How to Prospect by Phone With Confidence – Day 11 of 30 D2aBB

Why the Opening Statement is Most Important...

At the Massimo Group, and personally, no topic gets more questions than that of prospecting.

I’ve heard stories about how animals can smell fear. I think prospects can too. The truth is, there is only one thing you are almost guaranteed to be able to say on a prospecting call – the opening statement.

Prospecting by Phone

I know there are people out there that like to work of scripts – where they decided beforehand everything they are going to say. I’ve read books about prospecting and different ways to do it. Most I would not recommend. The best prospectors are those that get into a call asking questions and guide the conversation based on what they are learning.

Conceivably, no two prospecting calls should sound the same…save for the opening statement. This is your opening line. This you should script. This you should practice…and then practice some more.

This benefit statement should communicate who you are, who you work with, and why you are calling. It should share with them the benefit that lies in their future should they give you more time.

The entire purpose of this benefit statement is to earn the right for more time – that’s it.

Here is the template of my opening statement:

Hello Mr. [Prospect]. My name is [Your Name] with [Your Company]. The purpose of my call is to share with you [benefit you are offering to entice them to agree to meet with you].

The benefit you are offering them needs to be compelling. Maybe it is a market report (boring). Maybe it is a recent deal you did that is a comp for their property (exciting). Maybe it is some juicy market info that will affect the value of their property. Regardless, it needs to be enticing.

So I want you to script your opening statement. Practice it until it is as natural to say as it is to breath. When you get to that point, you can begin your calls with confidence – and not timidity and fear – knowing you are going to nail the one thing you know you will get to say.

After that – it’s up to you!

Question: How do you start a prospecting call? I’d love to see many of us share what we do and how it works. Let’s make the comment section a repository of the wisdom and experience that makes up the readers of this blog! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Phillip Fletcher


    Great post, this is very valuable for me at the moment since I am new to the business and prospecting a lot. I have been focusing on tenant rep, mainly expiring leases coming up in the next 6m-1yr.

    I have been calling and saying, “Hi (Bob), my name is _______ with ___________. My records show that your lease expires next_______, I wanted to reach out and see if you had any plans to relocate/expand/renew/re-negotiate your current lease”

    If I get a voicemail I always follow up with an email explaining who I am, what I do, etc.

    Is there any specific advice you have for me Bo in regards to tenant rep? anything you would change in my opening line?

    Any advice is appreciated

    • Phillip – thanks for commenting.

      My first thought is you sound like most tenant reps. What problems do tenants face? What can you solve for them? What if you asked them how they deal with CAM reconciliation? Then you could share with them how you could help them with that.

      • Phillip Fletcher

        I agree, Im very new to the business (going on my third month in) so CAM reconciliation is still somewhat new and uncharted territory for me. My goal has been “get a meeting for my boss” as is usually the case with new associates. I will look into this more, thanks Bo.

  • Bill Mears

    Hello Bo. I am predominately a landlord rep leasing and selling industrial buildings. I have been struggling to develop an opening statement and your blog inspired me to knock one out…

    “Hi Bo this is Bill Mears with Coldwell Banker Commercial – Reason for my call, we recently helped 2
    national companies, Conagra & AM Castle, with their stateline area expansion needs at rates at or below market and wanted to see if we might be able to help you do the same.”

    Whadda think?

  • Nicholas

    Hi Bo,

    Great article, thanks so much. The way I learned CRE from my mentors has certainly shaped the way I prospect on the phone, but for me effective phone prospecting starts with effective street canvassing.

    I’ve always enjoyed canvassing on the street and learning the market by being out in the field shaking the trees, beating bushes, and walking in the front door on prospects.

    When making a call on the phone, I always first remind myself that the decision maker I’m reaching out to likely receives multiple dozens of “cold calls” / day, 5 to 6x per week, thus possibly 100 or more calls per week every week 52 weeks a year. Multiply that by a 10 20 or 30 year career and the amount of inbound traffic becomes mind boggling. Thus, when I am fortunate to get the prospect on the phone, I try to get right into it.

    To me, the most effective call on the phone has been to immediately and quickly show the person on the phone that I have true information of value to the prospect that has come to my knowledge AS A DIRECT RESULT OF MY STREET CANVASSING. For example, if I know thru my canvassing efforts that a tenant is actively in the market looking to relocate and is down the road on negotiations on a new building, and that tenant is not interested in my services, I immediately call the owner, introduce myself and explain to them that I have material knowledge that their tenant is looking to leave and as a result of that a void would be created in the property which represents a significant loss of income., and that I happen to have multiple tenants (or buyers) looking for a building just like the one I’m calling about.

    Sometimes the owner is surprised, sometimes they are not. Either way, if rhe conversation flows well and rapport is developed, the owner invariably asks the magic question “so what’s my building worth?” In my rookie years I would blurt out the answer and immediately email the owner sales and lease comps, never to hear from the owner again! Now, as a bit more of a seasoned broker, this is the moment when I go for a meeting close, and I always push to meet at the subject property. If, at this point, the owner grants that meeting, that’s when I know I’ve really got something!