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Telemarketing Tips

We have agents that cold call, via telemarketing, homeowners who are selling their homes without an agent. The agent's goal is to set an appointment to meet with the seller(s) at the property for the purpose of presenting our real estate services.

Does anyone with telemarketing experience have any general tips or techniques I could pass on to these agents that would make their life a little easier? - by AZBroker
We have agents that cold call, via telemarketing, homeowners who are selling their homes without an agent. The agent's goal is to set an appointment to meet with the seller(s) at the property for the purpose of presenting our real estate services.

Does anyone with telemarketing experience have any general tips or techniques I could pass on to these agents that would make their life a little easier?
Whenever I make telephone calls I keep three things in mind.

First, stay on point. Remember the reason you're calling. Remember your goal.

Second, and just as important, smile. Seriously, it will make a difference in the way you come across.

Third, and I know this sounds weird, stand up during the call. Move around, get animated.

I'm sure these are pretty basic but they make a difference for me. :o - by Jomsom
We have agents that cold call, via telemarketing, homeowners who are selling their homes without an agent.....Does anyone with telemarketing experience have any general tips or techniques I could pass on to these agents that would make their life a little easier?
Since you're asking for advise for your agents on cold calling, then I assume you haven't done it yourself. Why, then, is this something you as the Broker are promoting? If you haven't seen any significant success rates with cold calling through your own efforts or those of the other agents in your office, do you really think this strategy is the best way to convert FSBO's? I'm just curious as to why you chose this strategy over another.

I admit to a bias against cold calling but ultimately, the biggest concern should be that these agents all fully understand the implications of noncompliance with the DNC registry. They've got a lot to lose if they aren't very careful.

Best of luck. - by Irene Morales Ward
Since you're asking for advise for your agents on cold calling, then I assume you haven't done it yourself. Why, then, is this something you as the Broker are promoting? If you haven't seen any significant success rates with cold calling through your own efforts or those of the other agents in your office, do you really think this strategy is the best way to convert FSBO's? I'm just curious as to why you chose this strategy over another.

I admit to a bias against cold calling but ultimately, the biggest concern should be that these agents all fully understand the implications of noncompliance with the DNC registry. They've got a lot to lose if they aren't very careful.

Best of luck.
The assumption would be incorrect. I'm asking for advice because I realize and can admit that I do not hold all of the answers. If there is a way to help our agents feel more comfortable while improving their performance I'm interested in hearing about it. Considering the caliber of advice flowing through this forum I make the assumption that this is a great place to ask.

Why do I promote FSBO telemarketing? Our experience clearly shows that it works and works quite well. ;) - by AZBroker
The assumption would be incorrect.
I was totally out of line and after rereading my post, I have to admit I'm exhausted (been on here now over 8 hours and need to go to bed!)

My perspective doesn't matter to your question...I sincerely apologize and you have every right to find sound, professional advise from the folks on this forum. They are exceptional. I, on the other hand, can't comment on cold calling from a positive perspective so I'll just step back from this thread. Best of luck - you're bound to find the advise you need here!:o - by Irene Morales Ward
My perspective doesn't matter to your question...I sincerely apologize and you have every right to find sound, professional advise from the folks on this forum.
No harm, no foul. :cool: - by AZBroker
AZBroker,

I agree with Jomson's idea about smiling. It really does make a difference. You can try it yourself. You just sound different when you're smiling. I know of a call center where mirrors were installed on the wall the representatives face when they're on the phone. Works wonders!

I like to prepare a script - not to read from, but to make sure I've thought through the best approach and answers to possible objections. Then, if you find something that works better, you can update the script. It helps to keep track of successes so that you focus on what works.

Staying on point is key, too. The goal is to sell the appointment, not list the house. So, that means the agents must not get lured into a discussion about whether it is better to list or do it themselves. Leave that for the face to face. You'll usually lose debating the issue.

I'd remind the agents that they aren't telemarketing. At least the way I define it. Telemarketing to me is when someone calls and wants me to make a decision to buy something. In your situation, the agents are calling to determine if they can help the homeowner solve a problem. So, they shouldn't act like telemarketers. For one thing, they should never open the conversation with "How are you today?" That's always a sure sign that the caller wants to sell me something - right then - before the price goes up!

I'd encourage them to start a discussion with the homeowner. As if the person was sitting in their office. I usually had an open-ended question that would initiate an interaction. In your situation, it might be something like: How would you describe the level of activity you've had? It needs to be carefully worded. Even saying: How many leads have you been getting? opens you up for an answer of Lots. Goodbye.

The agents also need to have a long list of benefits for listing with your firm to choose from depending on the conversation. And, specific examples of sales in the FSBO's neighborhood would be helpful.

Finally, the agents should keep in mind that they are trying to solve a problem, and until they know what the problem is, they're lost. So, they need to focus on getting the homeowner to discuss their situation, not trying to jump in right away with all the reasons they should list their home. This is an even trickier situation than talking to someone who is undecided about listing. You're asking the homeowner to change their mind, and it needs to be approached gently.

My 2 cents. Hope it helps.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
...The agent's goal is to set an appointment to meet ....

Does anyone with telemarketing experience have any general tips or techniques I could pass on to these agents that would make their life a little easier?
Tips or techniques will not help you--mine or anybody else's--regardless of good intentions. For effective telephone selling--an appointment or a product or service--you have to have a system. Here is a simple skeletal worksheet which will enable you to devise a system. Put a halt to your telephone campaign until the system is in place.

This is ________ from___________ .

I Meet with _______________ who are______________.

After meeting me (us), they have found that they are better able to______________ . They also________________ .

Can I meet with you?

For this project, devote your time to devising the components of that message contained in the last four blank spaces. Do not change any of the words I provided. It might take a few days. The words you provide should be truthful, nonmanipulative, and to the point. The entire offer (to meet) must contain no more than 45 words.

If you want to do this, complete it carefully, email the offer to me, and I will critique it and help you edit it.

Then restart the calling.

The above is neither a tip or a technique. It is instructions for using a system that has been one of the most effective ever created. There is nothing that needs to be added to enhance this system. - by Gary Boye
This is ________ from___________ .
When you are calling as an idividual, sans company, you should always insert the word "..calling" after your name. When you are also identifying your company, it would be contextually ineffective to do so.

Examples:
  • This is Gary Boye calling...(Correct)
  • This is Gary Boye calling from Strategic Arts Training...(Incorrect)
  • This is Gary Boye from Strategic Arts Training... (Correct)
The use of the word "calling" in the correct manner is very effective in gaining attention and getting through to the right person. I don't know why.

That's not a tip. I should have included it in the above instructions. - by Gary Boye
Tips or techniques will not help you--mine or anybody else's--regardless of good intentions. For effective telephone selling--an appointment or a product or service--you have to have a system. Here is a simple skeletal worksheet which will enable you to devise a system. Put a halt to your telephone campaign until the system is in place.

This is ________ from___________ .

I Meet with _______________ who are______________.

After meeting me (us), they have found that they are better able to______________ . They also________________ .

Can I meet with you?
I'll get to work on this right away. Thank you so very much! :cool: - by AZBroker
Gary,

I love the "system". And, I agree, you need to start out asking for the order, which in this case is the appointment. Then, if the homeowner says no, you can use some open-ended questions to get a discussion going and hopefully find the weak point in the homeowners FSBO experience.

Does that make sense to you? If not, where would you go if the homeowner says no?

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Gary,

I love the "system". And, I agree, you need to start out asking for the order, which in this case is the appointment. Then, if the homeowner says no, you can use some open-ended questions to get a discussion going and hopefully find the weak point in the homeowners FSBO experience.

Does that make sense to you? If not, where would you go if the homeowner says no?
Kathleen
It makes sense to advocates of the school of selling that says "the sale begins when the prospect says no". That is in direct conflict with the approach I have suggested. So are open-ended questions.

In this case, first things first, Kathleen. - by Gary Boye
Gary,

So, if the homeowner says No when asked if they will meet, would you terminate the call at that point? - by KSA-Mktg
Gary,

So, if the homeowner says No when asked if they will meet, would you terminate the call at that point?
Yes.

And, Kathleen, you know it's not for lack of persuasion skills or knowledge of alternative procedures on my part.

One of two things will happen with the prospects who say "no". Either they will get satisfactory results with their present course, or, they will be more receptive when we call them in a few weeks with a "restructured" offer to meet which will again follow the 45 word parameters described above.

The key point is that there never will be a shortage of people to call--and--there never will be a shortage of people who want to meet.

If we spend our time talking to people who say they don't want to meet, then we are not spending our time.....well, you know the rest.

But let it play out! We're getting ahead of ourselves. This works. - by Gary Boye
Hi Gary.

In real estate it is not uncommon for sellers who are selling their homes without an agent to receive phone calls from agents.

Countless times I have seen sellers who claim they will never use an agent turn around in a short period of time and list their home with a brokerage.

I attribute this to one of two (2) things. Timing and/or telemarketing skills.

Timing goes along the lines you mentioned in your post.

Telemarketing skills is as it sounds. For instance, I have watched new agents in training get rejected almost immediately on the phone only to watch the trainer call the same homeowner right back and get the appointment.

What are your thoughts on that? Thanks. ;) - by AZBroker
Hi Guys,

Gary, I agree that we should spend our time in the most effective way. But, my experience has been that some great relationships develop from conversations that start out with a big No. If you know what you're doing, and can prove to the person that you care about solving their problem vs cramming something down their throat.

I know its a fine line. I would never take a conversation past the point of being able to end the call on a friendly note. But, I think AZ's example of a newbie vs a trainer getting much different results is real life, too.

More of the wonder of sales - there's room for so many different approaches!

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
I'll reply to both posts jointly--but I'm not about to defend a system that works. I was in earnest when I said originally that nothing needs to be added to enhance this system. If you only want to think within the paradigm that selling skills are persuasion skills, I can't change that and I have no vested interest to make me want to. So here are my thoughts about points you both discussed.

Countless times I have seen sellers who claim they will never use an agent turn around in a short period of time and list their home with a brokerage.

That part goes along with what I said.

I attribute this to one of two (2) things. Timing and/or telemarketing skills.

The timing issue is congruent with the second call feature of the system which calls for a restructured offer. I don't know what you mean by telemarketing skills, or know whose theories would be used, what the cost of training would be to develop such skills, how many years it would take, and how many lost opportunities your company would suffer during the learning stages. I believe the risks of experiencing that scenario would be considerably more than introducing a 45 word offer and having people aboard that could repeat that offer.

Telemarketing skills is as it sounds. For instance, I have watched new agents in training get rejected almost immediately on the phone only to watch the trainer call the same homeowner right back and get the appointment.

Then all the newbie would have to do is do what the trainer did. If it was being watched, the differences had to be seen. But if we're talking about "intangibles" that can't be seen, how does the extensive logistics of deciphering that magic compare with having people of varying experience levels deliver a 45 word offer.

Or are we talking about "thinking on one's feet", a skill that cannot be taught, as opposed to preparedness which can be easily required?

...my experience has been that some great relationships develop from conversations that start out with a big No...

We're not looking for great relationships--we're looking for meetings with prospects. That was the problem at hand. And it had not found a solution--otherwise this thread wouldn't have started.

I know its a fine line. I would never take a conversation past the point of being able to end the call on a friendly note. But, I think AZ's example of a newbie vs a trainer getting much different results is real life, too.

In this system, newbies and trainers are required to deliver that very same 45 word offer. So the gap is closed considerably. If you have a trainer that can't adapt to a new strategy, you need a new trainer.

More of the wonder of sales - there's room for so many different approaches!

The wonder of sales has too many people wondering because there are so many different approaches. This system needs room for only one approach.

I'm not selling this system. I volunteered it because it works. No offense, guys--but I am not apt to blend it with traditional methods of persuasive selling. And my interest here is not to examine the contrasts. - by Gary Boye
45 word offer it is. :) I appreciate your patience and understanding. - by AZBroker
No offense, guys


And, none taken.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Tips or techniques will not help you--mine or anybody else's--regardless of good intentions. For effective telephone selling--an appointment or a product or service--you have to have a system. Here is a simple skeletal worksheet which will enable you to devise a system. Put a halt to your telephone campaign until the system is in place.

This is ________ from___________ .

I Meet with _______________ who are______________.

After meeting me (us), they have found that they are better able to______________ . They also________________ .

Can I meet with you?

For this project, devote your time to devising the components of that message contained in the last four blank spaces. Do not change any of the words I provided. It might take a few days. The words you provide should be truthful, nonmanipulative, and to the point. The entire offer (to meet) must contain no more than 45 words.

If you want to do this, complete it carefully, email the offer to me, and I will critique it and help you edit it.

Then restart the calling.

The above is neither a tip or a technique. It is instructions for using a system that has been one of the most effective ever created. There is nothing that needs to be added to enhance this system.
Woah. :eek: Now THAT was a clear and confident answer. I'm not in real estate and don't call fisbos but I'm making notes. I have a "script" that works pretty well for me, but the pure committment and tone of your repsonse makes me want to try this. - by RainMaker
Unfortunately, I did not find this forum until a year after this thread played out, but I wanted to thank the players who volunteered this valuable info. Incredibly helpful to a newbie like me! - by Rookie
Howdy all. I too just found this forum but have found it hard to post from my laptop for some reason, hopefully this one takes. I perused this thread a bit and there were some good points. Just a few of my own to add. Having managed and trained telemarketers for many years I would have to say the one thing that I happen to STRESS in my line of work (Vac sales and getting the appointments to sell them) is rapport. Someone back there said "Thinking on your feet is something that can't be taught" ...............Kinda true (There is, like it or not inherent ability to sell/get the appointment or whatever) but there are definite steps to improve the average persons ability to overcome objections over the phone. If you can get the appointment or sale then you are in great shape and you can correct your team. If not then this should help your organization as a whole anyway. Do this.......Take time (You determine how much you can spare) out of your day and create scenarios. In other words role play with your marketers. Example.......Diane= caller Julie= just got in the door and had a rough day. Then go through the motions. Objections= I don't have time/Just not interested/I don't do things over the phone. There are many scenarios. At the beginning of the day, talk about the objections the night before and openly discuss solutions with everyone else. Get feedback and always end your meeting on a high note. (Such as.......hey as long as you did everything you can do to get that appointment and STILL didn't get it, it's okay. Just give 100% on every call) Now getting back to gaining rapport........how? Well realize that you are limited, in the sense you only have your voice as a tool...........and theirs. The key to getting rapport over the phone is actually taking their mind off of the purpose of the call in the first place. (Sounds weird but go with me on this) Let me give you an example. You're in the middle of your pitch and their baby cries/dog barks/other line rings......whatever. USE IT! "Oh how old is your baby??" ......Awww they are so cute at that age. Mine is about that age too! .........What kind of dog is that? I thought so!! I had one too but he had a clubbed foot. .........Who was that on the other line? WAIT don't tell me, it was a damn telemarketer! Dontcha hate those people?? HAHAHA. The point of getting rapport is this, you aint the only game in town. You have to seperate yourself from the pack. The prospect is more likely to go with you if they like you. We are ALL that way. I would rather do business with a fellow 49er fan than a filthy Rams fan! (I have many friends that are Rams fans but you get the point) It's a commonality that sometimes is the difference. Your script shoult be strong. You should be strong. But rapport is the thing that gets the otherwise fence riders to go "Ah hell, okay" ............And those extra few deals (To borrow a phrase) priceless. Hope I helped. - by vacmag
That did help Vacmag and I hope you will post more on telemarketing. I work with people who are selling their homes and can call on "for sale by owners" whenever I want. I just don't want to as much as I should. ;st - by Thomas
I'll get to work on this right away. Thank you so very much! :cool:
Azbroker

Like previous posts a framework is a good thing to work from. Smiling is very effective as is standing to make the calls. breathing is critical and we breath better upright.

We always base our calls around AIDA, but before we get there we do the following:

Preparation - What to say, where will I make the calls, what do I know about who I'm calling, what is my goal.

Smile before you dial.

Then ask for the person by name - use it two or three times early on introduce yourself, get the prospects attention

Take the curse off of the call - is it OK to speak now (etiquette)?

Generate interest - Lots of people like yourself are using our 'xyz'

Desire - what they're finding is that it does 'benefit' & 'benefit'

Action - when would be the best time to get together so that you can see how this could work for you?

Agree next step. You might not get an appointment but you might arrange to call back at a later date. - by marky
Let me add this little tip too. As most of you know, you will actually get more NH's (Not home) than anything. It's a very common mistake to ask for people like this............"Hi may I speak to Mr/Mrs smith?" Answer= "Sorry they're not here right now" I am guilty of this habit as well whenever I answer the phone. If someone says "Can I speak to Mr "VACMAG" haha............I always say "Sorry he's not here can I take a message?" The point being, it's an obvious sales call or more importantly not a personal call and I don't want to deal with it when I am at home. The best way to minimize this response is to always ASSUME you are talking to the owner (Unless of course it's a child) Try this............"Hi Mr Smith?" "Yes" ...............It's an automatic response and it works 10X better. You can then include your greeting afterwards once you know you have the correct person. Hope it helps folks. Close em! - by vacmag
I have read and appreciate your input Marky and Vacmag. Thank you! ;sm - by AZBroker
Hi there,

I work a database of about 2000 clients and have done for about 2.5 years spending around 20 hours a week on the phone.....

My tips are as follows....

1 Be positive and bold keep your diction clear and be excited about what you are selling.
2 Get your client to talk,let him tell his story,the more he talks the better chance you normally have of him liking you and hence buying from you.
3 Following on from the last...asking OPEN questions not closed....
4 Keep detailed notes about your chats......when you ring back in 6 months and ask about little Johnny s health problem they will warm to you.
5 Take regular breaks for tea/food/relaxation..I do every 30 minutes [a stop for something or other]
6 Be pleasant and up front honest.

hope something in here helps..


kind regards,

UK Paul - by UK Paul
Good tips UK Paul. Do you use a sales script in your calls? - by Jolly Roger
Hi again,

My script is usually based on refinancing them and REDUCING what they are paying. Hence,I am usually using something like "hi its Paul from Lerwicks,I have your file in front of me and I seem to have identified a way of saving you some money on your monthly outgoings.................most of our clients are shrewd enough to take advanatge of this ....................." that sort of thing but it varies each time....

regards,

Paul - by UK Paul
The last think a FSBO wants to do is talk to another Realtor. Put an add on craigslist that you are selling your home and I bet you get more calls from Realtors than you do from buyers.

One way around this is team up with a good mortgage broker. Most Real Estate deals fall through because of financing and a good mortgage broker can explain this to the FSBO. Also the mortgage broker does not want to sell the home the job the FSBO is trying to do so the FSBO does not see the Mortgage Broker as compition or even a threat. So the FSBO is more willing to listen to Mortgage broker. Through the weeks of not getting the home sold and most FSBO do the MB can be there to make suggestions and build rapport. Then when the FSBO has decided he can make more money by using a Realtor he will ask someone who he trusts, someone who he has build rapport with, the mortgage broker and the MB can refer his friend the Realtor.

This of coarse will not work for those Realtors who are not big fans of Mortgage Brokers but if you believe that two people working together can generate more business than one person working alone, it can be very effective.

Not only that, the Realtor can also get a new list of buyers looking to purchase a home who did not buy the FSBO. - by Jorel
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