Prospecting for Buyers

Setting and achieving prospecting goals

Start with easily attainable numbers so that you can build up your energy,intensity, focus, and discipline slowly and steadily. You wouldn’t decide to run a marathon without working your daily and weekly mileage up over time, and the same premise applies when establishing and meeting your prospecting goals.

Number of contacts made

When I take on a new coaching client, I almost always start them with a goal of five contacts a day, and I would suggest the same for you. Make a goal of five contacts a day without fail, resulting in the completion of 25 contacts a week. Note: A contact is a personal conversation with a decision maker who can make a purchase or sale or who might refer you to someone who could. A contact is not a conversation with the babysitter, a 10-year-old neighbor, a friendly teenager, or an answering machine.

It may take three to four weeks for you to get into the habit of contacting five prospects a day. However, once you’re able to achieve that goal for three weeks straight (without missing a single workday), you can raise your goal to seven or ten contacts a day.

Number of leads established

Leads are contacts that have demonstrated through their dialogues that they possess the basic motivation and desire to make a change in their living arrangements. When prospecting, until you either pre-qualify them yourself or they secure an appointment with a lender that determines they have the financial capacity to make a purchase, assume they have the ability to buy.

To advance your business, you should aim to develop at least one lead per day and five leads per week

Number of appointments secured

An appointment is a face-to-face meeting with prospects during which you

  • Discuss their needs and wants.
  • Share your working style.
  • Aim to gain their commitment to work with you in an exclusive relationship to sell their home or find them a home to purchase.

An appointment is the launch of the agent-client relationship. It isn’t a meeting during which you show a property.

Like your lead-generation goal, your appointment goal should be set at a reasonable level: A goal of one Appointment a week is a solid start. If you acquire two appointments, terrific, but make sure you can secure at least one.

Putting it all into perspective

If about now you’re wondering, “Hmm, five leads and only one appointment a week from all those calls,” realize that these are starting goals. It’s far better to begin with aims that you can actually achieve rather than ones that overwhelm you from the onset. As you gain consistency and skill in prospecting,both your numbers and your ratios will improve.

Too many agents burn out quickly when trying to prospect because their expectations, in terms of numbers of Contacts and the results of those contacts, are too grand. Start small and work up to avoid frustration and burn
out. Overestimating what you can do in a day or even a week is easy to do.But, remember, it’s just as easy to underestimate what you can accomplish in a month, quarter, or year.

Even if you simply maintained the goals and sales ratios of leads and appointments you set from the start, you would have a good year as a newer or inexperienced agent. At the end of the year, you would have made 1,250 contacts and created 250 leads. You also would have set and conducted 50 appointments and would have had two weeks off with your family to boot.

If only half of the appointments turned into listings or sales, you would have 25 deals in your first year. In most companies, that would make you rookie of the year. You would also earn more than $125,000 in gross commission
income. I don’t know too many people in real estate or in any other profession that make that type of money in their first year.

Shattering the myths

You’ve heard at least some of the reasons that agents use to avoid adopting sound prospecting techniques. “My market is different” or “You don’t understand how we do things here in Mayberry” are among the many. The truth is
that the techniques in this chapter work in every market area, everywhere in the world, at any point in time. So, bury the myths, especially with the ones that follow.

There’s a magic pill . . .
Real estate success is built on a series of fundamentals. One of those fundamentals is prospecting.

Plenty of people work to sell agents on some magic pill they can take to avoid the fundamental need to prospect. These people are greeted by a willing market, since many agents secretly want, and hope for, a prospecting-free
existence — just as people secretly hope those guys on the late-night infomercials are right that they can buy a home for no money down at below market prices, or that if people pop one pill they can eat whatever they want
and not have to work out, while still losing weight and gaining a sculpted body. Dream on. You won’t find a magic mailing program, calendar, magnet,marketing piece, or Web site that makes up for the fundamental need to pick
up the phone and start prospecting for new clients.

Success without work: Does it really exist?
Agents are quick to share with you how they got where they are today, passionately describing their techniques, the people who helped them, or the products that made the difference.

While a few of these agents can tell you the cause and effect link between their actions or techniques and their sales and revenue, more than 95 percent truly have no idea or can’t quantify their success for you.

Your job is to pull the curtain back to reveal the truth about gimmicks. In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow, and The Cowardly Lion were all mesmerized and scared of the great and powerful Oz.
It took a small dog named Toto to reveal that Oz was a little man pulling levers and using a sound system to produce the semblance of greatness and power. The same is often true in real estate sales: The magical marketing,
advertising, and promotion gimmicks only work when someone is doing the behind-the-scenes work. The guys pulling the prospecting levers will always make their own magic.