Take Flight – Not All Contacts Are Created Equal

On this 197th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, we'll dive deeper into building out your CRM (database). On last week's episode, "Yes, you need a CRM!," we made the case that for you to run a business, a CRM is a non-negotiable. Today, I will take you through the steps of how to professionally build and optimize it. Let me first say that just because you may have thousands of names in an email list doesn't mean you have a CRM. A large list means little in the overall success of your business. It's a starting point but having 1000s of people on a list with few quality relationships is not going to get you to your goals/vision. There are several steps you'll need to take to do the basic filtering method. That's what we're covering here.

Step 1:

Take all of your lists of names (email list, spreadsheet, contacts in your phone) and break them down into 5 lists:

  1. Top 100
  2. Hot List
  3. Warm List
  4. Top 100 for Referral Partners (Locally and nationally)
  5. Collaborative brokers in local market

To start, build out a spreadsheet to use as a guide. Create 5 tabs, one of each of the above. The spreadsheet will just help you organize your CRM as you go through the process. If you've already done this (and many of you have), skip this step.

Step 2: Create Your Hot List

This is the list of clients that want to buy or sell with you in the next 90 days as defined by NINJA selling. You should have this list in front of you every day. Click here for the NINJA Selling blog post on how to more specifically manage your HOT LIST daily as part of your NINJA 9. You need to be looking at this list every day and comparing it to what is available in the market.

Step 3:  Create Your Warm List

This is the list of people that know they want to buy or sell, or they may not know they want to buy or sell, or you know that they will most likely want to buy or sell in the next 12 months as defined by Ninja Selling. My feeling is that those broker/advisors that have the largest warm lists, managed appropriately, will win in this market. Click here to read the NINJA explanation of the power of the warm list.

For more on the NINJA Hot List and Warm list, watch this video.

Step 4:  Build out your Top 100

This is your Top 100 clients/contacts who know you, like you and trust you as their real estate broker/advisor.

Take your Top 100 and break it into 4 categories:

  1. Platinum Clients: The people that refer you multiple times a year or consistently do business with you like a developer or investor. They are the top 20% of your Top 100. I made a point to “touch” these clients every 21 days. 80% of your business will most likely come from this group of clients.
  2. Gold Clients: The people that refer you occasionally or have done business with you randomly over the life of your career and introduce you occasionally. They are the next 30% down in your TOP 100. I made a point to “touch” these clients on a 30-day cycle.
  3. Silver Clients: Prospects and past clients that have the potential to refer or do consistent business with you over the life of your career. This is the bottom 50% of your TOP 100.  If they were a prospect, I wanted to send them content at least every 5 to 7 days and if they were a past client, I would put them on a 45-day “touch” schedule.
  4. Fringe Clients: Everyone Else. These contacts should remain on your low-cost marketing campaigns like email marketing and direct mail marketing.  You should develop an email marketing campaign, segmented, with content delivered every 2 to 3 weeks. This group should also be connected via social media and see your content and posts.

You might get to the end of this step and have way less people than you might have thought. I have a broker/advisor bringing in 2x GCI focusing on 35 contacts in his Top 100 instead of focusing on a list of 2,000+.

Click here to review MMPT 114: Is your database your most important financial asset? for one of my discussions on the value of your Top 100.  

Step 5Build out your Top 100 for referral partners both locally and nationally.

You would build out your list of referral partners just like you built out your Top 100 for your clients. Yes, you will have categories for Platinum, Gold and Silver and Fringe referral partners.


Most of you have gone through this 5-step process, but when was the last time you were in your CRM, cleaned it up and moved clients/contacts around so they were categorized/segmented properly? This "pruning" process should be done as needed. I always looked at my Top 100 and moved my contacts/clients on Sunday. It took just a few minutes.

If you have not gone through this process, you should put this at the top of your list for your next quarterly initiative. If you've not gone through this process, let me ask you: "Would you celebrate if by the end of the next quarter you had broken down your names into these 5 lists, identified the beginnings of your Top 100 and have finally implemented a CRM into your business?" Most likely, I would get a "Hell Yes!"

We have more filtering to do to get to an advanced stage of CRM use and we'll talk about that next week when we get into "tagging." Ultimately, the goal is to be able to create the most meaningful relationship message to the right person at the right time.

This Pep Talk is a "foundational" episode and it's on the playlist of core content on my Course page. These can't-miss episodes get you straight to the most essential Take Flight resources with additional links to topics like the NINJA Selling principles that I've included here. If you haven't taken a NINJA installation, I highly recommend it.