Friday, April 21, 2006

Feel the Doubt, but Follow Up Anyway...

I consistently advise agents to follow up with every prospect – no matter what. It’s my mantra, and it should be yours too.

Why? Because it works. Great success springs from working with many different prospects over the long term. On the other hand, if you second guess yourself and let doubts get in your way, you can almost guarantee that nothing will happen.

Sometimes agents think, “The prospect told me that they just wanted information, they only wanted it so they could refi, they were just curious.” Or worse, they find the home is already listed. Successful Agent CEOs have these doubts and challenges, too, but they follow up anyway—and they earn high incomes.

When you encounter these doubts, it’s important to remember that in many cases the prospect initiated the contact. You’re simply responding to a request for information. If a home is already listed, your response is entirely ethical because you are not interfering with any contract. In fact, the prospect will be more disappointed if they receive no response at all.

Time and again, top agents win new clients even when the prospect appears unlikely to become a transaction at first. For example John Reit, a relatively new agent from Redding, Calif., struggled with the decision to respond to a recent prospect, saying that he knew the property was not in a good area and would be difficult to market.

Nevertheless, John followed the "treat all prospects equally" mantra and gave the person a call. John later said, “Do you know what? His child is in my wife’s class. He has other real estate needs too. His listing expires in 10 days. We had a great conversation and he’s anxious for me to come over once his listing expires.” If John had followed his gut, he would not have called, and he would have left money on the table.

So often we feel we can guess the motives and worth of an Internet prospect. In truth it’s tough to do that while meeting a person face to face, let alone online. There’s no telling what story is on the other side of that “Submit” button -- until you ask. Only by following up with every lead and committing to the process wholeheartedly can you maximize the potential earnings.