What is your personal "red lollipop"? Take a sincere look at the service you provide
I took my two older kids (9 and 7) to run errands with me the other day, and we went to the bank drive-through to deposit a couple of checks. Frankly, the fact that I had some checks was a blessing in and of itself.
The kids knew that the bank teller always has lollipops to give out, so they both made a quick request for the cherry-flavored ones. Of course, the teller was more than happy to oblige, and we all left happy. This small item stuck with me that day, as I thought about what "hooks" I offer with regard to my personal level of service.
What is it that keeps my clients coming back for my help, and sending their friends and family, too?
I realize that our bank is providing a small nicety for its customers. Can we learn from this? Is there some small gesture that will be remembered by our clients, or even by their kids? I have actually received several testimonials that reference the fact that my van has a TV, which is helpful when kids are along for the ride. One client also enjoyed the fact that he could watch the NFL playoffs while he and his future wife were house hunting!
I am not necessarily advocating that everyone needs a television in his/her showing vehicle. In fact, as I recall from a post I did last year, there are many who don't ride with their clients in the same car. Here's that post, in case you are curious: You've Got them in the Car - Now What?.
But this post has a larger scope than that. Give some thought to your level of service and, at the very least, attempt to see yourself as your client does:
- Are you on time for your appointments?
- Are you being proactive or reactive when it comes to their needs?
- Do you have integrity?
- Are you providing solid information along with your own suggestions?
- Are you fun to be around, or a bit of a stick in the mud?
- Do your clients look to you for advice and guidance during negotiations?
Being respected in our industry is sometimes an uphill battle.
If you actually take a second to think about that last sentence, it may behoove you.
I apologize in advance for the cliche, but you need to take a look in the mirror sometimes, to see if that person you see is doing the best job possible. This may sound harsh, but I can guarantee you that an honest self-assessment will reveal that many of you reading this are not providing the type of service that you would expect if you were the client interested in buying or selling. I can say this because I am in the same boat.
His current reputation notwithstanding, Michael Jackson wrote a song that left a strong impact on my father, who passed way three years ago, with over 11 years of sobriety. "Man in the Mirror" was a powerful anthem when it came out 20 years ago, and my dad credited the lyrics years later as those that got him to start the recovery process. There is a book by the same name by Patrick Morley that I purchased, although I have yet to finish it. I think I need to do that, now that I mention it.
At any rate, I find myself looking at my own reflection (at least figuratively) often, assessing areas that I need to improve on in my business, and in my personal life, too.
Take time out during your week to look in the mirror. You owe it to yourself, and to your clients. There is only one person that you can really control in this life, after all.