Let’s say a prospective client contacts you, seemingly excited about listing a property with you. They want to meet with you immediately because “time is of the essence” or they want “to nail this down right away.”
Your meeting goes well. You hit it off with the prospect and start to build a relationship. The prospect is giving you a ton of buying cues, and you agree to draw up a detailed listing proposal. You promptly write the proposal and email it with a smile on your face and anticipation in your heart.
And then the crickets start chirping.
The client has gone dark, and despite your multiple emails and voicemails you can’t get them to acknowledge your existence.
In the online dating world, they call it “ghosting.” That’s an appropriate term for the brokerage world too, because dark prospects seemingly disappear into the ether. This kind of behavior is very frustrating for brokers, and unfortunately, it is becoming more common.
Have you ever wondered why prospects go dark? Why do people enthusiastically call you, meet with you and essentially lead you on, only to later ignore you?
There are several possibilities and most of them have little to do with you:
- They are super busy and overwhelmed
- They don’t have the same level of urgency as you do
- They are procrastinators
- They are not proactive communicators
- They are indecisive
- They have to get buy-in from other people/departments in their company
- They have various internal processes that must play out
- Their financial conditions may have changed suddenly
- They might be navigating internal politics
- They may have been using you for leverage with another broker they like better than you.
- They are simply not interested and the thought of telling you is unpleasant especially if they have non-confrontational or avoidant personalities
- They are not interested, and because of a personality flaw, they don’t care enough about you to let you know. They are essentially sociopathic instead of empathetic.
Of all the possible reasons above, only the last three are truly negative. If it is any other reason, your prospect is likely still interested, and therefore, you should not give up on them.
That leads us to the next question, and it’s an obvious one. What should you do when a client goes dark on you?
That’s an extremely important question, but it’s too complex to be answered in one article. But it is the topic of one our modules in the Dealmakers online sales training program specifically designed for commercial real estate agents.
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