I started packing yesterday.
A couple of weeks ago, a house came up for sale that we had put an offer on about seven years ago.
At the time, we didn’t get it, but my wife still loved the house, so this time, we pounced on it.
We’re moving at the end of November.
Real estate agents often get the raw end of the stick, but a good one is worth their weight in gold. Mine has honed his wisdom and process over hundreds or maybe thousands of transactions.
Our real estate agent went above every step up to way to ensure the process has been as seamless and stress-free as possible.
With our purchase, four other bids were being presented along with ours. Our agent anticipated every obstacle, pre-empted most of the challenges to help us give the best offer we could, and kept us in the loop through the entire process.
When it came to selling our house, his team arrived promptly at 9 AM the next day, they shot terrific photos, and by that evening there was a sales listing complete with drone footage and more. Our first showing (which turned out to be the buyer) was completed by 4 PM the next day.
After both deals were completed, our agent offered to arrange a whole number of other services like potential movers and more. He made suggestions he didn’t need to make. He anticipated our needs and added value OUTSIDE of the core transaction to ensure we had the easiest and best experience possible.
My agent has always made the experience both remarkable and memorable.
He’d done so well, I was curious whether it was just because he was a superstar, or if that was the way that everybody in his office worked.
Unsurprisingly, he told me that this was all part of his sales process. He mapped it all out for me, from the “checklist” items (professional photos, offer templates, collection of comparables, list of services that were adjacent to the sale, etc) to the more speculative elements (Counters for any reasonable offer, ability to justify the reasoning behind pricing, questions to ask the seller to determine what was really important to them to help me close more quickly, etc).
He told me that while he obviously doesn’t “win” every deal, he’s never worried that he could have done better, because the process he and his team have developed allows them to cover all of the most important bases and get the best results for their clients, both for the sale portion and the elements afterwards.
But nobody’s first instinct is to go to process. Individuals almost always feel that they can do better than the process by “following their gut”, and companies are often afraid to lose top performers. It takes discipline to create a process-driven culture, and it takes discipline to stick to it. When it’s in place, though, magic happens.
Here’s the most important thing, and the piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked: Processes don’t need to be complicated. In fact, the more complicated your initial process is, the less likely it is to succeed.
I’ve seen my simple customer retention processes, like the Pick-3 process, rapidly change the perception of a client in their customer’s eyes, resulting in more sales, more often, and more revenue.
The simpler your process (especially in the beginning), the harder it is for people to ignore it. The simpler it is, the harder it is to come up with excuses about why it’s causing more harm than good. The simpler it is, the more quickly you’ll identify the elements that are working and those that need to be changed.
This is what my real estate agent understood - they had a process that allowed them to very quickly and very effectively take care of everything I needed, and left me feeling like I was getting the royal treatment. When every client feels that, you know you’re doing something right.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Give yourself a score from 1-5 on each of the following. Five being excellent and one being poor.
- We have different processes for each stage of the customer experience, and they support each other and fluidly move the customer from one step to the next (i.e. marketing, sales, service, post-purchase service, referral generation).
- We have a fully defined sales process.
- We have a new customer onboarding process.
- We have a plan in place for regular, consistent communication with our leads, prospects, customers, and past customers. They all receive messaging congruent with their customer type.
- We have a customer follow-up & nurturing process in place to generate referrals, word-of-mouth, and repeat purchases.
For bonus points, feel free to send me your scores.
If you scored a twenty or higher, you’re likely doing an excellent job and delivering remarkable customer experiences. I’d be willing to guess that you have happy and delighted customers.
However, if you do not see the results you’d like (referrals, word-of-mouth, new purchases), it’s likely that with a few simple tweaks, we could rapidly improve your results.
If you scored between 15-20, then this likely means that you’ve recognized the importance of what I’ve been preaching for a while and are working towards putting the right processes in place. Let me help you speed up the process.
If you scored between 10-15, you’re missing a huge opportunity. In all honesty, many of the hugely successful organizations I’ve worked with would still start with a score between 10-15 on these five questions before we start working together. If you’re in here, we can quickly move you up.
If you scored under a 10, you’re in trouble. Every day, more and more companies are recognizing the power to be yielded in these areas. Even companies like Wal-Mart, who claimed years ago that you could easily defeat them by delivering in areas they couldn’t (like personalized, friendly service,) are finding ways to compete.
My new 1-day process offering can help.