soi: Self-Promotion for Real Estate Agents: "I Wanna Get My Name Out There!" - 12/27/10 11:45 PM
"What's the best way to get my name out there?"
I hear this question a lot. Agents, particularly newer ones, ask it wanting to know how they can best spread the word that they're open for business.
Usually, they're looking for advice on the best places to advertise - should they take out an ad in the newspaper? Issue a press release? Buy a promotional panel on the side of a bus or a magnet for their car? Or maybe they've been offered a great "opportunity" to include their personal brochure in a neighborhood mailer or door-hanging promotion. One guy wanted to know if he … (33 comments)

soi: Your Sphere of Influence - It's a Perfect Time of Year to Reconnect! - 12/07/10 11:53 PM

Pretty much everyone agrees that one's sphere of influence can be a great source of business. But lots of agents hesitate when it comes time to actually implement a sphere of influence campaign - they don't know how to take the first step without coming across as phony or even mercenary.
I mean, really, you have this list of people - some friends, some acquaintances - to whom you've never, ever written, and most haven't heard boo from you in years... and suddenly you're just supposed to start communicating with them out of the blue?
Seriously?
I hear ya. Even … (36 comments)

soi: "Dear Jennifer, I Don't Wanna SOI - I'd Rather Work With Strangers" - 12/06/10 12:13 AM

"I don't want to work with my sphere of influence, I'd rather work with strangers!"
As the self-proclaimed Master of All Things SOI, I hear this a lot. Agents write to me (and occasionally call) to tell me why they don't wanna sell real estate for or to their spheres of influence. They explain that they don't want to risk their friendships, they don't want to mix business with pleasure, they don't want to discount their fees for friends and family, they don't wanna, they don't wanna, they don't wanna... yada yada yada.
And that's fine with me. To each … (14 comments)

soi: (TDay Minus One) A Ridiculously Easy Way to Charm Your Sphere of Influence - 11/23/10 10:00 PM

I ran this blog last year on this day at this time... and since I don't seem to have anything mo' betta to say this morning, I'll just say what I said again!
A Ridiculously Easy Way to Charm Your Sphere of Influence Today
Today you'll probably gets lots of Happy Thanksgiving ecards in your inbox.
Respond to each and every one. Won't take more than a few seconds. Just hit that REPLY button, say something nice, e.g., "Thanks for thinking of me - have a wonderful holiday!" or, take it a step further and initiate a get-together after the … (22 comments)

soi: "Dear Jennifer, Did You REALLY Do All This Stuff With Your SOI?" - 11/16/10 12:18 AM

The other day an agent who is going thru my Savvy Prospector, Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life program emailed me to ask "Jennifer, did you really DO all this stuff when you were selling real estate?"
He asked because the Savvy Prospector (which helps agents build a sphere of influence business model from scratch) is pretty intense and he was feeling a little overwhelmed. My initial reaction to the question was "Well, of course I did. I wouldn't tell YOU to do it if I didn't do it! I practice what I preach!"
But... before I fired off … (14 comments)

soi: So, How Often DOES Your SOI Need to Hear From You? Part II (of...?) - 10/15/10 12:44 AM
Thanks for all the great feedback from the last blog on the topic of how often your Sphere of Influence (SOI) “needs” to be reminded that you sell real estate! I had my follow-up all ready to go in my head, but many of the comments made me back up a little bit and think some more. I like it when that happens.
(Before I continue, let me say that if something is working for you and you’re happy with your results, don’t change a thing. Even if what I say next is completely contrary to your way of doing things … (42 comments)

soi: How Often Do You Need to "Remind" Your Sphere of Influence that You Sell Real Estate? - 10/12/10 01:24 AM
Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine the other day. I was telling him about my recent Go-Giver Chronicles and interactions with Bob Burg (co-author of The Go-Giver). My friend mentioned that his first real estate agent helped him find a rental house when he moved to the area, free of charge. Just helped him. No compensation, no contracts, no obligation. Just helpful help.
So, my friend continued, when it came time for him to purchase a home in the area, he called up the agent and hired him to be his buyer agent. His point was that because the … (98 comments)

soi: The Prospecting with Soul Workshop in SWSLand - A's to the Q's - 09/10/10 01:14 AM

 
The Prospecting with Soul (PWS) Workshop kicks off Monday, September 13th. In case you haven't heard of it, it's a six-week group workshop where agents who want to Sell with Soul will gather together online and venture out into the world to Prospect with, um, Soul. The goal? To fill up those pipelines for 2011 and beyond using techniques and strategies that don't cost a fortune, embarrass you or make you feel icky.
I've been getting some good questions about the Workshop from already-registered participants as well as from folks who haven't-yet-registered. Figured it made sense to answer them.
(4 comments)

soi: "I'll Take Great Care of Your Business" versus "I Need Your Business!" - 09/09/10 01:22 AM
Yesterday I promised to follow up on my blog "You Gotta Ask for What You Want, Right? Eh, not always."
I ended the blog with the assignment to read thru some of the more popular Referral-Begging scripts, and then say them out loud. To refresh your memory, here they are:
"Do you know anyone who needs to buy or sell real estate?" "Do you know anyone moving to my area who could use my services?" "I build my business by referral; will you please keep me in mind if you hear of anyone buying or selling?" "I'm never too busy for … (14 comments)

soi: You Gotta Ask for What You Want, Right? Eh... not always - 09/08/10 12:22 AM

On one of my recent (featured - thank you!) blogs about referral-begging, the comment was made "If you don't ask, you don't get" in relation to calling up your sphere of influence (or even strangers) and asking if they know anyone to refer to you. In case you don't already know my opinion on the matter, I think that's a really stupid way to prospect.
As Dave Ramsey sez, "Hope I wasn't unclear."
Of course it's true that in many situations, you must ask for what you want to have any chance of getting what you want. If you would … (19 comments)

soi: Prospecting - If it Feels Wrong, DON'T Do it! (The Go-Giver Chronicles continue) - 09/02/10 05:01 AM

Quoted with permission from Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg and John David Mann:
"You may have been taught that to be successful in sales, you need to "step outside of your comfort zone." Let's reexamine that idea. If you push yourself to a place that makes you uncomfortable, chances are pretty good you'll end up making the other person uncomfortable, too. Consciously or not, they'll sense your discomfort - and attitudes are contageous.
We human beings tend to resist discomfort; in fact, we'll typically do anything to avoid putting outselves in uncomfortable situations. Why base your entire career on … (54 comments)

soi: The Dorky Holiday Greeting - 08/31/10 01:18 AM
DORKY: A style of writing, primarily used in self-promotion, which is predictable, boring, boilerplate or just plain blah. See also The Dorky Announcement Letter, The Dorky Business Card and the Dorky Online Profile.
I really really really wanted to post this blog about nine months ago. A quick look at the calendar would tell you that nine months ago was right around the 2009 holiday season. But smarter heads prevailed, and advised that I hold off until a more "neutral" time of year - e.g. the middle or end of summer. Wise heads, my friends have.
Why wait? Because what I'm … (25 comments)

soi: What Does it Mean to Prospect with Soul (or conversely, to Prospect withOUT Soul)? - 08/30/10 08:52 AM
Prospecting with Soul... that's the name of a six-week Workshop I'm hosting that kicks off September 13th and goes through the end of October. And yes, there's a cost to participate and I suppose by writing this blog, I'm hoping you'll be interested enough in the Workshop that you'll consider participating. But that's totally up to you (well, duh, Jennifer, of course it is) - I won't be pushing or pitching it on you; if it's right for you, you'll know it.
Anyway, what do I mean by "Prospecting with Soul?"
Those who know me know that I'm not an airy-fairy, new-agey, karma-obsessed … (14 comments)

soi: Your Sphere is More than Just Your Friends and Family - 07/27/10 02:51 AM
Got a google alert this morning about an article that was just posted 'bout me in the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors' newsletter. I rather like it, so I thought I'd share...
Sphere Includes More Than Friends and Family
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 By Kim Shindle
Working a "sphere of influence" business is not about pestering friends and family to help you get leads, according to Jennifer Allan, owner of Sell With Soul, a real estate consulting company based in Florida.

"Your sphere of influence (SOI) is more than friends and family," Allan said. "To categorize your friends as to whether … (7 comments)

soi: Is Transparency a Good Thing in Your Personal Marketing? - 06/21/10 01:52 AM

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~  Dr. Seuss
In April, I did a teleseminar called "Don't Be Dorky, Be YOU!" which was about how to write interesting, relevant and non-cheesy content for your self-promotional material. During that seminar, I talked about the wisdom of being "transparent" to your audience; specifically, whether or not you should you share your personal beliefs and interests with your audience if those beliefs are at all controversial or subject to debate.
I used the rather obvious examples of *religion … (70 comments)

soi: NO! Sending out "Cheese" Is NOT "Better than Nothing" - at least when it comes to your Sphere of Influence - 01/28/10 11:04 PM

At the end of last year, I went on a rampage about cheese. Not the edible kind (heavens, no!), but rather, the prospecting variety. As in, promoting yourself with dorky, pitchy, predictable material that you bought off the shelf or copied and pasted from some free online resource (or egads, maybe you even paid for the krap!). Y'know. Prospecting cheese.
It is my opinion that if you're going to spend your time and your money promoting yourself to your adoring fans, it's far more effective if you actually create the material yourself to ensure that it's not dorky, cheesy or boring. … (23 comments)

soi: Why Begging for Real Estate Business Is Wrong and What to Do Instead... - 01/10/10 11:44 PM

If you've been around my blog for more than five minutes, you probably know how I feel about Begging for Business or Referrals. I don't like it. I don't think you should do it. I don't think you need to do it. I think it makes you look unprofessional, needy and, well, I'll say it again, unprofessional.
Was I clear?
Actually, probably not. When I use the word "beg" I'm not just talking about the literal definition of the word where you accost everyone you know and meet, and sob on their shoulder about your lack of business and beg … (18 comments)

soi: Laser-Focused Prospecting is Overrated - 12/30/09 10:43 PM

Most prospecting training is focused on... FOCUSING. Laser-focused prospecting. Doing "it" for three hours a day, whatever "it" is, no interruptions, no excuses. Do "it" until you reach your goal of so many contacts, so many appointments, whatever. Lather, rinse, repeat. Every day.
And eventually, you might even enjoy "it." You might start to see relationships between how much of "it" you do and how many houses you sell. The more of "it," the more of the other.
Whatever your "it" of choice is - FSBO's, expireds, cold-calling, door-knocking, farming, blogging, advertising, SOI'ing, open-housing, lunch-dating - just remember the Good … (28 comments)

soi: Turning Cheese into Soul - Send(ing) Out Cards the Soulful Way - 12/18/09 04:09 AM
A long time ago (last week? The week before?), I promised to continue a little series I was running about Turning Cheese into Soul - that is - taking yesterday's tired old prospecting techniques and making them less, um, cheesy. Well, I got a little distracted, but it's been driving me NUTS to have the remainder of the series on my to-do list... so, I'm back.
Today's topic is about greeting cards. Specifically, a program called Send Out Cards.* If you aren't familiar with the product/program, it's a greeting card system where you choose a card from an online selection, customize … (19 comments)

soi: Turning Cheese into Soul - Newsletters - The Difference between "Meaningful" and "Interesting" - 12/03/09 11:14 PM
The other day I got a very timely question from my cyber-friend Ron, considering this week's Cheese-to-Soul series.
Ron asked if I knew of a source for good real estate-related newsletter content that would be "meaningful" to his Sphere of Influence (his "SOI"). He's frustrated by the material available for purchase, most of which simply feels canned. Moreover, he's uncomfortable using much of it because it relates to topics he's NOT an expert in, such as tax planning, home staging and credit reports.
I agree. As I may have mentioned a time or two, I refuse to use canned, boilerplate material. I think it's cheesy … (13 comments)

 
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) Rainmaker large

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul

Pensacola Beach, FL

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