3 Essential Elements to Successful Cold Calling
When it comes to cold-calling there are three critical things you need to succeed: the proper mindset, the proper training, and the proper tools.
A year ago, we sat down with smrtPhone client, real estate investor, and co-founder of Three Doors Jim Manning to discuss his tried-and-true approach to cold calling for real estate. Even a year later, the principles that Jim discussed hold strong.
When you ask most people about cold calling, the only thing that runs cold is their blood. They have a negative view of cold calling because they misunderstand the positive role that cold calling can play. Mastering a cold-calling mindset is important to build inspiration, reduce nerves, and increase perseverance.
- Believe in Yourself. Connect deeply with the motivation you have to help others. Remind yourself that you are calling to build deals that benefit everyone involved and not to search for people to scam. It’s a fact that you’re going to encounter people who are upset that you’ve called them, but you will also reach people who genuinely need your help. When you can connect with someone who had previously thought of themselves as being in a dead-end situation and you’re able to help them out, it will all be worth it. As Jim says, it’s okay to kiss a few toads to find the prince.
- Lead with Compassion. While the term sounds cheerful, a “motivated seller” is usually experiencing a lot of stress and pressure. They want to crawl in a corner and ball themselves up because they are so overwhelmed. Most likely, they aren’t putting a lot of energy into reaching out to real estate investors – they probably don’t even know where to start. The mindset of the seller is important to keep in mind as you reach out. You have to be willing to show up for a motivated seller, to put in the energy to find them. And cold calling is the way to do that.
- Intentionally Build Trust. A quality salesperson will ask the right questions to get to the pain, to understand what the person is dealing with. It’s not about coming in strong with proposals and telling them what to do. How can you present a solution when you don’t fully know the problem? Everyone wants to feel heard and understood and the only way you can do that for sellers is to ask, listen, and empathize. Plus, the information you gather will help you structure a proposal they can’t refuse and close the deal as fast as possible.
While there might be some real estate investors who are naturally talented at cold calling, for most it is a learned skill. It can be taught, improved, refined, and perfected. Even if you’re starting out fresh, when you put in the time, find the right mentors, and listen to feedback, you’ll become a pro in no time.
- Role play. Professional athletes don’t just show up at a game and wing it. They practice. They play scrimmages and essentially role-play their moves for the game. To become a professional cold caller, you need to put in the same hard work. Something changes when you have to say a script out loud and respond on the fly to another person. It becomes more real and more human. It can also get messier – but if you’ve already encountered a similar messy conversation in role play, you’re much more likely to handle it smoothly in the real world.
- Repeat and Repeat Again. Practicing isn’t about perfection, because every real world conversation is going to be different. Practicing cold calling is about building your confidence and your ability to think on your feet. The person on the other side of the phone call has not received the script and won’t respond exactly as written. But if you have enough cold calling practice through role play and real world experience, you will have the experience to handle whatever responses you get. Get those practice hours under your belt to improve your cold calling skills.
- Get Feedback. Use a tool like smrtPhone to record your conversations and listen to the play back. While it might feel uncomfortable to hear yourself talk or stumble, those are growing pains and it will make you stronger. Listening to your recordings will help you identify weak areas that need improvement or spark ideas for better responses in the future. Have a mentor listen to the conversations and gather their insight and input. Normalize making mistakes and overcoming them to become a master cold caller.
In real estate, it’s easy to get over-tooled. There’s a tool for everything, and you’re constantly being pitched for another newer, better one. The best real estate cold calling setup is one that brings together the right technology with the right processes. You want to maximize efficiency and productivity, and that requires focusing on the intersection between people and tools. Focus on tools that make things easier and don’t overcomplicate it.
- Prioritize Integration. Look for tools that combine multiple communication channels in one spot. Look for a solution that gets your phone calls and texts all into one spot, like how smrtPhone brings it all directly into Podio. It saves time, it improves data integrity, and it makes feedback and training easier. When you don’t have to go to a different place for your phone system, you can see the whole process from start to finish and easily identify areas for improvement.
- Employ a Follow Up Sequence. The majority of deals will not be signed, sealed, and delivered with one meeting. Most take over 30 days of follow up. Even if the seller is motivated, this is likely a new process for them and they might feel hesitant to make a decision if they are emotionally overwhelmed. Following up not only ensures they remember your name and contact information when they are ready to commit, it gives additional opportunities to build trust which is a key ingredient in closing deals.
- Use an Auto-Dialer. The most common sales adage is, “it’s a numbers game.” The more contacts you reach, the more numbers you dial, the closer you get to your next deal. Every no is one step closer to a yes. With an automated dialer such a smrtDialer, instead of dialing hundreds of contacts in a week, you can dial out thousands. Keep your process simple and make sure you are disciplined about using it, and you will quickly reap the rewards of your efforts.
To hear the full conversation with Jim about tips for real estate cold-calling and sales followup, watch our Masters Series interview.