Commercial airline pilots don’t “wing it” on take-offs….Why should you?
For example, the take-off is one of the most critical elements of a flight and even with thousands of hours in the cockpit, professional pilots use a checklist, each and every time they execute their take-off. The reason is simple; the procedure is proven, efficient and most importantly it works. This eliminates most human error and provides consistent take-offs that get the plane & its passengers safely in the air. Much like the pilot’s checklist, prospecting for commercial real estate opportunities is the beginning of our flight with a prospective client. Yet, most CRE professionals “wing it”; applying hit and miss efforts & techniques that result in…you guessed it – hit and miss results! It doesn’t have to be this way. To get consistent results from your prospecting, try replicating what pilots do and create a checklist to follow each and every time. Here is what your checklist should look like.
There are three components to a prospecting call: 1) Pre-Call Preparation 2) The Call and 3) Post Call
1) Identify who you are going to call.
2) Classify your prospect as an A, B or C prospect to represent how often you plan on contacting them (for example A clients touch 12 program (monthly); B clients touch 4 (quarterly) C clients touch 2 ( 2 x per year).
3) Validate contact information (i.e. phone number, email address, physical address) and lastly confirm the person you are going to call is the correct person.
4) Research the account. What do we know about the business; the decision maker; their physical location(s); their industry. Tools such as google, hoovers, annual reports, co-star, social sites such as LinkedIn etc. are quite useful here.
5) Schedule the call. Set a specific prospecting time on your calendar for making this call (i.e. Monday’s calls include the following prospects).
6) Update your CRM with the information you acquire during the pre-call phase.
7) Determine your pitch, marketing strategy and practice it! (Know exactly what you are going to say)
8) Send your prospect letter to the prospects telling them that you will be calling and delivering your value proposition.
9) Time permitting, send presence materials.
1) Review your file, notes & marketing strategy.
2) Deliver the call including the four critical elements.
- Introduction that establishes credibility and professionalism.
- Involve the prospect in the call; in other words, why you are specifically calling them.
- Deliver data or compelling information that creates interest and credibility.
- Close with a value proposition on why they should meet with you and ASK FOR A MEETING.
3) Take notes during the call of important information obtained
4) If you get voice mail, leave a message including the previous elements and a commitment to call back in a few days
1) If you get the meeting great:
- Send an email confirmation to be sure your prospect will show up
- Prepare and practice your winning presentation
2) If you get rejected, remember that the rejection may have been to your message; not you, so:
- Reschedule a follow up call in accordance with your designated touch program (A, B, C clients) and try a different marketing message/value proposition
- Precede the next call with more presence materials to enhance your credibility
3) If you get voice mail: – Schedule your follow up call to the prospect. This should be for the next day, or within the same week at the very least.
4) Update your CRM with information obtained from the call
If you create & follow a checklist, you can’t help but be better prepared for your calls; more consistent in making them; and most importantly more successful in getting the meetings.
Paul Reitz | CRE Coach | The Massimo Group