By: Lee Kiser
rokers share similar fears and objections when it comes to cold calling. Whether it’s encountering a gatekeeper, feeling like you don’t have enough knowledge to advise someone or any myriad of reasons, don’t let these fears stop you from making the most of your cold calls.
The objective of a phone call is not to close for business (a listing, analysis, find a buyer, etc.). The objective is to establish a relationship with the client — and the call is simply opening the door to that objective. Too many people are focused on closing the door before the end of the call. There will always be a need for someone to use your services, it just most likely is not right now.
Here are my top tips for making the most out of your cold calls.
1. Drop the script, take a deep breath. Before you hop on the phone, get out of your own head. You only need to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing and that you are a pro. Your posture and confidence are crucial to getting the person on the other end of the line to let their guard down and start telling you about where they are. Are they looking to hold? Looking to sell? Interested in investing in more properties? Or are they just tired of doing the business — tired of getting calls from brokers?
2. Don’t try to close on the phone. The initial cold call is just the beginning — remember, it’s opening a door. Use the dialogue as the start of a relationship. Whatever they say, LISTEN. Make notes so that you remember where to start next time you call … and make sure there’s a next time you call. If they mention anything specific, make sure it’s in your notes so you remember to circle back to that topic on the next call. You should also go out of your way to learn more about whatever that topic is so that you have something of value for them next time you speak.
3. Use their words. Use the words they say on the call in your follow up. If they say they are looking for a deal, tell them you found a deal in your follow-up. Did they say they only want listings near public transit? In your follow-up, call out that the property is near public transit.
4. Give them what they want. If they want you to send them all of your inventory, send them all of your inventory. If they want a certain kind of investment, send them that. Will they look at all of it or any of it? Likely not, but it provides the context for the discussion to hone in on what they actually want. What I mean by this is you ask if they received the email with all the inventory attached. If so, what did they think? More than likely, they haven’t looked through all of it. Don’t call them out. Instead, use the opportunity to find out what they are and aren’t interested in. They wouldn’t tell you on the first call but perhaps they’ll tell you now. The alternative is to annoy them by not giving them what they asked for and try to corner them too early for specific parameters on the initial call.
5. Follow up — consistently. Follow-up is not a single call or email to the person. Follow up is a frequent update and touch point with a person to build rapport, show that you are an active broker and provide the person value. Be the broker who is the most consistent and useful. Consistency is the key to establishing a relationship, not timing. Always be more concerned with the person than you are with a commission. The person will value this and, at the right time, the commission will come.
Cold calls may be the least favorite activity for most brokers, but remember, it is for opening the door to a relationship, not closing the door on a deal or fee. If you follow these tips, cold calls will be more enjoyable and fruitful.