Sales Managers: Do you have sales people that have a million excuses for not doing what they're supposed to do? Get your sales force back-to-basics with this self-imposed, tough-love, reality check with a simple step-by-step approach to getting back on track by dissecting the words: Who, What, When, Where, and How to turn people you know into prospects, leads, and referrals. Real estate and other sales professionals with excuses for everything would benefit the most.
When a real estate professional needs a fresh new approach to prospecting, the first step in the game is to go back to the basics. That’s what they say, but what are the basics anyway? Let’s examine the steps to discovering “the Basics” by dissecting the words: who, what, when, where, and how of real estate sales prospecting. If you find that these steps make you feel uncomfortable, not to worry, it is merely a sign that you’re learning and growing in your field.
Who – Who creates the prospect list, which must be done first. Without knowing who the prospects are to turn into good, solid leads, your wheels will spin like Danica Patrick. To develop this list, the first thing to do is start with your friends and family. Even if you started your sales career with this list 20 years ago, it probably needs updated, right? Either take it out or start a new one, and include every person in your family, friends, colleagues, peers, nail salon, hair dresser, postman, shipping centers, the local convenience store clerk, your favorite checkout clerk at the grocery store… keep going until you have a couple hundred people. Imagine you’re planning a large wedding with an unlimited budget, who would you invite?
What – Now that you’ve got a list together, what are you going to do with it? Ten years ago it may have been easier to send a short letter to let the recipient know you’re in the real estate business (or any other sales profession, for that matter). And mailing a letter may remain on the “easy” list of things to do. However, simply mailing a letter cannot turn a prospect into a lead, as the two are very different. To turn a prospect into a lead, you must follow-up with a phone call. Therefore, it’s more efficient to skip the mailing, and head right to the phone. What are you going to say when you call? (Yes, we heard you from here!) Put
together a bulleted list of things to discuss, in order, and use it as a visual aid while you’re on the telephone. For example, your list may look like this:
Greet: how are the kids? Is the dog Sparky still around?
Catch-up: I’ve been good, Suzie is good, the kids are …
State the why: I’m calling today to let you know, I’ve moved to XYZ Realty (or just joined), and wanted to be sure you have my updated contact information in case you ever have any questions or should need anything…
Ask for a Referral: Well __________, since I have you on the phone, who do you know who may need to buy, sell, or may have some questions I could answer for them?
Close: Great, thank you! I tell you what, now that I think about it, can you give them a call first and let them know I’ll be calling – it warms up the introduction a bit… Great, I’ll give you a call after I speak with them and let you know how it went, how does that sound?
Now you have turned a prospect into a referral lead generator and have already generated a potential lead!
When – The excuses sales people make to/for themselves to avoid prospecting for leads and referrals are so ridiculous, it is almost embarrassing to discuss. If any of this dialogue sounds familiar, regardless of whether you are saying these things to yourself or to your sales manager, this is your free reality check:
“I don’t have time to make 20 calls this morning.”
[Self-imposed tough love: if you do not make time today, you’ll have too much time tomorrow!]
“I’ve got too much to do!”
[Self-imposed tough love: if you do not time-block your schedule, the free time left will be used by your competitor on an appointment with your LEAD!]
“I have to get this house cleaned – Cleanliness is Godliness!”
[Self-imposed tough love: if you were making your calls to turn prospects into leads or referrals, you could hire a maid!]
“My son needs to borrow my car and I suppose I can just wait until tomorrow to make some calls”
[Self-imposed tough love: if your son borrows the car, your son pays the bills and takes YOU on vacation this year!]
Time block your schedule and do not betray it. Follow the principles of mastering this skill and you will be successful! If anyone or
anything attempts to betray “the schedule,” ask them if they are going to pay this months mortgage and vehicle payment… Yep! That’ll do it!
Where – Many agents spend entirely too much money sending out untargeted, mass mail. These advertisements usually end up on the trash for two reasons: (1) the recipient doesn’t open it because they already know it’s an advertisement from a real estate company or someone trying to sell them something; or (2) because they realize the envelope is from a real estate
salesperson, and they “already have an agent.” And since the objection of “already having an agent” was brought up, we’ll go ahead and examine that dialogue below:
“Since there are so many nail technicians, hair stylists, and cell phone salesman, there is no reason for me to try to do their job.”
“Since there all the good jobs are taken, I’ll just stay unemployed and suffer.”
“Since all of the good men are taken, I’ll just stay single and avoid dating altogether.”
“Since everyone knows a REALTOR, I’ll just give up and do something else.”
Throughout history, people have had relationships with professionals; those relationships change. If it’s not your immediate priority to begin establishing relationships with everyone you know, someone else will.
How – The “How” is the easy part of going back to the basics; as discussed, time-block your schedule as a first rule of thumb. The second step in the ‘how’ is to ensure you have the necessary tools to make your calls. Consider what it would be like if you took your vehicle to a shop for maintenance and they were out of oil and washer fluid. The manager would probably lose their job. If you were your own boss, how would you rank up in your performance evaluation? Do not show up to your “time-blocked calling appointment for self” without your prospects/leads list. Bring the “who” or give yourself a poor mark.
Enjoy these tips and GOOD LUCK THIS WEEK!