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What Can We Learn From bin Laden’s Death?

Jared James

Jared James

By Jared James

We are only a few days removed from the Navy Seals finally tracking down Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and while so many are focused on the world reaction, I would like to take a different view as to what this event can teach us as sales people in regards to proper follow-up with prospective clients.

I believe that we have become very much an Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) society that wants immediate gratification or we move on to whatever is next. We are trained as REALTORS® to ask qualifying questions of our prospects with the ultimate goal of determining how serious and qualified they are, but in the back of our minds what we really want to know is if we are wasting our time working with them. Asking qualifying questions is not only smart, it is also good business. But there is a danger in it as well.

Many times if we determine that a prospect is not ready to buy or sell in the next 60 days, we may follow up with them one or two more times, but we end up chasing whatever new prospect comes along and tickles our fancy, thinking it might be a more immediate sale. Take a look at the statistics below and see why this may be an unhealthy practice to adopt for the long-term health of your business.

•       48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect

•       25% of sales people make a second contact and stop

•       12% of sales people make more than three contacts

And yet 26.6% of all inquiries result in a sale

This should motivate you.

•       2% of sales are made on the first contact

•       3% of sales are made on the second contact

•       5% of sales are made on the third contact

•       10% of sales are made on the fourth contact

•       80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

I often tell the audiences I speak to that if they ever get a chance to have a conversation with God (and want to depress themselves), ask him to show them all of the people they have come in contact with who bought or sold a house 9-12 months after they met, but did it through a different agent because they didn’t follow-up properly… then have him show you how much money that adds up to. The point is not to depress you, but to get you to understand that follow-up is necessary and worth it, according to the numbers above. If you are someone who only follows up once or twice over the life of a prospect, you are working a lot harder than everyone else for people who are only going to make a purchase 2-3 percent of the time.

The business lesson that we can learn from the raid on bin Laden over a decade after the September 11th attacks took place is that sometimes being in it for the long haul can pay off. Start looking at your potential buyers and sellers as not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” they will buy or sell. According to NAR, the average person buys or sells a house once every five to seven years. Your job is to make sure that when they do, you are their only option to represent them because you have put in the time that is needed to cultivate a long-lasting and trustworthy bond. Is real estate a way to pay this month’s car payment or is it a career for you?

Jared James is the CEO and founder of Jared James Enterprises (JJE) and travels around North America speaking to and coaching REALTORS®. Connect with Jared at www.jaredjamestoday.com, on facebook.com/jaredjamestoday, or follow him on Twitter @jaredjamestoday.

Comments
  1. Amy

    Interesting analogy. Good information about the followup percentages. I know that I am guilty of not being the best at followup with new prospects and have been working on that!

  2. You are spot on Jared! It has been pounded into my head since I was a child that no matter what sales field it is, most sales are lost due to lack of follow up.
    Thanks for your insight at the M.A.R. Broker Summit-
    Hope to see you again soon-
    Brian Garrow
    Garrow And Associates
    GoGarrow.com

  3. Okay, Jared, I’ll try not to get depressed when I read about all those people I’ve come into contact with who later bought or sold with someone else. You’re right, though, about changing our mindset. We’re in it for the long haul and we need to cultivate those relationships. It’s not just about tenacity. It’s about forming a connection that brings value to both parties and it pays off in the end.

  4. Amy: We have all been guilty of it at one point or another. The key is to be intentional about our business and make a decision to alter the course of the way we usually do things.

    Brian: Thanks! It was great meeting you too. Hopefully we get to do it again soon. Stay in touch!

    Jill: LOL! Great points. I see that you live in Long Island… I am speaking at the LIBOR Education Expo in June. Hopefully we will get a chance to say hello.

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