A Good Way to Use Next Week

There is one category among sales professionals in which commercial real estate brokers are dead last.

It’s CRM usage.

As a whole, commercial real estate brokers are not doing a good job of adopting Customer Relationship Management software to make their jobs easier and their incomes bigger.

Just so you know, I am qualified to make that statement.

About 60 percent of the sales training/consulting I do is with commercial real estate firms. The other 40 percent is with all sorts of industries – from manufacturing to banking to insurance to software. All of these industries are further ahead of commercial real estate when it comes to CRM adoption.

Even mature, stodgy industries like construction, agribusiness and mining/energy are ahead of commercial real estate.

When I ask brokers why they aren’t using CRMs, I typically get a couple excuses:

1. “I don’t want to take time away from doing deals to learn how to use the system.”

2. “I don’t have time to set it up and enter all my data.”

Well, I have just the solution to solve both of these problems, and that solution can be described in two words: “next week.”

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the best time in the entire calendar year to learn, set-up, populate and activate your new CRM system.

One could argue that next week is one of the best weeks of the year, because you can still enjoy the holiday season but the go-go-go pressure is over. Stress levels go down. You can relax but still get some work done.

Very few meetings will be scheduled next week. Unless you’re scrambling to close a deal before year-end, most of your clients are in vacation mode. Hardly any of your colleagues show up at the office, and those who do, don’t stick around very long. It’s relievedly quiet.

Which CRM should you use? It really doesn’t matter all that much. If your company provides a CRM system for free or low cost, that’s probably the best one for you. There are several commercial real estate-specific systems. I’m not going to name any of them because I don’t want to be accused of favoritism.

Do a little research to determine which CRM program is right for you. Then just buy it and set it up. Depending on the program you choose, you might have to do some customizing. Populate your new CRM with your contacts and leads. If you’re going to use your CRM to send prospecting emails, you can set up that process next week too. By the way, I recommend sending prospecting emails through your CRM system so each email is saved to the contact’s record.

If you’re already using a CRM, good on you! But you too can benefit from the quiet time next week. Take some time to update your CRM. As the year goes by, your data gets cluttered, messy and outdated. When you’re busy prospecting and closing deals, you don’t have time to clean it up. Next week is a great time to do just that.

If you’re skeptical, just give it a try. Proper use of a good CRM system will make you more successful. Period.

If you’re traveling next week, celebrating the holidays with family, it’s still a good time to work on your CRM. Take the laptop with you and find a quiet space away from all the relatives and in-laws. You’ll be glad you did.

By the way, there will be no Sales Shape Up article next week, so I’ll take this moment to wish you a blessed, joyous and prosperous New Year!

Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 6 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.