Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Power of the Follow Up

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s the most important action you should take after you receive a lead or take a prospect on a tour?

Follow up.

It’s really that simple.

We could stop writing this blog post, pack up and head home.  But if we were going to do that, we could have just kept our thought to 140 characters and put it on Twitter.

Something like: Most important action after a #CRE prospect lead or tour? Follow up!

See!  We even have 60 characters to spare!  And we probably found our title when we post this on Twitter!

Okay, so why is the follow up so important?

Because without the follow up, you are playing the waiting game.  And staring at the phone, waiting for it to ring, is no fun.  It’s also not productive.

Following up gives you all the information you need to know, both positive and negative.

Oftentimes, a prospect says, “I’ll let you know either way.”

Guess what?  People do not like to deliver bad news.  And if the prospect is not going to lease or buy your property, they are not going to call back.

So if the prospect is going another direction, what’s the point of following up?

Where do we begin?

Maybe the prospect checked with corporate and there’s another 3 years left on their existing lease.  They loved your property but won’t start looking again for 2 years.  Wouldn’t that be useful information?

Maybe you quoted a higher rental rate than the company has budgeted.  Wouldn’t you like to at least have a chance to take another look at your numbers to see if you can come to terms on a price that will work for both parties?

Maybe you offered a 7 year lease term and the company will not sign more than 5 years.  Wouldn’t you like to have a chance to come up with another proposal?

Maybe the space you showed them was not configured the right way for their needs.  Wouldn’t you like to chance to offer some sort of build-out/concessions to get the tenant/buyer into the building?

The list literally goes on and on.

Sure, there are some situations that even with a follow up, there is nothing that could have been done.

But that’s still useful information!

Maybe the parking ratio wasn’t right.  Maybe the location didn’t work.  Maybe the ceiling heights were too low.

Once you know this, you can use it to your advantage for the next prospect and either rule them out or qualify them earlier in the process.  This saves everyone time and allows you to focus on a more productive deal.

Some people will say that they don’t want to bother the prospect and that if they’re going to lease/buy the building anyways, what’s the point of following up too early.

Our answer: No reasonable company will decide not to sign a lease just because of a simple phone call.  If they were going to lease/buy, they are still going to lease/buy.

We are not advocating becoming a pest and calling someone several times per day.  That might turn a prospect off.

But a simple phone call is harmless.

And these days, there are numerous ways to follow up.  You can make a phone call, leave a voicemail, send a text, send an email, send a message on LinkedIn, etc.

Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of assuming your prospect will call you back.

Set a reminder for yourself that if you haven’t heard from Prospect X by a certain date, you will follow up to find out a status.

More often than not, you’ll come away with good information.  Even if it’s a negative response for your building, it’s still good information, because you can then focus on the next prospect.

Please feel free to leave questions and/or comments.  We read all of them.  Feel free to email us at leasing@seawaybusinesspark.com We provide office space for rent and warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi.  If you need commercial real estate space in our area, please give us a call at (228) 575-7731 or visit our website at www.seawaybusinesspark.com.