Rethinking Closing Gifts And How You Can Do Better
I see this question posted and I am asked all the time, “What is a good closing gift?”
None. That is the closing gift I give at the table. You need to remove the emotion from the transaction. We often want to give a gift to be in the moment, be a part of the celebration. Buyer or sellers are happy and we are possibly looking for that pat on the back. But stick with me…
If you can take a step back from that connection for a minute and think like a master marketer, a business owner, you will remember this is a referral business. That is the coveted prize in this game we play. The more referrals we get the stronger our business becomes. Referrals are gathered by building bridges to people who like and trust you. So it is only logical to think that those very people you built a bridge to have many people that like and trust them as well.
Connecting with your clients and expanding your reach
You better believe that throughout the transaction they are telling their closest friends and coworkers about what is going on. And if you are doing an amazing job, they are telling their friends. So when you meet their sphere of influence you already have a level of creditability. The goal is now to get to know their circle.
Think for a minute. You sell 50 homes. Each client knows 50 people. That is potentially 2500 people on your second level. Assume they know 50 as well, that is potentially 125,000 people. Yes there will be overlap, I know. But just the second level is enough to build an amazing business.
Give more than a gift, give an experience
Throughout the process, prep the client that your gift is a closing BBQ or wine and cheese party. This is an art of selling the sizzle. I tell them we are going to put the grill and serving area over there. I show them pics of others I have done. Really get them thinking they are getting the BBQ.
Then at closing you give a certificate for a house-warming BBQ. Try to get commitment for a date right then. Collect the contact info for the people they want to come. You create evites and mail out invites. Have them create a Facebook event and add you as well. All this is done because they trust and like you.
On the day of the BBQ, I go to a wholesale store like BJ’s, Sam’s or Costco. I pick up burgers, dogs, rolls, a big can of beans and condiments. I already have the grill, chaffing trays and everything loaded. I put the items in a cooler and head to the BBQ.
I arrive 1 hour before. I set up the grill, tent and serving table. I fire the grill up and put the beans in an aluminum pan to start warming. Fill the chaffing pans with water and get everything set up. As people start to show up, I start to put burgers and dogs on. By the time the burgers and dogs are ready, the beans are as well. I also make a noodle salad the evening before.
During the event I am talking with their friends and being introduced as the Agent. I make sure to grab lots of photos, videos, etc. I try and gather everyone in front of the house for a photo. This photo is then used on Send Out Cards to send to everyone who attended with a Thank You for coming note. But I keep a print out of the people so when I talk with someone I can make a quick note.
I have had people ask me right there to schedule an appointment. So if I spend 4 hours executing a BBQ and I get a lead that is within my desired range, it seems like a good day.
From BBQ to building relationships
But now the magic is just beginning. All these people are added to your newsletter, drip campaigns and call schedule. Now you are building a warm database. I will tell you this. One person I coach took my advice and made 72,000 in GCI in 2016 as a result. He has about 12 more deals that will happen in 2017 as a result.
Yes, it is work. But anything worthwhile is. I can promise you this. If you do this and connect with these people, your business will take off. You will fumble on the first few, but do not over complicate it. Buy pre-made burgers, a box of dogs, rolls, condiments, cheese and beans. Make a noodle salad if you want or buy store bought… that’s up to you. Twenty minutes in and out of the store. Usually no more than $300.
It is a small investment to make such an impact. I have actually had people tell me that they wanted to work with me because they wanted a BBQ. Haha… Now that is branding. You make friends doing this and those friends become lifelong clients.
So that is why I do not put any thought into closing gifts. To me, a tangible thing given at a closing goes straight in the purse and is forgotten. But when you get that Thank You note with a picture of family and friends in front of the house, that builds memories.
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