Everyone secretly wishes that they were a sales grandmaster. Who wouldn’t want to have the silver-tongued gift of persuasion? What most people don’t realize is that, behind all of the closed deals and sales trophies are hours and hours of prospecting. Prospecting is the foundation upon which a successful sales campaign stands, and is the most important aspect of your commercial real estate business. With this understanding, let’s examine these prospecting tips and why it’s important to your commercial real estate business.
Let’s get a clear understanding of what prospecting is. Simply put, prospecting is the act of creating opportunities for a sale. That sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, prospecting is usually an afterthought. An alarming amount of commercial real estate brokers only prospect whenever they have a few spare minutes, or after they’ve completely exhausted their existing pipeline. Inversely, top performers have understood that consistent commercial real estate prospecting is the most reliable path to increased sales.
Prospecting is typically the first time introducing yourself to a prospective client. This prospecting tip is especially powerful because it can determine your relationship with a client from the outset. You have firsthand experience with a potential client and you can adapt your approach to suit.
Additionally, prospecting is a potential client’s opportunity to speak to you personally. You have the ability to present your best self and leave a positive impression with prospects. According to the Harvard Study of Communications, it takes meeting a person seven more times to change that first impression that you made on them. Those with any commercial real estate experience know that you probably won’t get seven more chances to change a bad first impression.
The Numbers Game
Prospecting is refined through persistence. An experienced closer understands that sales usually boils down to who will give up first. Unfortunately, for the most part, the broker will give up first. A study from Dartnell Corp showed that 48% of salespeople quit after the first contact. 90% will quit after the fourth contact. Interestingly enough, 80% of sales are made after the fifth contact. This means that 10% of people are closing 80% of the deals.
I know this may be a jumble of math and percentages, but my point can easily be summed up. Prospecting puts you in the the relentless, persistent state of mind that is required to chase down sales. Brokers who don’t prospect may get lucky, but they’re not consistent. The mindset of prospecting also reduces the pressure of having to sell on the first call. If you know you’ll be reaching out several more times, you have the freedom to establish rapport and build trust before going for the close.
The last thing that makes prospecting so important is the invaluable experience that is gained from reaching out to hundreds of people. No matter how prepared you may feel, there will always be a scenario that you couldn’t have imagined. This scenario will appear while you’re prospecting. A consistent practice of prospecting and reaching out to new people allows you to get a feel for changes in a community. This information can help you revise or reinvent your strategies to better fit your client base.
Experience allows you to grow your knowledge and understanding of your services and their value to your clients. Experience projects itself as expertise. As we’ve all experienced in our own lives, the foremost expert in any given field is always in the highest demand. Thus, prospecting in commercial real estate should be of utmost importance for any broker striving for success. Calluses are only made one way: through repetition and persistence. Instill a culture of disciplined prospecting and your clients will eventually thank you for it.
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