Marketing Plan in 30 Days: Day 6

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A prospect’s true pain point isn’t a problem that’s solution is a “nice to have.”  It’s a budgeted, frustrating, needs-to-be-solved kind of problem.  Your prospect’s pain points affect his or her bottom line and must be solved to continue growth and/or profitability.

Examples of pain points in commercial real estate may include trading up with a 1031 Exchange, slightly increasing lease rates, lowering lease rates, increase work-life balance, or get closer to a hands-off portfolio.  These may seem like slight annoyances, but these issues keep your clients up at night.

However, depending on your market and clientele, your prospects pain points may differ.  Here’s how to identify the pain points you should be addressing.

Pain Points of Potential Clients

1. What’s your biggest inhibitor to growth?  Most prospects haven’t thought about this and talking through their current situation will increase your understanding of their portfolio or business.  Usually, people will answer with revenue, tenants, employees, products, or capital.  Ask “What’s your plan to tackle X issue?” to get to the meat of what they’re doing now, and maybe a hint at what’s not working.

2. What does your boss obsess about?  Obviously, this question isn’t necessary for a single investor, but if you’re dealing with partners, office managers, or district managers, sometimes the lower-level obsesses about something different than the upper echelon.  A district manager may obsess over getting deliveries on time, but the CEO wants more foot traffic.  Identifying this immediately will face in your sales pitch for different location – example, focus on walkable locations rather than highway access.

3. What takes up the most time in your day?  Hiring a new temp each day to swing a “sale” on the sidewalk to increase foot traffic may be your prospect’s least favorite activity.  How about a revolving door of employees because the tips aren’t plentiful, or a shopping center that can never seem to hit 100% occupancy?  Digging deeper may lead you to a service or proposal that could help the situation.

4. What’s been the repeatedly discussed topics at meetings?  Even if you can’t deal with the upper levels, you can get an idea of what keeps the CEO up at night by asking this simple question.  What do senior managers put on their quarterly planning agendas? What do they talk about incessantly? What do they send all-company emails about? Once you have this topic figured out, your proposal will hold some serious weight.


 Your Pain Points

It’s a great FIRST STEP to identify and address your prospect’s pain points.  However, unless your processes are working and churning along, you may witness these hot presentations turn cold.

5. Why am I not getting deals?  Is a certain competitor dominating the market?  Is there a “old boys club” keeping deals within the inner circle?  Look deeply at your service offerings and wonder what you can do differently.  Is there a market being overlooked?  Often the large companies will pass on tenant representation, when it’s a valid and profitable target.  Maybe there is a specific area or specialty you can focus on.  Whatever it is, it’s time to start making decisions on how to approach this nasty problem.

6. Why are customers churning?  Anyone can get a deal – great agents receive repeat business and referrals.  If you’re not seeing returning clients, dissect why clients are dropping your business and address those pain points.  Are you not available?  Did you follow-up too much or too little?  Did you not provide a service that was promised?  Sit down and really think about this – it’s important to your longevity as an agent.

On to Day 7: Telling your Story in Commercial Real Estate, without being Boring