Every week, I get three to five calls from telemarketers offering to “sell me leads”. I also get calls from scores of web vendors promising to “capture” visitors who come to my site, while other sites encourage me to bid (a la Ebay) on existing “red hot” leads that they have generated.
A successful, long-term business is built through relationships, not by capturing strangers. The goal is to create value, not take hostages.
Part of what causes so many real estate agents (and brokerages) to have poor reputations is that too much attention is paid to the transaction and too little attention is paid to the people involved.
When the clients you work with have been “sold” ,“captured”, or auctioned to the highest bidder… really, how much hope is there for the relationship?
I have built my business by referral, one satisfied client at a time. That means my goal is to work with people who have been referred by people who know, like and trust me because they know I’m competent and they know I care about the well-being of my clients.
I spend a lot of time talking with my clients about “exit strategy”… in other words, making sure you can get out of whatever you’ve gotten yourself in to if circumstances should change down the road. Sometimes, if there’s not a viable exit strategy, then the deal never happens.
But that’s for the best.
The goal for anyone committed to long-term sales success should be to focus on the “happily ever after”, not merely the here and now. I need clients who love me every bit as much 12 months from now as they did when we were together at the closing table.
And that rarely happens when you’re bought, sold or captured.