Whether you are trying to get new tenants, find new listings, or get in contact with landlords, cold-calling is a part of a property agent’s day-to-day job. Whilst it can be intimidating, there are several things that can be done to prepare for the seemingly daunting task. Here are our top 10 tips on helping agents get over their fear of cold calling.
1. Have a good work station
Prepare yourself physically for cold calling. Make sure you are sitting somewhere that is comfortable for an extended period. Cold calling requires focus, so it is best that you are in a distraction-free environment, and somewhere you won’t be interrupted. The more relaxed you are in your environment, the more natural-sounding you will come across to your clients.
If you are someone that prefers walking around whilst making phone calls, then get a Bluetooth headset. At the end of the day, you should make the area that you are doing cold calls ‘your place’ and somewhere that you will be productive and work your best. Of course, having a strong cup of coffee at the ready is always a good start.
2. Prepare a good script
Spend some time preparing a script, so you have a solid foundation to start the conversation with your clients. Make sure you make a list of important, qualifying questions, which will make your job easier as you make the next steps. Prepare different scripts for different scenarios, for example, one for contacting new tenants, one for prospective home-owners, and another for landlords. Take some time to sit down and differentiate your customers, then prepare a script for each one.
It’s essential to try and learn and fully understand as much of your script, remembering all the important questions. That way, you will come across less forced and more natural-sounding to your client. This will make your calls seem more personal and less like a cold call.
3. Know your stuff
That being said, whilst you should prepare a good script, it should be flexible enough so that you can adapt it whilst you are on your call. Things will inevitably go off-script at some point and go off into what could potentially be unchartered territory. It is therefore vital that you as an agent are comfortable enough about the areas, questions and anything else that might pop-up on the call. Become well versed infrequently asked questions and read around what you will be talking about. This will make going off script, fluid and comfortable, ensuring that the call remains as natural as possible.
4. Work with a good call list
Whilst it is unlikely that everyone you call will want to make a deal straight away, it will make your job a lot easier if you are working with an up-to-date call list with people who could turn into potential leads. A call list should be constantly updated. Making notes and marking down on your call list any leads you have contacted is extremely important. This will help avoid calling the same lead twice in a short space of time.
5. Strategise your call times
Find out the best times are for calling your prospective clients. There is no point in calling them if they are too busy to pick up the phone or if they are in the middle of a hectic workday. Do some research, look back to see at what times your calls were most successful, then try and work around this. Identify any patterns in time, and centre your schedule around it. By calling at the right time, you will increase your chances of converting your lead or at least being able to get a follow up from them.
6. Have a good voicemail message
Not everyone is going to pick up your calls, but you should take advantage of voice mail messages. It is a good way to break the ice, introduce yourself, and encourage your prospective client to call back. Make sure it’s friendly, clear, but most importantly, to the point. Clearly state who you are and why you are calling. Make sure that the message is short and does not ramble on. This will help ensure that the message is heard all the way through. A good rule of thumb is to keep the client always wanting more information. This will encourage them to pick up the phone and to ask you directly.
7. Make sure you follow-up
Your first call to a client may go amazing, but it is unlikely you will be able to close a deal right there and then. That is why it is vital that you take the initiative and follow up on any potential leads. It is the agent’s responsibility to get back to the leads they have called and to nudge them further towards a conversion. Following up in a timely manner will keep you at the front of your client’s mind and make them more likely to choose you as their agent.
8. Listen to your caller
Whilst it is important to prepare a script, the best salespeople/estate agents are good listeners. Take care to see what it is your client wants, picking up on any details or bits of info that will come in useful when working with them down the line. Keeping track of each customer’s specific details can be difficult, especially when making lots of phone calls in one day. Therefore agents should keep a notebook handy to take notes and comments, which can be referred back to, and will help make the experience for your customer more personal.
9. Work with your fellow agents
It is important to surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals. Act as each other’s support system and encourage each other whenever you can. It will get disappointing at times. Making countless calls and not getting much back is the nature of the job, but it makes it easier when you have other people to talk with and to motivate you.
10. Don’t fear the word ‘no’
The one word that you will, unfortunately, hear many times whilst cold-calling, is ‘no’. Not every lead will be successful, and there will be some rejection. It is vital for agents not to take it personally and to understand that hearing this word several times is not because they are bad at their job. Agents should focus on the positives, and those leads have turned into sales and that are close to closing.
Whilst this is easier said than done, celebrating all the positive leads can help ease the negativity surrounded by the word ‘no’. Use the thrill of a good call, no matter how small, to dust off a difficult one and a push to keep going. Keep motivated and keep moving forward.