Christie Ellis, owner of Sonoran Mountain Realty in Phoenix, Arizona wrote to me after reading about Benefit Statements in my book, Endless Referrals. I saved her email until after I posted the previous two articles because I thought it was such a great question. With permission, I’m summarizing her question. Thanks, Christie!
Hi Bob, I would greatly appreciate your opinion of my Benefit Statement. I liked the one you had in Endless Referrals, but I did not feel right using it. I really feel this statement is just like a first impression and I am striving hard to make it right. Here is what I came up with:
I am your personal guide through the intricate process of buying or selling a home.
Good morning, Christie,
You’re on the right track. If I may, here are a couple of quick thoughts:
- This Benefit Statement would be more effective at the bottom of your personalized notecard or other literature than it would be spoken out loud (I’ll explain that next). And, I would suggest, if you use it on any literature, removing the words “I am” because they are unnecessary in this context.
- To use that Benefit Statement verbally can be a bit counter-productive. The reason is that, when you say, “I am your…” it assumes they are — or are expected to be — your customer/client. So, if they are not currently in the market to buy or sell a home (or, even if they are), this might cause them to feel a bit defensive. That, of course, is the exact opposite of how you want someone to feel when you first meet them (or, ever, but in this case, obviously, we’re talking about when you first meet). Plus, while they might personally not need your services, at least not right now, they could be an excellent source of referrals. So, there’s no reason to pigeon-hole them and have them feel your goal is to “get” them as a customer or client.
Also very important: when you first meet someone, it’s better to not use too strong a Benefit Statement; at least not until the relationship is a bit more established. If used too early, they can make the other person feel as though they are going to have to listen to you talk all about yourself.
So, while a Benefit Statement is great to have, and very effective when used in its proper time and place, it needs to be used judiciously; not automatically.
And, I certainly agree that you should use something that fits your style and personality.
I hope this helped a bit.
P.S. One in-person Benefit Statement could be: I guide people comfortably through the process of buying or selling a home.
P.P.S. Remember, people don’t buy or refer to you because of a Benefit Statement. Rather, they do so because they know, like and trust you. That’s why — while a good Benefit Statement is important, it needs to not overwhelm anyone.
One final thought to wrap up this series. We’ll look at that next.
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Your suggested edit to remove the “you” statement was excellent. If I might add to your point. Psychologically, if we use “you” we send the message that all we want from them it to make them a client. If they don’t want to use us, they are “done.” If we make the statement obvious that we are looking for their referrals, we keep them on the hook, in a nice way, forever.
Thank you for sharing Christie’s question and your very helpful answer.