Looking to grow your sphere this year? Four top-performing Keller Williams agents have found tried-and-tested strategies for building a bigger sphere-based business.
“Your sphere of influence are the people who know you,” says Jason Moon, a KW agent and team lead in Walnut Creek, California. “They like you. They trust you. These are your friends, family members, colleagues. They’re the people you’re hoping to do business with or maybe already do business with. They’re the people that refer you to your business.”
Whether you’re just starting out or need strategies to tap into your sphere’s full potential, here are four best practices from Moon, as well as Jessica Starr, KW agent and team lead from Connecticut; Dean Otto, KW agent from Hawaii; and Simon Shingleton, KW agent from Oklahoma.
Your Sphere of Influence, Stronger Than Ever
1) Grow your sphere through giving.
In the highly competitive Maui market, Otto found a route into the highest circles by incorporating a charitable endeavor within his business. As a founding member of a local school called Maui Prep, Otto built his commitment to the school into his listing presentation.
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“I knew I would only get 5% on the listing, and I would really press hard for 6% and 7%, and I’d really battle to prove my worth,” Otto explains. “I would say, ‘Why don’t we donate that 1% to the school? Neither of us gets it, but it’s going to a great cause.’ Ultimately, I raised almost $500,000 by negotiating with sellers on a commission and settling on a donation to the school.”
In addition to the staggering impact half a million dollars had on the school, Otto found his allegiance for charitable giving expanded his sphere in new ways.
“It took me getting into a situation like that of giving unconditionally to my community to be able to break into those super high net-worth circles,” he adds.
2) Commit to your community.
Aside from investing money into your community, investments of time and effort also go the distance when it comes to bringing people into your sphere. For Starr, she maps out a yearlong marketing campaign, broken down by quarter, of the community events her team will be participating in.
“For brand-new agents, you can do it very simply by doing a business spotlight on Facebook or YouTube and making sure every business owner in town knows your name and knows you support them,” she says. “Then, when you want to have a community event, make sure you’re present on social media and sharing those things.”
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As an example, Starr and her husband committed to playing Santa and Mrs. Claus during the month of December, meaning not just that they would don the costumes, but that they would participate in as many helpful community activities as they could, including asking everyone in their sphere to leave out a bag of food for the food bank, which Starr and her team then picked up and delivered to the local food pantry. During food pickups, they chatted with the families and greeted the kids by name, offering ornaments for each child.
“We told them, ‘We’re so grateful for amazing people in our lives like you,’” Starr says. “That’s how you become the person that cares the most in your community.”
3) Provide your sphere with a service.
For Shingleton, a path to growing his sphere opened up when he came from a place of contribution by offering a service his sphere wanted with no telltale marketing strings attached – a complimentary photo shoot for families in a beautiful setting with one of the best family portrait photographers in town.
“In my mind, if I could provide someone with something they might not do for themselves, it would continue to just move throughout the community, and they would see what it was and talk about it,” he says. “I wanted them to feel special.”
Many of those portraits ended up gracing family Christmas cards, which were sent to Shingleton.
“Getting those Christmas cards in the mail and knowing that I had provided something for them that they were proud of and could use was important to me,” he recalls. “And every single one of the people that attended those shoots referred someone within the next two years.”
4) Challenge yourself.
Need a jump-start on building your sphere? Maybe you’re relocating to a different market or embarking on a new stage of your career. For that, Moon recommends embarking on a personal challenge to grow that sphere at lightning speed.
“Get belly-to-belly and face-to-face and start building relationships with people in your community,” he suggests. “I actually gave myself a 90-day challenge when I wanted to grow a bigger sphere-based business. For 90 days, I made a point every single week to meet five times face-to-face with someone for lunch or coffee. I guarantee if you go out and commit to that and you develop those relationships, you’re going to find your sphere that likes you, that trusts you and is willing to refer you business.”
During that challenge, you can lay the groundwork on some of the other best practices for creating a robust sphere.
“Look at what community and charity events you like, and then look to see what organizations you can join to give of your time because you’ll meet people like you that will want to grow with you,” Starr recommended. “Volunteer first, and you’ll meet people that want to give back to you.”
How are you building your sphere?
What are some practices you have committed to in order to build out your sphere of influence in 2022? Let us know in the comments section.