The process of telemarketing does not work well in commercial real estate if you follow the typical model of ‘pitch and process’. The people that you call do not like to be subjected to a 1 minute sales pitch and questioning process over the telephone. You have to change the rules and develop some real systems to make cold calling or telemarketing much more effective for you. In one word you have to ‘connect’.
Firstly, and before I go further into this subject I would like to say that all commercial salespeople and agents should be making their own prospecting calls wherever possible. They are the best people to connect with their market because they understand what to say in a relevant way when hard questions are created through the telephone conversation.
When it comes to commercial property sales and leasing, there are really only two targets out of making cold call connections and telemarketing. They are:
1. You want to know if the person you are calling has a need or interest in commercial property sales or leasing or property management.
2. You should seek to create a face to face meeting where the person you call qualifies from the previous point, so that you can take matters further.
When you look at these two factors simply, you can see that you should not be meeting with people who have no genuine interest. Your prospecting calls should therefore be based around a conversation or connection and not a sales pitch or presentation.
The only thing that you are selling in the call contact process is an appointment, and you only do that when you know that the person really does have a need. Protect your time and only meet with the right people that qualify as ‘active’ or ‘interested’ in commercial property.
So the telemarketing or cold call process centres on questions and conversation. Through the conversation you can come to understand if the prospect really does fall within your criteria for a prospective client or prospect. On that basis you can then arrange a meeting as appropriate.
Here are some rules that should be merged into your prospecting scripts:
- The people that you talk to want to be involved in the conversation. On that basis you need to ask sensible and realistic questions related to the property industry. Be sensitive to the fact that the person you call will not open up completely with you until you have established a degree of trust in the conversation. It is important that they feel relaxed and not threatened by a pushy salesperson. Professional salespeople create good connections over the telephone.
- Approach the first cold call or prospect call on the basis of a simple survey questioning process. The call should be about them and not about you. This is where the right questions will help you establish rapport. The reason for your call is to identify their potential property needs. Do not push for a meeting until you understand that they have a genuine need or an interest.
- Be prepared to introduce yourself and your business. Be honest through the conversation but allow the prospect to talk at least 50% of the time. It is of great benefit to have a simple script to get the conversation going. Beyond that starting point, Uncategorized conversation should flow and the script should be irrelevant. Your target is to get conversation moving inside of 20 seconds. A good conversation leads to information and potentially a productive meeting.
- If the person is unwilling to talk to you or be open and frank in the discussions, then thank them for the ability to speak with them today and then move on respectfully and politely. There are plenty of people to talk to and on that basis you need to move to the next person or the next opportunity.
There is a real skill to the prospecting and calling process. If you diligently adopt the discipline behind the task, you will find that progress will be made within about two or three weeks of making calls.