The Money-Making Power of Client Recognition

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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Think about it. We’re all so busy and involved with our own personal lives, we hardly ever take the time to recognize and appreciate those around us. When was the last time your boss really recognized you? When was the last time your spouse said, “I’m so lucky to have you in my life”? When was the last time anyone acknowledged you exist on this earth? Everyone wants to feel special. Mary Kay Cosmetics created such a strong “Recognition and Appreciation” program, they’ve created a “cult-like” environment in their organization. If you’ve ever sold Mary Kay, you know what I’m talking about. They treat their sales associates special, with gifts at nearly every level, awards, and even a Pink Cadillac for outstanding production. Their associates are bonded to them like super glue, because they’ve realized the “influence power” of recognizing people. Yet many real estate agents miss out on this valuable way to bond prospects and clients and become their sole choice for real estate services. And with that, they lose the opportunity to truly capitalize on the LIFETIME VALUE of their clients, and never create the Personal Market Share™ required to reach their potential in real estate. Recognizing and appreciating your prospects and clients on a regular basis is like sending out an EMOTIONAL TRACTOR BEAM that pulls them in, and bonds them to you for life. Think of all the ways you can recognize your clients and share your appreciation for them. Then watch your client volume, referrals, and repeat business grow and grow. Want some ideas? OK, try a few of these out in your practice:

Recognition Strategy #1: Recognize Special Holidays in a Unique Way.

I have a long-term client friend who’s a top notch REALTOR® in Orange County, California. Not long ago, he shared with me a strategy he uses along with his monthly Service For Life!® contact with his House List – and the great thing is…it can also be used as a stand-alone strategy. My friend…Agent “X”…takes out a calendar and locates a HOLIDAY that occurs each month. He even researches bizarre holidays that most people don’t know about, just so he has something to “talk about” each month. Then…he goes out and finds some kind of “themed” paper to write a very personal message. Now…notice his strategy has TWO components: Component #1: He finds a reason (the holiday) for the contact, and uses a “THEME” as a way to capture attention… Component #2: He creates a VERY personal, warm message that “recognizes and appreciates” his clients… He then uses the message (on the themed paper) as his cover letter for his Service For Life!® newsletter. What are some of the holidays you could do this with? How about…

Thanksgiving Christmas & Hanukkah Easter St. Patrick’s Day (“make more green with my services“) July 4th Halloween Mothers Day Fathers Day Valentine’s Day (I love my clients)

But you can also find unusual holidays, such as “all saints day” or Flag day or Hungarian Pride day. Here’s an example of just one flyer – I reduced it to fit the page, and I scanned it in black and white, but you can still understand what he does…

AIC_1140_peter_engby_example

By the way, my suggestion for this agent is to personalize the salutation on his letter and hand-sign in blue ink – it will make a bigger impact.

Recognition Strategy #2: The “Recognition and Appreciation P.S.”

This one’s quick and easy, but can make a huge impact. It’s a “take-off” of the Business Card Referral Programming language I’ve shared in earlier issues of Agent Inner Circle™. The strategy is to use a “P.S.” with ALL of your letters with referral programming that says something like this: “P.S. I’ve built my business based on the positive comments and referrals from people like you. Thank you for being such a special part of my business. I couldn’t do it without YOUR help.” Did you notice the power of that message? It not only recognizes your clients for their help with your business, but it ALSO programs them for thinking about YOU for referrals. Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Recognition Strategy #3: The “Recognition and Appreciation Advertisement”

Twice a year a number of our agents take out special advertising space in local publications to run an “appreciation” ad for their clients. They begin the ad with a simple statement saying something like the P.S. language you just learned above. Then they list out their clients’ names. If you don’t have a lot of past clients, you can either, 1) include the names of people who are close to you and can help you in your business (use language that includes “people who support my business”, OR 2) you can list out client names from the past several years – this way the list will be long and impressive. This little strategy actually does TWO things at once… First, it acknowledges people in your business – and people LOVE to see their name in print with appreciation attached to it. Second, when you list out a LOT of names in your ad, it makes everyone believe you’re a very busy (and very good) agent. And that’s a strong message to communicate. One more thing…if you do a lot of homes advertising in local publications, you can frequently negotiate either FREE space (because you’re a good client), OR you can ask for “remnant” or “distressed” space and get the ad for pennies on the dollar.

Recognition Strategy #4: The “Recognition and Appreciation SPECIAL EVENT”

One of the most effective ways to recognize your clients is by hosting a special event – such as a golf outing or renting a movie theater, or renting a comedy club for an evening. And…by the way…it doesn’t have to be just with your “Top 20% Power Players™.” It could be for ALL your clients or House List if you like. You can also incorporate a “recognition” part of the event – and give out simple and inexpensive “awards” (blue ribbons or “appreciation certificates”) to the people who sent you referrals. And here’s the great part: When all the other people see how you recognize others with your awards, they’re getting the message that they should send you referrals – and it happens without you saying a thing! Do yourself a favor today. Mark a little time this week to start using at least TWO of the strategies you learned today. But remember, don’t just try something once and forget about it. I want you to employ a system so that you use it on a regular basis. Then, if you cumulatively add just one or two systems a month, ONE year from now, you’ll have between 12 and 24 systems working in your business to bring you more clients, referrals, word of mouth and repeat business. One little system may not rock your world…but 12 to 24 (or more) will add up to some pretty big results. Seriously…the reason why most agents don’t succeed is because they never get STARTED. They’ll make up all kinds of excuses why they can’t get anything done – and that’s a killer of success…and destroys so many dreams for agents. Evaluate the ideas that will help your business – from “high potential” to “lower potential.” Then, take “one small bite” today and start getting something going. Six months or just one year from today…and you’ll be astonished at your success!

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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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