By Nicole Attias

With our changing world, businesses have had to adapt. It is one thing to pick up the phone and prospect during normal times, and quite another during a recession or depression. Businesses are now using more social media, video calls and other online marketing tools. However, speaking live with new people is not only effective but refreshing in real estate and various businesses. Now is your opportunity to be seen by others as an advisor in your line of business. An expert. Someone who cares and offers solutions. Here are some helpful tips to help with prospecting  during slow times. They are aimed at the IC&I market but also can apply to residential clients.



Get curious:

Call to check in and ask how your clients are doing. How are they doing business today versus a few months ago? Act as an advisor or consultant. Hear their story. Only if appropriate, book a meeting for down the road.

Discuss the benefits of what you do and how you can add value to their current situation. Be persistent over time – not on the spot. If they say, “This isn’t a good time, can you call me in a few months?” then call them in a few months. If they say, “Call me next week”, do so. Your persistence will absolutely, without question, pay off. But it must be done according to their timeline – not yours. People usually appreciate the time you take with them. Listening is part of it. Be present.

Have a plan:

Most people will avoid prospecting because of how many times they hear the word no until they get to a simple yes. Remember, any response is better than no response. The more no’s you hear, the closer you are to that yes.

Track how many dials you make per day, week or month. Follow their timeline for appropriate follow up. Being organized and detailed this way will yield results. Combine patience and persistence to your craft. Prospecting can work wonders over time. Always, always, always ask for the next step. Book a video call. Send pertinent information. Combine social media and be precise with your follow up calls. Slower times do not mean avoiding difficult cold calls. You are planting seeds.

Alter your mindset:

Reconnect with old contacts during slower times. You will be amazed at how many people will be even more receptive to talking. With our changing world, we are connecting on new levels. Maximize this. Take this exact same mindset and apply it to your regular cold calls and prospecting efforts.

Be an ear for others and build up the relationship over time. Be patient, knowing that you are staying connected and when the time is right, they will remember you. See the long-term big picture. Maintain that focus. Take the time to learn about the industries you are targeting and how you will approach them. Who are their competitors? How are they doing during slow times? Gain information and apply what you learn to your future prospecting efforts.

Sales reps are often given a bad name. They can be viewed as too pushy, self-centred or at worst, money hungry. Because of this, prospecting over the phone and door knocking are seen as something of the past.

Yet cold calling is not dead. It is one of the most effective ways to get in the door to meet new prospects and close new business.  Not everyone fits into this negative image. Understanding that playing the numbers game involves rejection and frustration will allow you to get past this point and yield results.  Cold calling cannot be negated. CEOs and CFOs appreciate persistence in getting in the door. They were there once too. Hiding behind email or social media will only get you so far. During slow times, get creative. Make it fun. Arrange video calls, online group meetings and simple phone chats. Work with what you have.

 

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