Pick Up the Damn Phone?
I speak to agents and property managers every day and I am always asked the elusive question ‘How do we get more leads? More prospects? More listings?’
Whilst social media is helping us be more efficient in branding ourselves and products, I strongly believe there is no substitute for doing things the traditional way such as picking up the phone. This technique is now regarded as an ‘old school method’ and we tend to now do everything but make a phone call – we SMS or use some chat messenger, or email – we don’t want to be interrupted anymore, or do we?
The jury is out on this one so before you bombard me with negative feedback just ask yourself this question ‘How many phone calls do I make per day compared to SMS or email or other chat format?’ The figures may surprise you and I myself have been guilty of being slack and relying on the tech (occasionally)!
I undertook a little test to prove this theory – Last Monday my count was; Emails 179; SMS 62; Phone calls 68; other chat messages 19, I left for people 37 messages, and messages I couldn’t leave for people were 13. On this last point, it dumbfounds me how many agents don’t have voice mail and the 10 seconds’ message bank thing – doesn’t work! By the way, my phone call stats need to improve and since I did the calculations I have increased my phone chat to 50% email 50% phone and the engagement has honestly improved!
I believe how we connect with people needs to change and our service needs to reflect this. Many agents can lack the confidence to engage and wonder why they don’t succeed because they don’t get to practice it. There is no better grounding for training than getting in front of clients, buyers, sellers, and perfecting the art of verbal communication skills. This is your ultimate test under the pressure of talking with your clients/sellers/buyers/landlords with spontaneous questions thrown at you and being able to have the ability to answer on the spot. This is a true test of your abilities and what you pick up and learn is priceless, it’s a skill you can’t learn – you need to practice and practice to become proficient.
Just so we are clear, this is based on my personal research and the figures I have collated over the past months. When connecting, or building a new relationship with people over 40 I am getting the impression they would ‘appreciate’ a call rather than email, it’s all about personal connection for them, hearing a voice or meeting face to face to suss you out and being able to judge people’s reactions all helps to build stronger relationships. It seems however to me the younger generations will do everything possible to avoid talking directly to someone – is this you?
Why not test yourself and ‘PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE’ – take a brave pill and conquer the butterflies! New exciting relationships may just be forged, lessons learnt (good and bad), feedback is important not just the good stuff, thus your business will improve, journeys will.
To give you a little help, I have put together a list of top tips to making those calls:
- Block time in your diary every day for making phone calls to your clients – it doesn’t have to be long, you’ll be amazed how 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
- Keep a record of the personal circumstances and interests of your contacts in your database – this way when you ring them you will have topics easily on hand you can make conversation to break the ice.
- Mix it up – sometimes cold calling can be a little disheartening so make sure you do mix cold calls and warm calls so the calling experience is enjoyable for yourself, giving people a call for example for a positive reason can make their day!
- Create a contact rotation list – make sure you record when you last spoke with your contact and schedule them for 1, 3 or 6 months time, depending on their situation. This way you’ll be sure never to lose contact with your clients.
If you are really new at making calls and feeling quite nervous about the whole experience, try the following:
- Prepare a script – jot a few bullet points down first with an outline of what you may say. This will give you a few prompts in case you get stuck.
- Role Play – you may want to practice a role play with a friend or colleague before jumping on the phones. This may make you feel more comfortable before taking the plunge
- Quiet and comfortable place – make sure you are in a comfortable quiet place without too many people around, feeling like people are listening can make you more nervous
- Record your script and here it back to see and hear how you actually sound. For example, I did this the other day in one of my conversations with a colleague (I was given permission to record it, by the way) and I said the words ‘does this make sense’ 9 times in the space of 12 mins.
Regardless of your level of phone conversation comfortability with your clients, nothing does more to improve your skill than to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and I hope the above tips assist you.
Need help doing that, happy to have a coffee and see if we can point you into the right direction with worthwhile mentors and lets not just make those calls happen let make them remember they’ve had them!