February 18th, 2011
With any sphere of influence, there are those that are more valuable – that refer their friends and associates to you. Susan Castaneda and Shawn Miller, successful real estate agents, emphasized that it is vital to keep these relationships strong, and make these people feel special.
Putting on events free to past clients, or the VIPs of your sphere, is a fun way to reconnect and to solidify these relationships. This applies to any small business owner, self-employed person, or entrepreneur – the people you know can give you referrals, giving you business.
“Every year we rent out the local downtown Los Gatos movie theater and have a showing of the big kids’ movie of the summer,” said Shawn. “We go in with other agents, which really helps out on the cost of throwing these events. The families look forward to it, and we have a barista to make the parents lattes and a chocolate fountain at the theater.”
Less high budget events are easy and fun, such as renting out a few lanes at a bocce ball court or bowling alley, hosting a summer barbeque, or maybe even a kids day at a local pumpkin patch. “The important part is to make them feel special and valued,” said Shawn.
They advise maintaining mailers and phone calls and making an effort to consistently stay in touch so the events don’t feel “awkward.” They also recommend trying to take at least one past client to lunch or dinner each week.
Events don’t need to be flashy or expensive to have an impact. Face-to-face events that make the people in your sphere feel valued and enjoy themselves are a powerful way to maintain the strength of your sphere of influence over time.