Every businessperson wants to win clients for life and for a good reason. It costs energy, time, and money to gain a prospect’s awareness, win his attention, convince him of your benefits, and bring him into your business circle through an initial sale. If that first sale is the only sale you ever make to the prospect, then your sales investment has only a one-time payoff. But if that client keeps buying from you on a repeated basis and refers others to you as well then your investment is amortized over numerous transactions and money-making opportunities.
The key to winning clients for life is to avoid suffering defections. When a customer decides to buy or sell with another agent, you have a defection. When a client doesn’t join your referral team, that’s a defection as well.
Some businesses have an easier time keeping clients in their business circles simply because they have more opportunities to see and serve their customers. For instance, a car dealership sells a car and then, even if the buyer doesn’t purchase another car for a decade, the dealership has the opportunity to see the customer face-to-face every time the vehicle is due for service, oil changes, or tire rotations.
A real estate agent also makes big sales on an infrequent basis to clients. The difference is, in real estate, after-the-sale service isn’t automatic. You have to create strategies to keep in contact with your clients and to and continually remind them of the value you deliver
It’s one thing to have a service delivery plan. It’s another thing to implement your plan on a never-fail basis. I’ve seen marketing packages from countless agents. Most include 15-point, 21-point, or 30-point service action plans provided by the national franchise or large company the agent works for. I always wonder and sometimes ask, “Do you really do all of these things?” The sheepish response from most agents is that they implement and do fewer than 30% of the service tasks listed on their marketing plans.
The truth is most agents don’t follow through for two reasons: They over-promise, and they lose track of what they said they’d to do because they lack a system to follow.
My advice is this: Go through the multi-point action plan you currently provide to sellers and separate out the highest-value activities that you know you can perform with total consistency. Then commit to perform those tasks and be ready to execute flawlessly on your commitment.
Be ready to under-promise and over-deliver. The separation between marginal performance and stellar performance doesn’t come from an abundance of magical extras. It’s the result of keeping your commitments. For the vast majority of consumers, a professional who keeps commitments is a rarity.