Simple Steps to Overcome The Fear of Cold Calling
If you are queasy at the thought of cold calling, taking sellers calls, or simply networking, then understand that you are not alone. A lot of people are uneasy doing any of these tasks. I can say with confidence that talking on the phone, at any level, to anyone, was the most nerve racking experience of my investing career. I found anyway I could to get around having to use the phone to grow my business. However, none of those ideas worked well.
This type of fear is completely rational because, it is caused by the unknown. When you are faced with a situation where you have little to no experience, you are naturally hesitant. That is just how we, as humans, are wired. However, getting over this fear is not as hard is may seem.
Here are a few steps on how I used turn this fear around.
1. Write It Down: Make the unknown, known, by putting everything on paper.
Objective- Write down everything you will want to ask the seller. Keep this simple and to the point. Don’t ask how many bed/bath’s the property has because a two second search will tell you that information. Find the sellers true motivation and set an appointment. Ask general questions to gauge their motivation, needs, and basic condition of the house. I broke my questions and objections into a few categories.
2.Motivation of seller: Example-“tell me about your situation”, “how quick do you need to sell?”, etc.
3.Condition of property- Example- “tell me about the house”, “repairs needed”, etc.
4.Performance of the property: (not necessary for fips/wholesales) I used this for finding out NOI on multi-family properties.
5.Setting the appointment-Example- “when can I come by to see the property and introduce myself?”
6.Scenarios- This is where I went over any rebuttals the seller might have(see below) throughout any stage of the call.
7.The pitch- A simple one paragraph summary that captures who you are, what your business does, and what your intentions are. I have a few written out because not every scenario is the same. Write one pitch that is just a general statement on your business model. The next one should be focused on your past experiences which could be used if the seller is questioning your experience.
Rebuttals- Take some time (a week or two) and come up with every rebuttal you can possibly think of that the seller might respond with. Write it all down. Have general seller rebuttals which include “not interested”, “too low”, “not selling”, etc. Then dig in deeper to niche-specific rebuttals. How they will respond to your offers or interests specific to your niche? You may want to offer seller financing and most people don’t know how that works. Break it down on paper and make the explanation as simple as you can so that when they ask, “what does that mean?”, you won’t stumble into the finer details and lose them completely.
The more you write down, the more you will be able to visualize the entire conversation, and understand all of the directions it can go. You will then understand how you can re-adjust a conversation no matter how far the seller goes off topic, or tries to dodge around a question.
2. Make A Seller Avatar: Know The Seller
Put yourself in the sellers shoes. This will help come up with common rebuttals. Write down everything you know about the seller (before you even talk to them). What I mean by this is, if you are targeting an out of state absentee owner(s), then you know right off the bat that they have some sort of investment experience. From this, you can create questions or responses they may have. If you are targeting probate leads then your rebuttals/objectives will obviously be different than if you are targeting code violations/evictions. Likewise for multi-family leads vs SFR homeowner leads.
3. Study Your Scripts: Repetition Is Key
Study your responses so you know them by heart. This will NOT make you sound like you are reading from a script like people say it will. This will make it sound natural. Physically reading from your paper because you did not memorize your responses, will make you sound like you are staring at a script.
After every few calls, go through the notes you took during the conversation and adjust your scripts accordingly. See what the most common rebuttals are and how to effectively handling the objections. Overtime, you will see what questions/comments work the best for you, and what you are doing.
I promise, if you do these steps you will have the confidence and ability to get on the phone and crush it. You will build confidence in your first day doing this. Confidence is everything in this industry. You can’t build trust with the seller without them feeling confident about your ability to close the deal. People can sense confidence by how you speak to them. Furthermore, this is one of the most cost effective and powerful ways to grow your business.
I went from terrified to genuinely excited to get on the phone and grow my business by doing these exact steps. I now use my phone for both building out my network and aggressively marketing for off-market Self Storage facilities.
Take your emotions out of this. You will get angry sellers, hang-ups, and complete rejections. You can’t take it personal, that is just the business we are in. Sellers will try to give you a sob story but you cant fall for them because you will then run your numbers differently. Stick to the point with them and keep it professional.