When you’re prospecting people on the telephone today, you don’t want to dive right in and ignore the 800-pound gorilla that’s sitting right in the middle of the room. Everybody’s been impacted by COVID-19, and by the tension in the streets, and when you ignore this during your prospecting calls, and you go straight into asking an owner if they’re thinking of selling their building, you really risk sounding like an unconscious, uncaring broker.

Metaphorically speaking, it’s like a nuclear bomb has landed on people’s lives, and now they’re trying to make sense out of everything in the aftermath. So in keeping this in mind, what you ideally want to do now is connect with your people, check in and see how they’re doing, show them that you care, and then segue the conversation in an appropriate manner into discovering whether or not the person might have a need for your services.

So with this in mind, when the other person answers the phone, you could say something similar to, “Barry, this is Jim Gillespie with Gillespie Commercial, and with everything that’s been going on, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you’re doing.”

Then some follow-up questions that you could then ask them include:

“So how has everything that’s been going on been impacting you?”

“What do you anticipate in your business in the months ahead?”

“How do you see all of this playing out economically down the road?”

Then finally, as you’re moving closer towards the end of the conversation, you could say something similar to, “So with everything that you’ve mentioned to me, do you see yourself standing pat right now? Or do you see yourself potentially making any commercial real estate moves?”

All-in-all this is a very good way to structure your conversation…You check in with the person and show them that you care, you ask them how they’re doing, and then you ask them how they see this all playing out for them within the months ahead. Then you close with a simple and relatively innocuous question that allows them to tell you what their commercial real estate plans are.

In summary, you’re being the kind of commercial real estate broker that most people would want to work with…you’re showing them that you care, you’re letting them talk about what’s really important to them instead of you monopolizing the conversation, and then you’re setting the tone to have them really want to tell you what they anticipate their commercial real estate needs to be.