client, invest a small amount of time before the meeting to identify at least two to three individuals connected to that person that you might be interested in cultivating as relationships.
Even if you don’t ask for the introduction, this is a great skill to inculcate any time you are meeting with someone. Building this mindset will help drive a behavior shift in how you grow your business.
Habit No. 4: Spend an hour a week yourself or with tour team thinking about your key referral sources and how to engage them
In Part 4, you’ll learn how to identify your key referral sources and work on engaging them.
Baby step activation
Set a calendar meeting for yourself on Monday morning before your day gets kidnapped by e-mails, responding to fires or other activities to review your key referral sources by yourself or as a team activity.
Remember, your inbox is mostly everyone else’s agenda for that day and not your strategic roadmap. Set up Google Alerts on one key referral source, their organizations or boards.
Resolve to spend 30 seconds to a minute of each day thinking about your key relationships and visualizing your future clients that will be coming from those introductions.
Add a new referral source or organization of which they are part to Google Alerts each week and commit to reviewing the news generated from the alerts on a weekly basis.
Habit No. 5: Learn to be quiet and ask great questions to accelerate and unlock chemistry and trust
In Part 5, you’ll learn how authentically build trust by listening and asking the right questions.
Baby step activation
Next time you are headed to a meeting with a prospect or your referral source, create a list of five questions that have nothing to do with your brand, platform or what you are selling and are all about things that are important to them.
Having this habit and skill in your back pocket, whether you use it or not, instills confidence to actually be quiet until you have something worthwhile to say. The mark of a successful first meeting with a prospect is whether or not they did most of the talking.
Resolve to have the mindset that you will go into every meeting prepared to ask more questions than generously offered opinions.