Phone prospecting is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to get new clients. It could be argued that any agent that had a good script and made 50 calls per day using a good script, would have a six-figure income in a short period of time. There are two types of phone prospecting that should be utilized: calls made for relationship management purposes, and warm canvassing calls to new prospects who you don’t yet know.
Using the phone for relationship management is very effective because these people already like and trust you. By calling your past clients, advocates and sphere of influence, you’re prompting them to remember that you’re in the real estate business. If they are thinking of you and you have encouraged them by saying, “please don’t keep me a secret,” they are much more likely to refer business to you when their circle of friends happen to bring up the subject of real estate. If you’re not making calls every day to this group, you’ll always be working much harder than you have to and are missing the “low hanging fruit” or the best opportunities to generate business.
Warm canvassing people you don’t know using the phone is far more intimidating, but can lead to unbelievable success. The huge advantage to this form of prospecting is that you can “take unlimited shots” at generating new business. When using the phone with warm prospects, or people you don’t know who may have a real estate need, there are three important considerations:
- You must have a good script or outline you can use when making the calls.
- You must make the calls when you are most likely to get people home, usually from 9:00-11:00a.m., in the morning for retiree’s, or from 5:00-7:00p.m., in the evening for everyone else, including retiree’s.
- You must maximize call time efficiency by being prepared to make the calls one right after the other.
One of the greatest challenges to warm canvassing is researching valid phone numbers. There are three approaches that will help you gather phone information:
- Use Superpages.com or Whitepages.com to look up home numbers.
- When you can’t find the information using the websites above, you can always use a paid service such as PeopleFinders.com or Intelius.com, for a nominal fee per number.
- Googling the name of each prospect can also be very effective. In many instances, their business information will come up on LinkedIn, or from their business website, and you can reach them at their business. This can be an ideal approach because you can call anytime during the day, and there is no such thing as a business “do not call” list.
As you’re making calls, remember you’re playing a numbers game. There are a million excuses you can come up with as to why warm canvassing doesn’t work, but that’s what they are, excuses! Playing the numbers game always works! Expect to have lots of wrong numbers (so what), leave lots of voices messages with no return phone calls, and once and a great while, get a nasty response to your call (who cares). Think about it, you could get a new listing or buying prospect every time you make 50 or 100 calls. Under current market conditions, this program will lead to a six-figure income. Make doing the dials a habit by phone prospecting every day!