We’ve all been there, having to make the “dreaded” cold call. While few commercial brokers are a fan of cold calling, they’re a reality for this industry — especially when you’re a broker who’s just starting out.
Cold calling often feels uncomfortable because the person isn’t expecting to hear from you, and you have no idea if they’re in the right mood or frame of mind to have a sales conversation.
Like anything else, it’s all about the approach. Whether you’re a seasoned broker or just starting out, there’s an opportunity to change how you view cold calling.
This starts with embracing the idea that you’re never actually making a call that’s truly cold because you always have insight backing up your prospecting.
Your ultimate goal is to consistently be of value to prospects as it’s a way to stand out from other commercial brokers. Being prepared with research and thinking ahead to anticipate their questions shows them you’ve taken the time to understand their needs. By adding value, you’re also able to build trust with your prospects from day one.
Here are two specific ways to help you move from a cold calling to warm calling approach.
It’s all about research
Building new relationships is the lifeblood of a commercial real estate brokerage, and many times, cold calls are essential.
The key to making cold calls work is by doing your research so that it’s not a cold call anymore but rather a “warm” call. You have intelligence about the prospect, and you’re focusing your energy on calling the right people at the right time. Plus, in 2019, there are no excuses for not having done your homework!
Your goal is to start a conversation, so you need to research each prospect to gain an understanding of their specific needs and have a thoughtful approach. You can then devise a way to capture the prospect’s attention using new market information, investment and property management strategies, or one of the other conversation starters shared here.
Take the time to not only do your research but to make detailed notes based on what you discover, and outline your approach to each prospect in your CRM. That way, you’ll have the information you need at your fingertips when it’s time to get on the phone.
A good example of this approach is Matt Lyman. He’s used his CRM to sort and organize his prospects, making his calling more efficient. Coupled with his research, he’s able to more easily make connections with each prospect, and he’s no longer doing any cold calls, as every approach is now a warm one.
Adding value with every single interaction
At the heart of a warm calling approach is a commitment to ensuring that you’re adding value to your prospect with every single interaction (even if you’re currently not doing that much cold outreach). You’re working on building trust, which means the prospect needs to know you’re willing to invest time and effort into the relationship.
To do this, you need to move away from simply “checking in,” and instead, focus on delivering value, as most commercial brokers are going to send the check-in email or place a follow-up call looking for an update.
To set yourself apart, you can contact prospects when you have something legitimate to offer. This can be market information, timely news about the city they’re interested in, a relevant map, or even an article or blog post. You can also use specific events, such as personnel changes or news about the company, as a reason to reach out. The key is delivering the right intelligence to them based on where they are in the process.
While the approach for each prospect should be personalized, there likely will be some overlap in terms of the value you can provide, which can help save time when you get on the phone. You can use your CRM to keep these details organized and to avoid duplicating efforts when reaching out to prospects with similar needs.
Plus, your CRM helps you consolidate data, so you’re connecting with people at the ideal time and not letting things slip through the cracks. Take the time to make use of notes and reminders so you’re able to stay on track with your outreach.
The bottom line is you need to have a plan for your cold calls so that you’re never making calls that are truly cold. By crafting a solid strategy and putting it in place before you start your next round of cold calls, you’re going to make the entire process more efficient and effective. Adding value to your prospects on every call — every time — means the best experience possible for both you and your potential clients, and eventually, more conversations that turn into closed deals.
One of the best things you can do for your team is to have a system in place to make their work that much easier. Take a look at Apto to see how we can help you do just that.