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Building the Foundation for Powerful Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

By Jim Gillespie | July 27, 2009

Coaching commercial real estate brokers is a very rewarding career for me. Recently I began one-on-one coaching with a commercial broker who’s gotten burned out on doing his prospecting these days. When times were better several years ago he was much more enthusiastic about doing his prospecting, and he was producing much better results at that time, too. But the market’s changed, he’s not finding as many leads as he was back then, and he’s really had great difficulty making the same number of prospecting calls as he was back then because of all of this. In short, he hasn’t really been very excited about picking up the phone and calling his prospects these days.

So I asked him, “What kind of results do you think you’d produce in your business if you prospected 10-12 hours every week for the next year?” And he responded with, “I think I’d produce great results if I got that kind of prospecting done.”

“So the problem”, I said, “is your feeling about how the people on the phone are responding to you these days. You were enjoying prospecting much more when people were more interested in buying, selling, or leasing from you 2-3 years ago, and the fact that they’re not as interested in this right now is frustrating to you…and you don’t want to pickup the phone and call them anymore because of this.”

And he responded by saying to me, “Yes, that’s right.”

“So the solution to your problem is this”, I said. “You just need to pickup the phone and prospect 10-12 hours every week, and not have any attitude about how your prospects should be responding to you during your phone calls with them. Your problem has been that you’re frustrated that they’re not responding to you just like they were 2-3 years ago, and we’re in a completely different market right now. But if you just make your prospecting calls every week without having any attachment to this idea that they should be responding to you exactly like they were 2-3 years ago, you’re going to make a lot more money than you have been by not getting your prospecting done.”

And then there was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone after I said this to him, before his voice completely lit up in responding to me:

“Thank you so much for showing me this”, he said. “I’ve been letting my frustration about how people have been responding to me during my prospecting calls affect me, and it’s been killing the number of prospecting calls that I’ve been making. So if I just make the calls no matter what, and don’t have any attachment to how I feel people should be responding to me when I’m making the calls, I’ll make the greatest amount of money I could ever make in this market we’re in right now.”

Then the broker followed-up by sending me an E-mail just a few hours later, thanking me again for what we had discussed during our coaching call, and telling me he’s now got an entirely different attitude about getting his prospecting done every week.

So if you think you’re not making the number of prospecting calls that you should be, you might want to adopt this exact same approach when making your prospecting calls. Because in borrowing a line from the Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams”, “If you prospect, their business will come.”

And in closing, you still may need to call more people in this market to produce the kind of results that you want to, but as one of my coaching clients constantly reminds himself, “Every transaction I’ve ever closed began with a prospecting call.”

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Click here for information on how you can join me on my FREE Webinar this Wednesday night, where I’ll be interviewing top government funding expert Sean Carpenter. Sean’s going to tell us about all the great ways you can get the government to fund your commercial real estate transactions for you, so that you can get more transactions closed right now in this market.


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