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Part 3: Avoid the Quicksand of the Trivial

February 03 2011

thumbsup thumbsdownWhen it comes to technology and the real estate agents, I believe agents want to use technology to its fullest extent to serve customers better and in the most cost-efficient way. But they have been overrun by technology.

Some real estate agents are are searching for a technique, tool, software or system that will eliminate the task of prospecting, when in fact it will only eliminate prospects. It’s time to get back in touch with some real, fundamental principles about the reality of prospecting.

Tip #3: Avoid the quicksand of the trivial

Does this happen to you? You approach the office with the full intention of making prospecting calls. As you drive up, the cell phone rings and a client needs a feature sheet faxed. Then in the office lobby someone begins a conversation about how his most recent transaction is going and asks your opinion on how to handle it. In your message box there are six telephone slips that need attention. On the way to your desk, you stop and chat with a colleague. At your desk, you go through the mail and set it on top of yesterday's pile. While you return your first call, you log on to get your email. You delete the junk, then in between telephone calls, you start responding to the other emails. While you search your database for the people to call, you see a couple of details that need attention and make some calls. Now you are digging through files for papers to address the problems from the calls. Pretty soon you are completely buried in the tyranny of the mundane and it’s time for lunch. Another morning is blown.

Next time do this: Leave a list of key prospects on top of a clean desk at the end of the day. When you get to the office the next morning, go straight to the desk and make your calls. After you’ve done that, turn on your computer, get your messages, respond to emails and return phone calls.

Having the discipline to prospect is more important than your technique. Bob Bohlen, CRS, a top agent and broker from Brighton, Mich., showed me how he disciplines himself. He has a grid of numbers from one to 100. Every time he initiates a contact he puts a line through a number. If contact is made he puts an X and if an appointment results then he circles the number. His goal is to make a mark on a predetermined number each day. This simple system also reminds us that prospecting is a numbers game—if you make enough calls, you will get an appointment.

You can use the same type of system to follow up. The first contact to a prospect isn’t the most important one, it’s the one after that, and after that. If you’ve gone to the effort to make a first call, stay the course and keep following up.