The Difference Between the Amateur and the Pro

I was listening to a podcast this week as I was traveling to spend a few days at the global headquarters of the Massimo Group. I love listening to podcasts.

Amateurs practice until they get it right.Pros practice until they can't get it wrong.

And most of the major thought leaders in just about any industry have them now. I’d like to have create one myself at some point.

But consider this, you can learn anything through podcasts. The major thought leaders are offering to personally and virtually mentor you. And most of us don’t take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is out there waiting for…just waiting.

I listen to podcasts when I work out. I listen to them when I’m traveling in my car. I listen to them when I’m on a plane. I sometimes fall asleep listening to them in a hotel room. They stimulate my thinking. They challenge the status quo in my mind. They give me new ideas.

This particular podcast is called Steal the Show by a best-selling author and actor, Michael Port. He was interviewing a theatre teacher, Melissa Friedman, who said this about practice:

Amateurs practice until they get it right. Pros practice until they can’t get it wrong.

How true is that?! I love that quote. And even more true is the fact that by this definition, most of us are amateurs.

All of us can benefit by more practice – not just to get it right, but to make sure we can’t get it wrong.

5 Areas Most of Us Need More Practice

  1. Prospecting calls – I think it is a huge mistake to not practice (role play) prospecting calls with peers and mentors in our office on a weekly basis. We don’t do it because it is uncomfortable. But pros role play and practice until they know exactly what to do regardless of the direction a call takes.
  2. Opening statements – Wether a phone call or a face to face meeting, the opening statement is the most important. It sets the tone for the meeting. It demonstrates confidence or incompetence. And, we know we are going to get to say it. You have to nail it. To do that, you must practice it…until you can’t screw it up.
  3. Voice mails – Any of us who make prospecting calls are going to reach people’s’ voice mail boxes. This is an argument for another post, but you should leave a message. Since you know you are going to be leaving messages, why do you allow yourself to leave a bumbling one. Be confident and compelling. Be efficient. Give a real reason to call you back. Practice it. Nail it!
  4. Closing – You might need to regularly try to close for a meeting. Maybe you need to close a deal. All of us in business are trying to generate business. Yet we don’t practice our closing techniques. Most of us don’t even ask for the business! If you lack a skill like closing, buy a book. Ask to shadow a top producers. And then practice until you can close with confidence every time.
  5. Goal setting – Setting goals is the single most important activity for achieving the success you long for. And most of us do it wrong. Take a course. Read a book. Figure out how the successful in your industry do it. Then do it yourself. Practice.

Now today is an exciting day because my business partner in Massimo University is releasing 7 Days to Your Best CRE Year Yet – a goal setting course from Rod Santomassimo. The third and final video of his free video series on Setting Yourself Up for 2016 goes live today and you can watch it here.

If there is just one thing to help you move from amateur to pro in 2016, nailing your goals and taking action to achieve them is it. This 7 day course will show you exactly what to do.

Watch the video now!

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.

A World-Class Prospecting Letter – Day 10 of 30 D2aBB

Put your system on auto-pilot and improve your ratios

I’ve written a couple of posts on how to write a world-class prospecting system. You can find them below:

Day 10 of 30 D2aBB

What I want to do in today’s post is share with you how to systematize it. It makes all the difference.

In fact, sales professionals should systematize for maximum efficiency with these 4 tips.

4 Tips to Systematize the Use of a Great Prospecting Letter

  1. Write one letter to many prospects – The purpose of the letter is to warm up the call. Therefore, you don’t want to spend a bunch of time you should use calling writing letters. You need a letter you can use over and over again. In reality, you probably will have a couple of different letters that work for different geographies or submarkets.
  2. Customize the first paragraph – A best practice here is to write the first paragraph in a way that can be customized. Use the address – sometimes that is all you need. Then write the rest of the letter that can stay the same for the rest or your prospective buildings/prospects in that market.
  3. Delegate as much as possible – We used to send 30 letters a week on average. My assistant printed the letters, hand addressed the envelopes, sent them, logged that they were sent and to whom in ClientLook, and then created a follow-up task for me to call them the following week. All I did was write the original letter and physically sign the letters she printed. The entire system was almost entirely executed without my involvement. After we set it up, I spent zero mental energy on it.
  4. Decide how many each week (it shouldn’t be the same) – A key part of the letter is to inform the reader you will be calling. Because of that, you never want to send more letters than you can call the following week. So keep an eye on your capacity. Do you have a particularly full week coming up? Going on vacation? Adjust accordingly.

If you would like a copy of a letter I used years ago with great results, just click the button below. Keep in mind that this letter is very simple. But simple works and can be very effective. In fact, I was taught the original version of this letter from a friend and colleague.

Download My Prospecting Letter

Nailing Your Value Proposition – Day 9 of 30 D2aBB

Why You? Why Your Company? And Why Now?

There is so much written about crafting a value proposition – or an elevator speech. I’ve written about it in the past as well. You can read that post here for information on how to craft it.

What I want to share with you in this post is how dynamic a value proposition can be – and the different version you need at the ready.

Nail Your Value Proposition

A value proposition communicates three things: why you, why your company, and why now. It does so in terms of the benefits for the prospect.

But it can’t be rote memorized. Your value proposition needs to be dynamic. When you explain why you, you need to do it in a way that speaks to your audience. In other words, if I’m speaking to an institutional investor, I may communicate how I produce returns for my clients. If I’m talking to a widow, I may communicate how I take the headaches out of a real estate transaction and simplify the lives of my clients.

You don’t commit intellectual suicide when you are prospecting. You have to think and anticipate. And then act accordingly.

Choose a CRM – Day 5 of 30 D2aBB

This is My Rifle...There are Many Like it, but this One is Mine!

One of any Marine’s favorite movies is Full Metal Jacket. If you haven’t seen it, know that it is very R rated. It is also a very accurate picture of what Marine Boot Camp was like.

In one scene, the recruits are reciting the Rifleman’s Creed. I, along with all my fellow recruits, had to memorize and recite this creed when I was in boot camp as well. It is one of the ways the Marine Corps indoctrinates its recruits. You can read it by clicking here.

Day 5 of 30 D2aBB

I’ve taken the liberty of writing the Prospector’s Creed. Instead of a rifle, we have our CRM…

The Prospector’s Creed

This is my CRM. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My CRM is my best friend. It is my business. I must master it as I must master my life.

My CRM, without me, is useless. Without my CRM, I am useless. I must use my CRM true. I must dial more than my competition who is trying to beat me. I must out dial him before he out dials me. I will…

My CRM and I know that what counts in business is not the calls we make, the noise of our presentations, nor the smoke that we blow. We know that it is the meetings that count. We will have meetings…

My CRM is dynamic and changing, even as I, because it is the foundation of my business. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its features, its functions, and its benefits. I will keep my CRM updated and ready, even as I am poised and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

Before God, I swear this creed. My CRM and I are the prospectors of my business. We are the masters of our competition. We are the benefactors of my life.

So be it, until the business is mine, and there is no competition, but complacency!

Build Your Database – Day 4 of 30 D2aBB

Know Your Prospects and How to Pursue Them

Lists. Anyone who sells anything needs a list. A list of prospects. A list of influencers. A list of connectors. Your database is where those lists live.

Build Yoru

I have a coaching client who has a complete database mess. He literally has 3 different databases that live in different places. One list lives in this CRM. One list lives in that CRM. His other list is an excel spreadsheet.

But at least he has a list.

My first years in commercial real estate were full of fits and starts. I didn’t prospect. I simply relied on our company’s presence in the market. Business would just walk in the door or call. Or it wouldn’t. Even if I wanted to prospect, I didn’t have a database.

Again in 2010, I restructured my prospecting focus. I didn’t have a list. So I built one (actually, my assistant did most of the work. I hope you all have a Teresa.)

Regardless of where you are in your career, you need a database full of all the people, prospects, and/or properties in your farm area. It is crucial that you can go pursue the business you want. To do that, you need to know who they are and how to contact them.

My most popular post ever is on the 3 ways to build a database. You can read it here. As a recap, here are the three ways to build your database:

30 Days to a Better Business Challenge – Day 1

Let's Dust Complacency and Break Through to the Next Level

I am a Dave Ramsey fan. I think I started listening to him on the radio when I was in high school. His latest book, Entreleadership, is outstanding. I would highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

Dave has this saying about momentum. He says that momentum is focused intensity over time.

30 days to a better business social image

I love that.

Don’t we all want a little more momentum in our lives – or a lot? Momentum is that mysterious force that makes things go your way. If you share my worldview, you would call it favor. Regardless, it is a great place to be.

I’m challenging you to manufacture some focused intensity – over the next 30 days. Each weekday over the next 30 days, I’m going to publish a blog post. Understandably, these posts are going to be a little shorter than what I normally post. However, they will be packed full of tactics and best practices you can instantly apply to your business.

[Free Webinar] How to Simplify and Expand Your Business with ClientLook

I’ve written about this before, but I get asked about my recommendation on CRMs more than anything.

And rightfully so. A great Customer Relationship Management application is a crucial part of the technology backbone of any business – especially commercial real estate.

I’m really excited to announce my first webinar with ClientLook this Wednesday, August 19 at 3pm Eastern.

Claim My Seat for the Webinar!

You want to be on this webinar if:

  • You are frustrated with complex CRMs that suck your time instead of save your time.
  • You want all your data with you at all times so you can maximize your productivity on the move.
  • Or in other words…never feel chained to your desk again!
  • You waste too much time with data entry – ClientLook has a brilliant solution for this.
  • You spend too much time reporting deal activity to your clients and owners.
  • You want a CRM that will not only help you find and track, but will actually help you win business.
  • …and so much more!

John Dawson, VP of Sales for ClientLook, is going to join me on the webinar to give a product demonstration. If you have ever wondered what ClientLook looks like behind the curtain, or what it can do, this is your opportunity.

I’ve also negotiated a special deal with ClientLook that you can only take advantage of on the webinar.

So I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday at 3pm Eastern. You will be glad you did as ClientLook is everything you need in a CRM, and nothing you don’t.

Claim My Seat for the Webinar!

The 6 Mindsets Holding You Back

And the Truths that Will Set You Free

I have poison ivy. Both arms. My stomach. And my ear. I kid you not. I have poison ivy on my ear lobe.

The reason? I love my wife.

look upinto the stars.

Earlier this week, she asked me if I would help her trim the landscaping in our back yard. Evidently – there is poison ivy back there.

When I do yard work, I binge-listen to podcasts. This week, I was listening to Michael Hyatt’s podcast – What if the Barrier’s Were Only in Your Head? It got me thinking about the things we believe in our minds.

Some of those beliefs are rooted in truth. Some are not. What we believe is true about ourselves has a tremendous impact on our performance. Our mindsets are rooted in truth, or they are rooted in a lie.

[Free Webinar] How Your Marketing Can Win You Listings

Commercial real estate is changing. The internet has helped in leveling the playing field. Best practices are now easily shared – within companies and without. It is now harder than ever to differentiate yourself from your competition.

This month’s webinar with my friend Kris Krisco of Buildout.com is all about how your marketing should actually win you listings. You can register for the webinar – at 3pm Eastern on August 5th – by clicking here.
by ShadeON via iStock.com

by ShadeON via iStock.com

The marketing of your listings is for the purpose of finding the most potential buyers. The more buyers equates to more offers. More offers, if the listing is priced right, can generate a quasi-auction environment. So not only do you find a buyer, but the best buyer – and, get the most out of that buyer.

But you can also use your marketing to win listings.