3 Solid Ways to Rock the Cold Call

If you are just starting out in real estate, transitioning into a higher median sales price point, or recruiting new talent to grow your team, what do you think is the best tactic in order to grow your business?

Well, let me first tell you what it’s not. It isn’t creating a website. It isn’t drafting the perfect LinkedIn or Pinterest profile. And it isn’t how many e-mails you can send out to your list.

In my opinion, the No. 1 way to grow your business is to pick up the telephone and call potential prospects.

Photo:  stockarch, 2009, Morguefile

Photo: stockarch, 2009, Morguefile

There is a difference between marketing and sales. Sales is the act of converting opportunities into closed transactions. Marketing is the act of attracting new opportunities in order for the salesperson to close. Marketing costs money and time in acquiring qualified leads, whereas in sales the only cost is your time.

The No. 1 mental roadblock that prevents each one of us from picking up the phone and making calls is the fear of rejection. But what if for every attempted call, you never experienced rejection?  What if you were able to create meaningful conversations with every person you came in contact with every day, and if each of those conversations led to another opportunity?

In Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling, author Art Sobczak helps sales professionals reverse the paradigm of the dreaded cold call, changing it into a positive experience where callers can connect with prospects in a helpful way. Here are some of my takeaways after reading his book.

  • Create your potential value propositions. Think of how much money you save a seller from their initial purchase, when you help them get full market value upon sale. Think of how much time and how many mistakes you can save a homeowner with the services you provide.  When you can quantify this compared to the market average with empirical evidence based on past success, you will be leaps ahead in a competitive situation. For example, clients who work with me have saved on average of 10 percent off the list price in negotiations, see five fewer homes thanks to my property qualifying process, and have a 100 percent on-time closing rate once the contract is in escrow. That’s what I need to communicate to make the conversation more helpful.
  • Practice social engineering. There is a large and ever-increasing supply of data available that might tip off a listing agent about a homeowner who is ready to sell. This data can be found online, inside social media conversations, or via a predictive analytics tool.  Rather than dialing for dollars with a cold list, warm it up by doing some research ahead of time to have a better-prepared conversation that can set you apart from the competition.
  • Use a script. Professional actors aren’t winging it when the camera starts rolling, and neither should you. The reason why most salespeople object to using scripts is because they don’t want to seem robotic or canned.  But the problem isn’t the script itself. It is the delivery of the script where salespeople goof up.  Once you create your script, you need to practice it over and over again using a friendly conversational approach and you will have more success than those who fly by the seat of their pants.

Doug Devitre

Companies bring in Doug Devitre, CSP, when they want to improve sales and marketing using the latest technology with quantifiable metrics. He is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Business Specialties Hall of Fame and earned the Certified Speaking Professional award, which is bestowed upon the top 10 percent of professional speakers worldwide. His new book, Screen to Screen Selling—published by McGraw Hill and available in October 2015—helps executives and sales managers increase sales, productivity, and customer experience without being physically present.

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  1. I’m reading this now. The book is indeed helpful!

  2. Brokers that mast the art of cold calling or “dialing for dollars” as we sometimes refer to it usually outperform their peers. When you can convince a total stranger to do business with you over the telephone, you gain a lot more confidence in speaking with any and every one about real estate. It keeps you on your toes.

  3. J Coon

    What about the Do Not Call list? One can’t talk about cold-calling without also discussing the ramifications of breaking those laws.

  4. Beverly Spross

    J. Coon – that is a great question and one that recently came up in my office….. I don’t know the answer — what about the Do Not Call Registry — how do we access it — how is it handled in other offices when the question comes up?

  5. Here’s a great source for information about the Do Not Call list, including a help desk number for questions from businesses: https://www.donotcall.gov/faq/faqbusiness.aspx

  6. From https://www.donotcall.gov/faq/faqbusiness.aspx

    “The National Do Not Call Registry applies to any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services through INTERSTATE phone calls” (emphasis added)