Picking up the phone is tough, but the first call is the hardest. Here are some reasons to make that first prospecting call so that it doesn’t feel awkward.
Tips for Any Call
Practice it! A script is a good thing to start with or develop, but it needs practice to feel comfortable for you. Nick is always happy to help you role-play a call, and many of our colleagues would be happy to, too (you might even ask them as a form of lead gen; if they know you’re dedicated to things like scripts they’ll be more likely to refer leads to you.)
Give, and give freely. If you have a reason to call someone that gives them something genuinely useful, it’s a natural place to start.
People WANT to hear from you. It won’t feel like it at first, but they do. Call as if you’re calling an old friend who’s glad to hear from you. It sets the tone and puts the recipient at ease.
If you want something from a client, get it out of the way first. It’s more genuine and the client doesn’t feel like your preamble is fake. For example, when I’m calling for a referral, I start right off by saying that I’m calling to ask a favour and it’s going to be a huge one. Then we talk about personal stuff afterwards and it’s way more natural.
Be curious about the people you talk to. People are the best part of our business and it’s a great coincidence that the joyful act of building relationships also strengthens our business relationships.
Make notes in your CRM after every call. Make a habit of it and you’ll gradually build some awesome relationships.
Great Reasons to Call
Person - Situation
Reason to Call/Phrases to Remember
Sphere or Client
Invitation to a client event. Gives you a reason to collect email address, phone # and mailing address. Let client know that they’ll be automatically invited to events on our client appreciation program.
- “I want to work with people like you, so if you know other people who are just like you, please tell them about our program and put us in touch.”
“I don’t know if it’s for you, but. . . “ Learning wants and needs - Call about a specific house. Let the client know that you’re considering previewing a specific home and you want to know what they like and don’t like about it before you go and see it. This lets the client know you’re thinking about them, focused on their search and active in the market.
Sphere or Past Client
Training - You’re developing resources for clients just like them and you have some questions. It’s a low-pressure way to let them know you’re active, and they’ll feel more positively to you because you asked them a favour. This is called the Ben Franklin Effect, by the way. It works on agents too.
- “I have a favour to ask. I’m creating some guides for our clients who are just like you, and I’d like to ask you three questions.”
- “Would you like to have a look at the guide when it’s done?”
- “We’re using a new format for our CMA’s on my team. Can I use you and your home as a guinea pig to practice on? I’ll need to ask you a couple of questions.”
Leads who are “Just Looking” or not committing to an agent.
“Has any agent explained about _______ yet?” - This is a good curiosity hook and demonstrates value. Buyers often don’t know what they don’t know. (These also make great explainer videos or #CoffeewithKarim videos)
- your buying power now versus waiting a few months
- how to find an off-market property in the current market
- how realtor commissions actually work
- the difference between a fixed and variable-rate mortgage
- how to compete against unconditional offers
“Have you seen the property at address?” Wait for their response. “I saw it and based on what you liked about sign call address, I think it might be a better fit. They have some availability on Friday if you’d like to see it, and they’re taking offers on Monday.”
If the lead doesn’t want to see the suggested property, tell them, “that sounds fine. I’ll keep an eye out for something that works better. Does it work for you if I call you if I see something that looks like a good fit?”
Useful resource: Call with a resource you’ve found or create that solves a client’s problem. It shows that you’re working for them and thinking about their needs.
Sphere or Past Clients
Holidays and Birthdays. Combine with a card. If you knew everyone’s birthday it would give them a reason to call once a year.
Leads or Past Clients
Sold prices in the neighbourhood - Do you want to know what homes are actually selling for? I’ll set up a portal for you that will give you a list of everything that sold in the past week/month which includes the sale prices. Many people love this but are afraid to ask you to set it up. Every once in a while (quarterly, or if you see that someone is checking their portal all the time) you can check in and see if they’re happy with the types of settings that you’ve got set up.
- You can embed videos in the portal search and create a nice little library for your clients.
Open House Leads
Sold price for the home, and suggestions for a nearby home. Invite them to see it with you.
Phrases to Use/Avoid
Say Something Like This Instead
“If you ever need anything, I’m happy to help” - too vague
“If it works for you, I’d like for you to consider me your Realtor. If you have any real-estate related questions, I’d love it if you called me first.”
“If you know anyone looking to buy or sell, I’m happy to help.” - Weak ask, too vague
(stolen from Brian Buffini) “I loved talking to you today and you’re exactly the type of person that I love to work with. If you know anyone of similar quality to yourself, I’d love to meet them. I’ll check back in with you __________ and see if you have anyone in mind.”
“Have I reached you at a good time?” - Pressures the client to say yes, even if it’s not true.
“Is this a bad time?” - Called “going for no,” this lets the client say “no” while still giving a positive outcome. If it’s a bad time and they can’t talk, they’re more apt to give you a better time alternative and won’t feel pressured about this call.