When we think of prospecting it often brings to mind the practice of cold calling. Indeed, this is still a foundational part of a good prospecting strategy. In order to make the most of the time spent on that process, it’s smart to craft your prospect list with solid leads rather than a hit and miss collection of names.
Prospecting takes consistent, targeted effort that pulls contacts from a range of sources. Your professional network and referrals from former clients are both critical elements for bringing new clients and deals into the pipeline. At the end of the day, CRE is a business that’s based on relationships.
As technology has become more and more specialized to meet the needs of brokers, there are opportunities to be found within your database as well. Information that’s available within your CRM or from some of the excellent data aggregation services out there can be key to identifying people who are ready to do business and are looking for the properties and services you can provide.
Identify your ideal prospect
Keeping in mind what you have to offer, build a list of attributes that an ideal prospect will possess. This is the way to ensure that your list only includes qualified prospects. Length is not what makes for a good prospect list – quality is.
Keep in mind the attributes of qualified prospects:
- need commercial real estate services
- know they need commercial real estate services
- have the authority to act on their need
- have the budget to back up their authority
- feel a sense of urgency to act
- know your company and has had a positive experience in the past
- know you and likes and trusts you
- are willing to follow your guidance
Match needs to data
When you’ve identified existing needs, consider how your data can point toward contacts with those needs. For example, you might focus on finding companies likely to be looking for new office space in the near future. You can use property leasing and mortgage information to generate a list of firms whose commercial lease will expire soon. Also, remember to pay attention to things like acquisitions. If a company has recently expanded, it’s likely they will need additional space or possibly need to relocate entirely.
Once a list of new prospects is generated, you can identify the decision-makers through data as well, then gather their contact information and establish a profile of their activities, connections, deals, and interests. This profile can serve as the basis for making meaningful contact that is vastly more effective than a one-size-fits-all sales call.
Categorize and update
As new prospects are identified, group them strategically to save yourself time later. You might categorize people according to their location, industry, or even how long they’ve been in their current location. A single prospect may fit into several categories.
If you’re using a good CRM, it can be painless to update information on these prospects. Details can be gathered into one place, and notes and changes will be automatically updated throughout the system.
Identifying top-quality prospects is well worth the time and effort, and utilizing the data that you already have on hand can streamline the process.