This is why only a small number of agents are top performers

Jan 25, 2023
how to increase conversions for you and your team by consistently following up with your prospects

Here are two statistics that explain why there are only a small number of top performers in commercial real estate:

  • 80% of sales are made after the fifth attempt to reach a prospect;
  • Only 10% of salespeople will persist beyond four outreach attempts.

Therefore, if you’d like to earn more in 2023, you need to go the distance.

Be more like the best and commit to following through.

To go the distance and increase your conversions, join me for episode 124 of CRE Success: The Podcast…. a transcript of the show is included for you below.


Episode transcript:

It's January. I'm coming to you from Melbourne, which means the Australian Open is on right now, the Happy Slam.

And one thing that's important in tennis, and it's important in a lot of sports that are played when the weather is nicer, including, I guess, cricket and golf is follow through.

The best players follow through, right?

And the best players in commercial real estate, also know how to follow through.

They know the importance of following up with their prospecting efforts.

In today's episode, I'm going to be sharing with you some best practice on following through with your prospecting.

I want to make sure that your prospecting is leading to conversations. And that those conversations are leading to conversions.

Because when we're having prospecting, which leads to conversations, we're likely to get the opportunity to pitch for the business or we're likely to be rewarded business, right?

And when we are awarded work, that gives us the opportunity to then do deals and hit our revenue targets and earn the income that we are aspiring to.

So, following through is what I want to talk to you about today on the show.

Hello, welcome to Episode 124. This is CRE Success: The Podcast. My name is Darren Krakowiak, and I help commercial real estate leaders to develop their people and to grow their business.

A few episodes ago, I did foreshadow that I was planning on introducing some changes to the podcast in 2023. 

And I'm about ready to unveil those changes.

In fact, I'm going to tell you what some of those little changes are going to be at the end of today's episode.

So, if you are a longtime listener to the show, and you've been wondering, well, what’s you’re going to do? I'll tell you what I'm going to do in just a few minutes after I talk to you about following through.

And I will follow through and tell you about that.

But before I do that, I just want to ask you one small favor if you are somebody who's been listening to the show for a while, or if you do get some value from today's episode. 

And that is to rate and or review the podcast in your favorite podcast player. 

If you're willing to give us a five-star rating or to write a review to describe what the show is about, that will help other people decide if it's a good use of their time to listen to the show.

And also, it will signal to the podcast apps that this is the type of content that they should be putting in front of more people.

And we'd love to help more people in commercial real estate because there's just not enough content about commercial real estate specific to the industry for people who want to really improve.

That's what we're trying to do here is to help people improve themselves in some way in commercial real estate.

Now, following through and following up is one way that you definitely can improve yourself in 2023, if that is something that you have decided that you want to do.

And to kind of I guess illustrate this point, I want to share with you some statistics, which demonstrate that following through is actually going to put you at a real advantage compared to other people.

And it's going to set you apart from your contemporaries in the marketplace.

So, this statistic is from the National Sales Executive Association. And it is that 80% of sales are made on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th contact point with a prospect.

And less than 1/5 of sales conversions occur in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th contact point.

And in fact, if you're the type of person who's only willing to try prospecting once or try to close a deal by contacting a person once, well, you need to know that only 2% of sales are likely to occur from one point of contact.

Now there's similar research which shows that only 10% of salespeople have the discipline to actually make five or more calls.

Now, if we know that 80% of sales are made after the 5th sales call, then that goes some way to explain why high performance is the domain of the very few.

And that is certainly consistent with what I've seen in my time in commercial real estate.

The majority of the results within a business are the result of the very few high producers in that business or in that team.

So, it's kind of like the Pareto Principle, but it's even more extended rather Pareto Principle is that 20% of the actions are responsible for 80% of the results.

Well, I guess if only 10% of salespeople are actually going to follow up five or more times, and 90% of sales occur with the 5th, 6th, etc. contact point, then 90% of sales are going to those 10% of salespeople.

Now, this research is not specific to commercial real estate, but it certainly does illustrate the point that you need to follow through. 

Following up is the key. And there are a lot of statistics out there that you can look forward to back up this point.

I've just chosen those ones to share with you today.

But what I would like you to consider is that if you did some goal setting for 2023, and you decided that 2023 is going to be the year where you're going to achieve certain income results, then, my question is, did you actually commit to undertake the actions that are going to lead to those results?

Did you commit to being more persistent with following through?

Because following through is going to set you apart from others in the marketplace. It will help you generate more opportunities.

And if you're concerned about the market outlook, and I tell you what, if you open the newspaper, if you go on LinkedIn, if you ever go to a news website, if you speak to people in the marketplace about how they're feeling about 2023, one of the things that I often ask commercial real estate leaders when I'm speaking to them about what is your biggest concern for the next 3 months, for the next 12 months?

The economy is the one that I'm consistently hearing as one of their top concerns. 

Well, if that's one of your top concerns, then one thing that you can do to counteract that concern is to do more prospecting.

Now, if you are interested in 'Expanding when others are contracting', I did an episode about that back in Episode 107, where we talk about how you can plan to grow even when others are looking to contract.

Because more prospecting that other people are willing to do will ensure that you continue to get more opportunities into your pipeline, and ultimately, that you're one of those people who's going to share in the 80% of sales that occur after the 5th point of contact.

But that's just a little sidebar, really, today, I'm talking about prospecting. 

So, if you're willing to do prospecting, which I hope you are, you're not going to get the just rewards from your efforts, if you're not willing to prospect beyond 1, 2, 3 or 4 points of contact.

Prospecting is one of those things where there isn't diminishing returns.

There is increasing returns the more that you're willing to do it.

But there is, I guess, less effort required, the more follow up that you do.

The biggest effort is required for the first time that you try and contact somebody.

Because that's when you're doing all the research and you're getting all the information that you need, the contact information, but also doing hopefully, some research and preparation before you make that dial, before you send that email, before you conduct that point of outreach, wherever which channel it is that you're using. 

Subsequent points of contact are actually much easier, because you've already done all the legwork in previous points of contact.

So, if you don't follow up after that 1st, 2nd or 3rd point of contact, then you're letting yourself down.

And you should be following up even if you don't get through to people, because there's a reason why you decided to contact them in the first place.

You decided that there was something that you have a value to offer that person.

So why not keep going until you actually get a chance to be in a conversation with them.

And at the same time, if you contact people, and you get into a conversation with them, but then you don't follow up with them to make sure that the conversation leads to the next step, then again, you're not putting yourself in the best position to succeed.

Now you might say, "Well, I spoke to them, and if they were interested, surely they'll get back to me because they said they would."

Well, people are not likely to do what we want them to do just because that's what we want them to do, right?

People have other things on their mind. They've got other competing demands for their time.

Some people will leave in treated as a test to see if you are likely to follow up.

I think that one of the things that stops people from following up as sales professionals is that they don't want to be seen as desperate.

They don't want to be seen as too aggressive. They don't want to be told to get lost.

But as I've mentioned before, if you don't occasionally step up to the line and get told, "Hey, I'm not interested. Get lost." Then you're going to be nowhere near where the line is.

And if you're not anywhere near the line, then you're not going to be able to, I guess, produce the results that the best in the business are able to.

One of the ways that you can ensure that you continue to follow up is to build a cadence. 

And we talked about cadences in some previous episodes. Episode 115, 116 and 117 of the Podcasts.

A cadence is just an automated workflow that prompts you on the next best engagement point.

It's something which you can automate, that you can optimize, and that you can personalize.

And I recommend that the cadence does, at a certain touch point, actually is more tailored.

It is more hyper relevant to the prospect and delivers specific value to them. It talks about your value proposition, but in a way that is specific to them.

You might deliver testimonials, case studies examples, market insights that are specifically relevant to them.

You can create some leverage by having some points in the cadence, which are suitable for a lot of people that you are likely to be conducting outreach with. 

But if we can put some personalization in there as well, it's going to be a lot more successful. 

I did a workshop in December, about the Top Four Trends in Commercial Real Estate, and I've decided to actually redo that workshop in early February 2023.

So, if it's before the 7th of February and you'd like to join that workshop, you can go to and register.

And in that workshop, I'm going to show you exactly how you can create your very own sales cadence.

The message from today's podcast is about follow through, following up, making sure that you're putting yourself in the best position.

And that the work that you're doing with your prospecting doesn't lead you to dead ends, because you're not willing to do what the number suggests that you should do, which is to continue following up because that's where the conversions are made. 

Now, I did tell you at the start of the show that I was going to share with you some information about the podcast, and I think now's the time to do that.

On upcoming episodes of the show, you're going to start hearing from not just me, but from some other people.

And the first, I guess, 45 episodes of the podcast, about 40 of them were interviews with industry experts.

And that was when I first started CRE Success. And I didn't have many clients yet.

Well now, we've got quite a few clients, quite a few people that have real valuable insights to share with our listeners.

And I've decided to invite some of my clients onto the show, to share some of what makes them successful, how they look at building teams, and also to share some things that I believe are their superpower in commercial real estate.

So that's the change that's going to happen, rather than just hearing from me, the past 70 or so episodes have all been solo episodes.

I guess it's been a couple of where they've been repurposed content from other podcasts where I've been interviewed on but generally it's just me talking.

Well, it's time to create some content with other people.

And I'm looking forward to bringing you some outside perspectives on future episodes. So, I hope that you continue to listen to hear from those people.

That's all I've got for you today though. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.


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