In a way, I am torn. I have totally “bought in” to social media, and I do not miss a day when I do not log in to Active Rain. I must admit that my ActiveRain experience would be truthfully designated as one for “fun and profit”, because I have only been on ActiveRain since last March, and I have developed a lot of friendships on the blogging site, quite unexpectedly, I might add. I tweet once in a while and sort of keep up on Facebook and Linked-In, but not as much as I probably should. As one person aptly put it at the recent New York Rain Camp, which I attended, “There are only a certain number of hours in the day when I am awake!!!!!”
Having said all the above, I remain a traditional guy, with traditional values. My connections with the real estate industry in Massachusetts for the past forty years has taught me one thing. There are approximately TEN people in your professional life who make a difference to you, and you need to be in touch with them on a frequent basis, no less frequently than weekly, in my circumstances. These are the people who send you referrals; these are the people who are your “raving fans”. These are the people you cannot miss “connecting with” at least once a week.
My procedure for the TEN is quite simple. Every Monday morning I write their names down on a sheet of yellow legal paper. I look at my Outlook schedule and put in a contact with each of the TENsome time that week. I usually vary the approach. Sometimes it is an email just saying “hi–anything doing?”. Other times it is a call to their cell phone. Once in a while it is a handwritten note. I try to throw in impromptu visits “because I happened to be in the neighborhood” which, at times, is a small exaggeration since my intention was to drive “to then neighborhood”.
Anything to get into communication with these important people. Why, you ask? Because once the dialogue begins, good things almost always start flowing from it. “Gee, do you do that work?” “Oh, you know this person.” “Can you introduce me to Susie Jones? I really have been dying to meet her”. All of these “openings” can lead to “closings” and closings is what makes my world go around.
Like me, you will find that the membership in the TENis a shifting constituency. People who used to be sources of ideas and business are no longer as enthusiastic. Domestic problems and health issues can distract people. They may be losing interest. You can stay their friend, but they gradually shift out of the TEN. Compiling the list, and then reshuffling it from time time time, is a worthwhile exercise. If you are a record keeper like me, you will be amazed at how view these people are the twenty percent of your client who produce eighty per cent of your business. Treat them with the deference that such standing deserves.