This overall strategy was shared with our Kunversion Master Mind group on Facebook and is a really excellent example of how experience can make things look easy. You can use this as a general guide if you are uncomfortable with cold calls, it should help you frame your approach so you can develop your own flavor of cold calling!
Scripts should never be read when you are on the phone. You'll sound like a telemarketer! Instead try to remember a few things at a time and use them in your approaches to cold calling.
1. Mindset - Cold Calls & Internet Leads
Leads that you capture off the internet are cold leads. Some of them, the ones everyone loves, actually talk back to us. But they are cold leads too. There is absolutely no established relationship between you and the person who signed up on your website. All that has happened, is that their information was captured so they could view the homes on their site. And, after a very short amount of time from them registering, they will have forgotten they even did that. This is why by default, Kunversion calls you with new lead info and you need to be ready. If you're not, then it's money down the drain. It's a tough business.
2. Goal - Establish a Relationship
You have a new lead. You and this person are complete strangers. Therefore, you need to create a relationship of trust that is based on their problems. They are the focus, and you can establish a two-way dialogue to see if they will work out. They may have been initially what you thought was a warm lead, but more often than not they have other ideas and plans that are perpendicular to your own. Most times, they are just looking, shopping around, and they disappear. Do not despair though!
3. The Initial Call Direction
It now comes to this. For it to work, to establish this relationship of trust, we need real talk. This is a lot easier than it sounds. This first call is not a sales call, it's a customer service call . If you focus on booking an appointment or any other end result, you'll be resistant to finding out the truth about what's on their mind. If you don't take the time to find out what their problem or issue is, and you jump right into your sales pitch, you unconsciously trigger sales pressure, which puts them on the defensive and makes them retreat.
Critically, this makes trust and honest communication, “real talk”, impossible.
Treat this call like you just bumped into a neighbor that you’ve seen but never had a conversation with. Would you be enthusiastic and excited when you speak, would you assume that you had just met a lifelong friend?
Sounding enthusiastic, excited and overly friendly reeks of our most common enemy, the telemarketer! You are not a telemarketer!
Your tone and word choices should be calm, relaxed, and toned-down, without any sense of urgency or eagerness. The fact that you are not invested in an end result will ensure this state in your tone and mindset.
Sometimes during the call things will be going along fine and then all of a sudden, the person will give you “push back”. You will sense that they seem annoyed or suspicious of your intentions. If this happens, stop and say:
“I apologize if I gave you the impression that I’m trying to sell you something or push an agenda forward in anyway. In fact, I really don’t know if we can specifically help you. I’m just doing a customer service call to make sure you were able to access the home listings and to see if I can be of any help to you. Would you be open to talking a little while longer to see if you may need my help now or in the future?”
4. Let's call them - basic scripting
Okay so now it’s time to call a lead.
Don’t stand up, don’t get pumped up.
If you feel nervous, try leaning back a little in your chair.
Now dial the number. So if you reach them directly, the natural way to begin the conversation is to confirm that they're the person who signed up on your website:
“Hi, this is [NAME] with [WEBSITE]. I have a note here on my desk, that you signed up today to view homes for sale in [AREA], would that have come from you?”
They will probably say, “Yes, that was me.” (If they say no or something worse, we have some tips down this page for dealing with combative people.)
This little interaction is a micro commitment towards building trust within the first few minutes of the call. It's a natural, considerate question that shows respect for the other person and creates the beginning link between the two of you.
You then say, “I just wanted to make sure you were able to log in and that you were able to view details on the homes?”
Here they will either say yes or no. If they say no, then offer to fix it for them.
Next ask, “I’m curious, can you tell me a little bit about your situation?” This phrase allows the conversation to open up.
Listen and don't interrupt them. Let them talk for as long or as little as they like. Take note on the major points they make. The questions below represent information we would like to know about their situation if they are willing to share it. By no means do you need all these questions answered. Most of these folks are 3 to 12 months out from buying a home. Nothing you say or do will shorten their timeline, so be helpful and get to know the other person with a service oriented mindset. Normally, when they are talking, they will offer answers to questions before you get to ask them. This is good! After they are done talking, you can say, “Thanks for that, I'm curious” and then start asking the below questions that remain unanswered:
- Where do you want to live?
- What is your price range?
- Do you have a Realtor?
- What specifications in a home are you lookingfor?
- Are you preapproved with a lender? Would you like some help with that?
- Are you an investor or home buyer?
- What is your time frame for purchase?
If you get pushback, these phrases will help:
- “That’s not a problem.”
- “I apologize if I gave you the impression that I’m trying to sell you something or push an agenda forward in anyway. In fact, I really don’t know if we can specifically help you. I’m just doing a customer service call to make sure you were able to access the home listings and to see if I can be of any help to you. Would you be open to talking a little while longer to see if you may need my help now or in the future?”
If they are friendly and want help, use phrases like these:
- “Where do you think we should go from here?”
- “That sounds like a good plan, would you like some help implementing that?”
Combative Leads & Rejection
Some people will be upset with you calling. They may demand apologies. That would be absurd. Don't be afraid to throw in a lesson on economics while you politely tell them how you're not apologizing using points like these:
- The internet isn't free. Someone is paying for your ability to use the internet.
- You're using my very expensive website free in exchange for your contact information. By signing up, you agreed to this trade.
- If you do not want to be called, do not use the internet to find homes for sale.
Whatever you do, don't give up from rejection. An average agent only ever closes 1% of the leads they capture. One in One HUNDRED. The sooner you apply you rejection-phobic coating so they bounce off you, and leap ahead of the average game, the sooner you will find great success in this business.