One of the most often talked about aspects in sales is prospecting. More specifically, what is the newest, most efficient, and reliable way of finding qualified leads?
For commercial real estate professionals, the list goes on and on. How should you utilize digital marketing? What and where do you introduce video? How much print advertising should be used to complement this, if any? Cold calls vs. canvassing an area door to door and what do you replace this with in the middle of a pandemic?
Finding balance in these areas can be daunting. No matter what methods you choose to explore for finding new business, there are a few best practices that have stood the test of time. Here are some proven methods to help sharpen your prospecting game:
#1 Networking (in a pandemic).
Achieving high-level networking is a crucial element to success in any profession. There are no shortage of opportunities to get involved in (yes, even using Zoom). Start by attending a few virtually and find those that not only interest but challenge you. Also, whenever possible, try to engage in something that you know you will attend in person when todays crazy environment we are all living in calms down. Your group of contacts, organizations and ultimately, relationships will continue to increase over time if you put in the effort.
#2 Refine your targets.
One tried and true technique is to ensure you are refining your target and database. Are you working with property owners? Tenants? A particular industry niche? In today’s digital age, we have all the resources necessary to prospect more effectively by tailoring our message to a specific audience. Leverage predictive analytics to help you target the right people and businesses.
#3 Get social.
Part of being a trusted advisor comes from becoming a thought-leader in your market. This could mean developing a commercial real estate blog that focuses on leasing. Maybe you are active on LinkedIn or Twitter and start publishing industry related articles. Whatever you choose to do, be sure you are engaged in social media — sharing the valuable information your prospects are looking for.
#4 Reach out to more of the right people.
This may seem self-explanatory, but if you want to land more leads — reach out to not only more people but the right people. Prospecting is a numbers game. Just be sure that you have a solid customer relationship management (CRM) system that is developed with people you want to do business with. Use it for follow-up and lead nurturing — some of which can be put on autopilot if it’s set up correctly. Keep in mind, it has been said that it takes upwards of 6-8 touches to generate a viable sales lead.
#5 If only it was easy…
If it was really that easy, everyone would do it. Sales at the highest level is an incredibly rewarding profession and rewards the bold who have a relentless drive. Just remember that you are going to make mistakes. It is part of the process. Decide early on to learn from them. Remember, even losses provide opportunities for improvement. Above all, nothing replaces hard work so keep up the prospecting – your competitors certainly are.