Today you see and hear so many so called ‘gurus’ tell you that ‘cold calling is dead’. The reality of the claim is that they are trying to sell some secret ‘system’ or ‘book’ to tap into the ‘call reluctance problems’ that most salespeople struggle with.
Any successful professional salesperson clearly knows that the call contact prospecting model is an important part of their business process. They must make cold calls and lots of them each week if they want to rise to the top of their market in any industry (and stay there); they can and usually do have a lot of fun in the process.
The telephone is the most effective contact prospecting tool that we have. It is efficient, cheap, and direct. The only thing you should do with the process is become proficient in making lots of calls to new people. That’s where the confidence and the practice become key elements to momentum at a personal level.
Let’s look at applying this prospecting rule into commercial real estate brokerage. You can talk to property investors, tenants, business owners, and lots of other people quite easily.
Here are some facts behind the skill and the system in commercial real estate:
- You can build a massive market opportunity by talking to new people every day
- Your database can grow in a regular way through targeted contact research
- Every contact that you make today can grow into referral business and repeat business
So why do these ‘gurus’ continue to claim that ‘cold calling is dead’? They know that many if not the majority of salespeople struggle to start the calling process, and over time many (probably well over 75%) don’t keep up the prospecting momentum. Isn’t that a massive opportunity for those salespeople that build their skills in doing so?
So here are my tips to getting this prospecting system established in commercial real estate brokerage:
- You don’t need any fancy words or scripts to make this work; you simply should develop a good conversational approach to prospecting.
- Forget about pitching over the telephone. Seek to connect with the person you are talking to. You really do not know anything about their ‘world’ so how can you pitch across the telephone on the first call?
- Imagine that someone you have not spoken to before is going to call you and offer their services to you. How would you like to be treated in the conversation? The words that come to mind include respect, trust, and understanding.
- A good ‘telephone prospector’ will converse and not pitch; they get a conversation underway. They know how to build rapport.
- Practice your call skills at least once per day before you get to work.
- In commercial real estate understand what the market is doing locally and what facts are of interest to the people that you connect with. Many different prospecting approaches can be created from local market information.
If you are working in commercial real estate today, and the market is slow or frustrating for you, examine your prospecting processes and as part of that consider how you can improve them with a cold calling model of contact. Develop this new skill and the property market will open up for you in a major way. Commissions and listings can grow from new contacts that would otherwise not have come to you. Simple isn’t it?