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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

REAL ESTATE...AND OTHER THINGS OF VALUE: Your Haircut, Your Coffee; Exactly the Way You Want It

by Yossi Feigenson

You know what I love? You’ll laugh if I told you. The one thing that gets me excited month after month, and is in some ways the highlight of my month: My haircut. When I sit down in the barber’s chair, and he wraps that cloak around me, something surreal begins to happen. I immediately relax. I take a deep breath, and the release of all my built up tension is palpable and instantaneous, and for 30 minutes or so I have the feeling that everything is right with the world.

If you’re still reading, and wondering if I’m completely out of my mind, allow me to explain. What I have just described is a business relationship in action. It is a relationship that is clearly working.

We are inundated with this concept of relationships; we need to build them in order to do business; we need to cultivate relationships with our clients; it’s all about the relationship, and yet, we often don’t grasp the essence of the relationship.

What exactly is a relationship? And more importantly, what does is look like and what does it feel like? How do you know if you have created a healthy business relationship, one that will keep your clients to you?

I recently posted the following question on Linkedin: Are your transactions relationship driven? How important is the like/trust component in a business relationship?

The vast majority of the people who responded claimed that relationships are an indispensable component of any transaction. I think we all intuitively understand that. I don’t intend to discuss the importance of relationships in business or to bring proof of the consequences of the absence of them; rather I want to speak of the texture and feel of what it means to be in such a relationship.

Here is one response to my query: “My local garage (5 minute walk from where I live) services cars, but I travel 8 miles to have my car serviced elsewhere, but this is purely down to the way the mechanics have talked to me in the past...

They may well be competent to do the work, they may well be the same price or cheaper, but I don't expect or like being treated in that way.

I would rather travel the 8 miles and pay a bit more.”

This isn't about skill-set or ability; this is about likeability/trust.”

Another fellow answered with the following analogy: “I have an unlimited amount of choices where to get coffee but I only go to one shop and only to one clerk. This coffee preparer knows my drink and precisely how I enjoy it.”

It is this comfort level that his desires are being met that drives his decision to get his coffee in this particular place. This is crucial to understand. He can get coffee anywhere; possibly higher quality and even cheaper, but he chooses this place. This barista, or whatever they call them these days, mastered the relationship game by understanding this person’s needs and insuring that they are me.

Do you ever wonder why two salesmen, working side by side with similar skills, knowledge, lead base, work ethic, and support, can see vastly different results? I wonder about that a lot. There is one crucial element to deal making that must be mastered or else failure is the only destiny; if you can make a client feel that through his relationship with you his specific needs will be taken care of you will win more often than you will lose.

A relationship occurs when you can be trusted upon to have the intuition to know what the client wants. The magic words that any salesperson wants to hear are: You understand my needs, you know what I want, I will stick with you even when others come calling. To me, that is the most flattering remark a client can bestow.

An intimate understanding of your clients’ needs is the most crucial element in any transaction. The method of getting to that will be discussed in a future column.

You now have some insight as to why my monthly haircut is such a relaxing and therapeutic experience for me. My barber, who has been cutting my hair for many years, knows exactly how I like my hair to be cut. I sit down and don’t need to say a word. I’m confident, comfortable and relaxed that he knows what to do. I can’t possibly leave him.

If you can demonstrate that you REALLY get what a person wants you can increase your success ratios way beyond anything you’ve seen before.

For more information, please visit Yossi's TNNW Bio.

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Marvin Sadovsky said...

Great article, Funny and factual. Vaue selling is sure a great way through a life of sales. It is like taking orders because you respect the needs and wants of the ones you serve. They want to deal with you, your a friend and someone they can depend on to deliver. I can't remember my last haircut. You will understand if you view my profile. Cheers

Vicky Williamson said...

Yossi: Well put and true, true, true down to what grocery store you shop at. It's not the one closest to your house and why is that - because the one five miles down the road is friendler, cleaner and carries the stuff that you always look for? How many people actually follow those people rules in their business life? Is it laziness or something else? Try defining the reasons why people don't treat people they way THEY want to be treated. The world would certainly be smaller if we are looked out for each other.

Kathleen Helliwell said...

Your article is quite insightful. To those in the real estate profession or in any other, the 'old fashioned way' of building a business is by developing relationships. There is nothing more enjoyable than to receive a call from a past client who needs advice or would like to refer a friend. No matter how far we travel into the world of on-line connections, social-networking, etc., the most comfortable networking is a referral based on a job well done!

Anonymous said...

How often do these relationships come from word of mouth versus personal experience? Any personal experience, one in which we come back to has to be discovered in some way. What ways do you suggest to create these personal relationships?

paladagu said...

I enjoyed the article and agree with the views

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