What Are My GateOpeners?

GateOpeners are a classification that our clients use before they use us.

 

Think of your best client.

The client who has been the most profitable and the most enjoyable to work with.

What was going on for them just before they needed you originally? How did they find you?

 

Describe your first interaction, was it in person? phone? email?

Referral trigger for the week of June 4
Conversation led this week by the Sandy Springs Team

Comment below  to add answer and update your Member Profile page.

23 Responses to What Are My GateOpeners?
  1. Angela Theodoridis
    June 4, 2012 | 8:46 am

    The best client of mine was introduced by a good friend of mine. They were looking for a real estate attorney’s office that would not over-charge their buyers and would offer good customer service. After one discussion over lunch, they chose to use my firm. They were pleased with their first experience and have continued to use our firm ever since. Word of mouth led me to a wonderful gate opener.

  2. Randy Garrett
    June 4, 2012 | 8:55 am

    My most enjoyable clients that i’ve worked with are usually those that are referred to me by my “best” gateopeners within the real estate agent sphere. These specific agents are those whom I’ve had the opportunity to have worked with in the past and thus established a complementing working relationship; not just any agent. (The agent and i have an understanding of each other, our expectations for the client, constant communication throughout the timelines, etc.. We understand adn share a common goal in rtespects to the client.)
    Today’s mortgage industry presents more challenges than we’ve ever seen in its history with that of the govt regulations, the real estate values, record foreclosures & short-sales, tightened underwriting, further bank-specific underwriting requirements, etc.. In this uniquie environment, when the real estate agent & the mortgage originator are working in “lock-step” from the very beginning and have a relationship of doing so (& have shared & communicated expectations) with the client, it brings enormous value to the transaction and the client in that the contractual contingencies, timelines, etc., are planned and contracted adequately, communications are performed routinely thus resulting in smooth transactions. The client is much happier because everyone on “their team” is working together like a well oiled machine as opposes to the borrower managing an independent mortgage process & the agent not having an understanding what to expect from an unfamiliar lender, etc..
    The client normally is in the midst of figuring out all that they have to do and arrange on their part in buying a home & often time are talking w/ mortgage banks, online vendors, etc., and can be confused, stressed. They find me via conversation of their questions with their real estate agent, my gateopener. My best gateopeners will “sell me” as part of the real estate team in ensuring the transaction will be done, smoothly, accurately & with no surprises – as we all work in lock-step.
    The first conversation is generally via phone that starts with… “my real estate agent referred me to you and said that you will take care of me, explain everything, and work together in meeting my closing date”. There is no happier client when they have a team effort feeling working on their behalf.

  3. Morgan Luddeke
    June 4, 2012 | 9:00 am

    One of my best clients was referred to me through a Gate Opener (a financial advisor). He and his wife were working with their financial advisor mainly on their retirement goals and were referred to me because they did not have any estate planning documents in place (even though they had two young children). Our first interaction was via phone and after about 30 minutes they realized just how important a Will (and other documents) would be to their overall planning goals. We then set up an in-person meeting to go over all they were trying to accomplish and I walked them through their options. Great Gate Openers for me are financial advisors and life insurance agents.

  4. Hamza Davis
    June 4, 2012 | 9:05 am

    One of my clients that has been the most profitable and enjoyable to work with is a firm that was already working with another provider in the online marketing space.

    They were in an existing contract that they could not get out of and they were unhappy with the results in search engine optimization and social media marketing that they were getting.

    They found out about Agile Marketing Solutions through a third-generation Gate Opener referral of someone that I had met while doing community service for the Big Brothers Big Sisters.

    Our first interaction was contacting me through a combination of an e-mail and follow-up phone call within 10 min. of each other. They were really serious about improving their online presence!

    That was over three years ago and they like the fact that we keep them abreast of the constant and many changes in the online landscape and more importantly increasing sales.

  5. Mark Magee
    June 4, 2012 | 9:51 am

    One of my best clients was referred to me by a Banker, who is also a friend of mine. He works with many small businesses and he sent me an email letting me know about a small business owner who was looking for Insurance. I called the owner and we met later that week. After talking with him about his needs, he ended up buying Life, Disability and Long Term Care policies from me and also referred me to another business owner friend of his. My best gate openers are Bankers and CPA’s as they see a need for their clients and are already trusted by their clients when they give referrals.

  6. Carole Loomis
    June 4, 2012 | 9:55 am

    I sought out a good tailor since I wanted to be able to refer one to my clients – even the most well-made clothes need hemming or adjustments every now and again. It turns out that I am a GateOpener for the tailor and she for me. She told one of her clients about me since she was impressed with our workmanship – she knew he would be, too. So, the client called me and I called him right back and arranged for a meeting.
    Now he is one of my best clients. He orders clothing from me and has the tailor hem his trousers, and add button holes to the sleeves on his suit coats. It’s a nicely symbiotic relationship.

  7. Debra Donaldson Scott
    June 4, 2012 | 10:37 am

    I learned years ago to stay in touch with people I enjoyed working with. One of my best clients was introduced to me by an attorney who once had been opposing counsel on a case I worked on as a paralegal. I frequently spoke with the attorney during the course of litigation and we developed mutual admiration by humor to defuse stress and tension. I’ve known this attorney for almost 20 years and occasionally will get a call asking my “permission” to refer his clients once they settled a case. Although my initial introduction to Frank was adversial, he has turned out to be a wondeful advocate for me and my most profitable clients have come as direct referrals from him. We have been to each other’s weddings and parties. We have developed trust and good faith by respecting each other’s skills as previous competitors. He trusts that I will perform due diligence to provide his clients with sound advice, which increases his value to them. We genuinely like each other and want to help each other do the best possible for our mutual clients. Cross referrals for us are great fun and the opportunity to catch up personally.

  8. Sheri Dye
    June 4, 2012 | 11:00 am

    My best cliet is someone I used to fly with when I was a Flight Attendant. When I first spoke with them in person about whole food nutirtion & Juice Plus their response was “I have a lot of vitamins to finish before starting anything new”. OK I respect that, but asked if they would listen to a CD in the car on the drive home from airport and if I could call them the next day.

    Well indeed they listened to the CD & being a biology major they totally understood the importance of everything working together in the body VS something isolated the body doesn’t recognize. They did not wait for me to call them but called me that very same day & said “sign me up, I need Juice Plus”! “Now I know these vitamins are not protecting me the way food can, this is a no brainer”. They have a family history or heart disease & cancer.

    That was almost 9 years ago. This person referred many others to me for about a year and then decided to join me in the business. Flight crews like most people can not eat the amount of fresh produce they need everyday & by just asking a few simple questions my now business partner realized what a gift they were giving people, the gift of health & vitality!

    Great GateOpeners for me are hair dressers, chiropractors, massage therapist, trainers, dentist & hygienist.

  9. Reid Horne
    June 4, 2012 | 11:17 am

    My best clients are generally referred to me by the realtor and interior designer in my group. A recent referral from our realtor, Lisa, was a client that was renovating their basement, which she used as her photo studio. I provided a bid for the work, but she wound up awarding the work to a competing contractor. Lo and behold, that contractor walked out on her after he had removed a load bearing wall, a very inopportune time. The client asked me to come back, and I took over the project and completed it on her original schedule. The client was happy, and I was glad to be of service.

  10. Rick Daigle
    June 4, 2012 | 11:48 am

    My best client is a paint manufacturer I have talked about at Powercore for almost 3 years. When I met them they were doing annual sales of about $2M but they were anticipating pretty rapid growth based on a unique new DIY product. The moment I saw the product I know it would be a big hit. Anyway, they had no systems in place to track the cost of raw materials through to the finished goods. I was introduced by a good friend and GateOpener to discuss whether QB could be used as the tool to help. In the first meeting I was able to quickly show that their process was too complicated for QB’s abilities and recommended we look at Fishbowl Inventory. A few days later I was able to demo Fishbowl and show that it would work using specific examples of their products. I have been working on an ongoing basis with this client ever since. They will do almost $50M this year in sales and they expect to sell the business.

  11. Paige Hudgins
    June 4, 2012 | 12:36 pm

    My current best client was an introduction through an old college roommate. Her husband is the CFO of a retirement community and they were looking for an in-house designer with a certain set of skills…flexible hours, willing to do research on the most current technology in health care, but able to design and decorate, too, plus very budget conscience. Her husband connected me in a 3 way email with the CEO, we arranged a meeting, and our working relationship has been growing ever since.

  12. Stephen Cohen
    June 4, 2012 | 12:59 pm

    My best clients are companies that use food to either entertain third party groups ( clients of my client ) or create an incentive toward a stated goal ( congrats on meeting a sales goal, one quarter with out any accidents, a CPA finishing April 15th, , or introducing the new 401 program to employees). Often times, such as Parker Young Construction, the client allows me to plan the whole menu. This allows us to showcase the right food for the unique client which leads to more referrals from participants in the buffet. This is why we have a philosophy that no job is to small.
    Over the years, I have not had great success with true GateOpeners. What has worked is participants in our catering buffet taking us to other companies. Just as the case of a pharmaceutical rep, the payer of the event often does not care where the food comes from as long as the guest recommend the caterer and the service meets every ones expectations.

  13. Dr. Hailey Heard
    June 4, 2012 | 1:23 pm

    My best client is a person who had many chiropractors in the past and was never quite satisfied with her results. She knew there was something to chiropractic, but she always hoped to find more. I met her because she was babysitting my cousin at a chiropractic seminar that we attended. We started chatting and immediately hit it off.

    I was running a special promotion at the time, so she decided to check out my office. Immediately following her first adjustment, she stated that no one had ever adjusted her that way before — I used an extremely gentle technique. For the first time, after years of being adjusted, she got off the chiropractic table without any pain or discomfort. After about 6 months of care, her health has transformed completely.

    Now, she gets adjusted at least once a week and continuously tells everyone she meets that I’m the best chiropractor in Atlanta! Whenever her parents and friends visit from out of town, she has me adjust them within hours of getting off the plane.

  14. Eric Jensen
    June 4, 2012 | 1:25 pm

    Because I am a personal injury trial lawyer my clients are typically dealing with a horrible, stressful, and painful event in their lives just before contacting me. One client that comes to mind was a referral from an acquaintance I saw at a christmas party. I told the person what I focused my practice on, and he said “my sister’s best friend just got run over by a valet and she’s in the hospital with a broken leg.” He got me in touch with her by phone and she was very skeptical about hiring an injury lawyer. I assured her that fighting with the valet company and its insurance company was nothing she should do on her own. She eventually agreed, and hired me to assist her with the case. We ended up convincing the insurance company for the valet to pay a substantial six figure sum to settle her case, and I didn’t even have to file suit. She was a great client; upset about the fact that she was injured by the valet, but determined to get on with her life and make the best of the situation.

  15. Terisha Tatter
    June 4, 2012 | 2:14 pm

    My best client is Becky, a CPA. I met her when I used to do on site chair massage.My company still does that I just have other Massage Therapists that actually provide the work. She complained of headaches, and neck and shoulder pain which she felt was from working long hours in front of her computer. Her boss asked her why she goes to see me and she said “because nothing makes me feel 15 years younger!” what a compliment. So then her boss starting coming to see me and then his wife. Then Becky told her neighbors, and friends, golf partners and anyone else that she would run across that was suffering with pain touting what I had done for her. Becky still refers people, although she doesn’t see me for massage much anymore because the Pilates she takes from me twice a week has actually changed her posture creating more lasting results. I am so blessed to have met her, not only for business, but because she is an absolute joy to work with! I am honored to be a part of her continued vitality and pain free plan!

  16. Sarah Asher
    June 4, 2012 | 2:43 pm

    A few months ago, I met the realtor for a large mortgage company. He was really upset because they recently had a large rate increase. They wanted new insurance for the properties they actually owned. I was able to offer them better coverage at a better price. They saved a bunch of money, but more importantly, I took care of them through the process and advised them on the best coverage for each property. I Because of the rapport I have built and confidence they now have in me, they recommend me to all their clients as well.

  17. Margie Eden
    June 4, 2012 | 3:12 pm

    My best client is my CPA., who is the wife of a business friend. When I started my business I called her to see if she was interested, and she wasn’t. When I went to see her in March, (about 9 months after joining my business) she could not believe how different and great my skin looked. She immediately asked to talk about my products. She purchased the top kit for consultants, gave products to her children and grandchildren, and remains a very good client.
    When prospective clients can see the difference my products actually make…they rarely don’t buy. Great GateOpeners for me aside from product users, are stay at home moms, sucessful business women…. especially entreprenuers who understand the benefits of direct marketing, people in the makeup industry.

  18. Kristy Clabaugh
    June 4, 2012 | 3:23 pm

    Yes, GateOpeners are a classification that our clients use before they use us. For example, one of my latest client acquisitions originated from a business attorney. The client had recently incorporated a few new partnerships and had many questions relating to the tax treatment of these newly established entities. The business attorney put his client in touch with me. I was happy to provide answers for his client. Less than 2 months later, the client contacted my firm to take over the tax planning and return filings for their business.

  19. Wesley Anderson, DCH
    June 4, 2012 | 3:45 pm

    Mary The Client was referred to me by her MD at Piedmont Hospital because she had the beginnings of emphysema. She loved to smoke, and resented having to stop, but she wanted to see her great granddaughter be born. Mary was afraid that the smoking would kill her before the great granddaughter came along. As I gathered information, Mary told me in no uncertain terms that smoking was something that no one could take away from her. So, I said, “There are some people who would be willing to die for their beliefs. Would you be willing to die for that one?”

    Mary replied, “No!” in a scared tone of voice. As she did I touched her hand lightly, which associated a touch on that spot with fear of death from smoking. I touched Mary there every time I mentioned smoking, cigarettes, or nicotine after that.

    Mary did live long enough to see her great granddaughter born, and as a nonsmoker at that.

    Mary was one of my best clients because she made me get creative in resolving her stubborn belief that “Smoking was something that no one could take away from her”

  20. Morgan Hamilton
    June 4, 2012 | 4:54 pm

    One of my best and most enjoyable clients I have worked with is a doctors office. I found and was connected with them through a compliance and HR consultant. This consultant and I were able to go in and educate the employer and employees on Payroll Laws and Regulations along with her HR and Patient related Regulations and Guidelines. Acting as a team gave the client a comfort level that I don’t know would have been there from just a cold call sale.

  21. Lisa Wrenn
    June 4, 2012 | 8:06 pm

    My favorite GateOpener is Jennifer who was referred to me by a very well connected person in my geographic area. Jennifer both bought and sold a home with me but she has been a great source of referrals to people who have also referred me. She is not in the typical GateOpener classification but she is the leader of every group she associates with, and is an organizer of people. I regularly keep her informed of what is going on in her area, real estate wise and she always keeps me top of mind.

  22. Diana Crawford
    June 5, 2012 | 10:12 am

    My best client is a wholesale distributor and they were referred to me by their IT guy. They were having challenges with their inventory costs being accurate in QuickBooks. Often, IT providers are asked software questions that are outside of the nuts and bolts of how computers and software work. This is a great time for them to respond that that’s a software question, and make the introduction. I am always happy to answer questions over a first phone call. Then I like to meet in person. I like to understand a client’s business, it helps me, help them.

  23. Steve Cannon
    June 6, 2012 | 3:05 pm

    STICKER SHOCK is the term used for someone who sees that perfect red sports car polished up and sitting in the prime location in a dealership. As they walk towards it they imagine cruising with the top down on the winding roads above the Pacific Ocean. Their favorite companion next to them, on their way to the a warm little cabin with a roaring fire and a bottle of bubbly. About this time they have reached the car and glance at the price. That look on their face is STICKER SHOCK. I imagine this face when I get a call from someone who has just opened their annual Health Insurance Renewal. It is the exact match to the shock in their voice. At this moment they think they need me to lower their price. And many times I can. But what they will find in working with me over the next 60 days is there is the balancing act of keeping the necessary and quality options available to them while cutting out the fluff. And that takes knowledge, negotiation, and careful planning to accomplish.

    Steve Cannon
    What can your Health Insurance do for you?
    404-575-1076

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