Top Producer Playbook: 4 Tweaks to Grow Your Business from the Networking Queen, Jen Du Plessis


As featured in REALTORMag

What does it take to be a top producer?  There is no magic, work-free formula but there are habits and principles of top producers that you can "borrow" from their playbooks. 

Jen Du Plessis is a top producer in the 1% who has even sold her methods to Salesforce -- yes, she's that good!  She has shared the stage with Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and Brian Buffini to name just a few.  But do not be fooled by her celebrity network, Jen Du Plessis is open to sharing her 35 years of career knowledge over a King of Pops popsicle.  I know because that is just what we did!

Jen (seated) and Whitney Du Plessis
I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on Jen's keynote breakout session at the 2018 NAMMBA conference. Then we grabbed a popsicle and chatted further about the secrets to networking success with Whitney Du Plessis, a rising star who has Jen as a "momentor" (my spin on the "momanager" term popularized with Kris Jenner).  

If you missed Jen's session, then let me fill you in on some of her best practices, 4 of which I have included below:


ASK A DIFFERENT QUESTION

Do you know the typical question asked at networking events?  Let's all say it together:

"What do you do?"

After asking what do you do, have you ever noticed the glazed over look that comes with whatever answer follows by both people? Sometimes the look comes from boredom and other times the look comes from pre-conceived notions of what that job title does.  Both boredom and preconceived notions can inadvertently block you from having a rich relationship because assumptions (whether true or false) are likely made with just one's title.

Avoid any confusion or assumptions.  Instead of the previous, go-to question, Jen encourages you to ask:

"Who do you help?"  

Knowing simply a job title does not give the best insight if you are networking purposefully to build strategic and rich relationships.

 For example, notice the difference between:

I sell homes.

Or, I am a sales agent/broker.

VS.

I help recent college grads pay down student loan debt and start building a real estate portfolio of wealth. 

Or, I help our veterans make a local home using all of the available real estate programs to thank them for their service. 

Or... you fill in the blank.

The conversation can quickly change from "Oh, I have a cousin/sister/friend who is also an agent" (in essence, closing the connection door) to become "Wow, you work with veterans? I know 2 veterans that could use your help."


BE GENUINELY CURIOUS

Curiosity may have killed the cat but it will only help your business connections thrive.  

Jen mentioned, "Go wide and deep."  Move away from just knowing basic stats about networkers, such as company name and years in the business.  Jen recommends the classic, interchangeable acronymns FORD (family, occupation, recreation and dreams) or FROG (family, recreation, occupation, goals) to get to really know what makes those with whom you network "tick".  

Why?  Just to be nosy?  

When we understand more about the things that people hold near and dear (like family, work, dreams and hobbies) then we build rapport.  You will begin to know, like and trust them and vice versa, helping to open a floodgate of business opportunities.


GO FROM THE LIFE OF THE PARTY TO POWER PARTNER


Some networking events have champagne flowing, food galore, and even a dance floor better than any party you know.  But don't forget your mission.  

"It’s not a party for you it’s your brand", asserted Whitney Du Plessis. 

Do not let the sparkle of the event, distract you from the ultimate goal of making rich relationship connects.

During Jen's conference session, she shared, "Network to find new Power Partners (where you have a mutual commitment of sending each other leads monthly) instead of networking to get business" that has a one-and-done feel to it.

You may be hesitant to attend networking events because you feel people are always cramming their agenda, products, or services down your throat without any reciprocity.  That's "no bueno".  Do not be afraid to excuse yourself from such leeches.

Instead, Jen recommends you seek out and connect with people who are credible AND you like.  You do this by inquiring, "How did you help your last client?"  Then listen very carefully.  The answers of how they treat and if they serve their clients will indicate if you have someone who is competent, reliable and responsive or money-hungry and difficult.  Jen encourages you to ask yourself, is this person "complementing or complicating"?  If they bring complications, which includes blaming, fault-finding, laziness, pessimism, or inactivity, then it is probably time to say, "Have a nice day!".

Jen went on to say, "If you are always adding new people to your database but not actually engaging with them, soon you will find yourself running out of people to work with.  Try engaging and creating relationships instead of just doing tasks".  You should commit to memory the 4 Laws of Follow-Up if you have not yet.


PERSONAL VIDEOS ARE THE NEW HANDWRITTEN NOTE

It may seem mail is a dying form of connection.  However, a handwritten note may stay on a desk, bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, or bedside table for years to come.  Why?  Because personalized words of appreciation or encouragement are impactful and go a long way in you staying top of mind with the recipient.

Jen takes it a step further and sends personalized video messages in addition to handwritten notes and thoughtful gifts.  Case in point: Instead of a dull, "Happy Birthday!" comment on social media, Jen goes beyond others and sends a short yet special video message that is personalized to put a smile on the networking friend's face for whatever the occasion may be.

In line with Jen's point, I like you, have seen many birthdays go by, but one of the ones I remember the most was when a networking partner sent me a video (via text message) of her then-toddler son saying, "Habby Bfirtda Auntey Le-Le".  Precious!

Undoubtedly, video has become the new king of engagement on social media.  This trend shows the power of video and with our everyday smartphones being used to create feature films, there is no reason for us to not use this influential form of engagement.

Jen is a wealth of knowledge so I encourage you to check out her book, Launch! because it goes into more detail then this short article can justly do. 


Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  


Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithLee
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