how do i get good at talking on the phone

7 Replies

i have been doing this for about five months now recieving phonecalls from mymailing list. many people say to just let them talk and listen to what they have to say or find the solution to their problem.

some of the poeple i talk to though are just very silent and do not talk much at all, and i feel like a robot when i am asking them questions. any suggestions on how im supposed to go about this?

Practice, that's how.

Find someone to role play with, mom, sister, bar tender, whoever. They need to know a little bit about RE to even answer questions.

Write out examples, use index cards with information so you can deal out a situation like playing cards. Mix it up.

Describe the house, any issues, condition, title, any liens, taxes current?

Locations, prime hot areas, slow mature areas, rural areas, driving instructions if needed. 

Seller has an idea, no idea to,  or a specific,  sale price

Seller wants out before next payment, in 3 months, not in a hurry, considered selling

Situations where they need to sell or reasons to sell, new job, birth of a baby, granny died, lost job, husband going to jail, going to a nursing home, sick of the area, want to make a ton of money, etc.

Motivations, from those situations. Balloon payment can't be met, lender about to foreclose, mommy died, got married, got divorced, look to life issues that motivate

Give personalities, difficult, scared, wishy washy, deceiving, argues, poor us it's not my fault with excuses, aggressive seller with pitches, demanding and controlling, easy laid back, quiet and  gabby.

Your phone partner gets a script of variables with personalities and situations, they role play that seller. They need to understand the role which is why I said they need a little knowledge. They chose different personalities for each caller, they choose the motivation and circumstances, you can set the rest, property info for them.

Then practice with you working without anything but a yellow pad and a calculator, no scripts allowed!

This way you'll need to identify where your caller is, identify their motivation, the circumstances, what they need and want, what the issues are and walk them through a presentation and problem solving discussion to get to an appointment.

The goal is to identify the seller's motivation, what hurdles there may be, what the figures are generally and determine if it's a call worth chasing, if it is the goal is to get the appointment with all people on title, not with just the husband or wife as both need to be there to contract if a deal is agreed to.

Talk through each call, get the scope of the deal and the appointment.

Use a timer, keep calls under ten minutes. If they are talkers, say for example "I'm sorry to hear that but I have an appointment in a few minutes, if I may can I ask you this...." learn to cut people off and keep them on track to the business at hand we can chat at the house.

 You need to learn passive listening techniques but in an aggressive way, learn to pull information, develop leading questions to take them where you want them, ask questions that invoke positive responses, people do get use to saying yes or no.

Example; you need a bigger home for that new baby don't you, there really isn't room for kids in this house is there; I can see you'll need a bigger yard for kids to play; have you ever driven a vehicle in the back yard, can you get back here? What am I saying?

I got them to say their house is small, not good for their marketing efforts.

I got them thinking only empty nesters will be looking at their house, it's not really a family home. I can justify that in pricing later on.

I got them to admit you can't really get a truck in the back for roof repairs, that job will likely cost more to solve the roof issues.

While that may not be a phone conversation, it could be.

You should have a size and scope of your interests, qualify the property to your needs, I doubt you're really interested in a converted school house in a rural area 30 miles from you. You may not want condos, so develop a "I'm sorry" response and use it early on if you're not interested.

 Best to have your caller (who could be on the phone or across the kitchen table) to have a bit of RE smarts to select situations. even better if they know more than you to teach and give different alternatives as you practice.

My parents were Realtors and we did this, had some fun and funny times trying to stump them with responses.

Have your caller actually call while you're out, learn to walk and talk, inspect a property a take a call.

When I went into insurance when people rode in chariots, my district sales manager said he could teach a monkey to sell, role playing is a quick learning tool. You also need to use a recorder so you can critique your delivery. Your speech needs to be clear, understandable, friendly, without ahhhh, ummmm, ahhh's and be convincing, professional and honest.

Don't talk BS about you or how great you are, just a few words that instill confidence is all you need to project early on, later in the appointment if you sense they are skeptical about something you said, don't jump right out defending yourself, let it slide and moments later it's time for a confidence building moment.

Newbies can't build much on experience to gain confidence in a seller's mind as old pros, use other examples of deals that you assisted with or related to. My uncle buys more properties than I do, and we did this or that in this situation. Or, my attorney tells me that in cases like this your son has an interest in the estate so we need to speak with him about selling. In sales, this approach is the "third party influence" a very good way for newbies to gain a bit of respect without making BS claims.

Practice, follow this, you will get to be very good on the phone, Good luck! :)    

This does become much easier with practice.  If at the beginning, it feels a bit like you are just going thru the motions, that's cool.  Have a short list of questions ready to go thru.

We do want them to TALK and answer some key questions:
1) Tell me a little bit about your house...
2) What condition is it in - just need minor repairs or are there big problems like roof, AC unit, etc.?
3) WHY ARE YOU SELLING?
4) Do you have a mortgage?  How much do you own on it?

It's just a conversation, but you are trying to assess their motivation & the condition of the property so you start to get a sense of what kind of deal opportunity it is (if any at all).

I do ask them for a couple of numbers:
1) How much do you think the house would worth be IN PERFECT CONDITION? (they say a big number)
2) What do you think it's worth in it's CURRENT CONDITION? (they say a smaller number)

This again starts to give you a sense of are they realistic and are they motivated to discount the property...

REMEMBER: They have a problem, they have called you to see if you can help.  People usually want to tell you their story.  This should give you a comfort level to be consultative and helpful.

I think a lot of investors are actually scared to make offers, and that causes them discomfort.  Don't even think about the offer yet - the call is about getting information and forming a relationship.  Take it easy and RELAX.  Have fun.  SMILE.  For the right people, you will be the answer to their prayers!

Role playing and figuring out the right questions to ask. The more you talk to people and start analyzing deals you'll see what information you don't have that you need and that's how you'll start figuring out what questions to ask as well as how to ask them. Role playing is great practice though. 

Derek, the above info is really great. I do phone sales for a living and can verify that the advice given is solid. If i can add, the best thing to do is to repeat what the client is saying in your own words. There are two benefits:

For the seller: They hear you're response and it validates that they are being heard AND understood. People just want to be heard. 

For you: It ensures you're actually able to verify their needs, as opposed to just letting them talk aimlessly Also, it allows you to take control of the conversation. Lets be honest, the people calling don't actually know why they need your help and truly, they want you to take control. Lastly, it will help you slow down and get more comfortable with phone calls in general. 

Hope this helps! 

I've worked in a call center for years so at this point it is fairly natural for me. I can tell you what helped me is memorizing your scripts. You want to guide the conversation to where you need it to go. If you ask yes and no questions it gets very awkward. You want to ask questions where the answer plays into your end game. You need to listen to the person you're talking to. If I have a grumpy old man I am going to be polite and firm. If I'm talking to a little old lady I'm going to make her think of me has her grandson. I'll talk more simple if the person is less educated. If they are an investor or Dr. I am going to be on my A game coming across as professional as possible. 

You want to build a friend right from the get go. People "buy" from people they like. If you walk them through a checklist and set up a time to go see their home you've built absolutely no relationship. You want them to be eager to meet you because of the relationship you built on the phone. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)

I have a little experience in this area, having built my career, for the most part, over the telephone. 

@Derek LeBlanc I suggest recording your phone call with a prospect and do a post-analysis following the phone call.  We tend to be very hard on ourselves, so create a checklist of what you did well, and what you could do the next time to get an even better result.   Did you communicate a clear message?  Was your message to the point?  Did you listen twice as much as you spoke? Did you speak over the client?   Those are just a few questions to critique your delivery.  

While practicing, put a mirror in-front of you and watch your facial expression.  The people you're speaking with can feel the energy on the other end of the line, and by putting a mirror up - it will remind you of projecting your best. 

Lot's of practice, and refinement of your approach over the phone will come with repetition.  There is not just one 'right' way to work on the telephone, & always be yourself.  

I am naturally introverted but I have learned how to become more extroverted in RE through thousands of calls. 

People who don't interact or talk much aren't serious buyers. Move on. Next.

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