I’ve recently had a number of my New to the Business (N2B) coaching clients ask me for prospecting scripts. They are new clients, and they are new to commercial real estate (CRE). Had they been with me for a while, they would have known not to ask. I want to share with you why in this post.
But first, a story…
I’m in my 15th year of marriage. I love my wife more today than I ever have. She is incredible, and I count myself one of the most blessed men on the planet.
But…we still deal with conflict. She is not married to a perfect man. And despite her awesomeness, she isn’t perfect either.
Recently, we were dealing with some conflict in our marriage that had gone on for a number of days. My wife was frustrated with me. I was frustrated with the situation. Life in the Barron household was not smooth or enjoyable…at all.
I was talking with one of my mentors, sharing with him the situation. I explained that I was wracking my brain trying to construct the perfect sequence of words that would miraculously bring my wife around to my way of agreement. There must be some perfect way for me to communicate my position which would render her helpless to disagree. Right?
He laughed. He is a serious man. I can’t remember the last time he laughed. I didn’t find any of this funny at all.
But explaining this story to you, it is funny. It is funny that I had believed a fallacy – a lie. The truth is…you can’t say X in such a perfect way that guarantees Y. None of us are a real life Heisenberg (if you get that reference, then you and I would be great friends).
The same is true in CRE prospecting. There are no magic scripts. There is no perfect sequence of words that you can say in a particular tone that will instantly persuade your prospect to meet with you. It just doesn’t happen.
In case you don’t want to take my word for it, here are the 5 reasons why using a prospecting script won’t work for you:
1. Your Prospects Are Different – They have different pain points. They have different needs. They have different motivations. No two of them are the same. That is why CRE is such a constant challenge. No two deals, prospects, or clients are the same.
2. You Don’t Commit Intellectual Suicide – Prospecting is about getting inside your prospects’ heads and understanding what problems and opportunities they have. That means you have to think. You have to react. You have to be proactive. You do not commit intellectual suicide to prospect.
3. Specialties In CRE Are Different – Line up 5 brokers in a row, each with a different specialty. There is no script on the planet that will work for all of them any conceivable amount of time. Different property types attract different types of people with different needs.
4. Asking Questions Is The Most Critical Skill – And how do you know what problems and opportunities exist for a prospect? You learn to ask great questions. My brother-in-law is a natural at this. It is a learned skill for me. Regardless, you need to get good at. Your competition is going to talk about themselves and their companies. You need to ask great questions and allow your prospects to tell you how to win their business.
5. System over Script – In prospecting, it is your system that is important, not the script. How do you warm-up a prospect? What are your ratios – your numbers? A system will produce predictable results over a long enough period of time. The system is what you tweak and improve.
Now don’t get me wrong. Having a plan for your prospecting calls is huge. You need to prepare. You need to understand the purpose of the prospecting call. You need to understand how to turn a call into a meeting. You need to understand the anatomy of a prospecting call. You need to utilize prospecting best practices.
You need to research and do your homework.
Being a market expert and implementing prospecting best practices gives you the ability to understand the need of the moment for your prospects – and customize your solution, on the fly, so you can get a meeting.
Bo, very nice article and very well stated. However, as brokers we must remember it is not about us but about them. When we build the “trust” we build clients for life. My very best to you and your family.