How to Begin a New Client Relationship
As a luxury real estate marketing professional, the best way to begin a new client relationship is with a beginner’s mind. That is, with no preconceived ideas, a readiness to help and most importantly, an eagerness to listen and learn as if you had the ears of an elephant.
You may be the leading authority in your market niche. You may have built a strong reputation as the leading expert in your area. But, the more advanced you become in your field the more it becomes necessary to adopt the beginner’s mind because the tendency is to rely just on past experience. By assuming that you know better or by not being genuinely open to hear the nuances of what your new clients need you may miss the mark all together.
Take the time to discover exactly what is needed and wanted. Some clients are not yet clear about their answers. In this case, your job is to guide them in discovering what they need by asking questions that lead to their own self-discovery.
Ask what your new client expects of you. Listen for unrealistic expectations. How you handle them will set the course of your relationship.
If this sounds too fundamental to you, you may currently not be in your beginner’s mind. It is really easy to live on “auto-pilot mode” especially if you are an accomplished professional. That is why championship caliber athletes practice the fundamentals over and over again.
We recently sat through a meeting with a successful loan broker (with a 30 year track record) and his potential client. The loan broker spent more time talking about himself and his own financial situation than he did listening to the client’s needs. We were amazed!
After wasting our time, it turned out that he could not help this client, a fact that could have been determined in five minutes. Finally, he was able to refer the client to someone who possibly could help, which is doubtful if the “birds of a feather flock together” rule applies. But, he lost two potential referral sources for himself in the process simply because he talked too much instead of listening more!
Listen and learn with a beginner’s mind whenever you meet with a new client. Even if you are not the right professional to help them, you may gain a potential referral source that you previously did not have. Remember to put on your elephant ears!
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