When it comes to working in commercial real estate sales and leasing, your cold call and prospecting plan is fundamental and essential to creating your success in the industry. No matter how long you have been in the market or the industry, the prospecting process should never be overlooked or stopped; the moment you do that, the pressures of the market and the economy take over. You then start to lose business.
If you want more listings and better missions, you must have a prospecting plan and make it a key part of your daily diary. In itself this is a discipline that requires personal focus. It is not something your office or boss can do; it is up to you. Sales professionals know that and do what is required.
So what does a good prospecting plan look like? This model works well:
- Every night before the next working day, create a list of 40 new businesses or property owners to call the next day
- Identify the larger businesses in the local area and speak to the proprietors about their property needs.
- Make your prospecting time commitment for at least 2 or 3 hours each day. Preferably make it at the same time so it becomes a habit for you.
- Keep in touch with prospects you have spoken to before. You want to be building a good level of trust so they will know exactly who you are and how to contact you when the time comes. You never know when their next property need will arise.
- A good reason to call businesses and property owners will be the other properties that you have listed for sale or lease in the same area.
- Use every successful sale or lease as another reason to make a success call on other local businesses.
- Whilst you can use a call script it is better to use a series of dot points as your guide. The reason for this is that your call conversation must be natural and comfortable. A call script is not usually in the words that you would use in conversation.
- Record your efforts and results in a simple database. That will become the foundation of your growth of market share. A database is a personal tool of top sales people in the industry.
- In addition to cold calling, use direct mail with a follow-up phone call for those hard to reach people or business leaders. Always personalize the letter and sign it personally in blue ink or pen (that shows your personal commitment to handling the correspondence yourself).
- One main way to improve your call conversions to appointments is to practice what you say and do in the call. Practice will help you with so many variations of call objections and bounces that the prospect can give you.
When you make lots of prospecting calls (and stick to the process) you will open up your market and listing opportunity significantly. The main reason to make the prospecting calls is to find out if the prospect has a need or an issue with property. You are the local professional to help; if they have no need at this time, then stay in touch with them. If they do not want to talk to you today, then that is fine; just see if they do not mind taking your call later on in the year. A 90 day call cycle is a productive contact process to build new business.