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The Prospect Pipeline

No doubt you have heard of the Prospect Pipeline, a good analogy to describe a constant flow of prospects, from which business should easily flow.

Business should flow, but it doesn’t always. Your Prospect Pipeline requires care and attention if it is to produce the desired results.

Real estate salespeople can become fixated on immediate leads, and it is right that they are. After all, without good leads it’s hard to get results. This is one of the functions of your Prospect Pipeline, to provide you with prospects that are ready to buy and sell now.

But if that is all you focus on, your pipeline can become clogged, and ‘now’ leads will dry up.

The pipeline analogy implies that if you pour plenty of prospects in one end, they will flow through the pipe and come out the other end as sellers and buyers that are ready to do business. It’s as though the process is automatic, but it is not.

If you want to keep your Prospect Pipeline flowing, you have work to do. That work takes the form of diligent follow-up.

In your Prospect Pipeline, there could be three types of people – let’s not be in a hurry to call them prospects just yet.

The three types of people are:

  1. People ready to do business now – this is the end of the pipe.We do not need to say much about ‘now’ clients, except that they are the reason why you have a pipeline in the first place. The goal of a good prospect pipeline is to give you a constant flow of this type of prospect.
  2. People who will do business in the future. These people should become ‘now’ leads.These are the people many salespeople neglect. ‘Futures’, must be moved through the pipeline so that they reach the point where they become ‘now’ leads. You achieve this by following up your ‘futures’ regularly, always with the view of identifying when they are ready to buy or sell.The reason this group is most neglected is for the reason I stated earlier: real estate salespeople can become fixated on immediate leads, and do not invest the time working their pipeline, nurturing the people who will do business sometime in the future but who are not ready now.It is shortsighted to contact prospects, identify the likelihood of them becoming buyers or sellers in the future, and then forget them, only to find they list or buy from a competitor.

    Leads must be cultivated, not ignored.

  3. Non-prospects.They most likely won’t do anything.Too many of these and your pipeline can clog. If you want to get results from your Prospect Pipeline, you must fill it with… well… prospects!Non-prospects are common in rookies’ pipelines. They have a friendly conversation with somebody and confuse nice people with prospects. Poor qualifying results in low quality prospects in their pipelines.

To earn a place in your pipeline, all the people in it should be identified as buying or selling in the future, and qualified to find out when that is likely to be, or ready to buy or sell now.

Nobody else should be in your Prospect Pipeline.

It’s similar to the GIGO formula referred to in the computer industry when referring to data – “Garbage in, garbage out”. Instead, let’s make it PILO – “Prospects in, leads out”. Fill your pipeline with quality prospects and quality leads will come out the other end.

Those who are in your Prospect Pipeline should be followed up until they do business, or you identify them as a non-prospect and remove them from your pipe.

Do this and your Prospect Pipeline will flow, giving you quality leads that turn into listings, sales, and income.

Gary Pittard

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