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You’re Giving Up Too Soon When Prospecting

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This month I have been traveling the country and presenting strategies on prospecting. This week I hosted a national webinar on the same subject. During these sessions, we addressed the meaning of prospecting (asking for the business), the objective of initial prospecting efforts (getting the meeting) and approaches of prospecting (letters, calls, meetings – never emails).

One question I always ask my audience is frequency of prospecting; that is how many times they may call a prospect before giving up. More times than not the answer is 3. 3! Really? The underlying reason is the adopted mindset of “3 strikes and you’re out!”

Last time I checked commercial real estate was not played on a diamond-shaped field. There was no one pitching you balls to hit, although the idea of prospects calling you directly is where you should strive to be. If you must use baseball as an analogy, consider this:

Babe Ruth  was known as the Home Run King (The magical 714, before the great Hank Aaron, and the presumed medically-enhanced Barry Bonds).
Babe Ruth also held the record for most strike-outs (now held by Reggie Jackson, who also is #14 on the most home runs list of all time).
Ironically Babe Ruth’s jersey number was  #3.

How many home runs would Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds or even Reggie Jackson have hit if instead of “3″, the rule was “7 strikes and you’re out!”

Seriously, how many more home runs would Babe Ruth have hit if he had 4 more chances to swing his bat every time he got up? One could easily project double. How many more times would he have struck out? Given the hypothetical “7 strikes and you’re out”, he would have actually struck out a lot less.

Now consider these facts on prospecting:

– It takes an average of 7 attempts to simply make a contact with a prospect.
– It takes an average of 7 no’s from a prospect before they say yes.


Professional persistence pays off. Drop the baseball mindset. By putting these limits on your efforts, you are putting limits on your success.


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