7 Levels of Communication by Micheal Mayer is about how to treat people and get referrals to grow your business. This book is a great resource for understanding how to be more organized in your marketing and outreach of your biz.
Now, let’s get into the 7 Levels of Communication Summary.
“In the old days, the only way to get business was cold-calling, door-knocking, and other ways to ‘market to strangers.’ Everybody spent time and money trying to attract and close people they’d never met.
In the Generosity Generation, we can spend our time, energy, effort, and money on people we actually like and trust.
In the end, those are the ones who are most valuable to our business.” (Maher 2014) Michael J. Maher, the author of The Seven Levels of Communication, is known as, North America’s Most Referred Real Estate Professional, and also as the founder of the Generosity Generation.
Maher describes the generation preceding the Generosity Generation as the Ego Era. This is where sales professionals traditionally marketed to customers and consumers through advertisements and self-promotion. The author argues that traditional mass marketing is no longer effective.
The Seven Levels of Communication emphasizes the power of reciprocity, and that genuinely wanting to serve others will eventually lead to financial and other meaningful gains.
The book talks about the fictional journey of a real estate agent named Rick Masters as he becomes a member of the Generosity Generation and grows his business beyond what he had ever imagined. The book shows a transformation as Rick starts off as a non-believer in the method and at the end he is nearly a master.
How to write to people so that they feel sincerely appreciated.
A communication pyramid’s structure is such that as a business owner moves up the pyramid, he or she will have more of a significant impact and the client relationship will grow stronger.
Advertising, direct mail, and electronic communication comprise the bottom three levels of the pyramid, or what is known as the informational zone.
Real estate agents and sales professionals should use this zone when wanting to inform, confirm, or update their clients.
Phone calls, events and seminars, and one-on-one meetings make up the top three levels of the pyramid, known as the influential zone. Professionals should use this zone when wanting to influence, convince, or sell.
The middle level of the pyramid involves communication through handwritten notes.
In the book the author introduces the concept of POWER notes: Personal, Optimistic, Written, Effective, and Relational notes that help build relationships with clients and get responses.
There are 7 steps to an effective POWER Note: Use unbranded cards with a symbol or monogram that represents you. Remember, it is a personal note.
Write with blue ink which looks original and positive. Emphasize the word “you” as much as possible and avoid words “I”, “me”, and “we.”
You may use “we” when speaking in terms of the person you are writing and yourself, such as “we make a great team.”
A customer relationship management system or CRM will help you stay on top of your interactions with your customers. The goal is to not forget what they have told you and to do your own research and take your own notes about your customer to enhance their customer journey.
Use this customer information ethically and secure it.
Be specific in your praise. Identify and acknowledge a characteristic, a talent, and/or a unique quality. Leverage the power of positive projection. Identify a personal characteristic you want to improve and express respect for others who possess that quality (happiness, wealth, balance, etc.)
Write rightly – slope text slightly upward from left to right. Read Rodgers’ book, Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life.
Use a P.S. as a call-to-action: Ask the recipient to take action such as emailing or calling. Source: Maher (2014)
Real estate professionals can write POWER notes to anyone and everyone, whether they are in their network or not. POWER notes serve as an effective call-to-action that will help a sales professional generate responses, build relationships, and grow business.
THINK POINT #2:
Utilizing Your Network
Maher argues that a real estate professional’s network can be a bigger source of business than originally considered. The National Association of REALTORS® estimates that on average, an individual will move once every five years.
If you have a network of 150 people, 30 people will be moving each year. If a real estate agent completed 30 transactions in 2013, he or she would be in the top 10% of realtors in the United States. If each individual moving that year bought and sold property, that would equate to 60 transactions a year from a network of 150 clients. This book centers on a realtor but should be valuable for any business professional wanting to grow their network and sell to that network in an ethical and value-adding manner.
Maher continues to elaborate on the importance of a network by stating that the average wedding has 250 guests. If a network consisted of 150 clients, where each client is only connected to 150 other individuals, the number of people in your network and who they are connected to equals 22,500.
The people you know, know more people. Your ability to influence those in your current circle so that they market you to the people they know subconsciously.
The Communication Pyramid
The Communication Pyramid is a nice way to reach out to all of the members in your community, especially leveraging POWER notes to the top levels of the communication pyramid.
A way for sales professionals to further impact their network is by understanding the four behavioral styles – DISC: D – Dominance. Individuals who are straight to the point, usually driven, fast-paced, efficient, and brutally honest.
Referrals and word of mouth are one the most powerful drivers for new business.
Make it your goal to book more 1-on-1 calls if you want to generate more sales and have stronger impact on relationships. All other channels of communication are good for information but influence should be 1-on-1 meetings if you can make that happen.
They do not like long explanations: they prefer the bottom line. I – Influence. I’s love to socialize and are usually outgoing, friendly, energetic, and emotional. I’s are the life of the party. S – Steadiness. An S is dependable, s/he loves to nurture and lives to please others. S’s prefer predictability and security over spontaneity. C – Compliance.
C’s are perfectionists who expect everyone to comply with the rules, they crave order and process. Maher shared a poem entitled, The DISCovery: Smile like Everyone’s an I, Care like Everyone’s an S, Prepare like Everyone’s a C, And Sell like Everyone’s a D.
Sales professionals who understand the four behavioral styles and adapt their methods of communication accordingly do a better job of building trust with their clients, and trust leads to deeper relationships with more referrals.
THINK POINT #3: Self Help
The Seven Levels of Communication focuses on improving one’s self in order to better serve others. Maher uses the acronym LIFE to further illustrate his points on the value of self-improvement. LIFE stands for Learn, Implement, Fail, and Evaluate. Everyone fails, but some fail at a higher level.
Life is a spiral staircase and as one moves up, s/he will fail. Failure is part of life. Failure is essential to success. You must continue to learn and grow. Seek opportunities to experiment and fail.
Our journey through life will be made up of education and self-development to get to the next level.
When an individual learns from their failures and implements new knowledge, they continue to move up the staircase until failing again. The most successful sales professionals fail very often and at very high levels, meaning they are constantly climbing up the staircase of life. And to them failing is just an opportunity to come back stronger and wiser.
7 Levels of Communication Summary Main Idea
The Generosity Generation suggests that acts of generosity and kindness will be rewarded in the business world. When business is all about the customer or consumer, business is really all about relationships. Maher’s Seven Levels of Communication is a guide to remind real estate professionals to foster meaningful relationships and grow their businesses.
It results in more intentional communication activities.
Practice saying the Rainmaker’s Affirmation – “Each and every day, someone, somewhere in my city, needs my services. My job TODAY is to find that person.”
Ambassadors – the people who love and respect you and send you referrals.
Dailies – what you do in your daily routine to become a successful communicator.
The diner – where the main story takes place. This is where Rick comes to face his frustrations. Over time the lead real estate agent shows him step by step how to become a successful agent with communication and sales strategy.
The story is encompassing of a personal journey.
The pyramid of influence
How to treat people – give them value and show appreciation for those who appreciate you.
Thank you cards and personalized notes have changed my life and it will certainly change yours. I use a form of power notes and my lessons of copywriting to build my Twitter account.
How to change your business projection with relationship business and referrals.
- Don’t wait for a life-changing event to change your life. Start today.
- The word “crisis” in Chinese is composed of two characters: one represents danger and the other represents opportunity–John F. Kennedy.
- Generosity Generation: Give more than you get.
- If your buyers aren’t buying and your sellers aren’t motivated to sell, perhaps it is your sense of urgency that is lacking and not theirs. Learn how urgency effects making offers.
- The National Association of Realtors estimates that the average person moves one out of every five years. So that means one-fifth or twenty percent of your database moves every year, which would be 30 people if you have a base of 150 people in your database. The database is a good idea for all business owners.
- Your database is very important. Continue creating, growing, and maintaining your database. This is technically not the same thing as your email list although.
- Write handwritten notes to everyone for everything. (power notes)
- L.I.F.E: Learn, Implement, Fail, Evaluate.
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Read this book. It will make a big impact on your communication and selling skills if you can apply it.
If you want to visit the 7 levels of communication website, click here.
This is also a nice sweet review of the book and the importance of relationships in being a successful salesperson. I have also written a blog post about networking and how this relates to your communication and influence skills. Keep learning and practicing your communication skills each day.
Learn how to expand your current understanding and always get feedback from others to get better.