Target Customer

How to Target the Right Prospects

Effective prospecting starts with determining your target market. If you’re not reaching out to the right people, you’re just wasting your time.

So, how do you determine who your target market is?

Defining your target market

According to CCIM Institute, “Your target market depends on how you see your business. If you’re a tenant representative in a small market, you might need to talk to every office user in the market. But if you’re working in a major metro area, you might focus exclusively on CPA firms that take 10,000 or more square feet of space in class A buildings in the central business district. The more specific you can make your market, the easier it will be to prospect synergistically. However, you also want to have enough opportunity to meet your earnings goals, so don’t make your target market too small.”

That last part is critical.

You want to serve a large enough group that you can sustain your business, but you also want it to be small enough that you can truly become an authority in your market.

Seth Godin, an expert in marketing and leadership, describes this concept as the minimum viable audience — “the smallest group that could possibly sustain you in your work.”

For organizations that are skeptical about approaching their target market this way, Seth poses the following questions:

“If you could pick [your target market] and needed to delight them because you had no one else available, would your product or service improve? If you had no choice but to ignore the naysayers (they’re not in the group) or the people who don’t think they need you or your work, would that force you to stop compromising and start excelling?”

Joshua Swank, a veteran CRE professional and tech entrepreneur, explains how a narrow audience helps you develop a better prospecting pitch.

“If I’m calling a list of 100 contacts and they all own properties ranging in different deal sizes and property types, then I am probably going to have a lot of different conversations. That is very difficult to prepare for.

“I’d rather prepare ahead of time and filter my list down to owners of similar properties within a specific zip code. Or submarket. Or properties that recently we purchased within the last six months. Or five thousand to 10 thousand square foot office tenants in the central business district.

“The more targeted my planned calls are, the higher quality conversations I should be able to replicate back to back.”

Identifying contacts

Once you’ve determined who your target market is, it’s time to develop a list of contacts and learn as much about them as possible.

Begin with a simple Google search to identify the organizations that belong to your target market.

Then, browse through their websites to see if you can uncover any recent news, as well as key challenges the organizations are facing and goals they hope to accomplish.

Next, you’ll want to find the right person to talk to. In many cases, the “About Us” or “Leadership” pages of a website can point you in the right direction, but in other cases, it’s a bit more complicated.

If you’re struggling to find the right person through the company website, try using LinkedIn.

First, find the company page using the search feature.

LinkedIn search bar

Then, click on the “People” tab on the left-hand navigation pane.

LinkedIn people tab

This will show you a list of people who work for the company.

You can even send a connection request and message directly from LinkedIn, but we recommend reaching out by phone or email first. People have grown very weary of salespeople who make a hard pitch through LinkedIn without first establishing a relationship.