Book Review – 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication

When I first saw Michael J. Maher’s book, 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication, I thought it would be about communication. The topic was supposed to be about referrals, so I gave it a chance after hearing about it from several colleagues. Maher is known as “North America’s Most Referred Real Estate Professional.” His book outlines his philosophy of doing business that got him to that point.

The principles are shared in the framework of a fictional story. I’m not a big fan of fiction for business books. Things always work out just right and success is a straight line in a fictional story. In business that is never true. There are ups and downs, setbacks, and follow up that takes months instead of moments. However, the principles in the book are solid and will work for more than just real estate professionals.

7L: The Seven Levels of Communication7L: The Seven Levels of Communication

7L: The Seven Levels of Communication outlines these levels in a pyramid, going from the bottom level of advertising up to the top, most high touch of one on one meetings. He suggests focusing your efforts on the top of the pyramid: handwritten notes, phone calls, events & seminars, and one on one meetings. Doing so will help develop a relationship of trust with people so that they refer you more often. He says, “. . . you need 80% of your work time to be on the phone or in front of people.”

The Process

The process goes something like this. You meet or are introduced to someone. You schedule a 1-1 meeting with them at a restaurant. (Choose a nice restaurant as your home base and stack your meetings so you are there all day instead of running all over town to meet with people.) As you meet with people in your business, he offers and acronym to help you know what type of questions to ask to get to know them. F.R.O.G. stands for Family, Recreation, Occupation and Goals. As you get to know them, find an opportunity to help them with something they need.

Ask if they have someone in your industry that is their “go-to” person. If they don’t, tell them you would like to become that “go-to” person. Educate them about what you do with a brochure that outlines how you help others. End every 1-1 meeting by asking the other person how you can help them and then finding something you can do for them by the end of the day.

You then follow up with that person over the next seven weeks starting with a hand written note and including at least 4 phone calls in the process. As you connect with people, you never ask for a referral. Asking for a referral can intimidate others. Instead ask people to introduce you to others that they know and trust.

7L: The Seven Levels of CommunicationMore Strategies

Some other recommended strategies from the book include making regular phone calls, creating written success stories to use as marketing materials, time blocking your days for more productivity, and creating a morning routine.

7L: The Seven Levels of Communication contains powerful strategies for building relationships in business that lead to more referrals. The story itself feels a little contrived, complete with happy endings, but the principles are solid. Check out the book here.


  1. I enjoyed your review! Probably worth my read. Thanks. Ola

Share Your Thoughts