How We All Win
This eBook is a companion to the website: http://HereWeAllWin.com
First eBook Edition by Larry K Cragun
With Important Contributions by Jim Warner
Assistance from Kathleen Cragun, Debbie Leavitt Jones, Jim Vanderwarker, and Carol Miller,
and the techies:
2014 by Larry K Cragun
All rights reserved.
Larry K Cragun
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Page 3
Chapter 1: Having Business At Risk Page 6
Chapter 2: Seeking To Be Champions Page 9
Chapter 3: Football Analogies Page 11
Chapter 4: Be Mentally Tough Page 13
TIME OUT: Page 21
Chapter 5: Especially For Real Estate Agents Page 22
Chapter 6: Especially for Real Estate Agents Part 2 Page 26
Chapter 7: Especially For Loan Originators Page 28
Chapter 8: For The Rest Of Those In Sales And Marketing Page 30
Chapter 9: Your Position Page 31
Chapter 10: The Playing Field Page 32
Chapter 11: The Game Plan Page 43
Chapter 12: Training Camp Page 45
Chapter 13: Pre-Season Page 51
Chapter 14: First Game – First Win Page 56
Chapter 15: Each Week - Another Win Page 59
A Proven Approach
About 20 years ago, having been a loan officer for three banks and four mortgage
companies, believing that there was a better way to build a mortgage company, I started
my own. I had three friends in the business who took my invitation to work as loan
originators for this new enterprise. I told them that my success would be all about
their success. It would be all about them. This is what I wanted from the previous
banks and mortgage companies that I had worked for. I felt that as I brought them
the business that I should be treated as the customer. This had not been the case,
not even once.
To define my efforts to my new loan officers I lived by three promises. 1- I would help
them to make more money 2- I would find ways to make their job easier to do 3- I would
help them to be more professional. These were my focus. Did keeping those promises
deliver? It did. We grew fast by word of mouth. We started in the summer with the three
original loan officers and quickly grew to over 100. From the next January to the end of
the year we did over 1 billion in sales. All I had to do was to live up to my promises. I
didn’t advertise for business or loan officers. Good people just came to us. Our growth
was incredible. Our people were incredible. As things progressed, several came to me
with thanks that they had never made so much money in their entire careers. Mission
accomplished. I embark on this venture with the same commitment. I offer a strategy and
support in your becoming an elite performer. I challenge you to give this serious
attention. I know it will work if you want it to work.
Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots.
February 2, 2015: the first edition of this book was written a year ago after the Seattle
Seahawks won the Super Bowl. Today the New England Patriots are the champions. This
book is about a championship strategy for you. The principles and comparisons to the
Seahawks apply to the Patriots, to you, to any champion. This is a definite strategy. I
congratulate the New England Patriots, they played great. I encourage you to embrace
this championship strategy. We all can win each year. Who will be the next Super Bowl
and Sales champions? Who will win? Here We
All Win and here is How We All Win. Larry Cragun
Who should win with this strategy?
Shouldn’t We All Win?
The sales person should win.
The consumer should win by getting the attention and help they need.
The person giving the referral, being a valued advocate, also should win.
I am grateful for the feedback and assistance I have received from people whose opinions I
value. This feedback has added greatly to the finished product, both the book and the website.
This has been a longer journey than I had anticipated. It was over a year ago I thought I was
close to delivery. I don’t think I ever got discouraged but I can say that recent enthusiasm for the
project has lifted my spirits. First lookers have voiced an excitement that this strategy will help
them and that is the objective.
I have been told by some that this is a surprising twist to some concepts that they already were
familiar with. What they thought they were going to discover wasn’t what I delivered. Getting
that feedback from “old pros” was also exciting to me.
I know that those who seriously implement this strategy will see their success results multiply.
However, I warn you now that there will be some walls to break through.
This is going to be difficult because it’s not about you, it’s about them. I am working on this
every day. It is about you becoming a champion. To do so you must do what is for most of us, a
huge shift in attitude. To implement the strategy you must be willing to implement a tool
that most won’t. You must also keep score and win consistently. The interesting part is that
anyone can do this strategy. I mean anyone and everyone.
Dan Walsdsmidt has published a list of 19 hard things you need to know and do to be successful.
They also apply. They are all good. However, seven really are applicable to this strategy.
You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
You have to give more than you get in return right away.
You have to care more about others than they care about you.
You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
You have to try, fail, and try again.
How should a strategy help you win?
This question addresses a key point. It is also a reason I am excited about the positive feedback I
have already received. As Jim Warner told me “call reluctance happens because people don’t
have anything interesting to say”. Later I address the fatal role of call reluctance. The strategy
obliterates this problem.
Having a strategy is important. Having a great strategy is even better. It should identify winning
plays. It should demonstrate by example how to execute those plays. It should show how to beat
the competition. It should make the work we are in fun. It should play to our strengths. Most
important it should bring out in us what is authentic. In other words, no games, not faking it and
no razzle dazzle. I was called out by one of the edits for leaning towards the razzle dazzle. I hope
that is tempered now.
Contributor Jim Warner told me the “How We All Win”, the eBook and the website
“HereWeAllWin.com” must provide four valuable consumables: 1- A network. This is tangible,
valuable, and technical. 2- A path to follow. I have loved some of the motivational events I have
attended. That is not what this is. It is an actual all day every day path. It begins with who is in
your sphere, how to connect with that sphere, who to prioritize your time with, and how to
expand that sphere in an effective way. 3- Coaching pathways. We encourage coaching. We
also provide the path and the how to execute. The pathway is on how to generate referrals.
4- Monetization. Isn’t this the most important part? The book has a football theme. It proposes
that your sites can be set on being a champion. We define what a champion is. In that vein, we
want you to attain top of your industry income. Monetization is about generating income from
referrals. Not just one referral. Not buying leads, but a steady stream of referrals.
Jim used the word personify in describing how he saw the “How We All Win” strategy. He see’s
being able to teach this to other agents. He said that it shows what it looks like to be a champion.
It maps out how to make it happen. He liked that it implemented what I learned from him, how
to focus on being of value to others.
Another Jim, Jim Vanderwarker and I have discussed the strategy over a lengthy period of time.
Jim V was my favorite real estate broker. We recently met to discuss final markups of the book
and the preparation for the website. He stunned me by opening up the meeting with these words,
words that personify the How We All Win strategy. He said, “Larry, first of all I want to know
how I can best help you”. Jim gets it, thanks Jim. Jim has a goal to double the amount of homes
his property management division is managing, but his interest was on helping me.
Being a consistent champion has eluded many of us. Why is that? Are these possible reasons?
The majority of us are not great prospectors. The majority of us are unwilling to farm or canvas
for business. The majority of us hesitate with strangers, being uncomfortable to connect with
them. The majority of us aren’t great networkers. A majority of us need a better strategy. Most in
sales get distracted from what are their top priorities. Few of us are successful with even an
elevator pitch. The vast majority of us won’t cold call on the phone, even when we are handed a
script and a system that works.
Our best hope for elite status is founded on having a game plan that embraces caring about others
success. It was the reason our mortgage company took off like a rocket. My promise to those that
joined our mortgage company was that I would focus on three things: 1- I would focus on
helping them make more money 2- I would help them be more professional 3- I would strive to
make their job easier to do. We didn’t set goals for a billion a year; we just wanted our team to
have what I always wanted from an employer. Because we had the right approach the success
followed. In like manner I believe to accomplish my current goals I must care about your
success. Adopting this approach is also in your best interest. It is the way for you to become a
champion. Copy this thought.
Overcoming the challenges that get in the way requires a winning strategy. This is that strategy.
When we talk big goals, they may seem too much to dream for. So let’s take it in small chunks.
We can just have the goal to be at the champion level, the top 20%, first take this step, and then
move it up a notch to the elite 5%. Start with the basics, learn the playbook, move into the pre-
season, build your championship team in the regular season.
Can you sense that I am inviting you to join me and others on an exciting journey to elite
performance? We will seek to reach a championship level of sales. This strategy is for all in
sales. I come from a real estate and mortgage background and you will see that background in
this book. Just know that as we implement this strategy, it is necessary for us to reach out to
others outside of our fields.
Whatever field you are in, this is an important part of the game plan - reaching out to others.
Business At Risk
“Pick a service provider with large amounts of future business on the line. It places you as a
high priority. Performance in football and in business is better when there is pressure to
Larry K Cragun
How important is that one client? Does he carry a lot of weight?
Here, early on, I introduce a most important principal. I call it “having business at risk”. It is an
important reason for the website. It’s a message to consumers, on this website you will find
providers whose future business is at risk. In other words always use a service provider that is
referred. Do it in a way that their future business is at risk! Be referred by someone important to
their future stream of business.
It is a fact, we don’t want to botch a relationship that brings repeat business. If this isn’t the most
important part of the playbook, it’s close. My experience has taught me that service providers
such as loan officers or plumbers place a higher value on a referral that has been provided by
someone who brings them a steady flow of repeat business than a random referral, a walk in, or a
response to an advertisement.
I illustrate with two examples: a loan officer and a plumber. The principle applies to a lot more
than these two fields. Customers or clients deserve the best service and competitive or fair
pricing. When they are referred to a provider they should expect this, as well they should expect
delivery on time and receive what was promised as it was promised.
Let’s assume a loan officer earns $1500 on a closed loan. Let us also assume this loan officer has
a real estate agent that provides him or her access to clients every month on a steady basis,
perhaps 10 loans a year come from those referrals. Doing a good job for a client in this business
can be time consuming, there is much to do to assure things go well, that the loan closes on time
and as promised.
The loan officer also has to do a lot of communication with the various parties involved. The
$15,000 a year earned in this example is well earned. Next, suppose that you hear about this loan
officer from a radio advertisement or from a neighbor. Of course your loan is important, after all
$1500 will buy a lot of bread. But let’s say things get stressful. Perhaps rates start rising and
people start panicking, the loan officer’s phone starts ringing constantly as an example. Even if
the loan officer is doing his or her best, who has the priority if things get real difficult? Whose
loans are less likely to have a crash or problem? You, who were referred by a neighbor or an
advertisement, or the real estate agents client, that agent who is the source of many loans? In
working with and employing hundreds of loan officers I understand that no matter how serious
the effort, how genuine the intention, how stalwart that loan officer may be, the repeat business
This illustrates what really can happen. It can happen in any field.
The plumber example is first hand and recent. I should have practiced what I am preaching. We
had water coming out from underneath our washing machine. We asked a neighbor for a referral.
(We live in a condominium high rise) The plumber turned out to be actually two plumbers. I had
no idea why two plumbers had to come.
The fix was a quick one; they used a rooter type tool so I asked them to see if they could use the
tool to speed up the draining in a bathtub. This took another few minutes, not many. They were
here at our home for less than an hour. How much should the bill be? We live in downtown Salt
Lake City, not in the middle of nowhere. The bill was a staggering $750.00. It gets worse.
The job they did on the bathtub drain was a bad job. The next morning we had a knock on our
door, the building maintenance supervisor was the bearer of bad news. Our draining tub was
filling the hallway with water. Yes, the rooter tool ruined something in the drain. Who were we?
We were just one client out of the blue. They had only our small world of business to lose. So
did they honor their mess? No they did not. They would not come out and repair their work, nor
did they think their bill excessive.
We had to hire another plumber. This time we found one the condo association and management
company could refer us to. I made sure I got a name from the onsite manager. I spoke with the
maintenance supervisor. When we called their respected plumber I used them as the referral.
Messing with us now could cost this plumber future business. This next plumbing experience
was a good one. Perhaps they would have been this good under any condition. But why wasn’t
the first one honorable? Our problems were now solved. In fact, we also had the second plumber
fix a sink that had a little leak. This visit was longer than the first one. The bill was $175.00. But
wait, we discovered that the fix on the second sink actually caused it to leak more. We called the
next day and instantly they were out to fix it, at no additional cost. We were happy. Shouldn’t we
always end up being satisfied as in this second experience?
To assure that result, “always use a service provider that is referred. Do it in a way that their
future business is at risk! Be referred by someone important to their future stream of business.”
Sales people, I propose you strive to be positioned to have daily experiences where you are a
sales person or vendor to be trusted like this. Put yourself in a system that promotes this.
Seeking To Be Champions
“We are trying to be that franchise that year-in and year-out is competing for a championship.”
OK I admit it right from the beginning, You can probably already tell. I am a football fan. I love
the game. Last season was great for me as my grandkids invited me to join their “Fantasy
Football” league. For the record, I won the league championship against those young pups. It is
no wonder with my team having Drew Breese, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Demarius Thomas,
Knowshon Mareno, Steve Hauscha, and the Seahawks Defense.
Who is on your team is a relevant question?
On February 2nd
, 2014 the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl and became the World
Champions. They had stiff competition going to the finals from the San Francisco 49ers. The
Denver Broncos were projected by some experts to win over the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
All championships provide us with lessons to learn from. I see some important lessons in the
Seahawk vs. Broncos story. In this book I’ll share some that I see, including “Why not you.”
First I would hope that you would seek to be a champion. I believe that it is possible for those
that follow through on the right strategy. The How We Win strategy is based on principles that
provide a way for any of us to be our best 24 – 7, a Seattle Seahawk theme.
I mentioned three levels of success, the masses, the champions, and the elite. The bulk of those
in sales reside in the masses. Typically twenty per cent reach champion status and then there are
the elite, the top 5%.
How We All Win is about each of us moving out of the masses, permanently. It is about,
enjoying the fruits financially and treasuring the relationships we develop. It is about how each
of us win by being an asset to others.
For example, about two decades ago when I started a mortgage company. I invited five good
people to join us. Because we started with a great strategy, within a few months of our first year
we were over 100 strong, producing at an annual level of 1 billion in closed sales. Instead of
advertising for loan originators, they came to us by referral from a happy sales force that
embraced our focus. I challenge you to see how you can start small and build a team of CORE
relationships and of ADVOCATES that will create a championship team for you.
These CORE and ADVOCATES will become a network endorsing you and likewise you
We must at all times earn that status or be benched. If I endorse you I expect that endorsement to
be justified, or the endorsement will be dropped.
So, our challenge is to start with the basics, learn the game plan, know the details, and take a
small amount of time in training camp and pre-season to improve our skills.
It all happens because you followed a great strategy, not one just self-serving, but more like
serving, more like my friend Jim V offered.
“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious
In his youth, Seattle Quarterback Russell Wilson’s father inspired him with this powerful
question: “why not you Russ?” He never forgot that question. He often told his teammates,
“Why not us?” That’s your question now, why not you? Have you been looked over? Are you
the prototype? Are you the unlikely champion? “Why not you too I ask? “ This is the point, why
would we go into a wonderful business such as sales if we didn’t strive to be champions? Why
would one avoid the prosperity? Even more important why avoid the personal growth and the
relationships that accompany that growth?
So how about more football analogies? Like football, having a coach is a big deal. Have you ever
seen a championship team in any league without a coach? Thank you, need I say more?
Football teams have a playbook for their players to learn. The playbook is a key to your success.
It details the strategy. We have a playbook on how we all win.
The game has a time clock. So do you. Each day, each week, and each month the time clock is
ticking away on your championship season. Don’t let indecision, doubt, or procrastination keep
your season from being a championship season. If you join our team we have a training camp to
experience. There is also a pre-season. It need not be a long one, probably less than a week. Then
the game starts, manage the clock well, make each week a game, win the game each week. Be a
The Playing Field: This would be your market. I call it your community. I divide it into seven
important categories. You don’t market to each category the same way. The game plan is to not
ignore any of these seven categories. They all play an important role to your team and your
championship. It’s called a balanced attack.
Usually the community is defined as your sphere, a geographical community, or a community of
common interest. You play here to score touchdowns or sales. It’s an important place. It can also
be your fun place. Wouldn’t it be great if it were simple to be yourself and make touchdowns, or
successful passes or running plays any time you are on the field?
In addition to your team mates, who are already on your team, there are many that will want to
join up. They really will. You may have to do just a little bit of recruiting. You might want to
share the game plan with them.
Visualize your success. Set a personal goal. At the end of the season, prior to the Seahawks
Super Bowl win, Russell Wilson went to the Super Bowl as a visitor. His goal was the super
bowl. The Seahawks did well in the playoffs, but didn’t get there in 2013. It was at the end of the
season that Wilson believed that next year could be their year. With that as his vision he went to
the game to absorb what it would be like. He was mentally preparing himself to lead his team to
next years Super Bowl triumph. What’s your goal? Will you set it Super Bowl high?
Know who your best players are: You are going to want to have many teammates. All on the
team will be important. As a great quarterback, you will be the one that knows how to get the
best out of each of your teammates. You will lead the way to the top. You will at times need to
encourage them, to help them, to be a quarterback for them.
See the entire field: All good things do not happen at the line of scrimmage or near the end zone.
Openings come at different places at different times. This is why each of the seven categories
should be addressed each week.
Control the Clock: You only have so many minutes and hours in the game. It is your duty to take
charge on how they are spent. Efficiency in time clock management is the characteristic of a
Make the Plays: Execute on the playbook strategy. Don’t deviate.
Be Mentally Tough
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you will do. Attitude
determines how well you do it.”
Things Can Turn On A Dime. Turn on a dime? What is this about?
It’s a short pep talk. Pretend I am your coach. I am here to pump you up. Staying focused can be
difficult. I want you to believe that with the right strategy you can move to a higher level of
sales, even to the level of the elite, the leaders. To make this real in our lives we must stay
focused. The “How We All Win” strategy will help you determine where your focus needs to be
and is an exciting way to keep focused on championship activities.
In the business world this challenging priority is so important that the Harvard Business School
is offering leadership programs to executives on this topic. They say that every leader has to
cultivate an awareness regarding focus. Focus is critical.
Our goal is to immediately turn things upward. This applies to whichever level of production we
are in. Things can turn upward on a dime. Have you experienced an abrupt positive change? I
have. We all can experience it now. My challenge to you is to embrace this strategy, at whatever
production level you currently reside, do this, turn on a dime.
The citations in Random House Dictionary of American Slang by J.E. Lighter leave no doubt
about this idiom’s origin (turn on a dime). As early as 1881 one could say that a well-trained
horse turns on a five-cent piece. In the twenties of the 20th century, a fielder who failed to cover
much ground was said to be playing on a dime, and dancers in a dancehall were encouraged to
move off the dime, that is, to not to stay glued to each other in one place. So the goal is to turn on
a dime you horses out there, cover a lot of ground you future stars, and move off the dime rather
than dancing in place. Let’s get moving.
Are we at our current station by accident or fate? Of course not, we programmed or allowed
ourselves to be where we are. Our vision, our approach, our priorities, our time management, our
strategy or lack of a strategy brought us safely here.
The question we must all honestly deal with is where are we now? Are we in the masses? What
has been the strategy that brought us here? Is our enemy “the wall”?
Is it our self-esteem or is it fear that drives us bonkers? Perhaps it’s our not liking the bitter taste
of rejection. It’s that darn wall. The wall is our mental enemy. We deal with it on every play.
Losing the game is usually a result of placing a higher priority on avoiding the wall rather than
climbing over it or breaking through it.
Allowing the wall to fence us in with the masses is a decision we make.
That wall is everywhere. Just check out the activities of the masses and you will see. To some the
wall is like an electric fence; they fear getting electrocuted by it. To others it’s so high they can’t
see past it.
There is a break through process but first let me establish what the wall is made of. The wall is a
composite of fear and distraction. Fear (or call reluctance as the diplomatic folks say) by itself is
tough enough to penetrate, but add a bunch of distraction and it’s like adding a steel shield
Using the strategy to focus on the productive activities knocks down the wall when the issue is
not fear, but when it is that lacking important tools. The tools you are soon to discover are game
changers. They are tools to help you identify how to use your time, how to open massive
opportunities to create connections, referrals, advocates, and people who will be core proponents
of your success.
In the upcoming interview with Carol Miller I discovered her wall. It was not having a lack of
advocates. It was the fear of looking insincere to her sphere. She had served her clients well over
the years and only wanted genuine non selfish interaction with them. This made it difficult to just
drop by or contact them with a goal of coming up with some referrals.
I have a hunch Carol shares a fear that was on my shoulders almost daily, the fear of appearing
like I needed the business, or looking like I am a “hungry man”. Many times it’s a fear of getting
rejected. Fear of rejection is like a plague in most sales organizations. OK, I’m in that group, I
Scoff not big shot; you would probably wear this T-shirt too.
Or is this next one your T?
If the strategy is to be of a long term value to you it must address these issues in a factual and
strategic way. For example, how many new people do we regularly meet each week? How many
new people did you meet last week? More importantly, how many can you follow up with this
week? I challenge you to look at how much of your time is spent in effectively creating new
customers versus how much time is busy work or not really productive?
One office I worked in offered a training class on cold calling on the phone. It was taught by a
big time producer. His track record was proof his system worked. Yet, out of an office of about
80 agents, no one wanted to participate in the class. That included me. If not fear then what was
the reason? In my case I was definitely not willing to get phone rejection in mass. It seemed
painful, somewhat like having the plague. I don’t know about the other agents, perhaps they were
just too busy to implement this strategy.
What else can create distractions? Are any of these familiar?
Just normally not an outgoing person
Like taking Fridays off
Don’t have a comfortable way of connecting with almost everyone you meet
Enjoy chatting with the office staff or colleagues
Used to starting the day off slow, getting going about 10AM
Don’t have a lot planned for tomorrow anyway
Spend a lot of time on Twitter or Facebook
Bunny Trails get me distracted – guilty as accused
Let the priority of others interfere with mine
We only have so many hours in our week. When we blow them, they are gone. The strategy
claims that there is no reason to spend our working or waking hours foolishly.
The biggest problem in sales is having enough qualified quality prospects. Or is it being willing
to prospect those prospects? Are we timid or hesitant to make new connections? Do we shy away
because we don’t want to appear to be abrasive or even desperate for business? Are we one of
the masses that put off this most important work?
I believe I am offering a way to be bold, not abrasive, in making all activities conducive to
connecting with prospects. Additionally, everyone that we meet can become a part of our sphere.
Every hour worked should be and can be exciting.
Referring back to the Seahawks win, from the beginning of the season they lived the motto,
“Champions 24 – 7” They weren’t on the field 24 – 7 but their focus was there 24-7. Yes, the
strategy is also a 24 – 7 approach and it will bring us prospects.
Imagine that there was a definite path that would take any who walked it to the top of their
industry. If such a path existed would you take it? Would it help if you knew that the walls and
roadblocks normally faced are comfortably removed?
This path does exist. It has a few twists and turns but it is there for you to take. It’s a pleasant
path. It takes you through communities with interesting people. These people are anxious to
reach out and contribute to your well-being. We invite you to join us as we take this walk,
implementing the How We All Win Strategy.
Where is your level of production? Where would you like to arrive?
Do you ever feel that making sales is like this illustration above? It’s time to make permanent
history of any such thing. The door can soon open wide. Leave the masses, be a champion, join
the elite. Life is better there.
The strategy is also about the relationships which we build. However, this chart could be a way
to measure the income level of a champion. It’s a 2010 chart but the numbers are similar now. If
you are already in the top of your office or company, let us help you move higher in your
This graphic is an IRS report on share of income: 2010. This
is their reporting of the various income levels of Americans
filing tax returns.
An integral part of the strategy is based on how well each of
us network with others. The quality of our relationships, what
we expect and what we offer is fundamental. There are no
gimmicks here. We aren’t going to sell you a monthly trinket
to pass out. You may want to create an annual calendar and
have an interesting way to stay in touch, but the greater value
lies in what we do for each other. You won’t be a fake, you
must be genuine.
Many experts projected the Denver Broncos to win over the
Seahawks. After all, they and their quarterback, Payton Manning, had just shattered many long
time NFL records. He even broke a passing record in the game. They were wrong! Seattle won
by a lopsided 43 to 8 score. Why did Seattle win? The answer why is illustrated in the tweet
below from a Denver cornerback, posted after the game.
How badly do you want to be a champion? Do you want it way more? Can you dream of it
happening for you? What price are you willing to pay? Here are some prices:
We must own our success or lack of success.
Believe that going forward there is no reason to remain in the masses. Being willing to move
forward with a confident approach is ours to own as of right now.
We must not be pretenders. I know, I’ve read the book too, teaching us to “fake it till we make
it.” I don’t buy the concept. It creates know it all’s that refuse to grow, thus they stay in the
Pretenders tend to come off as arrogant, a most distasteful trait. Pretenders often don’t admit they
are in the masses. I vote for being honest about our situations. I propose that you talk about your
new strategy rather than faking that you are a big time hot dog.
Which is best, a referral or a successful cold call? If you choose the latter you can close the book
Focus on developing a world of referrals. Shortly you will see an example of an interview. I refer
to it as the Carol interview. I asked Carol “what percent of your business came from referrals last
year?” It turns out that last year almost all of her business came from referrals. I also determined
she was in the masses group the previous year and intends on being a champion this year. Carol
had been an elite producer for our mortgage company.
Based on the importance of referrals the goal of the strategy is to blueprint a path where those
who choose success will develop career changing results such as:
Experiencing an immediate increase in sales. Know that they are moving to join the 20 %
that earn 80% of the income. See it possible to enter the elite top 5%.
Not only earn more income in the short term but be developing their business for the long
Value having control over time, choosing priorities first. Understand what the top
priorities are. Have a way of tracking the implementation of those priorities.
Have no fear, no call reluctance, and never avoid or hesitate in making connections.
Gain a better understanding of their market and know how to develop it, own it, and love it.
The Lights Are On, The Camera Is Rolling, and It’s Time For Action!
You Do Take Action, you say. How Many Times Are You Hitting The Target?
Have you ever noticed someone in sales that was so in your face that
they made you want to run and hide? They can’t seem to blend the
social part of their life with their business life in an appealing way.
I see them as bold, but also as abrasive.
I choose to not be like this. It has a negative feel for me.
As a result I have at times struggled with the opposite extreme, being timid in the exercise of
This book and strategy came about because I found a way to overcome that reluctance
without feeling like I was in the abrasive camp. It recognizes that when I am at my best I care
more about serving others than prospecting. I love the response when I offer to promote
others. I love the feedback when people thank me or like what I have done. I am no longer
affected by the fear of feeling rejected. Call reluctance has just flat out gone away. It is only
because of this discovery that I deliver this book and website. It’s why I can confidently
encourage you to think How We All Win. It addresses that which blocks most salespeople from
arriving at the top, the personal issues and battles they face.
The result in my life is that the hesitant me has disappeared. A better Larry has appeared. He is
bold, yet not abrasive. I like him better.
I share that there are key components to this championship run that tackles many people’s
attitudes. Unlike professional football where physical skills are required the strategy requires a
mental strength and putting up with a little emotional stress in the beginning. Just as in
developing physical strength, we have to do a little stretching of our comfort zones. It’s really
not that difficult, in fact it is not only a path to the top, and it is fun.
Football is football and talent is talent. But the mindset of your team makes all the difference.
Robert Griffin III
Up to this point I have mostly covered mind set ideas. We are soon to go into the strategy. Even
though the next chapters are about real estate and mortgage sales, it is really about any sales
It is my sincere hope that each of you will, regardless of your field, embrace the concepts.
When I ask you to list the activities you do each day that actually relate to the specific function
of obtaining or maintaining clients, make up that list. It might be similar to all of us in sales.
Chapter 10 begins to define the playing field. Understanding the playing field and the importance
to use or address the entire field is important. It is your market from those whom you do not
know and have never met to those who provide you referrals or are clients. The strategy deems
them all important.
Especially For Real Estate Agents - Is it “CheckMate” or is it “Your King Is In Check”?
“In football, like in life, you must learn to play within the rules of the game.
I deviate from football to chess for a chapter. Football players play chess, don’t they?
Recent events cause all real estate agents to need have a better game plan. This must be a better
on-line plan and a better person to person plan. This must include a better use of your time. It
means you must dump denial and deal with facts. It means you must be willing to do some things
I know that most have avoided.
Speaking of denial, it’s a sales person’s trait. Please don’t be offended. Agents are of the positive
attitude type. They keep on keeping on even when it’s difficult. They wake up ready to win and
little discourages them. A bad year is always just ahead of greatness. Even so, as agents we do
tend to let that positive attitude place us in denial about important facts.
For example, it was about eight years ago when real estate agents flocked to the Marriott
Marquis New York for the Inman Connect Conference. Kathleen and I were among hundreds in
the keynote session where Professor Nouriel Roubini of New York University’s Stern School of
Business described in detail what was about to happen to the United States housing market. He
spoke in detail, details that did happen; in fact it was many times worse than what he presented. I
think it’s the closest thing to a lynching that I have ever been near. The response from the eager
agents was just ugly. If there were 1000 in the room I’d guess there were 1000 in denial. No one
wanted to hear his message. It wouldn’t surprise me if he left out the back door. Now I am only
guessing, but were you there you would be as I was, in denial when being presented such
Also in an Inman Conference, 2005, we cringed as Brad Inman brought to the stage Zillow
founder, Rich Barton and his Zillow marketing team. Most in attendance quickly learned the
definition of the word disintermediation. That is because we all became aware that Rich was a
key player in the disintermediation of the travel agency industry. I would say that
disintermediation is analogous to destruction? Both panic and denial seeped through the
conference. Could Zillow do that to the real estate industry? Nah, we control the data we
A couple of years later two Stanford grads, Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen were on Brad Inman’s
stage in San Francisco introducing their new startup Trulia. Was Trulia a serious startup? Nah,
many of us with our natural denial instincts thought.
Here we are years later. Zillow announces their purchase of Trulia. Why would Zillow pay 2.5
billion dollars for Trulia? An even bigger question is why did Trulia agree to take that 2.5 billion
in Zillow stock? Is it because together they currently display 90% of the homes listed for sale?
And how do they monetize those billions of dollars in value? Where is the revenue that justifies
those values? It comes from agents. More precisely, it comes from the very agents that do the
grunt work, those who sit across the kitchen table, licensed, meeting face to face with the sellers.
Then those agents give the data to Zillow-Trulia so agents can purchase back the leads created
online. This sounds silly doesn’t it?
These sites aren’t out to disintermediate or destroy the agent industry they are out to CONTROL
it. They are out to charge agents for access to the consumer, these very agents who did the hard
Check out this recent quote from Brad Inman. It should be upsetting and hopefully throw some
cold water on any tendency of denial?
“In my view, this is checkmate. Soon, Zillow will control the chessboard,
like Amazon does the publishing industry. The only meaningful consumer
destination, Amazon, after many savvy moves, now controls pricing,
merchandising, the data and the market. Soon, Zillow will control the
pricing, the listings, the merchandizing and, for sure, the consumer.”
No one is in this real estate sector for philanthropic reasons. That should include us. So much
money flows through this business it attracts those seeking wealth. Checkmate usually means the
game is over. Is it?
This internet interception cannot be stopped now. So where do agents fit in in the future?
I see four options:
1- They can buy the leads. They will leave you some crumbs. The price is costly, and with these
online companies growing stronger the price will rise. I know of one agent that currently spends
up to $4,000 a month for leads. He is wondering how high that cost will rise. We see it now.
Realtor.com just doubled our offices price for the “Showcase Listing” option. This is a profit
machine for the NAR which is licensed to a separate company, Homestore. The intent is
supposed to be of a noble purpose, yet it still is about the big bucks that come from the agents.
My thesis here is that purchasing leads is not the way to build a business. I’ve purchased leads in
the past and won’t continue. My experience is that the bulk of people willing to be a lead do so
for despicable reasons. For one, most don’t feel any loyalty towards the agent that contacts them.
Therefore they can freely waste your time while feeling no remorse.
If buying leads is your strategy, and it works for you, you can keep on with that same strategy.
Just expect the prices to rise significantly.
2- Agents can be content to list or sell a few homes to friends, family, and acquaintances. The
bulk of agents do this now which is evident by the facts in virtually every real estate office. Look
at the production board. Eight out of ten produce little to mediocre results.
If you are comfortable with this strategy, and it works for you, you can keep on with the same
strategy. My belief is that this strategy creates short timers. You can also expect to lose some of
those referrals, friends, etc. as many get caught on these websites.
3- I will be emphasizing the objective to deliver for you a strategy that is a path to being a
champion or elite performer. The champions and elite performers are possibly going to continue
as such. I admire this crop. They have done something right that brings them a steady flow of
business. However I did speak last week with a former champion who is now struggling. Her
natural market left her. To the current champions and elite, my guess is that you can continue as
is, that is unless your sphere become enamored with the Zillow types websites and get captured
by them. It is also my thesis that they need to take pro-active steps to stay connected to their
4- Embrace the “How We All Win” strategy. Be a part of the “Here We All Win” Network. You
can compete if you will. Doing so will take most into a new world of marketing.
If there ever was a time to do a few easy things where there has been a mental block stopping us,
now is the time.
The agents that want to do more than risk their future will be independent and develop their own
source of referrals. Note I say referrals, not leads. The agent that wants to be a champion may not
have a strong enough natural market, does not want to depend on the lead generators, and is not
content with being in the masses. That agent must latch on to a strategy that puts him or her in
total control of their success.
What is that strategy? It must provide the path to follow. It must provide the consumables which
takes you to the elite status in a natural way. It must overcome call reluctance by providing
agents something interesting to say to anyone. I and those I have asked for input on the “How
We All Win” strategy believe that it is here. These advisors have encouraged me to make it so
simple to do that those who want elite status are sure to have it. Jim Warner said to me: “Larry
you must do that and I know you can do it.”
What I believe is that you can compete with the lead generators. What they do is a proven
success. Yet you don’t need them. In fact, you can create loyalty that they cannot. You can
connect with others as a person not a company. They are working from a macro strategy. There
is little that is personal in their approach. What I am proposing gives you a serious edge. It gives
you a permanent success. This strategy is designed to make you as big a producer as you want to
be, and for as long as you choose to have it.
The internet part may or may not be a natural thing for you to do. That doesn’t matter. Part of the
strategy is natural for me, I like to write. Part of it took a total change of instincts for me. I tend
to think of me. Even last week Jim Warner had to correct me in a statement I made by saying,
“Larry you forget, it’s about them”. We get more specific on this in the chapters about core
Wherever you stand, if you will move out of denial, see things as they really are, and take this
strategy serious, you take CONTROL of your success. You won’t lose to the Zillow-Trulia’s of
In the introduction I mentioned the strategy will introduce some walls to break through. If you
are willing to break through them, you can win. I am certain of it. I had one client who told me
the strategy pushed him from less than average production to a minimum of 10 to 12 million in
sales every year during the crunch. He is now a part owner of a real estate office. I want that kind
of success, and I want you to have that kind of success.
Agents, you are in a marvelous industry. It has been poached on by the technology geniuses. It
need not push you out. You can play at their game. More importantly you can play in the
relationship game. This gives you the edge. The strategy brings both to you.
On this checkmate issue I have “An Attitude” which is ….
“My King is In Check”
It is not “Checkmate”….
Sorry Brad Inman.
Especially For REALTORS® Part 2
You are in the game - you can be a champion
Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning?
How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful?
How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There's
that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?
I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, rejected a great idea. I’ve taught it and I’ve watched it ignored and
rejected, what I am sharing in this strategy. All that LeBron refers to in the quote above are a part
of being committed to being a champion. I am asking you to not reject what you are being
presented. Why? Because I am convinced of the simplicity and the reality of what can be done.
There is a point system being introduced in this championship game. It is a way to measure your
activity. If you only do as the masses do you will lose each weeks game. I’ve been playing it as
most play. I’ve lost this week’s game 32 to 18 and I lost last week’s 32 to 18.5. I have been
losing because I haven’t had all of the strategies tools. They are being prepared to be available
with the launch of this book. If I keep playing the real estate sales game this way I will
absolutely stay in the masses.
What is it that you do that makes you produce in the champion or elite categories? You will have
access to a score sheet that helps you measure your day and weeks effectiveness. This will allow
you to answer the next three questions 1- What activities did I do today? 2- Which were
specifically obtaining or maintaining clients? 3- Which were either other types of activities, busy
work, or social events? You might want to track those activities on a score sheet like this:
My emphasis is that we in sales are paid to obtain and maintain clients. I claim that 80% of our
work week must be spent doing one of those two functions. I can only say that I am excited to
have for myself the tools being prepared for you. I want them too. Don’t let your natural
rejection reflex do you in.
Embrace how I define your market segments. Be clear on what category everyone in your market
fits into. Now, what activities do you do that obtain or maintain clients? What activities do you
do that do not fit that objective? I will finish this subject toward the end of the book. Hang in
there. The game is about to begin.
Especially For Loan Originators:
I have watched numerous loan officers leave the business when rates rise and some who return
again when rates fall. It’s like they never quite figure out how to consistently play in the pro’s.
Larry K Cragun
When interest rates go up, then what?
I write a chapter for loan officers because I understand you so well and know how to help you. I
have had a diverse background in your business. I started as a loan officer for a large Midwest
bank. The training was awesome. Fortunately for me it was in a refi boom.
I was also fortunate to have a mentor, a top producing real estate agent. He was one of the best
agents in the industry and being a friend was able to set with me with his clients and nurture me
through learning what I should and should not be saying in a client meeting. He was demanding
of me, had high expectations of what I would do for him, but he was patient. In a typical month
he was worth from 5 to 15 referrals. “Thanks for all you did for me Stan.”
This refi boom ended and I set out to expand my agent business. This part is pertinent to why I
write this chapter and how it fits into the How We All Win strategy. I didn’t find a way to
expand that agent business. I remained a good but not great producer for many years.
Two real estate agents asked me to teach them the mortgage business so I set up a branch office
arrangement with a mortgage company. By then I had been striving for the ultimate broker-
employer relationship. I had been recruited away from my bank by a mortgage company offering
me a much greater per file income. They then sold out to a bank. I left that bank for a large
mortgage broker. I think there were 300 loan officers at this new company. I spent two years
preparing to start my own company, allowing me to open with FHA approval. I started with the
two agents I had trained. That company grew fast to 100 loan officers. I later sold it.
This has been a great background. This varied experience and numbers of colleagues to work
with and employ provides the background for the simple message of this chapter.
The message - you can come and go during refinance booms, leave when the boom is over
through rates rising, or you can build a permanent business with agents.
This is not an easy task. Even with my friend Stan Merrill as my advocate I didn’t get it done.
One year for an entire year I canvassed every real estate office in two large Seattle suburbs. I was
consistent, visiting each office weekly. That year yielded exactly 0 new agents.
I am presenting to you in this strategy a better way. As I canvassed for agents I typically had one
of two responses. The first “I am happy with my lender’ or the second “bring me a deal so I can
see how good you are”. I thought why would I bring you a deal with no assurance you will
Even though these seemed like undesirable responses they open the key to connecting with
agents. Sure they may already have a good lender. Sure they want deals and want you to bring
them one. Sure they are tough to crack. However, they can be the source of prosperity by your
seeing what they are saying. Securing the agents attention, and ultimately their business, needs a
strategy that will deliver new business for them. Sure I was good and had competitive rates but
their response to that line wasn’t really very positive.
In many cases I had a justifiable snippy response from agents. Rates had risen and I wasn’t the
only one focused on agents. I clearly remember one angrily saying, “I get it, interest rates are
up. I’ve been plagued by a dozen of you guys today. Where were you when things were booming?
Where were you is deserved. Where were you? You were busy cashing in and the agents know
it. They resented being inundated with lenders now looking to get their business.
Certainly, as interest rates start to raise loan officers realize that they must move into the
purchase market, or make much less income, or leave. I’ve been through a few of these trends.
I’ve seen colleagues who love the business forced out of it. One year we paid over $750,000 in
commissions to our top loan officer. She was a marketing “animal”. She lived on refinances. She
is in a different business now as she hadn’t built her business by being focused on agent
So in anticipation of this rejection do you stay away from prospecting to prosper in the purchase
market? You do not. You swallow your pride. You stop thinking of yourself. You break through
the walls I describe. You embrace a strategy where we all win. This strategy gives you
something of value to offer others. It provides an interesting way to connect with agents. Instead
of rejecting you they will be interested in you.
How about embracing an approach where the opening message is one where you are offering not
asking? You will have a tool to promote them that they will appreciate. They have a problem and
if you read the previous chapter, now you know what it is. You can help them take CONTROL
of their future. I hope you grasp my message here. I know it can work if you will embrace it.
Now, let us go back to football and more about becoming champions.
Especially For The Rest Of Those In Sales And Marketing:
There is no thrill like throwing a touchdown pass.
Are you a CPA, insurance agent, or any of the others that you find in the Chamber of Commerce
or a leads club? These might include these other 98 careers: Accounting, Acupuncture,
Advertising/Marketing, Advertising Specialties, Artist, Attorney, Automotive, Banking, Bookkeeping, Business
Broker, Business Consulting, Career Counselor, Cooking, Chiropractic, Clothing, Direct Sales, Coaching,
Computer, Counseling, Computer Services, CPA, Hotels, Consultant, Contractor, Cards, Crafts & Hobbies, Day
Care, Dental, Document Management, Engraving, Eco-Consulting, Environmental Services, Fashion, Financial
Services, Fitness, Florist, Hair Care, Gifts & Incentives, Gift Baskets, Gourmet Foods, Graphic Design, Health
Insurance, Coaching, Interior Design, Accessories, Transaction Assistant, Pest Control, Home Security, Plumber,
Heating and Air, Hypnotherapy, Health and Wellness,
Heating & Cooling, Insurance, Home Inspections, Interior
Design, Jewelry, Landscaping, Life Coaching, Marketing,
Minister, Massage Therapy, Merchant Credit Cards,
Notary, Mortgages, Neurotherapy, Nutrition, Office Spaces,
Painting, Personal Training, Pet Sitting, Pest Control
Services, Photography, Physical Therapy, Pools & Hot
Tubs, Print Sales, Printing, Professional Organizer, Real
Estate, Promotional Products, Property Management,
Psychotherapy, Fitness Coach, Iron Man Coach, Computer
Training, Real Estate Appraisal, Real Estate Settlement
Services, Resume Writing, Senior and In Home Services,
Signs and Banners, Skin Care, Spa Salon, Social Media
Consulting, Tax Accounting, Tax Preparation, Title
Company, Travel, Veterinarian, Video Production,
Virtual Assistant, Web Development, Hotel, Printing,
Signs, Self-Storage, and Window Treatments.
You have a lot to offer agents and lenders. They have a lot to offer you. Real Estate is a
marketing business. You need to connect to it. The benefit of being connected to agents and
lenders is evident as these two slots are always the first to fill in leads clubs. I say this and I want
all of you to feel the joy of being a champion. In fact, I/we need you to grasp onto this strategy. It
is “How We All Win”. Reach out to the real estate world and connect with it. Follow the
principles in this strategy. Be a CORE to them, at least a deserving advocate.
We hired a CPA because Cliff, our advocate knew we were starting our own mortgage company
and shared that fact in a leads club. We later hired someone else that we met at the local
chamber. There is a reason that these two business networking models flourish. Those who
belong are there to find clients. You too can prosper from this strategy.
“If you are a quarterback, you want everything on your shoulders. You want to be the one to
make the decisions.”
On this team you get to pick your position. Well, not really. Guess what? Like it or not, you are
When you think about it, it’s really quite OK. After all who is usually the highest paid? Who
receives the fewest hits? OK, maybe the kicker on that question. You aren’t the kicker. Being in
sales you already have everything on your shoulders. Take this great strategy, call every play,
make every touchdown, be the leader of an important team, and win baby win. Leave the masses,
be a champion, join the elite.
While you are at it, why not be a great quarterback. A great quarterback is respected by his
teammates. A great quarterback is loved by the fans. Make it happen. Have fun while you
prosper, be a great quarterback.
As I have said, in his younger days Russell Wilsons father inspired him with this powerful
question, “Why not you Russ?” This is our question now; why not us? And you, have you been
looked over? I have. Are you the prototype? I’m not. Are you the unlikely champion? I am. So I
ask, why not us? Let us be champions, join the elite, and be a winner.
The Playing Field
“The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit
Being technically sound is important for our careers, being educated on how to excel is also
important. Understanding the playing field, your market, is the focus of this chapter. How to be a
championship sales person on the playing field is coming up.
As mentioned, there are seven categories which you as the quarterback can give the ball to. Each
of the seven categories is important, but the most important are the CORE and the POTENTIAL
Your community is defined as your sphere, a geographical community, or a community of
common interest. You play here to score touchdowns, or sales. It’s an important place. It can also
be your fun place. Wouldn’t it be great if it were simple to be yourself and make touchdowns, or
successful passes or running plays any time you are on the field? This is possible.
A core relationship is one where each other benefit. Usually they provide each other referrals
each month. So, analyze your sphere and decide who are your POTENTIAL CORE. Soon you
will be speaking to them. More importantly, how can you be CORE for them? My friend Carol
provides referrals regularly to three loan officers. The relationship isn’t CORE as she receives
none in return. Having relationships that are CORE is core to your success.
RULE: Treat Every Prospect As A Potential Core
By the way, the more time you spend on the field the better it is. If you are not on the field you
are not in the game. This strategy is designed to place you on the field almost 24-7 in a
comfortable way. Applying this part makes it possible to fulfill the 32 hour schedule I now
propose. It makes your effective work week expand. I will illustrate this point later with a
medical exam I had.
I propose that to be champions we must spend 32 hours a week either obtaining or maintaining
customers. Keeping this 32 hour schedule can be a daunting task with the interruptions that
occur, the need to maintain our knowledge base, and the tendency for busy work most of us face.
We now begin to define where the How We All Win strategy builds your championship year. It
provides a way for every activity, even social events, to expand your sphere and a way for you to
be effective at all times. This makes it fun, just like football is fun.
When you are not obtaining or maintaining customers it is the same as being on the bench or in the showers.
Marketing To A Community
Marketing is most effective when it is focused on a community. It could be a town, a
neighborhood, or even a topic. It is best when it is something that you are or can be passionate
about. Kathleen and I were passionate about our town, Issaquah. I am passionate about
genealogy. We have a daughter that is passionate about horses. All of these create communities.
All have people with common interests. What then is your community?
Here I ask, are you like Sam or are you like Matt? Sam told me that he would never limit his
efforts to one community; he was the agent for the entire county of three million people in the
Greater Seattle area. He said he would never limit his efforts to a single geographical area, not
even the suburban town he lived in. In contrast there is Matt. Matt focuses on a community of
around 7,000 people. Sam cannot reach the attention of three million people. Matt is known by
almost everyone he seeks to serve. He has a booth at the community events. He is found at the
local eateries, smiling and friendly. He reaches out to them in multiple ways. He lives in one of
the nicer homes in the development. Matt’s office is visible on the main street. As a result of his
focus, during the years he has lived and worked there Matt has been in almost every home in that
community. He has sold many of them more than once. Three miles north of Matt lives Bob. Bob
has the same approach as Matt, focusing on a community. As a result Bob also dominates the
sales in his community. Bob has, in a business way, owned his market for over twenty five years.
If you are going to sell your home in these communities Matt or Bob are likely your guys.
I have had many conversations with Sam, the agent that would only consider all of Seattle. It
turns out that Sam is also a big producer. It also turns out that Sam has a community. It just isn’t
a town or a neighborhood. Sam’s community is first time home buyers.
Sam is talented. He loves to make presentations to groups. He is also an actor. I have watched
him in action. He is terrific. Sam has authored training courses focused around first time home
buyers. He has them approved by multiple agencies. They send him his students. During class
they happen to find out Sam is in the business. It is no surprise that many want Sam to sell them
their first home. What a coincidence. Yes, Sam has a community. What about you? Do you focus
on some sort of community?
Sam, Matt, and Bob are real people, these are their real names. They are just an example of the
success stories that make the point that if you are doing well, you are probably focused as these
In all fairness: Sam, Bob, and Matt do make sales outside of their target communities. That is a
natural by-product of referrals, repeat business from old clients, being known, and being
successful. You will too, so don’t panic if the concept of focusing on a community is troubling to
These other categories in your community are also important.
ADVOCATES are people who like you and trust you.
ADVOCATES say good things about you, they care
about you. However, it is possible that they have
neglected sending you a referral for quite a long time.
Unless they provide you a referral at least every year
you classify them as CONNECTED, assuming they
welcome your emails.
Some ADVOCATES can be transformed into
POTENTIAL CORE or CORE. Spending time with
people who could become advocates is being on the
playing field. In the strategy we spend a part of each week with ADVOCATES.
Some POTENTIAL CORE just won’t make CORE status. OK, you want them as ADVOCATES
or CONNECTEDS. You stay in touch.
Not METS, oh those NOT METS. How many of them are there in your playing field? Are there
thousands, hundreds, dozens, hundreds of thousands? Our playbook has a strategy for these
METS yes, simply I ask how many new people did you meet last week? CONNECTED folks are
different than METS. They do more for your goals too. They can become team mates where
METS rarely do, you only met them. We define CONNECTEDS as those who you made the
effort to obtain their contact information. You have the OK to get back with them. You will be
getting back to them.
Recently I had a medical exam example. It shows how to be playing
like a champion in any situation. It makes the 32 hour a week
commitment practical. It shows how to take a MET and create a
CONNECTED. It doesn’t happen by accident, you have to make it
happen. The story: My insurance company sends out a medical tech to
perform an annual wellness interview. They take vitals, ask about my
habits, and give me a good health pep talk. I just was given my
interview for this year. The medics name is Josh. Josh was open to
small talk so I asked about him. He has been married for a year, he
and his wife both are college grads with good jobs. “Do you live close by Josh?” I do he
answered. “Do you own your own home I slipped in later?” No we are saving for one he
answered. I then went on to CONNECT with Josh. I told him about my website, that I published
local content and real estate content. I mentioned I published a regular newsletter based on that
content. He agreed to the newsletter and was interested in staying in touch. Yes, on this occasion
I CONNECTED instead of just MET.
Those in your community who you haven’t yet met, those whom you come into contact with,
these expand your sphere when you CONNECT. The more of these you add as CONNECTED to
your sphere the closer you climb to that championship and elite status.
I know of few in sales, maybe none, that can be elite without new customers, or without
prospecting. I do believe many stay in the masses this way. To make the point in my own mind I
am doing a virtual walk through of a large mortgage company I once worked in. Let’s see now,
the copy machine. There are always a few gathered around it spinning yarns. I see two offices
with 3 or 4 people talking sports. Out front, always a couple of guys chatting with the good
looking receptionists. Dave’s office, always a place to stop by. Dave waits for the phone to ring.
It rings at times, he’s been around for years. Dave is still in the masses. There is a group where
you can always drop in and discuss marketing ideas. The guy that sits next to me is constantly on
the phone to home. It’s ok, he’s a fairly new newlywed.
The point is that virtually all of these former colleagues needed more business. All of them are
capable of reaching out to the NOT METS. All of them can convert METS to CONNECTEDS.
All of these I know so well rarely CONNECT with new people.
At the same time I propose that we need to have more to offer our ADVOCATES, POTENTIAL
CORE, and CORE than discussed so far. I also propose that we need a way to meet those in our
community outside of the typical methods of marketing: flyers, newspaper advertising, post
cards, cold calling to offices, etc.
There are opportunities that many of us avoid or have difficulty taking advantage of such as The
Chamber of Commerce, meeting a stranger in a public place, or in the wealth of opportunities
that lie within our communities. This takes us back to that t-shirt.
What is there which we could implement
that would make all opportunities easy for us
to captilize on? To answer this important
question I introduce the last and most often
neglected category, “Friends in the
computer.” I abbreviate as F I TC.
How is your website doing? Do you have
one? Has it created many friends in the
computer? For most almost no business can
be credited to one’s website.
Recently the National Association of Realtors published that those who spend marketing dollars
on typical websites, Facebook ads, search engine optimizing, internet advertising, direct mail,
newspaper ads, etc. should seriously reconsider whether the return justifies the costs.
I want you to benefit from the new media. I want you to reduce your marketing expenses. I want
you to be effective. I want you to have a bunch of friends in the computer. I know how to help
you do this part, inexpensively.
Take Note: I do not believe that you or I can win without this next tool! I see games
with scores of 32 to 15 but not 33 to 32 or better. On the other hand I see you
winning week in and week out, every week with it.
There is such a thing as time out in football you know.
There is an elephant in the room! Do you remember that mentally tough chapter? It applies to
what is next. Did we mention breaking through or getting over the wall? Next is the sure fire
breakthrough. I mentioned we have to choose success and that the Seahawks became champions
because they wanted it more than the Denver Broncos. Now we really get to the meaning of
choosing success and wanting it more. I introduce the tool that makes good on every hint,
promise, or challenge that I have thus far eluded too.
Our job is to build numerous ADVOCATES and many CORE relationships. Becoming
champions requires us to connect with, not just meet, on a regular basis, those in our community
whom we have not yet met. This can be accomplished with a concentrated mission to reach out
in a “Here We All Win” approach. Embracing an approach to regularly develop CORE
relationships is a winning strategy. We can do great things by being vigilant in concentrating on
understanding and acting on the needs of those we could bring into our business life as CORE or
ADVOCATES. This can be accomplished without the internet. I want to stress, however, that
this initiative can be accelerated, multiplied, and guaranteed with our approach to this “friends in
the computer” part. There is a catch, which is this elephant thing. I have taught classes to
hundreds of REALTORS, genealogists, business owners, and sales people, teaching this tool. My
statistics are in line with all others I have seen. That statistic is that 97% of the people just won’t
do it, at least for more than a week.
Watch out for the elephant, he is real and he can stop you.
The solution, the tool that I propose which makes every component of the strategy a snap is
having your own blog even belonging to a blog network. I challenge you to open your hearts to
where I am leading you, to publish and do it by participating in our “Here We All Win” network.
Even doing your own blog, solo so to speak would have value with this strategy.
Yep, you need to publish a blog. Are you ok? Do you need CPR?
Friends in the computer is coined as people find or are sent to your
blog. They like it and keep coming back. Thus they become your
friend in the computer. This friend in the computer concept is very
real, is important, and is yours to prosper from. It is essential if you
truly want to be an elite champion.
It is your way to avoid “checkmate”.
It will be the touchdown play for all seven categories. When you answer the phone to one of
these not yet met friends the conversations are strangely strange. These people act like they are
your best friend and yet you don’t even know them. I have had this experience many times and
the best way to describe what will be your reaction is “huh”?
It’s a joyously weird experience. Teresa Boardman coined this phrase, beginning when she
It was early morning in a hotel in Reno, Nevada. We were helping a neighbor move to their new
home in Reno. While having breakfast I received a phone call from a Teresa. “Larry, I’ve just
got to talk with you. You have been my friend in the computer for months.”
I was her friend in the computer? That seemed different. I liked it. She said that she liked me and
we hadn’t even met in person. She found me online, started reading my regular posts, and
months later called me. She just called wanting to speak with me in person as she wanted to
know me better. This friend in the computer thing can be very real and is yours to prosper from
over and over if you choose. She is a good friend to have. She is a writer for Inman News, is
very outgoing, and full of good advice.
Another example was this one; “Hi Larry, this is Bob. I am flying into town next Wednesday.
Will you pick me up at the Kirkland Marriott Courtyard at 1 PM? I want to buy a home in the
Highlands and I want to see what it currently available.” I had to ask, “Bob who?” I didn’t
know Bob but he had been following my blog postings for months. He knew me. I was his friend
in the computer.
Back to this elephant issue. He has people buying into all sorts of loser attitudes:
It’s too difficult.
It takes up too much time.
Someone might read it. (my favorite)
I can’t get going until its perfect.
I am not a good writer.
No one will read it.
I am too busy.
I have nothing to write about.
I’ve been told no one gets leads off of a blog.
Another in my field told me not to do it. (A Fake Expert)
I did it once and it didn’t work.
With your blog we begin to successfully reach out to every part of your community. Here we
have a tool to overcome all that holds us back from being an elite performer. If steroids were
legal in football – this part of the strategy could be called winning with internet steroids.
Let me lead you to a strategy of elite success.
1. Have a blog with the purpose of having a way to promote others.
2. Have a blog to be found thanks to the search engines.
3. Have a blog to provide content, your passion on topics, your expertise, and your voice.
4. Have a blog to be CORE for those you are seeking CORE relationships with.
5. Have a blog to always have something interesting to discuss with anyone.
6. Have a blog about your community to send people to.
Since it is so important and a big part of the training camp chapter, let’s go into this part now, by
listing ways that publishing blog articles on your community or favorite topics helps.
It is easy to illustrate. Let me count the ways. Here are only fifteen reasons a blog can work.
1- It provides a valuable tool to discuss your strengths.
2- Talking about it with others overcomes call reluctance as you always have something
interesting to talk about.
3- It makes you a favorite contact; people want to be involved somehow.
4- You have gifts to offer, plug someone in your community. It makes for good content.
5- It is your elevator pitch. What do you do? I write a blog about…. It helps me in my
business. They usually want to know more?
6- It sets you apart at the Chamber, which you once thought to be a waste of time and
money. You are the one they need to meet.
7- It makes farming fun and productive, even in farming businesses.
8- It makes every event you attend productive, even those you go to for entertainment.
9- It gives you the benefits of being the press.
10- Even that giant corporation Google might send business to you. I will teach you how to
make this happen.
11- It makes you a better writer.
12- It makes you a better photographer.
13- It works for you while you play, sleep, and work - night and day.
14- You have a voice, publishing it is a good thing, others will love it.
15- Your time spent with this blog tool can perform double, triple, even more duty for you.
An hour spent here can count as seven, affecting all seven community categories.
Here are some important blogging facts:
Most people who start a blog dream about sky high subscriber numbers – You don’t need that.
Most people think they have to be a great and accomplished writer – You only have to be
yourself. People choose you and become your friend in the computer because of your opinion,
your voice, your experience, your passion, or your knowledge.
Most people, salespeople (or businesses) want to be written about – This opens the door for you
to use others as part of your subjects, plus makes the ADVOCATE or POTENTIAL CORE
Most people think you need to cram the internet with content – Of course the more you write
about your topic the better the search engines treat your blog. The search engines come back to
your site the minute you publish an article. The rankings improve the more often you write. You
are competing with every other site that posts on your topic. Your blogs current content is more
important than older articles on any site. The more you write on a topic the more important your
site is to the search engines.
Some people think writing an article takes all day – Oh the perfectionist, be thoughtful for sure,
but don’t be a perfectionist. If you are writing about a topic you are familiar with or passionate
about it might take an hour, sometimes less, sometimes more to write an article. The strategy
budgets four hours a week to publishing. I live by that, it works, is less imposing, and produces
Some people expect visible results the next day – being found on the search engines is usually a
long term initiative. What you write is there forever unless you delete it. So what if it takes
months to be found.
How you use it is more important. I will be talking mine up at 10 articles in pre-season. (I am up
now and did just that). I do propose that you quickly get ten articles up. After that, if it takes four
hours to write one article and if that’s all you have time for, so be it, that is good enough. One
article a week for two years is over 100 articles; yielding a pretty valuable site of content. In less
than two years without pushing hard I have almost 600 articles on my genealogy blog. People
now discovering my genealogy blog are sending me lots of friends in the computer type
responses. The longer I am publishing the more influence the blog has.
It is for the mentally tough - It’s human psychology, the more time you spend on something
without a reward the harder it is to continue with it. You counter this by being confident you
have a worthy site. That is why I push you to publish ten posts. The immediate reward you need
then comes from your being proactive. The finding you on line then becomes a bonus. Your
reward comes from using your blog to prospect, to invite others to let you help them, and as the
focus of your elevator pitch.
Some people don’t think they have a worthy topic - Not true. The most difficult challenge I have
seen comes straight from the interview with Carol. She can’t meet her goals about writing about
a town as she sells in more than one town. The majority in her sphere are not sales people. This
challenge set me back for a short time. But Carol can be effective by meeting with her sphere to
ask them what they are interested in. They can determine her focus. I am guessing Carol will find
real estate topics to be of interest as well as what is happening in Seattle. She will only know by
meeting with them to talk about it, and isn’t that what she should be doing anyway?
Some people think they have to trade links with hundreds of others – Exactly the opposite is true.
Links to your site help but don’t focus on that. Your priority at first is for you to drive visitors
and capitalize on your efforts with actions you take.
Some people think it difficult and a waste to involve social media marketing into their blog - In
most cases it’s just one click and your article is on a social media site. This is another effective
application of your blog initiative. Doing this regularly pays off big time. I am certain the reason
my traffic is already around 100 a day is because I forward my post to Twitter, Facebook,
LinkedIn, and Pinterest. This is where the hits are coming from to my new site.
Take note, social media sites can be a mental trap. It can be anti-social. This is why I suggest you
limit it to one hour a week. You can also spend too much time posting articles. Posting a few
articles week is enough, no more than going live with one a day should be the maximum. I have
written so many, way over 2000 articles and I compose fairly fast. I call it the mind dump when I
sit down. Work at what is comfortable for you, just put in those four hours. Oh, and remember
spell check before posting.
And finally and maybe the most important comment is to not worry if someone else tackles the
same subject. This is like football you know. What kind of a football game would it be if you had
Done right, your totally awesome website/blog presence will be effective in building CORE
relationships. You can have discussions and meaningful conversations with POTENTIAL
CORE. Clients find you on Google. ADVOCATES remember you. Those whom you write about
When you post you are providing information to people seeking info on your topic. Your voice,
published, will often be the solution people are seeking. Sometimes they discover that you are
the solution. Sometimes they just quietly return. My genealogy blog has averaged about 150
visitors a day. It’s not a commercial endeavor. I enjoy comments such as the recent one that said
“just saddled down with your blog and love it”. She then went on to ask a question.
I am not a great blog writer. I don’t need to be, I am an expert on my topic and even more
relevant, I am passionate about it.
The Game Plan
“In every aspect of your life, have a game plan, and then do your best to achieve it.”
Marketing is too important to be left up to the Marketing Department. It’s up to you to make it
The Game Plan Summary:
Identify your community:
Place all your contacts in it into one of the seven categories
o Market to build in each category weekly
o Define the NOT MET market and let them know about your website
Get the Word Out.
o Start meeting with people with your new tools.
o Get permission from those in your sphere who are not likely to become CORE to
occasionally contact them with your newsletter.
Be an advocate for others:
o Focus on developing CORE both win relationships. First one, then five, then
o Be about more than what you sell.
o Have a captivating elevator pitch.
Always win for consumers:
o Be recommended – stay recommended
o Provide visible content – be a friend in the computer
Plan tomorrow today; plan next week this week
Keep Score: Daily Score, Weekly Winner, and Annual Standings.
Have a clear understanding of your community. Mix with it. Be involved. Know your banker.
Stop using the drive through at the bank. Participate in community events.
Some of you were invited to read this book by someone who considered you to be an
ADVOCATE, CORE, or POTENTIAL CORE to each other’s business success. They wanted to
explore that with you. They most likely told you that they were going to implement a strategy
they want you to consider. They may have also asked for an hour or so of your time to interview
This interview would be to determine how to develop a trusted relationship, one that is mutually
beneficial, to help each other’s success. The strategy is a path to that destination. Understanding
the strategy in this book is an essential foundation for your next meeting.
There are two applications: 1- to those whom you will build strong both win relationships with
that will provide you an ongoing supply of referrals and 2- the consumer.
Look to create How We All Win relationships from all you connect with. Think of it, if you
allow us, or your POTENTIAL CORE to assist you in moving past those little things that stop
you, then you use your knowledge to assist others in the same endeavor, you are teaching and
helping in a way that can cement your value to others.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”
Do you want to break through all walls of resistance? This is the way.
Get ready, for training camp you will need to make a decision. No decision is a decision. Ideally
training camp should last no longer than a week.
Like all training camps our training camp will exercise you. You will add some new muscle. You
will work out the kinks. You will practice parts of the playbook. You will meet some new
teammates. You will work with the trainers and coaches. Your skill level in training camp will
have some improvements to make. This is one of the purposes of training camp. Albeit
hypothetical, it’s also real.
Training camp is a time for evaluations. Where is your production really? Are you in the masses,
champion level, or the elite? Have you decided to step it up a level? Training camp isn’t for
sissies, it’s time to choose. It’s time to be brave and mentally tough.
First a mandatory exercise: Organize your entire database (sphere) with the following categories:
MET (those you don’t have permission to email), CONNECTEDS (those you do),
ADVOCATES (those you believe say nice things about you but not too referral driven),
POTENTIAL CORE (those who have given you a referral in the past year or those you believe it
is likely you could develop a CORE relationship with, and CORE (those who give you referrals
each month, you lucky person you).
You will touch base with them regularly. Identify which will receive your newsletters monthly,
quarterly, and semi-annually. Your blog articles will be your content.
Pick five POTENTIALCORE: Pick the five you think are most likely to want to participate.
Pick one: Pick your best option and call for an appointment. Follow the pattern I set out in the
Carol interview. Make and keep that appointment. Ponder your results and follow up.
Create a short elevator pitch and practice so it flows naturally in any sudden occasion. As an
example, my elevator pitch goes something like this: (Instead of it being about me or what I do,
it’s about them.)
I can strike up a conversation about them, what they do. When they ask what I do my answer is
“I write a blog about Salt Lake City and real estate. It helps my real estate practice.” They almost
always reciprocate. You are not pushing your career. The blog is a novel idea for a discussion.
You can elaborate bringing a latest topic into the conversation. You could be investigating if
their business or what they do is a worthy topic for an article. I rarely find those whom this does
not pique some sort of additional conversation with. The ease of creating a meaningful
conversation will become mind boggling. You are interesting. This is an easy way to
CONNECT. In most cases you have the chance to exchange business cards and leave with an
understanding you will be getting back to them. In some cases you will just add them to your
email list. These are examples of taking someone not met straight to CONNECTED, possible an
ADVOCATE. I have experienced having people go from NOT MET to CORE in only a few
Decide from your blog options, which are:
Option 1: Don’t participate.
Option 2: Do a website not a blog. Many already have a website. The problem is websites
aren’t conducive to regular updates by non techies. They also have inferior search engine
benefits. It does make sense to link your blog to your website, an easy process.
Option 3: Publish your own blog on a free hosting service. This option has the benefit of no
cost. It lacks the benefits of a network. Your templates are usually bare bones, and the
providers often bug you to death trying to upgrade you.
Option 4: Publish your own blog on a paid hosting service. The advantage of this option over
free is in two areas: 1- the ability for you to advertise is not blocked or limited. 2- You have
more options regarding your template. (Called themes) The free versions are somewhat
limited – especially if you choose WordPress.
Option 5: Post as a co-author with others. For many years I was against team blogs. After all,
who is the author, who earns the friends in the computer? I have now concluded there are
definitely situations where it is a good option.
Option 6: Be a part of our network. We have sought to make this option so appealing it’s a no
brainer. You can explore this at http://HereWeAllWin.Com/
Russell Wilson won the starting job as a rookie. At first it wasn’t obvious just how good he or
the Seahawks would be under his leadership. The coaching staff started the season of with simple
plays, giving him a chance to develop. That applies to you too. I am going to give you our
playbook regarding the blog. However, you are to begin the season with the basics:
Pick a relevant, not a cutesy, title to your blog. Make it relevant to your major topic. (You
can change this at any time) My title: “Salt Lake City and Real Estate” should clearly
define for visitors and the search engines what my site is about.
There is a section in settings for the text below the title: The search engines use this and
the title as a part of their deciding how to deliver your blog in searches. Enter a relevant
sentence. It is called a tagline. My tag line, “A blog about Salt Lake City, the Avenues,
Condominiums and Real Estate reinforce my blogs focus to visitors and also to the
search engines. This may seem somewhat repetitive. This is for the search engines and is
Purchase your own domain name and forward it to your blog. Write your first article. I
know, someone might read it. I’ve heard that one a number of times. Are you in? Are you
really in? Then just do it. My URL that is forwarded is http://ItsGreatInSaltLake.com/
The last issue is if you join our network you will need to choose your name that is your
network URL. Mine is http://larrykcragun.HereWeAllWin.Com/. Like email you may
have to pick an alternate derivate if your name is already taken.
In basic training you need to know how to title, tag, and categorize your blog for search
engine success. That is in the training section. It’s simple but important.
Of course there is more you will learn about:
How to use your blog to create and publish a newsletter.
How to use your blog as a social media tool.
How to add videos to an article.
Search engine tricks and strategy.
When to or not to, and how to include something another has published.
How many words should a blog article have to be recognized by the search engines?
Also in training camp: (We discuss these and others in the training section of
Hire a coach: enough already. Training camp without a coach is like a Chocolate milk
shake without the chocolate – or the milk. Check out our website for tips and helps.
Visit the training site on our network. There is a lot there already and regular helps are to
be added regularly. http://training.HereWeAllWin.com
Have or Open up accounts with the following: Twitter, Facebook, A Facebook page,
LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others if you choose.
Write down ten to twenty categories or topics. Knowing the topics first makes it easier to
get past the “what shall I write about brick wall”. In my case I will have two blogs; my
current genealogy blog and my new one.
I plan on categories as follows: (It will be modified as I go) Condominiums, Events, Historic
homes, Temple Square, Genealogy, Real Estate Laws, Staging your home, Marketing Homes,
Local Merchants I ADVOCATE, Marketplace, The Avenues, Real Estate Statistics, Featured
homes, Day Trips, Near Downtown, mortgage tips, and each condo development will be a
category. You can visit my site to see what is current. Too many categories can cause a site to
Get a jump start. Write ten articles on ten different topics. Doing this in training camp week
accomplishes so many things. I have mentioned it makes the site look mature, but it also matures
you. With this many you will have mastered so much that you might be worried about. You
won’t be able to hold yourself back from exploring other parts of your blog. You might be like
me, in the first two weeks I posted about 40 articles on a variety of subjects. It is all so simple,
and in this time you will discover some fun options. Put photos in most or all of your articles.
Don’t use bad photos. Don’t pirate other people’s photos. You will learn to take good photos for
your blog. The newer technology makes quality photos easier. Your being out and about town
will expose you to photographical events, help you make more CONNECTIONS and help you
meet POTENTIAL CORE.
Next is an important message:
In the past we would blog to be found on page one of search engine searches in our fields. There
are some definite procedures that we can implement. I call them basic rules for successful search
engine placement. Some of these search results are pretty valuable and as you might guess the
big boys have taken over. By the big boys I mean paid search and the large companies willing to
pay for placement on page one.
For example, in the plan A illustration, a Google search today for “Salt Lake City Real Estate”
delivers paid advertisement for every result that is on page one. Our approach is to not have you
worry about this paid option. Even when we could follow simple rules and in a few months
arrive on page 1 this wasn’t the most important accomplishment. Plan B worked a few years ago
and will work today, which is to be found on all other searches relating to your topic or
community. Not only is there less interest by the paying advertisers for these types of searches,
the numbers of website you are competing against drops significantly. Where a real estate term
might have 34,000,000 results for the search engines to select from the Salt Lake Terrace Falls
Condos has 250,000. This may still seem like a lot, but we teach how to be selected in a high
priority. You can consistently beat other sites when there are 250,000 competing against you.
The search engines give a high priority to a blog, they measure how often you post, how recently
you have posted, they consider the name of your website; does it match your title, your article
title, the tag, the category you give it, and other simple rules. It becomes a deliberate process, not
time consuming, to outscore the competition when it comes to search engine results.
This brings me to another point - your reach includes people from out of your area. Viewers may
be looking to move to your market and are searching all types of topics. These people hit your
site from research they are doing. An actual example is my genealogy blog. I am on page one for
the various family names I write about. Yesterday this blog had 192 page views and 142 came
from Google searches on some topic I had written about.
Even more importantly would be what I could call plan C - write about your market, use the
content in your newsletters, send people there on any advertising you do, and send people to your
blog when meeting them. This you have much more control over. To me and my marketing plan
I will rely totally on my ability to use the blog to reach out to others, to make connections, to
build relationships. The search engine results, they are all bonus.
Finally in this training camp you are to find 5 METS with the objective of turning them into
CONNECTEDS. Do it with everyone you meet, but this week you are to meet five new people
and CONNECT with them. You do this exercise to be effective, to build your sphere, and to
make every introduction important. Be conscious of the difference and the ease of moving a met
to CONNECTED. This exercise will bring you excitement as you see how successful you can
A great way to keep score is next.
Measure what hours you spend obtaining and maintaining clients: social when you connect with
someone, meet anyone anywhere and connect, meet with potential core, core, and advocates, or
work with prospects in any way.
Important but not worthy of earning points: active but not obtaining or maintain, busy work,
reading email, planning, and of course social or meetings where you don’t connect with new
potential core or advocates.
Blogging has a limit of 4 points per week. You can do more, but only 4 help you win.
You earn .25 points for any conversation that is with prospects, advocates or potential core, and
more if the conversation is longer. One hour is worth one point. If you attend a chamber type
meeting and connect with someone new you earn points for the hours in attendance and an
additional point for every new connection.