This sounds a bit like a Sun Tzu quote (he was a 6th Century genius military strategist who wrote “The Art of War”) but that’s prospecting in a nutshell
It’s winning business through your communications. Be that letters, emails, or phone calls.
So is it really the dark art people think it is? And if not, why are agents so bad at it?
I can assure you it’s not a dark art and there’s no magic to it, in fact, one of the reasons why agents are so poor at it is that they forget about the basics!
So, here is a basic breakdown for you of the process I follow to make me a Prospecting Wizard
1. Mental Fitness
This doesn’t mean drop down and give me 20. It means how you recover from negative responses… and believe me you will come across a lot of them!
There is no way on this earth you will phone, email or send letters out to prospects on a consistent basis and not get negative feedback.
You just need to roll with the punches and move on as quickly as possible.
Some people are just born rude, so don’t sweat it.
Try not to worry about what they say, and just move onto the next prospect as if it was the first one of the day.
It is that positive attitude that will keep you winning, while others stay bitter.
By being prepared, you are massively increasing your chances of success.
There will be some past customers you were going to prospect that now you know not to. Or some prospects that now you know the back story of, you can adapt your pitch to suit and hopefully come out successful.
Always prepare your list and make sure you know as much as possible.
It could be the difference between being told where to go and getting a lot of business in.
Most agents I know say that prospecting does not work, and when I ask them how long they tried it for, I normally get a few days or a week in reply.
Did anyone ever go to the gym for a week and then win a bodybuilding show? Of course not. So why expect this to work without all the hard work and consistent effort that needs to be put in?
You need to have a plan of how many times you will contact that person and in what manner, be that letters, emails, phone calls or leaflets. Always make sure if you say you will follow something up, then you make sure you are good to your word.
You only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure its a good one!
4. Knowing When To Prospect
The answer to this is simple – prospect every single day!
The chances of you making a phone call or sending our a letter and having a landlord or vendors drop everything to give you their priorities is very slim. You will be made to work for it. To show them that you can be trusted and that you are their trusted advisor.
Do not expect overnight miracles. And remember to keep on prospecting even when business starts to come your way, do not stop. Never think that this is enough, I can slow down now. Always keep going and make sure you have protected time to do so.
5. Active Listening
My old man said you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Use effective listening to find out what the customers wants, rather than thinking you already know what they want.
Most agents jump into a sales pitch to end all sales pitches, quick to tell how great they are and how crap the competition is, without stopping to think about what the customer actually wants.
Not only would you be so much more effective by simply listening to the customer, but the call would go so much quicker allowing you to make even more calls to even more prospects.
6. Effective Questioning
Some prospects will immediately say that you are too expensive, but with effective questioning you can find out that the fact that you are too expensive is not the real reason they won’t switch. It may be the though of the hassle or the fact that their current agency won’t play ball.
Price is very rarely the issue.
However, it is the most commonly used excuse not to switch.
Switching agents can be a scary thing. Make sure you handle that as a concern and that you can ensure a smooth switch over process.
Use questions such as “What do you look for in an agent?”. Such a simple question to ask, but so powerful as it can allow a prospect to open up and let you know exactly what you have to do to seal the deal.
It is then up to you to tailor your response and wording to hit all of the prospects pain points.
Obviously, you need to be true to your word and able to deliver but as with the active listening, you won’t be wasting your time and annoying the customer by telling them how many branded cars you have or how many awards you have won.
The good thing about prospecting is that most agents don’t do it and the ones that do are very poor. This is not a crowded market place, I assure you.
The edge this can give you over your competition is huge, and personally it has taken us to No. 1 on properties taken on in every location we have a branch.
This has a direct effect on the bottom line – and who wouldn’t like that?
We have seen our profit make a dramatic increase, and it has allowed us to reinvest back into the branches, take on more staff and open up another two branches.
Prospecting is the most powerful tool you have in your business, make sure you use it to its full potential!
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