When my first broker told me I needed to write letters to all the people in my sphere of influence, I didn’t know what she was talking about.
What sphere of influence? I didn’t influence anyone except possibly my children. Who are all these people I should be contacting?
The label is a bit misleading — although we probably all do influence others more than we imagine.
What she really meant was “all the people who know you, at least somewhat, and who like you, or at least don’t dislike you.”
The point is, you want everyone who knows you to know what you do for a living — and how it can be a benefit to them.
If you’re having trouble thinking of all the people in your sphere, start here:
- Everyone you worked with at your last job, and possibly the job before that.
- Everyone your spouse works with who has met you.
- All your personal friends.
- All your spouse’s personal friends.
- Your children’s friends — or their friends’ parents, depending upon your kids’ age group.
- Your parents’ friends.
- Your neighbors.
- Everyone in any social group you belong to. Think PTA, your book club, Rotary, etc. But don’t stop there. If you’re a regular at a health club, you have a social group there as well. If you take a class on stained glass cutting, you have a social group there, too.
- Everyone at any organization where you volunteer your time.
- Everyone who serves you. Think of your doctor, dentist, accountant, car mechanic, pool man, landscaper, hairdresser, day care provider, dog groomer, and newspaper delivery person.
- Remember your own close family and extended family, and any of their friends whom you’ve met.
And what about those folks you “know” from daily interaction at the post office, the grocery store or the bank, but you don’t know their full names and addresses?
Create a nice card announcing your new position and how it can benefit them, then hand each of them a copy the next time you chat. Be sure the card includes a good likeness of you, because they might not know your full name any better than you know theirs.
You can also use that card for all those people in the other groups whose last names and/or addresses are unknown to you.
Speaking of that … what are you going to say in the letters you’ll mail?
You’ll say that you have good news. You have a new career, and that means that they have a person in real estate they can turn to without fear of being bombarded by sales messages every day.
After the announcement, you can say something like: “Of course I’d love to help you any time you need to buy or sell, but I’m also here for you any time you have a question about the market. You can feel free to call if you’re simply curious about the listed or sold price of a house down the street.
“With your permission, I’ll be glad to send you email updates about our market, just so you can stay abreast of the changes.”
What about format?
It is important that people read this message, so be a little creative.
You could create the card I mentioned above as a postcard and it would do duty as both a mailer and a handout.
Another effective way to get an announcement noticed is to send it in an invitation envelope. Create your message in a publisher program that makes a greeting card out of one sheet of paper, folded twice.
Can you resist opening anything that looks like an invitation?
If you want to get wild and spend some extra money, you could even do something like the note in a bottle that I wrote about some months ago.