I was listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast, as I often do, and came across a conversation he had with a new small business owner that really struck me. So much so that I paused my iPod and brought it into my office to transcribe it so I wouldn't miss a word!
Here was the conversation (paraphrased):
Caller: I was recently blessed with a gift of some lawn-mowing equipment and took it as a sign that I should start up a lawn-mowing business. I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to do that.
Dave: Well, you have the equipment, I guess you need to find some lawns to mow - how're you going to do that?
Caller: I was thinking about hitting up people at my church - I go to a big church so thought that would be a good place to start.
Dave: Okay, well, business is not really complicated. It's about unbelievable service to your customers. Make them just so wow'ed that they hired you, that you're just the best thing on the planet and guess what? They're going to send you to everybody they know. But if you do a mediocre job, they're not even going to notice you. If you do a bad job, they're going to notice you and you're gonna wish you weren't noticed.
And so, unbelievable levels of service and fair pricing; and you show up when you say you're going to show up and you do fabulous work to where everyone is blown away. When you say you're going to do something, it's done a day early. Because they don't really care about your problems. They're customers, they want you to love on them, to serve them. As soon as you start doing that, money's going to start coming in.
Dave: So get get you some customers and make them proud they know you. Especially if you're gonna do this through your church (JAH sidebar: substitute sphere of influence for church)
So, what's so striking about this little conversation? Well, if we apply it a real estate business, Dave's advice to provide unbelievable service goes counter to most traditional thought and training that proclaims PROSPECTING IS JOB 1! That 80% of your time should be devoted to finding NEW customers and only 20% to serving existing customers. That client-service should NEVER take precedence over client-finding and that the time you should spend attending to your clients' needs be relegated to your low-energy periods ONLY AFTER your prospecting is done.
But you know what? Providing an exceptional client experience is the VERY BEST prospecting you will ever do, regardless of the business you're in.
That's my (and Dave's) story... and I'm sticking to it.
Have a great week!