Success in commercial real estate requires doing what most people aren’t willing to do.
After all, the top 10 per cent are only doing what the other 90 per cent aren’t!
More often than not, the things you need to do to be amongst the best are not that difficult.
It’s just about developing the right habits (and keeping them).
Easier said than done? Perhaps, but you’re far more likely to stick at it when you know what it is and why it matters.
With that in mind, here are three prospecting principles that the best in the business have all adhered to on their way to the top.
Make prospecting a non-negotiable daily activity. The best way I know to make this happen is to schedule your prospecting.
Yes, that means putting it in your calendar as a recurring event. I don’t know about you, but things that are scheduled in my calendar are more likely to get done.
In fact, even when deals or other priorities need to take precedence, having prospecting in your calendar means you can reschedule it – the same as you would with any other appointment you need to keep.
It’s ok to do it later that day. I’ll even allow doing double the next day to make up for what you missed. Just make sure your commitment to consistent prospecting is rock solid.
Don’t give up trying to reach someone if you don’t immediately make contact. One phone call or one email does not mean an opportunity has been effectively prospected.
You need to be persistent; you must be willing to follow up. Being willing to chase hard-to-reach people will set you apart from the pack.
Just make sure you space out your attempts to reach them – be persistent, not a pest – and have a compelling reason why you’re trying to connect with them.
This just means having something worth saying when you finally get to speak to them.
Just how persistent should you be? I think 10 touch points on five occasions over three weeks is reasonable. Each occasion should count as at least two touch points.
For example, leave a voicemail and send an email or a live phone message and a LinkedIn request. If you don’t reach them after that, reclassify them as a ‘not now’ prospect and try again in three months.
Be willing to directly approach your ideal future clients – don’t sit back and hope they will find you.
Some people believe in so-called silent prospecting; it’s silent because it doesn’t involve actually speaking to anyone. It’s also known as a social media strategy – putting out content and then waiting for the phone to ring (or for people to direct message you).
The problem with that approach is that all of your ideal prospects are not going to call you just because they saw your post on social media. If your content is good, then you may generate some inbound inquiry, but the quality of that inquiry is going to be hit and miss.
I’m not saying do not post content; a social media presence can augment your direct outreach efforts. However, if you want to do business with high quality prospects, then it’s your job to attempt to reach them through direct contact. Don’t wait in hope that they will respond to something you put into cyberspace.
Being committed to these three tenets of prospecting is what allows top performers to find the most sought-after clients in the market and work on the most desirable projects.
Let’s recap. Here are three practices to commit to:
- Schedule your prospecting (put it in your diary)
- Keep trying to connect (don’t give up after one or two attempts)
- Don’t just rely on inbound (the best quality leads come from direct outreach).