What to do when a commercial real estate prospect says “no”

May 03, 2023
How to stay in touch with

In the world of commercial real estate, hearing "no" can be discouraging.

But what if I told you that "no" doesn't always mean "never"?

In fact, "no" often means "not right now."

That's right, just because someone isn't ready to do business with you now doesn't mean they won't be in the future.

These individuals are what I like to call "not now prospects."

So how can you stay in touch with these "not now prospects" without being pushy or annoying?

The key is to create a system to stay top of mind with them.

This can include building and maintaining a market presence through social media and email marketing, showcasing your listings and deals, and making personalized outreach.

Social media is a great way to connect with people and share valuable content that showcases your expertise. Use it to engage with your audience and put yourself in front of potential clients on a regular basis. Email marketing can also be effective, but with both of these approaches, be sure to mix up the content you’re sharing, so you don’t come off as too promotional or pushy.

When it comes to personalized outreach, a simple message or call to check in on someone can go a long way. You can use this opportunity to not only demonstrate your capability and share relevant insights, but also to discuss topics unrelated to business and build a personal connection.

In episode 137 of CRE Success: The Podcast, we’ll show you that by staying top of mind with these "not now prospects", you’re less likely to miss out on potential business in the future.

Don’t give up on someone who isn't ready right now…remember, "no" often just means "not right now."


Episode transcript:

When you hear 'no', it doesn't mean 'no forever'. It just means, 'no now'.

Now, that doesn't mean that we pressure people, and we hassle them, and we berate them until they say 'yes'.

But it means that we recognize when people say 'no', we don't just discard the potential to do business with them forever.

We recognize that their current state, their current answer is 'no'. And there are certain things that we can do to be present, to make sure that we're front of mind, and to be the person that they approach when it is time for them to say 'yes'.

Let's discuss on today's episode.

Hello, welcome to episode 138 of CRE Success: The Podcast. My name is Darren Krakowiak. And I help commercial real estate leaders to develop their people, and also to grow their business.

Really appreciate you joining us for today's episode. If you're enjoying this content, and you know, somebody who would get some value from it, please do share this episode.

You can do that by just telling people about the show. Or you can click the share button wherever you are consuming this content.

And just send it to somebody who you think would get some value from it that helps us spread the message further and helps you also deliver more value to people who you would like to deliver that value to it. It doesn't even cost you anything to do it. 

So, today's episode is all about when 'no' means 'not right now', not 'no forever'.

I think sometimes when we hear people say 'no', we believe that they're telling us 'no forever'.

But unless the person says to you, "no, not now, not ever", then what I want you to do is to just have the frame of mind that when somebody says 'no', it just means 'no, not right now'.

And that we should park that person into a category, which I called 'not now prospects'.

And 'not now prospects' are some of the best prospects that you have, because they have already heard what it is that you can offer. And they haven't told you to go away forever.

You've also qualified them as a prospect. And you've identified if there is the potential to do business with them. And they're hopefully somebody who is an ideal prospect for you who you would like to do business with.

But it's just a timing issue, it's just not the right time for them.

So, in today's market, I believe that there are more prospects, who previously didn't have a need, that could have an emerging need or will have a need that wasn't present before because of the changing market conditions.

Your job is to have a system to stay in touch with these people.

And I guess the inspiration for today's episode comes from something that happened in my business recently with somebody who is a listener to this podcast, who I met one year ago.

And at the time, that person wasn't ready to work directly with me.

And I just went through and reviewed the touch points that we had between when he had said 'no', and when he contacted me a couple of weeks ago and said, "I'm ready. Let's do this."

And I think it is completely applicable in commercial real estate.

So there are three things that I identified that I think helped move that particular person to a position where they were ready to say 'yes'.

And there are three ideas within each of those categories that I want to share with you in this episode.

So those three things the system that you should have is about market presence, it's also about email marketing, and then there is personalized outreach.

The first two are more leveraged. And the third one is personalized.

And I don't think it takes a whole lot of work to put this system in place. But the rewards that can come to you by remaining top of mind with people who you would like to do business with in the future. 

Pretty big rewards for relatively small effort once you've gone through that initial sales process, even if it didn't result in a match in the first instance.

So, let's talk about those three things.

The first one is market presence. And there are three things that I would recommend that you do to build a market presence and maintain a market presence so you continue to be seen as active in the marketplace.

The first one is social media. And I think we just want to pick one or two channels where we're going to be present, and where people can recognize and stay in touch with us and see that we're still around and active.

So, most of us are going to be on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn is probably that channel.

It could be Instagram for some of us. But I'm not sure that all of our prospective clients are likely to connect with us on Instagram.

But certainly 95%, I think of most prospects, if they have a LinkedIn profile would be likely to accept your LinkedIn connection request, which gives you that opportunity to stay in contact with them.

Using social media, to not only connect with people, but then to actually put something of value in front of them, not just, 'I listed this, I sold this', but also talking about the market, talking about your perspective and talking a little bit about who you are, as a person can help bring people closer to you over time.

So social media is the first aspect of market presence.

The second one is just the listings and deals that you do in the marketplace.

If you are seen as being active in the market, then that's going to build your credibility.

A way that you can ensure that what you're doing in the marketplace is seen and heard by people who are relevant is to not only, I guess, encourage your clients to spend more on marketing, but also to collect testimonials and case studies, so you're able to show the evidence of the work that you've done.

And the third element of market presence is just your general activity in the marketplace beyond the transactions that you're doing. 

And this is, you know, being seen at networking events, attending industry associations, attending Auctions is a good one.

Now, I don't know if it's great form to be outwardly prospecting with buyers at auctions of a competitor. But certainly, it's legitimate for you to go and attended to be seen at that auction.

So, market presence is the first strategy. Second one is email marketing.

And in commercial real estate, I think most people are sitting on huge email lists, but they're not utilizing those email lists to their full potential.

In my business, I send at least one email to my list every single week.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm great at email marketing.

And I've actually recently engaged a branding firm to look at my brand, and to look at the ways that I'm communicating with my audience. And I need to do more or so to grow my email list. 

These are areas I think that I can improve in in order to get more out on my email list and the areas that I've identified that most of my clients can also improve.

So, the first one is the copy in the email, the actual words, the writing. And do those words actually position you as an expert and also do they encourage people to take action and to take a next step.

The second bit of email marketing is about the design of the emails. And I think there are really there's two types of emails that you're sending out.

One is a marketing email, which is really updates about the business.

And then there are sales emails. And those sales emails were trying to actually elicit some sort of response.

And my tip for you in regards to these is to consider sending them from your CRM, rather than sending them as an email blast.

Because if you can make your sales emails not look like a sales email, or look more like a personalized outreach look less like marketing and more like a personalized message, you still get the benefit of leverage. 

But it's not likely to be perceived, just as an email blast.

And if you've noticed, if you send an email from your CRM, as opposed to sending it through an email blast, I tried this a couple of weeks ago in my business, and when you send it from your CRM, it doesn't come up with the like, 'you can unsubscribe here,' because you're sending it through the CRM system.

So, if your CRM can do that, separate two email blasts, really, it's almost like a new channel. And I recommend that you have a look at that.

The third part of email marketing is to make sure your list is segmented.

So, we're able to contact people about specific things that are more likely to be of interest to them.

The email frequency is higher, but they're only receiving more things about what is relevant to them, whether that's based on potential landlords, who could be vendors, or landlords looking to lease space, whether that is buyers, whether that's potential tenants, etc.

You can also list based on geography, sector, and so forth.

We’ve talked about market presence. We've talked about email marketing. The third way I think, to continue to keep our now prospects warm is through personalized outreach.

So, three things that I would recommend that you do and these are three things that I did with the gentleman that I was telling you about at the start of this episode.

And I went through and tracks how much I guess personalized contact that I had made with that person. And it wasn't that much, right?

I think I tried to call them once or twice over the past year. So that would be voice call as the first strategy.

Second one was about email. So personalized emails directly me typing the email and sending it to them, not through any systemized approach through my CRM or through an email blast.

And the third one would be SMS. An SMS is just a different channel to communicate with people. But it's not only more casual, but there's a higher likelihood of a reply. 

So, I think by the time you've actually presented to somebody and they've said to you, "look, I'm not interested or I'm not interested right now", hopefully, you've got enough credit in the bank to be able to start opening up that SMS communication channel and have that conversation with them. 

I hope that today's episode has been helpful to you. As a reminder, market presence, email marketing, and personalized outreach are the three ways that I recommend that you keep prospects warm until they are ready to move forward with you.

I do want to invite you before we go to our prospecting pipeline masterclass, it's 'How to build a prospecting pipeline'.

It was a good session last time, so we've decided to run it again later this month.

If you are consuming this content in May 2023. You can join us in just a couple of weeks.

If you'd like to know more about this masterclass, you can go to cresuccess.co/pipeline to get all of the information.

It's live and it's free. And we built it especially for commercial real estate professionals.

So go to cresuccess.co/pipeline to register and I look forward to seeing you there.

That's our episode for today. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

Like this? You'll love what we share with our community every single week!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from CRE Success.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.