Endless Clients System #3 – Referral Programming

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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Do you know the most effective time to “program” your clients to refer other clients to you? Did you say it’s “during the transaction?” If so, then you’re 100% correct. Why is during the transaction the very best time to “program” your clients for referrals? Three reasons: First, during a transaction you have their undivided attention. Second, because it’s usually during the transaction they become bonded to you – they experience you on a more personal level and feel closer to you. And third, during the transaction your clients are “thinking” about real estate – so they’re more alert to others who are thinking about real estate.  This “awareness” is called…

The “Reticular Activator”

Have you ever been thinking of buying a specific model or color of new car, and you notice all the cars similar to the one you’re thinking of on the road?  That’s your reticular activator working, and it’ll put extra commissions in your pocket when you program your clients during the transaction. But there’s yet another reason why you want to program your clients for referrals during the transaction.  It’s because people don’t know  your practice is fueled by referrals unless you tell them. And the great thing is… once you tell them, in most cases they’ll think of you FOR LIFE! Would you like to have several strategies at your disposal for subtly programming your clients to send you referrals during the transaction? I thought you would. Here are 4 systems you can start using tomorrow morning…

Transaction Referral Programming System #1:

Quickly… pull out one of your business cards.  Now turn it over.  Notice anything? See, if you’re like most agents you did NOT notice anything.  Why?  Because there’s nothing there.  It’s blank. Well…that’s all about to change. More than 50-years ago, motivational writer and speaker W. Clement Stone coined the phrase, “Little Hinges Swing Big Doors.” It’s become one of my favorites over the years, because it perfectly describes how successful businesses are grown. The secret is to identify easy and affordable ways to LEVERAGE your ability to make money in your business.  And one of the neatest little ideas I’ve ever seen is using specific REFERRAL language on the BACK of your business card. The back of your business card represents advertising space that’s probably not being utilized.  But it could be. I know agents who put all kinds of information on the back of their cards: Offers for special reports, offers for a “specific list of homes”, offers for your “Maximum Home Value Audit” or other things buyers and sellers would like to have. But some of the best language on the back of your card is Referral Programming.  After all, people never know that you eagerly accept referrals if you don’t tell them. Seriously… people are very literal, and most agents miss the opportunity to communicate just how they like to do business – what they should DO the next time they meet someone interested in buying or selling. So here’s a quick sample you can use on the back of YOUR card – no, it won’t make you rich, but it may bring you a deal or two you otherwise wouldn’t have seen.  And that’s easily worth the small cost in printing. You can use “as is” or modify the language as you see fit, but this should get you started.

sample 1

Transaction Referral Programming System #2:

Agents have told me one of the most effective ways to “bond” clients to you and subtly reveal your “difference” above other agents is to…

Deliver a Stack of 4 or 5 Past Issues Of Service For Life!®

Why? First, by giving them back issues the first time you meet them, you’re also giving them a gift – creating the dynamic of reciprocation and bonding them closer to you. Second, while they’re reading the great articles, they’re also going to read all the referral programming and 7 other psychological triggers we put into each issue on your behalf. And third, your clients will see all the valuable resources, reports, guides and services you provide, answers to important real estate questions and the standard by which you practice – and positions you as a unique professional. And they’ll also welcome your Service For Life!® issues when you send them in the mail (or by email) each month. Try giving this real estate newsletter to your next clients – you’ll be amazed.

Transaction Referral Programming System #3:

This system should become a mainstay of your listing presentation or buyer qualifying package, or any other materials you give to clients. It plays off the power of testimonials in your practice, only it’s designed also to program for referrals. I call it the “Loyal Client Reference Sheet™,” and it does three things: First it reveals how you helped other clients – thus showing you’re an experienced agent. Second, it acts like a “testimonial sheet” showing positive comments and experiences from clients with whom you’ve worked.  You can even place phone numbers people can call for reference (don’t be afraid to do this – it’ll make you a stand-out agent). And finally, it very subtly shows that you received your clients by way of referral. Here’s an example of a “Loyal Client Reference Sheet™”.  You can list out as many examples as you like on as many sheets as you like (the more, the merrier) – but here are 3 to give you a feel for how to create it…

sample

Transaction Referral Programming System #4:

Are you comfortable with programming for referrals with your clients? If you spend any time with them, there will be plenty of opportunity to subtly program them to think of you when they learn of anyone needing real estate services. Here are 4 ways you should add into your discussions when working with clients:

  1. Tell a Story about Clients who Came to You by Referral.  When working with your clients, you will have plenty of time to tell stories about other people, or past transactions that came to you because of referrals.  People are intrigued with stories, and you can frequently make a point very subtly.
  2. Give A Living Example.  Whenever you experience a difficult situation in real estate, or even while showing homes, it helps to give an example of someone else who faced the same situation as your clients, and how you helped them.  This not only gives your clients confidence in your abilities, but you can also improvise and program for referrals.
  3. Get Referral Programming Into Your Testimonials.  When requesting testimonials from clients, ask them to reveal how they learned about you.  In many cases, they’ll reveal they came to you via a referral from a friend.  Showing this to your prospects and clients helps them understand that you receive much of your business by referral.
  4. Tell Straight-Out.  Here are 4 things you need to do when telling someone straight-out you work by referral…
    • Ask your clients if they are satisfied with your services.  This not only helps reinforce that you’re doing your job, but reaffirms your value in their eyes.
    • Tell your clients you rely on most of your business by referrals from people just like them.  Formulate a script with the exact words you’ll use.
    • Ask WHOM do they know in _____ who would benefit from your services.  Remember, be specific and help them help you by giving them a reference to think about.
    • Ask them to think of you if they learn of anyone needing assistance.

Action Plan:

You just learned 4 “task” systems that seem almost too simplistic.  But they’re powerful… and when used collectively can make a difference in your real estate success. Do yourself a favor: Don’t move on to the next article without making a small commitment to applying at least 2 of the 4 you learned. They’re fast.  They’re easy.  And they’ll make a big difference in your success.  Keep moving forward, inch-by-inch. And if you’re not currently using Service For Life!® in your practice, click here to learn how you can put it to work in your practice starting today.  It can multiply your referrals for years to come — without ever having to pester, bother, or hound people.

Coming Up Next…

Do you give “closing gifts” to your clients after a successful transaction? You probably do.  But did you know there are simple strategies to…

Multiply the Money-Making Power of Your Post-Closing Contact?

In my next article, I’m going to share with you powerful “After Sale Systems™”.  You don’t want to miss it.

 

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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6 thoughts on “Endless Clients System #3 – Referral Programming”

  1. I find this article very helpful, and I will definitely start putting these systems to use. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. wonderful, never thought about bringing my past Service For Life to closing will now be a must! Thank you Steve

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