How to successfully handle objections is probably the thing that comes up most often during coaching sessions with real estate agents or ISAs.
Cold calling is in a bit of a crisis right now. Namely, because fewer and fewer people are answering numbers they don’t recognize. Decades now of telemarketers have slowly conditioned people to become more and more suspicious of people trying to sell them over the phone and, increasingly, weary of numbers they don’t already have in their phone.
At Smart Inside Sales, our training can help you overcome the first problem. Leads being suspicious of salespeople on the phone is not a deal breaker. As we discuss in a lot of our articles and in our video content, the key to being successful on your real estate calls is to have real conversations with people that are actually helpful. What we mean by that is that you have to enter your calls not necessarily to get the sale, but to genuinely assist the lead or prospect in solving a particular issue.
The way you do this is by employing a strategy we call the PPO process. PPO stands for Perspective Process Outcome.
The prospect’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation. Examples of perspectives that may lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before”, “I’ve already met with an agent”, and “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”
The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. Examples of a process are “I’m going to sell my home myself”, “I’ll just use the agent I used before”, and “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal”. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them. Examples of these are “not wasting time”, “avoiding disappointment”, and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right.”
If you understand the prospect’s perspective, process, and outcome from their own point of view, then you are in a solid position to start helping them solve their real estate problem.
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Understanding what your real estate leads want and being able to help them get there is great, and necessary. However, no matter how much you train and prepare to convert leads on your real estate calls, if the prospect doesn’t answer the phone then it’s really all for nothing. And like we mentioned, the sad truth is that your prospects and potential leads are answering their phones less and less.
Earlier this year, the company behind the caller ID app Hiya released its first State of the Phone Call report. This report analyzed 11 billion calls and found that Americans only answered about 52% of all calls they receive on their cell phones. Looking deeper into the study, the report found that Americans don’t answer nearly 76% of all the calls they receive that come from unknown numbers.
This massive spike in unanswered phone calls cannot be blamed fully on telemarketers. They have been around for quite some time now. The real culprit behind these surprising numbers is the explosion in spam and robocalls. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you most likely know what I am referring to. We are inundated every day with so many unknown numbers that it would almost be laughable if it weren’t so darn annoying.
The key to making a real estate sale is first being able to make contact with prospects. That means finding ways to circumvent people’s growing aversion to answering the phone calls of strangers. An option that many real estate agents and real estate ISAs are turning to is text message.
According to a study undertaken by Pew Internet in 2015, about 70% of Americans prefer text messages to phone calls. This represents an enormous shift in cultural and communication norms. And over the past four years, I think it is safe to assume that this number has only gone up. What this means for real estate sales and cold calling in general, is that we are the midst of a shift. And shifts present opportunities for those who can get out ahead of them.
So what do we know so far? We know that people are answering phone calls less and less, and that the majority of people prefer to communicate via text messaging as opposed to phone calls. Getting out ahead of this curve means utilizing both messaging apps and phone calls. That’s how you can stand out from the multitude of robocalls that people are receiving on a daily basis.
The way real estate agents are doing this is by calling prospects and then immediately following up with a text message. This method is effective because, even if they don’t answer, calling someone will still draw their attention to their phone. If you quickly follow up with a succinct text message that conveys the value you can offer to the prospect, then you can channel that attention towards what you are offering them.
While it may not be as good as them answering the phone to have an actual conversation with you, having them see and possibly respond to a text message is better than a missed call. At least you are opening the channels of communication. From there you can start building a relationship with the lead and hopefully get them on the phone where you can use the strategies and techniques to convert them into paying leads.
The way we communicate with one another is rapidly evolving and changing. This is just as true for real estate agents and real estate inside sales agents as it is for anyone else involved in phone sales. To keep up, we have to continuously evolve and change as well. By including texting in your prospecting and lead conversion strategy, you are able to stay one step ahead of the changes.