4 Sales Prospecting Strategies Most Agents Have Never Tried

Sales prospecting is often one of the biggest challenges real estate agents face simply because it’s time consuming. The hard truth is that if you continue to take the same approach as every other agent, you will not stand out or accomplish more than they do when it comes to gaining new clients. If you want to get different results than everyone else, try these four prospecting strategies that most agents have never tried.

Amp Up Marketing with Videos

Using video for sales prospecting can help increase engagement with email blasts. The video does not have to be anything to formal, scripted or fancy, it can just be a quick video where you are talking to the camera and saying a few educational words. You may be surprised at how a simple video can get people to engage with your content and how many leads will move down your sales funnel.

Learn from Losses

Take a close look at the last five deals you didn’t land and ask yourself what you could have done differently or better. If you lost to a competitor, find out what they did better or differently in order to win the deal. The best real estate agents are constantly seeking feedback in order to improve. The more knowledge you have, the more likely it is that you will land your next pitch.

Reach out to prospects and simply ask what you could have done different and you may be able to resurrect the deal. Maybe it wasn’t the right time and maybe just seeing that you are dedicated and want to improve will be enough to turn things around for the next time they want to buy or sell a home or even for them to refer you to someone who is looking.

Build Social Media Presence

Prospecting via social media is one of the easiest and most effective new ways to get in with potential new clients. LinkedIn and Twitter are two exciting platforms that can help you get your name in front of key people simply by sharing and commenting on articles and posts. Residential agents may be able to land new meetings by finding people with mutual connections and asking for an introduction via LinkedIn.

Ask for Referrals

Maybe you have asked for referrals before but how have you approached it? Try to map out a solid process for referrals by creating a follow up email template that you can send to every client after the close of a sale for them to fill out and give you the names of others looking to buy or sell a home. An email that offers a form that is simple and easy to fill out can help you create a database of already warm leads for you to work with and it takes minimal effort.

ProspectNow can help transform your prospecting game. Start your free 3-day trial today and see how many new clients you gain from utilizing this new and inventive product.       

5 Smart Ways Agents Can Improve Their Prospecting Calls

Prospecting calls have one goal: to convert the potential client into an actual client. Whether you love prospecting via phone or not, as a real estate agent it is one of the biggest parts of your job so it’s important that you are at the top of your game every time you pick up the phone. All it takes is a little practice using these five smart ways agents can improve prospecting calls and help you close more deals and gain new clients.

Research the Prospect

Cold calling is hard to begin with – don’t make it harder on yourself by not taking the time to research who you are calling. The more you know, the better rapport you will have with the prospect, because you are proving you care. A quick Google search or LinkedIn search should give you enough details for a successful cold call.

Believe in Your Product (You)

If you don’t believe that you can help the client and have the knowledge to do so, you should probably consider a career change. Your lack of confidence will certainly translate over the phone, so just be yourself and believe in your talents. If you are feeling less than confident, take a few minutes to determine what areas you can work on to improve yourself.

Be Personable

Sounding like a robot on the phone will most likely result in a hang-up. Don’t try to emulate someone other than yourself, because that will result in you losing that raw realness that people crave. There are ways to improve your pitch, but not in a way that makes you sound inauthentic. Relax and have a real conversation. Go off script – you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

Be Kind

One of the most important traits of a successful cold call is having a positive attitude and being kind. If you seem uninterested when you make the phone call, you will make the person on the end of the line feel exactly the same way. Cold calling is one of the hardest parts of being a real estate agent but you must do it to build your client list and increase sales. Even just smiling while on the phone will translate to your prospect. No one wants to work with someone who has a negative attitude. Be light and positive.

Have a plan in place for when you are going to reach out to prospects. Determine what time is the best time to call by considering time zones, etc. Don’t call prospects outside of regular business operating hours and be understanding if they say it isn’t a good time to speak when you do call. Be sure to give them specific times they can call you to continue the line of communication. Try to target the most probable sale first and then go from there. The hottest lead will probably result in a longer phone call, so keep that in mind.

3 Valuable Pieces of Information You Can Learn About Your Lead in 4-Minutes

Time is one of the most valuable resources and real estate agents certainly don’t want to waste precious time they could be spending closing more sales. The key to prospecting isn’t finding clients – it’s about finding the right type of clients. If you are looking to save time, take a look at these three valuable pieces of information you can learn about your lead in four minutes.

Hometown/College

Think about how easy it is to start a conversation by talking about someone’s hometown or college they attended. If you can identify where a potential client is from or where they went to college, you can strike up a conversation by asking about their roots. You may have even grown up in the same city or have gone to the same college – all it takes is a quick search on Google where the search results will give you links to their social media, where people often list their hometowns and colleges.

Career Experience

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in a prospect’s title, don’t forget to also look at how long they have been in the role or in the industry they work in. This can help inform you on your outreach approach. If someone has maintained their position for a number of years and seems to have a company headed in a positive direction, you will want to approach them in a specific way.

If the person holds a high title, they likely have influence over the decision making for the business as well. On the other hand, if you are reaching out to someone who has jumped jobs or industries pretty frequently, you will want to approach this person in an entirely different manner. You can find this information within minutes on a prospect’s LinkedIn profile and if the person does not have a LinkedIn, the company’s website is another resource.

Interests

Do a quick search and find out if a prospect has a blog, if they speak at conferences, if they post on social media and what they post as well as their company bio. You can find out a lot about a person by doing some quick research. You can learn everything from their previous jobs to what they enjoy doing on the weekends and maybe even what bands they like. This will establish a strong connection and ignite conversations about things you know your prospect is interested in.

Every real estate agent is crunched for time, so don’t spend hours researching each prospect every single day. These three valuable pieces of information about your prospect can be found within minutes and can help kick start a conversation.

ProspectNow is the most effective prospecting system in commercial real estate and can help you expand your brand online. Contact us today with any questions you may have and try out a demo to see how our software can help you boost your sales.

3 Reasons You Don’t Need a Script When Cold Calling Prospects

The cold call is a time-honored way to find new opportunities and clients, but like many long-standing practices, we sometimes view it very narrowly. Methods for cold calling can differ; how the task is accomplished is up to you.

For many of us, there’s a certain level of security in having a script for making calls. We feel prepared for various questions or objections that the prospect might make, and scripts provide some structure to keep us on track even if we get flustered.  There are a plethora of services providing scripts and templates that are a “magic” solution to cold calling.

The desire for a cold calling script is understandable, but do you really need one to get results?  Certainly not. In fact, there are some compelling reasons for abandoning scripts all together. Ari Galper advises us to ask these questions:

  • How do you really feel when you use a script?
  • How do your prospects feel when they know you’re using a script? (And they do know.)
  • Most important, how many sales are you losing because you’re using a script?

If your own experiences with using scripts are not particularly positive, and they’re not enhancing your ability to connect, then you should consider working without one. Here are some ways that ditching the script can be make prospecting easier and more productive.

#1. Look for needs

A cold call should be a conversation, not a pitch. Scripts can make prospects defensive because they focus on what you can do for the customer rather than what the customer needs.

You don’t need a script to be a good listener. Come up with a few open-ended questions that you can use to get the prospect talking about their business and situation, and then LISTEN.

#2. Use your long game

Your goal in calling is to create an opening and start a relationship, not make a sale. Particularly in real estate, client relationships are a long-term proposition.  Working without a script makes for more authentic connection and allows each conversation to be unique, so it’s tailored to the person on the other end of the line.

#3. Be more nimble

A problem with using a linear script is that it can’t anticipate all of the twists and turns that a call can take. Relying on the script can leave you flummoxed as to how to proceed if the conversation takes an unexpected turn. By keeping in mind your goals for the call (find out more about the prospect and open the door for future contact), your course is clear.

Many in the industry recommend using a script only as a backup. This point was made in an interesting discussion on Quora:

…use scripts as a fall back, not as gospel. The purpose of script is that when   someone says something that is confrontational, rude, challenging or otherwise makes you nervous or throws you off your game, instead of freezing up, you have something you can say confidently instead of stuttering like an idiot.

Nobody wants that. But rest assured that even with the most bulletproof script there will be calls that don’t go well and leave you feeling frazzled. Keep at it, learn from your mistakes, “fail forward,” and you will get results.

5 Old School Lead Qualifying Tactics that Still Work in a Digital World

Most real estate professionals don’t have time to chase leads that are going nowhere. But, how can you pre-qualify the lead to know if it’s worth your time? Nearly 70% of sales leads end up being trial balloons and not serious prospects.

That adds up to hours and hours of lost productivity chasing leads that turn into dead ends. You can vet your leads much better through old school lead qualifying tactics that still work in the digital world of today.

Lead Qualifying before the Internet

Before the internet, prospect mining was the top strategy for qualifying leads. You used certain statistics like profit margins and area development metrics to determine where to find quality leads.

But batting 30 out of one hundred was typical before the internet. You couldn’t afford to discard any leads for fear of losing a real prospect. Now however, you have access to much more information that combined with certain old school tactics can make those strategies extremely potent.

Today your lead qualifying tactics can be customized to precisely target your specific demographic. You no longer have to sift through hundreds and hundreds of unserious leads.  You can improve productivity and focus your time and energy on the kinds of quality leads that end in a signed contract.

5 Old School Lead Qualifying Tactics that Still Work

One way to make your tactics incredibly effective is to design your online marketing strategy to harness your leads based on these 5 lead qualifying tactics. Construct your website and link your social media platforms in a way that directs your quality leads along a path that ends in a deal.

The “BANT” Strategy

Before the internet, IBM branded a strategy for selecting the best leads out of thousands of queries called the BANT approach that still works in a digital world. Here’s how it applies to your lead qualifying strategy.

#1: Budget – Find out what kind of budget your prospect is working with before you begin pitching your services by creating a short multiple choice questionnaire on your online contact form that asks for a budget range.

#2: Authority – Who is the decision maker? Too much time is wasted working with someone who loves what you’re offering and after you’ve been hammering out details with them for weeks, their boss overrules them.

Find out who the decision maker is to direct your pitch at the right person before you waste your time by asking for position title on your online contact form.

#3: Need – Find out exactly what they want by asking them to select which of your services they are interested in when they fill out your contact form.

#4: Timeline – Many of your clients will want to know your track record for closing deals in an efficient manner. In your online marketing and advertising make sure to promote your timeliness or some other feature that makes you stand out.

Get the Answers First

Our last tip is not part of the BANT method but it is crucial to weeding out the non-productive leads. Get answers before you start pitching your strategy. You can use an e-mail campaign, your social media platforms, or your website blog or contact form to get the answers that you need to laser in on the leads that will turn into profits for you.

8 Ways to Successfully Prospect via Email

Email prospecting
Reach out to prospects via email marketing — it’s one tried and true way to increase ROI and create a pool of repeat real estate clients.

Digital marketing is about a number of different online mediums. But don’t let prospecting via email get lost in the shuffle. This may be the original form of online marketing, but it’s nonetheless still one of the most effective ways to market any business.

Eighty percent of business professionals rely on email marketing, and insist it improves customer retention. For real estate agents, working in the commercial and residential sectors, that’s an impressive statistic. You can keep working with your prospects via email throughout their current and future real estate journeys.

If your target market is the millennial age group, the stats support email marketing: 73 percent of this demographic prefer to receive emails from businesses over any other communication method.

That’s evidence that prospecting via email is still powerful, and works alongside social media and SEO to get you the best leads. Email outreach — especially when you’re reaching out to solid potential contacts based on a comprehensive property and owner database — deserves a place alongside of all other digital methods to bolster your real estate business.

But not all emails are equally effective. You should, and can, develop an email marketing strategy that turns your emails into conversions. Here are 5 tips for writing great marketing emails, and 3 more for making your emails particularly dynamic and meaningful.

Tip 1: Answer the Question: Why Choose Your Services

Start with the point right out of the gate. Use the subject line of the email to grab the prospect’s attention. Tell them why opening the email benefits them. Focus on the service, not you — at this stage of your prospect via email strategy, your respondents may not know enough about you to open the message by virtue of your name alone. In that flash of curiosity, they will open the email and skim — step one of your conversion strategy.

Tip 2: Make it a Personalized Email Conversation

Don’t jump right into the sales pitch with your prospect. Start a conversation in the email, with a carefully crafted piece of information. Answer a question that’s connected to their business or real estate concerns. You will show off your expertise, at the same time showing your prospect that the email has something to offer them — and that your services may be of value. In the competitive world of real estate, your advantage is your impressive knowledge base.

Tip 3: Prospect Via Email and Voicemail Follow Up

There’s one danger with email marketing — it often sounds impersonal, like your prospect was one of thousands on an auto-generated list. Ease their concerns by showing you are interested in their specific business needs. Call and leave a voicemail, then follow up with an email. This shows that they are not just a target of spam advertising — they are important to you. After all, you’ve likely used smart search filtering to identify them as an important potential contact. Let them know the contact was not random.

Tip 4: Offer Something of Value

Think for a minute about the emails you receive from businesses. When you have one that simply acknowledges you as a customer, versus another that gives you something you can use — like a coupon or discount code — which one do you respond to? You don’t have to give your email prospects any discounts, but you should outline a service pitch. Tell them what you’re offering — make it brief, but specific enough so they know what the deal is.

Tip 5: Make “the Ask” Explicit in the Email

In any digital marketing, the call to action — aka “the ask” — is one of the most important features. This is where you get your reader to do something in response to the email. Focus on building great content in your email body. Get their attention, make the pitch, and then tell them how to get in touch. It’s as simple as saying, “sign up for our newsletter,” or “call us to view properties in your price range.” The ask is up to you — just make it targeted towards your ultimate conversion goals.

So, those are some easy tips for the structure and content of your emails to prospects. Here are three more ways you can get attention and responses.

Bonus Tip 1: Include cool graphics. Who wants to skim through text, when they can look at pretty pictures? A few shots of your latest listings can do the trick, as well as a headshot of yourself and your team members.

Bonus Tip 2: Make it mobile-friendly. Forty-six percent of email opens happen over a mobile device. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re going to give your prospect a frustrating experience — so they’ll likely click delete.

Bonus Tip 3: Use an email builder. Just because you want to make it personal doesn’t mean you can’t prospect via email using technology. Mail Chimp and others can help you get the job done — so it looks professional and makes prospects want to get in touch with you.

This is only the beginning when it comes to optimizing your real estate business success. ProspectNow has been around since 2008 and offers superior data to real estate brokers nationwide. By using this service, you’ll close more deals and increase your revenue. Learn more about ProspectNow’s unique platform features today!

10 Actionable Tips for CRE Agents New to Prospecting

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.

Don’t Be a Spammer: 7 Tips for Prospecting via LinkedIn

Social media governs a lot of the decisions people make these days. People give great consideration to comments left by previous customers on business sites. A survey from the NAR showed that 42% of all homebuyers started their search online in 2015.  The influence of online information has never been greater.

Given that influence, it makes sense to harness social media to make connections that are good for business. When it comes to business, the social medium that many would think of first is LinkedIn. This professionally oriented site has over 400 million members worldwide. While it’s often thought of as a place to base your search for a new job, it can be an effective tool for prospecting as well.

Using LinkedIn can make prospecting easier and more productive, because of its social nature. Connections share information, so something that you send to a few people has the potential to reach a much wider audience, all of whom will have an interest related to your message.

So, step one is to widen your contacts. Whenever you meet someone professionally, follow up quickly with a connection request. Also, give some attention to your own profile. Make sure your links are current, include a good photo, and make it professional and complete. You can be pretty sure that anyone deciding whether to accept your connection request is going to take a look at your profile first.

The next tip is to do a little investigating by reading over your contacts’ profiles. This can give you a lot of information on that person and on the company for which they work. It can give you an idea of relevant topics to address with that prospect, making the initial contact more effective. Watch for promotions or news on large projects.

By completing the step above, that first contact is not really a “cold call.” You know a little about the person already. It’s fine to mention that you took a look at their LinkedIn profile before calling. This is not stalking. It’s research.

Use the inmail feature to get in direct contact with any user. LinkedIn claims that this type of message is 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call.  This makes sense when you consider that the inmail is seen as coming from someone who is already a connection.

A great way to find out about changes going on in different companies is to follow their LinkedIn page. That way, any news they post will show up in your updates, so you can make the most of those opportunities.

Use LinkedIn’s search features to filter your results. The advanced search lets you find people based on location, title, company, or keyword –even company size and level of seniority within it with a paid account.

Join LinkedIn groups that are having conversations of which you’d like to be a part.  These are excellent opportunities to share your expertise and create an image as someone with answers. Groups are also a great source of new connections.

Big Data + Analytics = Big Pipeline: Find Likely Sellers Using Predictive Analytics [Webinar]

 

I know what you’re thinking.  The commercial real estate market is forecast to remain strong in 2016.  How do I maximize my efforts? How do I reach potential sellers and borrowers before the competition?

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Ready to start 2016 off right? Join us to learn how to make your marketing efforts more efficient:

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    • How spend LESS time researching and prospecting
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Five Ways to Improve Your Prospecting Calls

ProspectNow, Prospecting

Prospecting via phone – you either love it or you hate it. No matter what category you fall into, perfecting your prospecting calls can mean increased conversion and – ultimately – sales. But, how do you really improve your calls with the goal of conversion in mind?

Here are a few of the topics I have found will have the biggest impact on your prospecting.   Practice makes perfect, so use this list and get started testing out these techniques on your next call!

Continue reading “Five Ways to Improve Your Prospecting Calls”