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2 Prospecting Mistakes Made by CRE Professionals, and How to Avoid Them

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Earlier this year our COO, Bo Barron, presented a record-attended webinar outlining the 4 key questions that will get your prospects talking, and increase the likelihood of you securing a meeting. In addition, he shared 2 key mistakes made by many commercial real estate brokers when prospecting.

We uploaded the recording of the webinar, including the 4 specific questions CRE prospects love to answer, on the CRE Mastery group page on Facebook. Today, I thought I would expand on these questions and share with you best practices for using them.

Mistake #1 – You don’t build rapport. If you are at lunch with one of your best friends and they confide in you with a deep secret of theirs, you often feel the need to turn around and confess something to them and confide in them. That’s our social norm of reciprocity and relationships. The problem with that is that the inverse is also true. If you ask a question before there is rapport and before there is a relationship established, you create this awkward situation that makes them want to run a from you, and from the call. For your prospecting calls, this means you should not follow up your opening statement with a deep question about how they feel about something.

My point here is that you don’t want to get into their feelings right off the bat. Instead, one possible approach would be: “Hi, my name is Joan Smith with ABC Commercial Group. The reason for my call is to set up a meeting because I’ve placed three of the tenants in this building in the last six months and I’ve seen what the landlord is offering to secure and retain tenants like you. I thought that information might be good for you.” 

Mistake #2 – Failure to empathize. Think about this in terms of a movie or screenplay. Screenwriters use empathy to establish and position the mentor in a story. If you think about Yoda in Star Wars, Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, or even David Spade in Tommy Boy — they’re all the ‘guide’, the mentor to the hero of the story. The guide (or mentor) is the person who demonstrates empathy and authority. If you fail to show empathy, you’re positioning yourself as the hero of the story — this is what most brokers do. The problem is that your prospect self identifies as the hero of their own story. What successful brokers do (in a very smooth way) is position themselves as the guide, showing empathy to their prospect — which removes the competition to be the hero of the story. This shows that you agree with your prospect that they are the hero of their story, and you can come alongside them as their guide to help them succeed on their journey.

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