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Sphere Fear Anyone?

genius.jpgLast year, when I was still enamored with ActiveRain, I wrote a post titled “How MLM – MultiLevel Marketing Prepared Me for Real Estate.”

Today, I am reflecting on Sphere Fear.

sphere fearSphere Fear is a permutation of the fear of cold calling. It’s that weasel of a thought in our brains that says – don’t bother your friends by asking for referrals. Or, your friends will hate you if you ask them for referrals. Or, some other idiotic nonsense from that most wonderful aspect of the human psyche – the Inner Critic. Here’s a great book on the subject of how to get this monkey off your back – Soul Without Shame

Now I’m no genius, but I know my friends (I get to choose them) and my friends all want to see me succeed and help me succeed. I feel the same way about them. It is most likely the same with almost everyone.

Why is it then that we have reservations about contacting our sphere of influence and asking for referrals? Are we afraid that people will equate us with telemarketers or worse?

I’m not looking for answers here, I’ve heard them all as I’m sure you have. The critical issue it seems is that real estate is a lead generation business. If we are not actively involved in lead generation, then why are we in this business? Why are we not working this business?

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One of the great business books of the last decade is The E-Myth Revisited. The focus of the book is working on your business, instead of working in your business. Working on your business requires objectivity and a love for the truth. Identifying the barriers to our success many times means facing and overcoming our fears, our old beliefs and often our limiting view of ourselves. Every step of the way, the inner critic is going to be fighting us. That rascal’s sole job is to maintain the status quo. It accomplishes this by damning you if you do, or if you don’t.

I heard a story a month or so ago about an agent who informed her dentist that she was going to be looking for a new family dentist. The dentist wanted to know if there was a problem. She informed him that in the ten years that her family of five had been using his services and in spite of the fact that she had recommended his services to dozens of friends – he had never referred one person to her.

The dentist asked her to give him a week. She closed over 20 transactions in the next year referred from that one source. She also talked to her account, financial planner, and everyone else she knew to let them know she was in the referral business – as a giver and a receiver. She now lives referrals and is a mega-agent at Keller Williams.

Here is the point I really want to make – our sphere of influence are the people who will not only be the most forthcoming with referrals, they will also be the people who will support us the most to become experts at asking for referrals and the most forgiving as we learn.

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Written By

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.



  1. Josh Brown

    November 1, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Great post. It’s amazing the little things that can be so difficult. But once you do them (ask for referrals for example) you realize how easy and effortless it can be. Usually with great results.

  2. Ark Rhowmine

    November 10, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    This is a great commentary. Two points I would like to make which goes along with you posting. First, I am a member of a local BNI group. Every week we stand up infront of the group and ask each other for referrals. This results in good training and knowing your scripts so when you meet someone in public you automatically speak and ask for a referral. Second, I mail out postcards monthly to my sphere and have mets. These cards are customized of which I write a small educational blurb on a different subject each time. At first, I had “sphere fear” of what my freinds and aquaintances would think. To my surprise, I started to receive positive responses from everyone on how great they think the postcards were. Some even stated they can’t wait for the next month’s card to arrive. My sphere has realized this is my business and that I am not hounding them but trying to grow it. Bottom line..It Works.

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