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What is the best prospecting or lead generation method?

Here's the situation, you are a new agent with no contacts or sphere of influence but you have identified 50 people that you want to talk with about the chance of doing business together. What prospecting or lead generation method would be the most effective or efficient?
If you've already identified 50 suspects, then you've already generated the leads, so you can cross "lead generation" off your list, at least for this group.

Next, you need to see if you can turn those suspects into prospects. If you want to do marketing, do mail or something else. If you want to do selling, I would recommend that you phone them or visit them in person.

Realtor, I admire your tenacity in voicing your questions here at SalesPractice. I hope everyone's responses have been helpful. - by Skip Anderson
My brain is in a knot trying to put this all together because there are so many people saying that cold calling isn't effective but I don't see a better choice when I already know who I want to sell to. - by realtor
I don't understand - the replies on your thread say to call - who is it saying not to call or that calling doesn't work? Maybe the people you work with tell you to drop by or mail something or that calling isn't effective - Skip gives stopping by as an option to calling.

When you say you want to know what's effective and not effective my question is: effective in doing what? My answer is: effective in finding out if someone wants me to represent them or not? What's your answer?

Are you afraid to call? That's another question to address. Most everyone is - the next question is: why? Then: how to deal with it or eliminate it.

MitchM - by MitchM
I don't understand - the replies on your thread say to call - who is it saying not to call or that calling doesn't work? Maybe the people you work with tell you to drop by or mail something or that calling isn't effective - Skip gives stopping by as an option to calling.

When you say you want to know what's effective and not effective my question is: effective in doing what? My answer is: effective in finding out if someone wants me to represent them or not? What's your answer?

Are you afraid to call? That's another question to address. Most everyone is - the next question is: why? Then: how to deal with it or eliminate it.

MitchM
You and Skip and Houston aren't the ones saying cold calling isn't effective it's other people on other blogs.

Cold calling is an act of frivolity. In today's market, cold calling is the most ineffective lead generation tool out there.
Cold calling is ineffective, inefficient and a waste of time.
Cold calling doesn't work today. It is inefficient and ineffective, and deserves to be retired as a selling technique.
I want to be smart about prospecting and if cold calling isn't the way to go then I want to find out what is. - by realtor
Mailings are a poor choice for fifty contacts. You could get in the car and drive to see each one but would they be there, would they see you? If you wanted to make sure they'd want to see you and be there you'd have to call so you'd be back to calling.

Are you sure the issue is finding out the best way or is it something else? I met a man over three years ago - we keep in contact - and he's still in the learning stage and getting his internal strength together stage of getting into business with our company and me as his helper.

We email from time to time and talk once in a while. Actually, he began looking at the business I'm in - in a general way - almost twelve years ago. When he emails he's always almost ready and has one more question for me - but he doesn't do much else.

All of that is to suggest that you can either take all the time you need researching until you feel confident you have the best way to begin or begin with something.

Identify any other fears you have - that's important too.

The best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
I can call that isn't a problem. I don't want to be going the wrong direction if I don't have to and I'm not sure if cold calling is the wrong direction. I want to get a solid yes or no on this if that is possible. - by realtor
Here's my take: A salesperson can either:

A. Have interaction with a prospect (cold calling, face-to-face cold calling, internet, etc.), or

B. Market and promote (flyers, advertising, public relations, etc.).

They both work for finding new business. Marketing takes longer and is more expensive.

Take your pick, or do several of them like many agents do. But to the best of my knowledge, there are no other options. - by Skip Anderson
Here's the situation, you are a new agent with no contacts or sphere of influence but you have identified 50 people that you want to talk with about the chance of doing business together. What prospecting or lead generation method would be the most effective or efficient?
At face value this appears to come down to initial contact which is going to happen one of two ways, either they are going to contact you or you are going to contact them. I'd take the bull by the horns and either pay these people a visit or call them on the phone and then follow up consistently with timely and relevant messages.

My brain is in a knot trying to put this all together because there are so many people saying that cold calling isn't effective but I don't see a better choice when I already know who I want to sell to. :dun
Don't get me started on this "cold calling doesn't work" propaganda. The question shouldn't be "Is cold calling effective?" the question should be "In this scenario is cold calling the most effective tactic for achieving my objective?". - by AZBroker
Here's the situation, you are a new agent with no contacts or sphere of influence but you have identified 50 people that you want to talk with about the chance of doing business together. What prospecting or lead generation method would be the most effective or efficient?
An episode of Celebrity Apprentice from a few weeks back comes to mind. The job was to raise money for charity selling hot dogs...with a $10,000 price tag. While the other celebrities argued and waxed philosophic about the best way to do it, Gene Simmons of KISS started making phone calls and was honest with the people he called. "I want you to buy a hot dog for $10,000. Yes, it's for charity." Nothing fancy and no "sexy" hook...just the truth. While the others argued, he raised somewhere around $60,000 himself, which was more than the others combined.

There's a great lesson to be learned here...don't let fear guide your actions. Fear wastes time, fear leads to poor decisions and fear loses you money.

The best way to prospect? Whatever you do, just DO it. Cold call, knock on doors, shake hands and pass out cards. For crying out loud...ASK for referrals. Just tell people what you do for a living and you're trying to meet as many new people as possible. It works. Yes, you will experience some rejection. Not everyone wants to meet you. No problem. There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people who are your potential client base.

If you spend too much time mulling things over and not enough time just getting it done, those people will become someone else's clients.

Whatever method you choose, just do it. - by Mark Boyd
I find that cold-calling generally doesn't work when the person doing the cold-calling isn't committed to it. Your most successful long-term agents have used cold calling with success in their career.
As a real estate coach, I've also found that most agents who are indecisive about cold calling are afraid of it. Afraid of rejection, no matter how anonymous it may be. Fear is the career killer. - by Mark Boyd
I think the bottom line is this, do it the way you're most comfortable. Learn from you're mistakes. The boomerrang will never come back to you unless you learn how to throw it! But by all means, do something, and learn from it. Everyone has an idea that won't work! - by mcaldwell
In my job we do a little of both cold calling and face to face. The face to face works well if you can get in the door with someone. I have always found cold calling the easiest and fastest way to generate solid prospect leads.

The hardest part in all of this is just doing it. I have seen sales reps that will just sit there looking at the phone like it is going to do the work for them, or driving around the block ten times before they pull in to speak with someone. You just need to grab the bull by the horns and go after it. - by jpdobbs
I just began, for back of a letter phrase, face-to-face cold calling. I'm going to the businesses on the suspect list that I made and am gathering contact information for the specific person that I need to speak with about my line of products. Next I'll follow up with a call to that person.

I was nervous at first but out of 16 places that I visited I came away with 15 names and direct numbers of the person that I will need to speak with. thmbp2; I'm sure that it got me further than just calling and asking for the information.

The biggest plus about going about it this way is that I'm seeing potential clients around every corner that I never had even noticed before. With my list of ten I ended up visiting sixteen businesses (industrial) just because I saw them while driving by. Not bad for one morning.

I know that this approach won't necessarily work for every salesperson but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Jamie ;sm - by jamieimus
That's great. At least you made an effort to try something. As said in an earlier post, some people will drive around a business 15 times before ever going in. Just nervous. One thing that I do when cold calling face to face is carry a fax back sheet. I just simply tell a little about my business and if I can't get to the right person, I'll leave that sheet. I have a space where interested parties can fill in and fax their information back to you. You would be surprised at the number of people that will fax it back.

Again, not everyone agrees with that approach, but so be it. You have to try and do something or nothing will ever happen. As I have always heard in sales, "Things don't just happen, you have to make them happen." - by mcaldwell
Look, Realtor, you seem to be asking a question when you are already part way through the prospecting phase of doing business. How did you find these 50? Referrals? Advertising?

When you quote that cold calling doesn't work - even if I do not argue that it works only if you know how to do it properly - it is irrelevant to the situation if you have for instance gotten 50 names of friends from your friends. In this case, calling is the ONLY way to proceed. You do not want to trust a message as important as "My name is _____________. The reason fro the call is we have a mutual friend in Jim Smith and I wanted to introduce myself to you .... by the way, I am in the real estate business ..."

Cold Calling is about not having any kind of link to the prospect. They are COLD. If you have 50 names then you must have some connection to them. Don't trust that to a letter important information to a letter.

Also - realize that the cold calling does not belong in business any more stuff is not new. Sales people have been crying that their company does not do enough advertising for hundreds of years, ever since the invention of newspapers!

The point is; don't beleive everything you read. we know prospecting and the phone is an incredible source of business. Not only that but I can show you exactly how to use it effectively with a very high probability of gaining a qualified prospect with a person you did not know or with someone you have some kind of lead into (referral, ad response or commendations/announcements).

Seriously, we need to know exactly how you got the 50 names together on your list to advise you any better than we have.

If I was in real estate I would be using referrals big time. After that I would be using direct marketing and door knocking. I would also use the newspaper for lead generation, especially the announcements portion of the paper. I would also target people relocating from out pf town/state/province ... with a website and Pay Per Click ads. Lastly I would never stop recontacting my prospects and past clients with letters, Christmas gifts, etc.

In short, I would do it all. - by Gold Calling
Seriously, we need to know exactly how you got the 50 names together on your list to advise you any better than we have.
I got the 50 names from the Title company. They provide a list of homes for sale by owners as a way of giving value up front so we'll use them on the back end. Others in the office say it's the same list you can buy from Landvoice. I've been calling these lists and I have got a listing. I thought if there was a better way to use the lists this would be a good place to ask. - by realtor
I've been calling these lists and I have got a listing.
Great, so you enjoyed some success. From how many calls?

If you got a listing from talking to 13 out of 50, then you would expect about 4 listings from 50. Calling 50 people is a part time venture for one week ... 4 listings in one week? WOW!

The COST PER LISTING is not just the cost of the list but the time required. To me, unless you called all 50 to get that listing, sounds to me that this is working very well.

However, this is NOT a warm call.

Clearly, that info on the Internet about how cold calling does not work is confusing. As we see from this whole post and from the revelation of where the names on your list were garnered from, we see there isn't any other way of building your prospect list and PROPERTY LISTINGS from this particular source. Mail would be no where near as effective and it looks like this mini campaign of targeting 50 is definitely worth repeating ... I warn all readers now, the Internet is a source of misleading information as well as that which you would say came from a leader.

Go for it Realtor, you sound like you are on the cusp of an explosion in results. work long term on building your relationships with people who will list with you in the future while you increase your current listings. - by Gold Calling
Nice to see some of these old threads recycled.

I don't believe that there is one universal best prospecting or lead generation method.

The KEY is to do whatever you do extremely well. That means things have to be well thought out for real world selling--and TESTED. - by Ace Coldiron
Breath of fresh air Ace. It's nice to see someone who is not stuck on one particular method for all. I have never really like cold calling on a phone (have done and will if I must) but have never had a problem going belly to belly. Pretty much as you say, find what works best for you and learn to do it well. - by mcaldwell
Here's the situation, you are a new agent with no contacts or sphere of influence but you have identified 50 people that you want to talk with about the chance of doing business together. What prospecting or lead generation method would be the most effective or efficient? - by realtor
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