Entertainment Expenses or Smart Investments?

Most of us realize the value of being liked as it effects a prospect's decision as to which person or company they will give their business to.

But, how effectively do we take advantage of this knowledge?

Here's a seemingly costly but actually inexpensive tip: You should consistently be the one to pick up the tab when you're meeting with a potential buyer or seller.

Without exception, lunch, dinner or even just a drink should always be on you!

Not only is food is strongly associated with positive feelings and liking but the sense of indebtedness and obligation that are created when you "pick up the tab" are powerful forces that affect all of us, and in ways that we seldom even recognize on a conscious level.

Food For Thought:

  • Why do you think the most successful sales reps who want your business are always buying lunch and sponsoring food at sales meetings and seminars?
  • The last time someone unexpectedly surprised you by paying for your meal, how did you "feel" about that person and the potential of doing business with them at that moment?
  • Do you think the top three salespeople in your marketplace miss an opportunity (yes opportunity!) to spend a few dollars on their customers and clients?
Most importantly, how many snacks, meals and drinks are you buying for the people who can earn you thousands of dollars with the simple stroke of a pen on just one listing or sales contract?

- How Important Is This Really?

Knowing what I know now about human behavior and the principles of persuasion, if I went back into the sales aspect of real estate, I guarantee you:

  1. I wouldn't think of even holding an Open House without serving refreshments with donuts or bagels, let alone consider allowing a prospect to pay for their own meal.
  2. I would have food and entertainment prominently factored into both my business plan and my budget.
  3. I'd sell a lot more real estate than before; and I was no slouch then!
The reality is that the money you spend on others in these situations will reap you rewards far beyond the apparent cost. This is especially true in a business where a single commission check represents thousands of dollars.

Look at it this way, if you're not feeding your prospects on at least two or three occasions during the home buying or selling process, then you're risking at least one commission against the possibility that they'll choose do give their business to someone else; someone they just "liked" more.

Now consider the number of commissions at risk when you include their future business needs and the referrals they can send your way.

Saving the cost of a few meals per transaction just isn't worth all of this additional risk, especially since sixty-percent of it is tax deductible anyway.

As you've no doubt heard, you've got to spend it to make it.

The content of this article is based on my seminar:
Prospering Through the Power of Persuasion
Stephen M. Canale
Contact Stephen

Preparing Professionals for Competition in Tomorrow's Marketplace
Copyright©1995-2005 Stephen M. Canale