Like it or not, the ‘gatekeepers’ of business exist for a reason, and in part, that is to stop random people getting through to the ‘top person’ or manager of a business. So, that is the rule, and it is to be respected as part of your communications and prospecting processes. Know the rules and use them. You have the advantage of building your real estate prospecting and communication skills to cope with many variations of cold calling, door knocking, new business prospecting, and meetings.
Commercial real estate brokerage is ‘business-like’ in all aspects, and that is part of the equation of our communication and all our connections. As the local broker or agent, you will get more information from the ‘gatekeeper’ of a business when you cooperate with them, rather than fight against them; don’t challenge them. Your dialogue and questions will help you move ahead with new people and business leaders. Tenancity and strategy support the personal contact and new business process.
Here is a valuable tip. You can always practice your dialogue and conversations using local property market facts and knowledge. That is part of your job. The more that you practice your communication skills, the faster you will find new people, better clients, and convert more listings.
The best way to work with the prospecting problem is to connect with the ‘gatekeeper’ and show them respect. Allow them to do their job, and give them enough information and relevance to connect on your behalf, with the ‘person in charge’. The ‘random’ approach to business communications does not work in commercial real estate brokerage.
The Connection Rules
Here are some other comments to help you with this business and prospecting strategy:
- Show respect in the call, contact, or meeting – our industry is based on professional actions and responses. No matter how challenging the situation, the person you are connecting with must be shown the fullest professional approach across all engagements, communications, and connections. Disrespect will ‘close the door’ fast on any possibility of cooperation or communication.
- Introducing yourself professionally – don’t ‘hide’ who you are and what you do. Be honest and professionally explain your reasons for the call. Ask related questions as to how you can reach the required person or their ‘associate’.
- Be clear and precise in your dialogue – when you use ‘third parties’ as a method of communicating ‘up the line’, your conversation and requests should be clear and defined. Use local property information and facts to feed into your connection and call. You could be ringing the business leader or manager to share details of a recent property listing near to them. Ask about future expansion, contraction, and relocation needs. Questions help you get to the real facts of a business and its function.
- Ask for their help – when you connect with a person in a business, perhaps a ‘gatekeeper’, seek their help in talking to the right person. Go back to the point of explaining your situation and giving professional business details of what you are wanting to do.
- Listen to what they are saying – the responses that you get from any person in a business should be respected and related to their situation and not yours. Too often we are focused on our requirements without listening clearly to others.
- See if they will escalate your request to the next level and give you a response – ask about how you can get the feedback or more information from them. Make their ‘support’ job easier, and if necessary do that by providing business information by email or mail; help them to take ‘request connect’ to the key person with relevance. Information will help you move ahead with property communications. Learn to connect with more people every day. That is how the commercial real estate business works.
Often if you are professional in your business approach, you will be able to reach the person in charge; the ‘gatekeeper’ will let you through in some way.
Develop a specialist and businesslike approach to your canvassing and communications. That will serve you well as you grow your real estate market. It is a business based on ‘people’; get to know plenty of them in a friendly and efficient way. All of this is part of your branding and ongoing growth of market share.