Nov 10, 2014

By Mike Pallin, Floyd Wickman Team President  


They say curiosity killed the cat. They say what you don’t know won’t hurt you. They say ignorance is bliss. They say a lot of things that don’t make much sense, whoever they are.

Let’s say you don’t believe them. Let’s say you do want to know, because you’re not a cat. You’re not worried about being hurt and you’re not worried about losing out on the kind of bliss that comes with ignorance. 

Let’s say you would rather know than not know.  

Meet Herb Miller, a 26 year real estate veteran with Berkshire-Hathaway Home Services in Dayton, Ohio. Herb is a five time Floyd Wickman Program graduate, winner of the 2010 Master Sales Society Get By Giving Award and, I am happy to say, my friend. 

Herb is not shy, always speaks his mind, and is relentlessly curious about his business. One of Herb’s specialties is competing for listings, and he has consistently had the highest conversion rate for his company’s relocation department. 

I’ll let Herb tell the story from here. 

“I remember it was right after 9/11, and I was competing for a relocation listing with one of the biggest shooters in town. I’ll call him Bill (because that was his name) and he worked for one of our competitors, and he had sold the people the house.  

“They did their interviews and called me back to list the house. I was surprised, but pleasantly surprised, and really curious. So, I asked, ‘What did I do or not do to make you choose me?’ 

“Their answer was, ‘You sent us a hand-written thank you note, and that showed that you cared about us. Bill didn’t even say thank you.’

“I never forgot their answer. Sending a thank you note after an appointment has always been part of my routine, but until that day I hadn’t thought to ask them why they chose me. I am so glad I did, because asking why has become part of my routine, too. 

“Floyd converted me to a one-stop lister, and I get most of my listings in one stop. But our relocation department requires a two-stop approach, and I find myself frequently competing for listings. So, whenever I don’t get the listing at the first appointment, I always write a thank you note to the Sellers. And after they make their final decision, I always ask why I did or did not get the listing. 

“I have asked the question at least a hundred times in the past thirteen years. When I don’t get the listing, the answers are all over the place. Sometimes it’s because they don’t like me, can you imagine that? Sometimes it’s the company. Sometimes it’s the marketing plan. Sometimes they have a friend in the business. Sometimes it’s the price. 

“But, whenever I do get the listing, the reason is always the same. They always mention the hand-written thank you note. Sometimes it’s just the thank you note. And sometimes it’s the thank you note along with another reason, too. And I get way more than I lose.

“The hand-written thank you note is my most effective listing tool when competing for a listing.” 

Thanks, Herb. Here’s something else they say. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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