Mon, 4 November 2019
How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business
Repeat and referred business is a sure tactic to grow your business 10x. Despite that, not many are looking into it. A reliable tactic to increase income is to use repeat and referred business.
Gia Le, a successful real estate agent in Australia, whose heritage is Chinese-Vietnamese, uses this strategy with great success. However, before she got into real estate, her career started in finance and insurance sales through the automotive industry.
Gia wasn’t always the top salesperson she is today. Working for Australia’s largest automotive holding company, she was almost fired in her first three months as an insurance and finance consultant.
Selling using out-dated methods
Early in her career, Gia attended several training programs offered by her company. She learned a variety of selling techniques and rehearsed the scripts but they proved to be ineffective.. These original methods sounded rote to the more sophisticated customers and the techniques were perceived as out-dated and insincere. The dealership was a very fast-paced environment, sometimes having to close sales within two or three hours, and she was struggling and fighting.
In Australia, a dealership makes more money on the finance and insurance than on the vehicle itself and accounts for nearly 60- 70% of the dealership’s profits.. Gia knew if she didn’t start performing her time at the company was going to come to a close. It was then the right mentor appeared.ia recalls, “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, Gia stop trying to focus on the sale. Why don't you just start focusing on the people and realize that we're selling more than just finance and insurance.’” It was in that moment that she understood she was there to solve problems and provide a service.
“I truly sold nothing.The only thing I truly sold was a promise, an opportunity and above all, a relationship. The moment I started connecting and focusing on my client's pain, empathizing with them and gaining their trust through the art of storytelling, I was basically closing nearly 70% of all the clients who walked through my door.”
Sales is about selling an opportunity, and above all else, relationship. #SalesSuccess
Working at such a fast pace, she also understood the need to act quickly. “Nobody was in a dealership to waste their time because time is the most precious commodity anybody ever has.”
She knew if her client walked away they didn’t want to work with her. It was in these moments she decided not to give away her business card.
“I would never give out a business card because any seasoned consultant should really understand that, yeah, (them taking your business card) is a consolation prize. It’s their way of saying, I'll take something off you and I'm going to go away. I'm going to leave you living in hope but hope doesn’t pay the bills.” Knowing she needed to make a connection in those fleeting moments in order to close a sale, she became proficient in understanding the client’s needs, addressing their concerns and offering a solution.
Gia worked for the dealership for seven and a half years and at the age of thirty, decided she no longer wanted to work seventy hours a week and wanted more flexibility. She wondered what else she could do with the sales skills she had.
By then, Gia was working with a life coach and with real estate’s flexibility and use of her sales experience, they thought it was the perfect answer.
Gia was a real estate agent for about a year when she noticed that using the emerging digital platform to market properties was being underutilized in Australia.
“The use of social media four years ago was only just starting to blossom. I started a digital agency after I saw that opportunity. I made $500 in my first month after making big dollars in finance. Now, my digital agency is growing across Australia. We're now in Asia.”
Growing the business through repeat and referred business
Gia credits the growth of her business to her sales background. As her company continues to grow she is still selling and understands that referrals don’t happen by luck.
From the beginning, repeat and repeat business was her focus and she set the tone for her employees. “I kept telling everybody across the company I wasn't the best consultant or the best sales woman, but I was certainly the most disciplined and process-driven. I always played the long game with every single client. It's all about having a strategy and being disciplined. It’s making sure that system is bigger than yourself.”
Gia took advantage of the downtime when It was during these early days Facebook and Google were increasing in popularity as a sales tool. While other salespeople were busy Facebooking and Googling for new clients during their downtime, Gia was busy prospecting.
“I was busy following up with all my old clients because I understood that 90% of my sales were going to happen before they even walked in the door to see me again. The moment they walked in, I knew they were there for a reason. I’d made a conscious decision to make sure they remembered who I am, what I do, where I am, and I was truly memorable.” These clients had walked through her door, not just for the product, but for her.
One gentleman was really happy with her service and it seemed to be a normal transaction. However, the next day, he came back to her office with his son and asked if she could offer him the same deal. . His son then referred her services to his circle of friends and each one asked her to duplicate the original sale. It was then that Gia understood the power of repeat referral business. She had made business easy for her clients and they never had to reach decision fatigue.
Because of Gia’s diligent preparation, her clients didn’t have to waste time doing the research for other customer relations managers. She provided the hope, opportunity, trust and relationship they were looking for. They received her promise of excellence.
So how can you create a process to increase your business referrals?
“You've got to have a service based ethos. If you're not customer-focused, no matter what process you put in place for repeat business, it’s going to fail you because nobody is going to refer you. Get that foundation right first. The next step to creating that repeat business was I made sure that relationship started after we finalized the first transaction.”
When she was still at the dealership, other salespeople didn’t speak to their clients once a deal was made but Gia sets herself apart by providing touch points throughout the year. Her clients received a gift so they knew she was sincere about winning their business. A thank you card was sent within thirty days. On their birthday, their card was hand-written and they received personal phone calls on their anniversary. These systems were automated so the dates automatically appeared in her calendar.
Not many salespeople would want to be in touch with their clients that thoroughly. It takes a lot of discipline to make a series of follow-up. It’s easy to be sidetracked with everything that’s going on, so it’s important to stay true to what you need to do and just do all of them.
Gia saw herself as a business within a business. She kept a strong KPI and place incentives to motivate others to reach their KPIs as well.
Not everyone has the tenacity to stay in sales. Some others would come and go. But you can make yourself as the rock and be that consistent face that every client would see in your industry, then you will have the most respect. People would come at you asking for deals and your idea because it’s you who stayed the longest and you know the ropes.
Staying connected is also the key. Their sale only begins when clients have signed the contract. Gia would assist them when they want to make a claim due to an accident, thus enabling her to influence and make an impact on the clients over what they would choose to replace the vehicle with. At the same time, she is also able to refine the contract and make more money from the dealership. It’s all because she stayed connected and earned their trust.
Along with her team, they put much effort into romancing their clients, being committed to transacting with them, and starting a relationship with them in the end. They go beyond what they offer. They also try to help clients who have poor credit ratings.
There are millions of ideas every single day but discipline and consistency do the tricks in growing your business using repeat and referred business. If you decide to make 10 phone calls a day to old clients, then, by all means, do it.
“How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business” episode resources
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