Yes, this New Yorker lives in the heart of college basketball; the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina. Three ACC schools, all less than 20 miles apart – NC State, UNC, and my beloved Duke Blue Devils. Next week local offices will empty early as folks head out to their favorite sports bars to watch the ACC Tournament, which is, ironically, being held in Brooklyn, NY this year.

The following week, the NCAA college basketball championship tournament – more affectionately known as March Madness, will begin. Sixty-eight teams, ranked in four brackets, all pursuing the mecca of “The Final Four”.

What the heck does this have to do with your commercial real estate practice? It turns out, plenty. You see, there are strong similarities between picking each team in the brackets and picking how you will spend your time, and which prospects to pursue.

First, picking basketball brackets is not easy. There are so many factors to consider outside of the strength of the teams themselves. How they match up with their opponents, who is injured, how far are they playing from home, and how well their fans travel are just some of the variables you need to consider. And of course, there are always upsets.

Now let’s look at your top prospects that you are going to pursue in March. What are the variables you need to consider when determining which ones are more likely to become clients, and which ones are going to take you to your CRE Final Four? Some factors to consider include:

  • How well does the prospect know you?
  • How well have you demonstrated your value?
  • How well have you aligned your prospecting message specifically to their needs?
  • Have your worked with this prospect before?
  • If so, have you shared how you increased your value since last working with them?

The most common prospecting approach (and also the least effective) is dialing for dollars and hoping someone answers that likes your offering. On the other hand, if you understand the variables noted above – you will have more, high quality conversations and continue to progress through your prospecting efforts. In doing this, you will hopefully determine your own ‘CRE Final Four’ and find yourself with some championship listings.

Please note this article was originally published March 2018

Using the March Madness Approach to Pick Your Best Prospects
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