Prospect for Profit

To ensure that you will have a steady stream of new clients flowing into your office, you need a prospecting plan that will work for you. Every top sales associate in this country spends one to four hours a day generating new leads. If you don’t do that, you’re out of the business.

Prospecting. It’s the lifeblood of your business. It’s hard work, which is why most sales associates don’t want to do it. But it’s the most profitable way to generate revenue because you’re primarily investing your time.

It takes time, patience, and discipline, but the rewards are worth the effort. The good news is that creating a workable prospecting plan is easier than you think. Here are some helpful steps to get those leads flowing.

Step-by-Step Prospecting Plan

Step 1: Decide whom and how many.

Prospecting is all about the numbers. In order to determine how many prospecting contacts you need to make each month, you should know what percentage of those contacts will either do or send you business.

Once you know how many prospects you need to contact, you can break down your number into daily or weekly segments to make your goal more manageable.

You also have to keep in mind that not all prospects are equal. Your best bet is calling your past clients and your sphere of influence. Call them with frequency. With them, you will probably have a higher conversion rate so you won’t need as many leads as cold-calling. Only after exhausting all other prospecting options should you cold-call.

Step 2: Choose your tools.

Though prospecting may recall up an image of a vexed salesperson clutching a phone book, today’s prospecting arsenal is much larger. Different prospecting techniques will generate different prospects.

Here’s an overview of the best common prospecting tools.

  • Postcards are best as high-impact contacts with strangers.

  • Web sites that allow consumers to search MLS listings are best for attracting buyers, since most begin their home search on the Internet.

  • Phone calls are an ideal way to maintain your relationship with past clients and nudge them to provide referrals or become active again in real estate. Keep in mind, however, that federal do-not-call rules prohibit a business from calling consumers unless it’s done business with it in the last 18 months.

  • Newsletters build relationships with prospects and past clients to generate referrals.

Whatever tools you use, track your results. The most important thing you can do is to track your leads by source and decide which prospecting tools work best.

Step 3: Put in the time.

A plan is only a useless list unless you actually carry it out. So get cracking.

Try to meet at least two top prospects each week for an hour-long meeting and try to get face-to-face with all the top of the list prospects at least every six weeks, eight weeks at the max.

Step 4: Don’t give up.

One big reason many sales associates avoid prospecting is their fear of rejection. Come to think of it, you get rejected by your kids all day long. You ask them to clean their room, and they say no. So why are you worried about what people you don’t know say?

You understand the fear, but you should consider rejection the prospect’s loss, not yours. Preparing physically and mentally before making calls helps you perform with confidence and takes the sting out of the almost inevitable rejection.

Your own version may involve high-energy music, positive affirmations, or an inspirational quote on your computer monitor. Do whatever works as a way to remind yourself of the value of positive thinking in achieving your goal.

Test new mailing copy and practice new phone script approaches with friends. Test each new approach for a specific amount of time to see if it improves your conversion ratio. You’ll find what works best and feel like you’re making progress — a great way to counteract rejection burnout.

It’s time for you to make beautiful prospecting music like the Pros by being as dedicated as they are to the art of finding new clients.

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