What do you do when your competitors are trying every trick in the trade to seduce your clients and take your listings? Terri Cooper, from Real Estate Mastery, explains how to keep your clients loyal.
Some of your competitors will be aggressive, persuasive and will succeed in getting your client’s attention. If that happens, there’s a reasonable chance you could lose your client (and your listing!). What do you do in this situation? First of all, don’t panic! Here are several strategies you can implement that will help you block your competition and maintain your foothold.
1. Be pro-active
Unless your client can differentiate you and what you offer from that of your competition, you could be in big trouble! You might think that your clients will be loyal to you, but if you have not built a strong partnership with your client, they are likely to abandon you for your competition. Do not wait until it is too late to offer service well beyond your client’s expectations.
At the initial meeting,
- ask what your client expects
- ask whether they have had experience of selling in the past
- ask whether they were happy with the outcome
- ask whether they were happy with the service, and if not,
- ask why not and then make sure that you act differently!
2. Increase the value you bring to the partnership
Every time you see, meet, connect, or talk with your client, via email, phone, or in person, strive to add value to the interaction. This could include industry insights or information to help them achieve their goals and objectives, or advice on new trends in the marketplace. It can mean giving them articles, white papers, journals or other information you come across that may be of value to them.
Your goal should be to learn as much as you can about each client’s personal situation. What is most important to them? Is it the timeframe of the sale or the price?What challenges they are experiencing?Is there something they want to do as soon as their property has been sold?What is their next step? (Note: if there isn’t a next step, you could be in trouble as their motivation may be low!)What goals and objectives do they want to achieve?
If you take the time to learn the answers to these questions, you will be a much better position when it comes to the sale negotiations.
3. Increase the time you spend face to face
How much networking do you do? Is it strategic or purely social? Think of networking events, seminars or information nights your clients may attend and make arrangements to be there – with plenty of business cards. The great thing about conferences and networking events is that your client is there for a specific reason, and if you can add value you are more likely to have a productive conversation with fewer interruptions.
However, do not attend these types of events with the intent of selling. Perhaps ask the organiser if you could do a free talk on a subject of interest for the participants. In this way, you will be seen as offering value, instead of participants steering clear in case you are there purely to add contacts to your database.
4. Increase your ‘touch points’
This can include; email, telephone, face-to-face meetings, direct mail, fax, email, and others. Once again, the key is to provide some type of value in each of these contacts. What about regular photocopied articles, handwritten postcards, or cards with an interesting comment or reflection on the market?Or an email, a newsletter, or a fax, with 10 tips to help sell their property for a top price.What about a regular newsletter containing vouchers for discounts with local businesses?
These four strategies sound simple; however you must have a plan. You need to target your campaign to each customer. Be diligent. Be persistent. Be patient. Your investment of time and money will pay off when your competitors finally connect with your key contact and they hear something like, “We love our agent, and have no desire to consider a change”.
If you can pro-actively work at showing that your service goes way beyond the norm, you will find that client loyalty will be high and client “poaching” by your competition will happily become a non-issue for you.