To paraphrase a famous quote, people forget words, actions and even faces. You know what they’ll never forget? How you make them feel. When it comes to serious purchases, customers don’t buy from companies—they buy from people. Specifically, people they like and who make them feel good about their decisions. While it’s not always necessary (or possible) to become best friends with every business partner, forming positive relationships with both current and prospective clients is one of the best long-term investments you’ll ever make selling commercial real estate. By practicing these universal techniques, you’ll start leaving a lasting impression that won’t be easily undone.
As soon as children are able to talk, one of the first things their parents teach them is to always say “please” and “thank you.” And they do it for a good reason. Expressing genuine gratitude is one of the most effective, natural ways to show someone respect in an everyday situation. Thank people for the time or feedback they give you, even if the outcome isn’t quite what you may have hoped for. While verbal displays of gratitude are an absolute must in conversation, thankful follow-up gestures are what truly enable stronger relationships. A handwritten “thank you” note still goes a long way in today’s digital world. Whether it’s an edible gift or a helpful resource, finding a way to brighten a client’s day is an excellent way to start a professional relationship.
Remember the Little Things
No one wants to feel like you’ve hired a private investigator, but almost everyone appreciates it when you remember and reference the things they find important. Make special note of people’s favorite sports teams, where they went to school and family background. People love to talk about themselves, and when you set them up with a topic you know they’re fond of, you’ll find you have a much more receptive audience when it’s finally time to talk business.
Make it About Them
Never forget to make your customer feel good about themselves, and the time they're spending with you. Whether you’re just having a conversation or you’re finalizing a sale, do what you can to make it a positive, even life-improving experience. Let them choose the restaurant; let them talk about themselves; let them tell you what they need and find ways to help make their life better.
When a prospect comes to associate you or your service with a better life, they are more likely to come back for the final purchase without you even having to ask. That’s the difference between a relationship that sells, and a simple sales relationship.
Stay in Touch
Demonstrating care and respect for a client after the deal has been sealed is essential to strengthening your relationship. Phone calls or text messages out of the blue probably aren’t necessary (or appropriate). But a Christmas card or the occasional comment on social media is a great way to stay fresh on a client’s mind. It’s little gestures like these that humanize you beyond your services, while building relationships that last for years.
Make More Than Just a Sale
Selling something as important as real estate requires more than just a solid elevator pitch. Before you sell even a single square foot of property, you first have to sell yourself. By focusing on building relationships first, you won’t just generate leads or close some quick deals; you’ll create long-term customers capable of making a major difference for your bottom line.