5 Best Practices for Growing Your Prospect Database
There’s no way around it. You need commercial real estate software to run your business effectively – especially a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). Getting the most out of a CRM involves using different features in ways that get you the results you’re looking for while saving you time in the bargain.
One of the very useful functions of a good CRM is the ability to optimize prospect and lead management. The software can categorize prospects and update the status of different people in a systematic way. However human input is still necessary to keep things rolling, and increasing the size of your prospect list means constantly bringing new people in.
To ensure that this is time well spent, try some of the following best practices for growing your prospect database.
1. Record every lead
Everyone has opportunities that fall through the cracks. The goal is to minimize those lost deals by creating a scalable lead management process. Ideally you want to record every prospect and client interaction. This includes entering new leads, logging the outcome of phone calls and meetings as well as tracking your emails. Sound daunting? It is. Expect this level of commitment to eat up 1-2 hours daily. The payoff is huge though. If you’re still too busy to keep up, then get a CRM that offers a Virtual Assistant service. It’s a real life changer.
2. Network in real life
Digital tools are key, but some prospects will still respond more favorably to face-to-face contact. Regular participation in networking events, trade shows, or conferences lets you reach a wider range of potential partners and clients. Consider making this a weekly goal. Shake a few hands, talk shop, trade cards and get new prospects. Then, log all those new leads in your CRM.
Take advantage of drip emails and pre-scheduled communications to save time and still reach out to potential prospects. Using targeted content is easier with a good CRM, and it’s tremendously effective in reaching a wide audience. Set up emails for the whole month on a single day, and then you can check in briefly to make sure everything’s running smoothly. Check out great services like MailChimp that offer amazing automation features.
4. Focus on the long-term
Depending on your client base and the market, years can pass between deals. Identify prospects that are worthy of long term maintenance, and expend your energy on them. These clients are often an invaluable source of referrals, which alone is a good reason to maintain contact. Keep them up on what you’re doing by including them as recipients of a monthly digital newsletter.
A prospect list should not be static. You may add names almost daily, but once in a while you should step back and look at the database as a whole. Make it a part of your routine to regularly evaluate individual prospects.
At least monthly, take a look at the different segments of your prospect list and reorganize as appropriate. Consider things like the time since last contact, real estate requirements, and other characteristics to categorize your prospects. Some people use hot/warm/ cold as their descriptors. Tailor your message and efforts to be appropriate for each group, and recognize that there does come a time to trim cold prospects from your list.