Darren Krakowiak: when ‘no’ means ‘not right now’ in commercial real estate

Hearing the word ‘no’ many times is not something that most of us enjoy, but it is a rite of passage on the road to success in commercial real estate. 

It is, however, important to remember that ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘no forever’; it usually just means ‘not right now’. 

This idea of potential prospects rejecting your offer not out of permanent disinterest, but merely due to bad timing, gives anyone in a sales role an important reminder to foster and nurture future business relationships even when you hear ‘no’, as opposed to just moving onto the next opportunity.

When a potential client declines your services, it does not equate to shutting the door on future business ventures.

Instead, it’s an invitation for you to employ strategies that will keep you relevant and at the forefront of their mind, ensuring that you become their first port of call when they are ready to say ‘yes’.

In this article, I’m covering three effective strategies to stay connected with these ‘not now’ prospects – building a market presence, email marketing, and personalised outreach.

Building a market presence

Maintaining visibility in your market is crucial.

This involves having a presence on social media, in particular on LinkedIn, for commercial real estate agents.

On this platform, you can connect with potential clients, sharing not only your professional successes but also your insights about the market and a bit about yourself personally.

This strategy will draw people closer to you over time.

Secondly, showcase your listings and deals in posts to demonstrate your market activity.

Encourage your clients to invest in paid marketing initiatives such as videos and collect testimonials and case studies to provide evidence of your successful work.

This will enhance your credibility and keep you at the forefront of your prospects’ minds.

Leveraging email marketing

Effective email marketing is another powerful tool to stay connected with your ‘not now’ prospects.

Start by focusing on your email copy. Use it to position yourself as an expert and encourage prospects to take the next step.

Carefully design your emails to differentiate between updates about your business (marketing emails) and those intended to elicit a response (sales emails).

Consider sending your sales emails directly from your CRM system.

This approach lends a more personalised touch, making them less likely to be perceived as bulk email blasts. 

Moreover, segment your email list based on various criteria such as location, sector and deal size to target the prospects with content most relevant to them.

This can greatly enhance your engagement rates.

Personalised outreach

Finally, keep your ‘not now’ prospects warm through personalised outreach.

This involves making occasional voice calls, sending personal emails, and using SMS as a casual, yet effective, communication channel.

Personalised communication carries the promise of higher engagement rates.

Having already presented to a prospect, you should have a strong enough relationship to open up this informal communication channel.

It’s all about staying connected and remaining at the forefront of their mind until they are ready to move forward with you.

Of course, there will be times when ‘no’ does in fact mean ‘no now and no forever’, and it’s important to respect the prospect’s position when that is the case. 

When ‘no’ really does mean ‘not now and not ever’, it’s not a bad thing.

We should be grateful when a prospect gives us clear and quick feedback because it saves us the time and effort of pursuing their business, and it allow us to spend more time with people where there may be a future opportunity.

More often, though, ‘no’ usually just means ‘not right now’.

And if you have the right strategies – maintaining market presence, implementing effective email marketing, and engaging in personalised outreach – you can convert these ‘not now’ prospects into future clients. 

This approach requires patience, persistence, and tact, but the rewards are worth the effort.

So remember, ‘no’ is generally not the end, but merely a step in your journey towards a ‘yes’.

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Darren Krakowiak

Darren Krakowiak is the Founder of CRE Success. He helps commercial real estate leaders to get their businesses growing faster and is the host of Commercial Real Estate Leadership, available as a podcast and on YouTube.