What is the best closing gift to give at the table?
I see this question posted frequently, and I am asked all the time.
None. That is the closing gift I give at the table. You need to remove the emotion from the situation. We often want to give a gift to be in the moment, to be a part of the celebration. Buyers or sellers are happy and we are possibly looking for that pat on the back.
But stick with me…
If you can take a step back from that connection for a minute and think like a master marketer, a business owner, you will remember that this is a referral business. Referrals are the coveted prize in this game we play. The more referrals we get, the stronger our business becomes. Referrals are gathered by building bridges to people who like and trust you. It is only logical to think that those very people you built a bridge to have many people that like and trust them as well.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CLIENTS AND EXPANDING YOUR REACH
You’d better believe that, throughout the transaction, your clients are telling their closest friends and coworkers about what is going on. And if you are doing an amazing job, they are telling everyone. When you meet their sphere of influence, you already have a level of credibility. The goal is now to get to know their circle.
Think for a minute: you sell 50 homes. Each client knows 50 people. That is potentially 2500 people on your second level. Assume they know 50 as well, and that is potentially 125,000 people. Yes, there will be overlap, I know. But just the second level is enough to build an amazing business.
GIVE MORE THAN A GIFT, GIVE AN EXPERIENCE
Throughout the process, prep the client that your gift is a closing BBQ or wine and cheese party. This is the art of selling the sizzle. I tell them where we are going to put the grill and serving area. I show them pics of others I have done. I really get them thinking they are getting the BBQ.
Then at closing, you give a certificate for a house-warming BBQ. Try to get a commitment for a date right then. Collect the contact info for the people they want to come. You create evites and mail out invites. Have them create a Facebook event and add you as well. All this is done because they trust and like you.
When I first started doing this, on the day of the BBQ, I would go to a wholesale store like BJ’s, Sam’s, or Costco. I’d pick up burgers, dogs, rolls, a big can of beans, and condiments. I’d already had the grill, chafing trays, and everything loaded. I’d put the items in a cooler and head to the BBQ.
I’d arrive 1 hour before to set up the grill, tent, and serving table. I’d fire up the grill, and put the beans in an aluminum pan to start warming. I’d fill the chafing pans with water and get everything set up. As people started to show up, I’d start to put burgers and dogs on. By the time the burgers and dogs were ready, the beans were as well. I’d also make a noodle salad the evening before.
These days, I’ve been able to contract with a local BBQ company that shows up, sets up the food, and cleans up their mess. It costs about the same as cooking yourself, but NO FUSS, so consider it.
During the event, I am talking with their friends and being introduced as the agent. I make sure to grab lots of photos, videos, etc. I try to gather everyone in front of the house for a photo. This photo is then used on send-out cards. I send these to everyone who attended, with a note that thanks them for coming. I keep a print-out of the people, so when I talk with someone, I can make a quick note about them.
I have had people ask me right there to schedule an appointment. So if I spend 4 hours executing a BBQ and I get a lead that is within my desired range, it seems like a good day.
FROM BBQ TO BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
This is just the beginning of the magic. Now, all these people have been added to your newsletter, drip campaigns, and call schedule. Now you are building a warm database. One person I coach took my advice and made 72,000 in GCI in 2016 as a result. He also had about 12 more deals the following year.
Yes, it is work. But anything worthwhile is. I can promise you that if you do this and connect with these people, your business will take off. You will fumble on the first few, but do not over-complicate it. It’s twenty minutes in and out of the store to buy the ingredients, and it usually takes no more than $300. It is a small investment to make such an impact. I have actually had people tell me that they wanted to work with me because they wanted a BBQ. Haha… Now that is branding. You make friends doing this, and those friends become lifelong clients.
That is why I do not put any thought into closing gifts. To me, a tangible thing given at closing goes straight in the purse and is forgotten. But when you get that thank-you note with a picture of family and friends in front of the house, that builds memories.
Till next time,
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