How word-of-mouth referrals spread

In our industry, nothing beats word-of-mouth referrals.  A referral can sell you better than you can sell yourself.

The most common misconception is that word-of-mouth referrals happen naturally after we do a great job.   There are hundreds of businesses out there that will meet your clients’ needs just as well as you can. It’s the minimum standard to be in business at all.

If you want your customers to come back to you time and time and time again and tell others, just meeting their needs is not good enough.  You have to delight them, or you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

Just think of the last time you told your friends or family about a great experience you had.   Why did you go out of your way to share this experience with others?   Were you asked to share or did it happen naturally?

Your clients talk about you and keep coming back when you go above and beyond.  It is called the law of reciprocity and it gets triggered when someone goes out of their way and does something you did not expect, even if it is something small and negligible.   When something you didn’t expect happens to you, you’re naturally conditioned to reciprocate and can’t help but tell others about the experience they just had.

Imagine you picked your car up from the mechanic and two movie tickets were sitting on the front seat?  Or you check into your favourite hotel to find your favourite wine chilling in your room? Wouldn’t you be blown away? Wouldn’t you tell your friends?

The key is the surprise element. If it’s not surprising or unexpected it will lose its impact. If your client expects something it won’t wow them nearly as much.  Remember, you’re not going after another opportunity or sale, this is your opportunity to build profitable, long-term relationships.

So how do you put this psychology to work in your real estate business?  There are so many things you can do.   How about having a handyman visit them every spring or fall and fix things around the house?  How about showing up with a pizza and drinks on their move day?  A certificate to a dinner on their birthdays.   This list of examples can go on forever, but if you take the opportunity to get to know your clients, it should be simple to figure out what unexpected things you can delight them with.

Incorporate a few delights for every client you work with and you’ll start seeing your rate of referrals and repeat business increase substantially.