I must say, I was blown away to the response to my story on Friday about my recent client "loss". So many of you reached out and could relate. It's happened to all of us at one time or another, and if it hasn't happened to you yet, you probably just haven't been in business long enough. We can all learn from one another's experiences, it's why I started this group in the first place.
Another lesson for me from my experience last week was a little slower to sink in. I noticed that while I was certainly shocked and hurt by the situation, I also moved on from it much more quickly than I have in the past and the frustration was much more fleeting.
The reason for that is that that transaction wasn't going to make or break my business. I wasn't counting on it to get through. And the reason for that has been (wait for it) ... consistent client follow ups and prospecting (collective groan).
This was an eye opener for me too, and a reminder of why I need to keep a focus on prospecting and following up. This has not always been a priority for me, in fact for many years prospecting wasn't necessarily even on my radar screen, but it has this past year and a half out of necessity.
After 10 ½ highly productive years selling in the field I stopped in December 2012 to become a managing broker. I was no longer allowed to sell, and for 2 ½ years while I was still able to do some passive marketing to my sphere, I watched my business dwindle down to almost nothing. Literally. I track and count my every lead, have for years, and the amount coming in as I managed dropped not just by half each year, but by ⅔ or more. My last full year selling (2012) I had 694 leads/contacts to come in. My last full year managing (2014) it was 50, and for the first part of 2015 it was 12.
Essentially I had shut my business down, and so when I opened up shop again in June 2015 there was no choice but to focus on relationship building and prospecting for new business opportunities. While I am certainly not anywhere near perfect at it, and busy weeks can go by where not a minute was spent trying to find new business, those weeks were the exception, not the rule. As a result, my business has been consistent, and prospects and pipeline strong.
There will always be ups and downs in this business with seasonal and market fluctuations. No matter how great a job you do with following up, staying in touch or handling your transactions, there will always be something that falls through, there will always be clients that move on to their better fit. Change is a part of life. And so the best way to make that less painful for you, for it to have less of an impact on you mentally, emotionally and financially is to do the hard things (prospecting, follow ups) consistently, over and over again. I promise, it will be worth it.
Have a great week!