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For many in CRE, prospecting is among the least appealing routine task. Still, this activity is our bread and butter. It keeps the pipeline full and generates countless connections and referrals.

Prospecting is critical, but it needn’t consume your days. Like any aspect of your work it can be streamlined through thoughtful planning and utilizing all of the available tools.

If you’re just getting started with prospecting, here are some quick tips to keep in mind. They’ll help you make the most of the time you devote to cultivating potential clients.

#1. You’re going to make mistakes

Count on it. The first few calls you make are likely to be a little awkward, and you may not feel that you’ve accomplished much. Au contraire! Mistakes are opportunities for improvement. Keep notes on your calls and identify missteps to be avoided in the future. Think of alternative approaches to try next time.

#2. Some prospects are not a good fit

It may happen that, on contacting a prospect, you realize that your property is not a good fit for them. This will happen, but the call is not a complete bust. If you have been energetic, engaging, and confident you have likely made a favorable impression, and may come to mind in the future. Meanwhile, try to leave the prospect with some useful information.

#3. Consult, don’t sell

Especially on the initial call, you should not come across as a salesperson. You’re not going to be pitching a property. Your role should be that of a real estate expert who is interested in finding out what challenges and pain points the prospect is facing, and how you might be able to help.

#4. Integrate marketing intel

Use data gathered through marketing channels to tailor your outreach. Use the prospect’s preferred method of contact, address any challenges with which the company may be struggling.

#5. Ask questions and listen

Asking good questions will encourage the prospect to share their concerns and priorities. Listen to them, and take notes on every call.

#6. Do your homework

Prior to the call, find out about the prospect and their organization. Scan the company’s website: What big projects are they involved in? Are they hiring? Learn some personal details about the person you’re calling: Where did they go to college? How long have they been in their current position?  All of this information can spark conversation effectively.

#7. Know your listings

As you listen to the prospects needs, you want to be very familiar with your listings, so that you can begin to make connections that might work for everyone. Perhaps you might be able to recommend other services or vendors that can help.

#.8 Keep organized

Use a good CRM to manage contacts and ensure that you never miss scheduled calls or meetings. Make detailed notes with each call. Document every meeting and make sure that all the related paperwork is stored together or easily traceable.

#9. Listen to your coach

As a new agent, you will likely be reporting to a mentor or colleague. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Apply advice that seems sound. You may be surprised at what a big difference some minor adjustments can make.

#10. Follow up

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this step. Failing to follow up and follow through on commitments you make to prospects can be tremendously costly. Keep ALL appointments. Respond promptly. Supply any promised information.  This is part of earning trust.

Research has repeatedly shown that it’s necessary to make contact multiple times before a prospect becomes a client. Sales experts hold that you must reach the lead at least 7 times on average before a sale. This varies widely depending on the situation and the format and quality of the contact, but there is no doubt that your first call should never be your last.