Finding new commercial real estate clients is about a whole lot more than just building your email list. It’s about building a real relationship.
To do that, you need to think beyond the transaction you’re hoping for. Relationships require connection, information and most importantly, trust. That means every client interaction is an opportunity to cultivate that relationship, and the best way to engage with clients is to talk about the one thing they care about most—themselves.
Learn to listen
It’s your job to pay attention, ask the right questions and demonstrate in future interactions that you did in fact listen, and that you truly understand not only their needs but also who they are as a person. In fact, it’s the personal insights gained each time you engage your potential client that make your relationship (and database) uniquely valuable.
These kinds of insights have more to do with things like their favorite sports team and how they spend their free time. Why? Because your customer is a person, not a brand or a business—a person making a decision about how (and with whom) to spend the resources at their disposal.
66 ways to know your customer
Business leader and author Harvey Mackay knows this to be true. Mackay believes there are 66 key things you should learn about your client in order to make a connection that wins you both business and loyalty—and none of these things have anything to do with your client’s company stats or property needs.
Mackay developed the Mackay 66 back when he was a young salesman looking for leverage. What he hit upon was a goldmine that seemed to work for any sales-oriented business, and it can be especially powerful in commercial real estate. This 66-question customer profile focuses on the person charged with making the engagement decision. What are they like as human beings? Where do they vacation? What are their proudest accomplishments? How do they see themselves? Who do they share their lives with
The questions themselves shift the way you think about your potential customers and how you interact with them, humanizing both the client and your approach in the process. And once you’ve earned this valuable data, Mackay cautions “that we guard this information with our lives, being very sensitive to how we use it and who has access.”
The benefits of getting personal
When you build relationships in this way, you ingratiate yourself to the client, breeding familiarity and camaraderie, which will translate to greater loyalty. Loyalty that could serve you well if they ever need to do business again or if they have a friend or colleague who does.
Remember, relationships aren’t built overnight and loyalty isn’t easily acquired. MacKay’s 66 is a great place to start, but consistently providing top-notch expertise and follow-through is the next step to establish a professional relationship that lasts.