Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Answering Inquiry Phone Calls From Leads AKA Prospects

     When did the word "lead" (as a noun) creep into our sales vocabulary?  What does that word mean?

     When I was new in sales, we used the word "prospect" (as a noun).  Douglas Edwards defined a hot prospect as "Someone that needs or wants your product, can afford it, will likely buy it from you or your competitor within a reasonable time.".  Does that sound like a reasonable definition?   Does that sound like someone a sales person should be spending time with?

     Did you see a prospect yesterday?  If not, there is very little likelihood that the fruits of yesterday's labor will be money.  Getting face to face with a prospect is what good salespeople do.

     One way that we get face to face with a prospect is the result of an inquiry over the phone.  Your phone rings.  You answer it.  The voice on the other end of the line inquires about your product.  How well you handle that inquiry will determine your success in sales.  If you want to be a successful Realtor, you must (as in imperative) learn to handle phone inquiries from prospects and imposters.  .  It is very easy to sell a house to a prospect.  See above definition.    It is almost impossible to sell a house to an imposter.  Why try?  If you do not understand the difference, read this article .   I wrote this article a long time ago.  The information is critical to sales success.

     Your phone rings.  The voice on the other end says,"Hello, I am calling about the sign I saw in front of 123 Residential street.  What is the price of that house?".  There is a rule about sales conversations.  The person that asks the  last question is in control.  Does that seem right to you?  If Mr. Prospect asks, "What is the price?", I reckon we are going to talk about price. Mr Prospect is in control of this conversation.

     Life is better and more lucrative when you are in control of the conversation.  Does that make sense?   Learn to control the sales conversation with questions.  Right now, let me ask you a question.  What is our goal, our objective when the phone rings?  Is it our goal to get an appointment with the person on the other end of the line?   Is it our goal to qualify the person on the other end of the line and determine if they are ready willing and able to buy a house today.  ?  Is it our goal to dispense information about our listing?  Is our objective to make a new friend?

     Your objective should be to make an appointment to meet the guy on the other end of the line.  Phones are not for qualifying.  Phones are not for making friends.  Phones are for making appointments.    Make an appointment.  We can figure out if he is a prospect when we meet him.  You have time to spend twenty minutes talking to this guy to learn if he is a prospect.  He doesn't have to be a prospect for what he called you about.  If he call you about a $300,000 house and turns out to be a $200,000 prospect.  Is that OK?  It is OK with me.

     Let's start over. The phone rings.  The voice on the other end says," How much is that house at 123 Residential Street?" Is this person a lead?  If a lead is someone that has expressed interest in your product, yes this is a lead.  By calling you, he has expressed interest in your product.

     He has asked a the last question.  He is in control of the conversation.  As long as he is in control of the conversation, we will not likely get an appointment.  He will get lots of information about the house but we will not get an appointment.  Asking a question is the best way to get control of the conversation.  "Let me look that up.  May I ask what you liked most about that house?  What prompted you to call on that one?"  pause,pause,pause.

     " It looks like it has a big yard.  We love the neighborhood."  "Oh, where do you live now?"  "We live over in Notsohot Estates.  Have you found that price yet?"

     Who is in control of the conversation?  The guy that asked the last question is in control.  "Yes I have.  The price of 123 Residential Street is $299,000.  I find that most people are concerned with how much down and how much per month.  Is that true with you?"

     "How can you get this with such a low down payment?"

      " It is a special program that our in house lender found somewhere.  Would you like to look at that house right now?  It is empty and the seller is making payments on it." 

     "Yes, we are sitting in the driveway."

      " I will be there in ten minutes."

      You have an appointment.  You will get face to face with a suspect.  So what if you get there, talk to your suspect  and determine that he has no money, no job, no credit, no hope for the future.  You time is not so valuable that you don't have twenty minutes to qualify a LEAD.  What if you get there and talk to him and it turns out that he can not buy this house.  He can buy a house.  You sell him another house.  Qualify leads in person.  If your time is soooooooo valuable that you don't have time to drive to your listing, ask them to stop by the office. 

     When the phone rings, it costs money to make it ring.  Convert that call to an appointment. 

     Just for practice, print this out and write down the answer to these common questions.  Be sure your answer is a question. 

     Q.  How many bedrooms does that house have?   
When you find a prospect, you need skill to talk to them. 


     Q.  Is that house in the ABC high school district?


     Q.  Is the house empty or occupied?


     Q.  How much are the taxes?


     Q.  Does it have a bonus room?


     Q.  Will the owner hold a mortgage?


     Q.  Do you think the owner would accept an offer of $275,000 ?


     Q.  Will they leave the porch swing?


     You can add to this list of questions.  When is the best time to think of the best answer, while you are taking a phone call from a prospect or when you are sitting in the training room with your trainer?  You hear the same old questions over and over and over.  So the next time you hear,"  Where is that house that you were telling me about?  "  It is at 123 Residential Street." Have a prepared answer like ," It is in Prestige Estates.  Would you like to go look at it now or I am available tomorrow at 10 AM. ? "    Teach yourself to answer questions with a question.  You will make more money. Don't you agree?

      Do you know anyone that needs to go to real estate school?  If you do, recommend First Real Estate School in Hendersonville, N.C.  

     Leave your answers to the above questions in the comments. 

     Have you read this article?    If you need more skill in asking questions, read it. 


1 comment:

  1. This house has three bedrooms. How many people are in your household?

    This house is in the ABC district. How many of your kids attend ABC High now?

    The taxes are $2400 per year. Would you want to pay that separately or have in included with your mortgage payment?

    Yes. How do you see yourself using a bonus room?

    With how much down payment?

    We can certainly make an offer. Are you ready now?

    If we put the porch swing in our offer, I can not imagine the seller declining our offer over a fifty dollar swing. Can you?