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3 Biggest Mistakes Brokers Make When Cold Calling

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Are you following the right cold calling tips? Stop mindlessly calling random numbers and start converting your prospects into long-term clients!

In this article:

  1. What Are Cold Calls?
  2. From the Hunter to the Hunted
  3. The Best Cold Calling Tips Are Those That Engage the Prospect
  4. Mistake #1: You Don’t Offer Anything of Value
  5. Mistake #2: You Stay on the Phone Too Long
  6. Mistake #3: You Don’t Ask for Business
  7. Prospecting Better
  8. Add Value to Your Cold Calls

Cold Calling Tips | Melting the Ice


What Are Cold Calls?

Cold call: It is an attempt to sell goods or services through an unsolicited phone call or visit to a person who does not know the salesperson.

While they’re a staple in the sales industry, cold calling is actually an outdated and unproductive way to approach potential clients. Here at Massimo Group, we focus on Precision Prospecting Calls rather than cold calling.

In this article, we will talk about cold calling since a lot of CRE brokers still opt to conduct cold calls. That’s why we will tackle how you and your sales team can finally upgrade and move on from traditional cold calling.

From the Hunter to the Hunted

Wouldn’t it be nice to stop being a bother to prospects? These are effective, indispensable tips you can use to transition from being the ‘hunter’ into the ‘hunted.’

When I ended a 17-year brokerage career and moved to the development side in 2010, I also transitioned from being the “hunter” to being the “hunted.” On the receiving end, I average conservatively 5 sales calls per week, or 250 annually.

The Best Cold Calling Tips Are Those That Engage the Prospect

Smiling businessman on a phone | Biggest Mistakes Brokers Make When Cold Calling | brokers calls

I do my best to take all prospecting calls or return them, and probably do so 90% of the time. So it is not a stretch to say that I have listened to over 1,000 phone pitches from brokers in the last 5 years.

I am writing this because approximately 80% of them are making three basic mistakes that give them a bad time and I would like to help move them into the top 20% and help differentiate them from the pack. OK. I will admit it. I also enjoy and appreciate a good sales pitch.

Without further ado, if you want to secure more business, avoid making these three mistakes.

Mistake #1: You Don’t Offer Anything of Value

Relevant information is the most valuable thing you can offer to a client. The best brokers always have a relevant comp sale or some noteworthy news to share with me and to other potential clients.

Average brokers call me to “touch base” or even “shoot the breeze.” You guys are really social and I would probably enjoy sitting down over a cold beer with you.

Would that lead to business? Probably not.

The vast majority of cold callers will call me to “find out what is in my pipeline” then do nothing about it. If I take the time to share my development pipeline with you, at least send me some relevant market information or an occasional pitch.

You have to admit that calling me quarterly to find out what is in my development pipeline, for no apparent reason, is kind of weird and does nothing for lead generation.

What You Should Do:

Your clients should always learn something from your call. Never waste their time with a long cold call script consisting of gimmicks and hyped up news.

Rather, make an effort to understand what’s relevant in the commercial real estate industry and filter out what you feel your clients should know about. Keep in mind that every client has specific needs, so don’t expect to impress everyone with the same pieces of information.

Do not waste anyone’s time by sharing things that are not relevant. If it’s impossible for a client to invest in a property that’s hundreds of miles away from them, why would you force them to, right?

RELATED: 8 Great Reasons To Be More Assumptive In A Sales Call

Mistake #2: You Stay on the Phone Too Long

The best brokers are people who share something of value, ask enough questions to determine if there is an opportunity, and ask for the next step.

It is more than being respectful of MY time. THEY are way too busy (successful) to spend 15 minutes on the phone with me — at least that is my perception.

I am quick to take this broker’s call, even when I am busy. I can do this because I know I will learn something and I won’t be on the phone long.

If my experience with you is that I will learn something relevant and you will be brief, I will often intercept your call before my assistant can answer the call and route you back to me when I noticed your name flash across the caller ID. It minimizes chances of rejection from my end.

On the other hand, if I think I am going to learn something but it’s going to take 10 or 15 minutes, I will have to call you back when I am not busy. And my perception is that you are not all that busy.

There are some brokers who I have to return the call because they called at a bad time, like when I’m in the car driving or on a long trip, or when I am bored. I am just keeping it real.

What You Should Do:

What is the right amount of time to spend on a prospecting call? The answer: it varies.

That’s why it’s crucial to run a background check on your prospect before making a call. You can get an idea of how much time you need to dedicate to a certain person depending on what you know about them.

Keep track of subtle hints that show whether to cut the call or keep going. For example, if a client suddenly says “Thanks for calling, but I have to go,” that means you were on the phone too long.

You need to determine the subtle signs prospects give out when they’re not interested in what you’re saying. That way, you can change your script or immediately cut the call short.

Make it your goal to be the one who hangs up. You will increase the chances of prospects taking your subsequent calls by doing so.

Someone once said, “always leave them wanting more.” This is a good idea when prospecting, too. Also, don’t forget to find out the best times to cold call business owners.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Ask for Business

woman female on the phone cellphone on hand | Biggest Mistakes Brokers Make When Cold Calling | what is cold calling in real estate

Too many CRE brokers are too shy when it comes to asking for business. Society often portrays salespeople as aggressive extroverts who won’t take no for an answer, and there’s a reason for that.

The best CRE brokers are those who always ask for business. Whether you’re finding, selling, or leasing commercial properties, always put your game face on and try to control the conversation.

If you don’t, there’s a high chance that you’ll end up with a deal that only benefits other business parties, excluding you. Once you make a habit of giving in to your clients, you can bid your career in commercial real estate goodbye,

What You Should Do:

If you want to make your cold calls count, you should know how to find the perfect opportunities to move on to the next phase of the business deal. The best CRE brokers know when the right time is to ask for business.

For most CRE brokers, the next step is the broker-prospect meeting. If you successfully piqued your client’s interest over the phone, then they’ll probably agree to meet with you.

National CRE brokers, such as STNL brokers, should be experts at articulating their company’s value proposition and asking for business over the phone. In fact, the best brokers that I have talked to not only ask for the business, they expect it.

Also, always ask for the exclusive. For example, if I am going to list an investment property, do you really think I am going to entrust it to someone who won’t aggressively and oftenly ask me for the exclusive?

If you don’t ask me for the exclusive, I doubt you will aggressively ask a qualified prospect or decision maker to buy my property. An exclusive basically motivates CRE brokers by giving them a shot at a higher commission.

Asking for the exclusive shows the client how driven and serious you are about sales. Plus, it prevents investors from finding any loopholes in the contract so they can avoid or lessen your sales commission.

Prospecting Better

Knowing the best cold calling tips is useless if you don’t have anyone to apply them on. Of course, you should understand that not every single person you meet is a potential buyer.

A lot of sales managers say that everyone you meet on the street is a prospect. Everyone 10 feet to your north, east, west, and south are prospects –except for those 10 feet below since they’re dead.

However, Massimo Group is here to say that you shouldn’t waste your time bothering non-buying prospects. If a person isn’t the decision maker of an investment firm and holds no bearing on whether a deal will push through or not, then why should you waste your time calling them, right?

Instead, CRE brokers should start prospecting better to get a better conversion rate at the end of the quarter. Allot at least two hours every day to do some effective prospecting.

Make a strong appearance on social media, immerse yourself to different networking groups, and start collecting more business cards. Once you have a good list of prospects to contact, that’s the perfect time to start applying the most effective cold calling tips you’ve learned.

Add Value to Your Cold Calls

I can count on two hands the number of wonderful and thoughtful brokers who will share something of value, discover an opportunity, and not ask for the next step. I will always take your call when possible and I love to hear from you.

One day I may list something with you because you have been so helpful over the years. I know you are an above average broker with an above average income and a super nice person, but at the end of the day, I want to do business with sales professionals.

Please learn to ask for the meeting and ask for the business. Then do it early and often.

If you have given me something of value and discovered an opportunity, you have, at the very least, earned the right to present your value proposition and ask for the meeting or the next step.


If you will eliminate these 3 mistakes from your prospecting and cold calling script, I am confident that you will differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your effectiveness and income significantly, and minimize rejections.

Of course, the worst mistake you can possibly make is not making sales calls to begin with. So brush up on your cold calling techniques, get your prospect list, clear your throat, dial some numbers, and start setting business meetings!

Do you know the difference between cold calling and campaign-based, targeted prospecting? The difference is huge. In this 3-part Mini-Course Rod will take you through the exact pieces needed to create a prospecting campaign that will: target your ideal prospects, warm them up before the call, and give you the best chance to win their business! You can watch the mini-course here.

Up Next: Why Your Prospects Don’t Call You Back

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 1, 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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