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Sphere Fear Anyone?

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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?

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.

Writer for national real estate opinion column AgentGenius.com, 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.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  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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Business Marketing

What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups

(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?

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A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).

So let’s break it down.

Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.

Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).

What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.

Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.

Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.

How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?

Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.

Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.

Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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