Handling inbound calls from mailing campaigns

30 Replies

I would like to get an idea about how you handle incoming calls from people responding to postal mailings or other marketing methods.

What do you say when someone calls? How do you get them from information seeker to seller?

The primary objective is to find out their problem and come up with a solution. It's usually not as easy as "tell me your problem". You have to have a conversation with them; start with something simple like " tell me about your house". Avoid sales pitches, pressure, and don't seem rushed. People will respond to you if you are responsive to them.

What turn off sellers when you bring up subject 2 or wanting to put it under contract for 60 days for a buck. Sellers love to hear I am a cash buyer ready to open escrow.

Joe Gore

@Brian L. I am trying to come up with a call script that would cover all the bases. I intend to set up a call center to take the calls since I don't want to talk to all the callers - just the qualified ones.

That's good to know @Joe Gore, I'll be sure to avoid that kind of language in the FAQ


Lindahl in his book Multi-Family Millions has a script on what questions to ask during calls from a mail campaign. I think its a good starting point.

@Ted Schmidt - How many calls do you normally get from your mailings? I've done a few mailings, and maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've never had so many calls that I'd want to hire someone else to field them.

For a seller, this is a very personal conversation. One hint that your phone center is on a script and your seller is gone. Your phone center will not be able to make snap decisions or educated guesses. There are certain parts of this business that I think are very difficult to trust others with, and this would be one. It is your business, and nobody will work as hard to close a deal as you will.

@Brian L. really nailed it. It's about having a conversation. Sellers have to "know, like and trust" you to sell you their home.

Scripts and lists of questions often sound like scripts and lists. Not like a normal conversation. They can be a good starting point though.

@Marc Freislinger :
@Ted Schmidt - How many calls do you normally get from your mailings?

I have not done any mailings yet, but I intend to. I already have a call center that takes calls from borrower and distributes them to loan officers and attorneys. I am working a new process to take calls from property owners that want to get offers on their property. I will only talk to the ones that meet my specific criteria after they have been screened by the call center. I hope to get 20-50 calls per day.

I suspect that I will lose some people because they don't want to talk to a "call center robot" - but that's a cost of doing business on a large scale.

@Ted Schmidt do you really want 20=50 calls a day, or do you want a few deals per month? Target the mailings carefully and you will pay a whole lot less per deal. Targeted lists, targeted messages at the right time. The only unknown there should be the last.

@Walt Payne :

Yes, I want 20-50 per day to start and if it works I will scale it up as much as possible.

@Ted Schmidt you missed my point. The number of calls should be small. The percentage of calls converted to deals should be high. One call per day is great, if every call becomes a deal. Not going to happen, but shoot for quality, not quantity when it comes to calls.

@Walt Payne I am using the shot gun approach. A reasonable expectation is to get 1 deal out of 100 calls.

@Ted Schmidt then you are wasting money. Send me $1000 a month and I'll get you 100 calls a day. Pay no attention to the similarity of caller voices. :-)

Buy targeted lists. Write a targeted massage that addresses the problem of each group and how you can solve it. Mail a slightly different message to them each month. Shotgun mailings produce random, unproductive calls that do nothing but cost you money. They cost you to mail to the wrong people. They cost you to take calls from the wrong people. Spend less money and get better results by doing it right.

Originally posted by @Marc Freislinger :

For a seller, this is a very personal conversation. One hint that your phone center is on a script and your seller is gone. Your phone center will not be able to make snap decisions or educated guesses. There are certain parts of this business that I think are very difficult to trust others with, and this would be one. It is your business, and nobody will work as hard to close a deal as you will.

Marc, The purpose of the phone center is to collect facts, not make snap decisions or guesses. They will have a script to follow and the call center is staffed with $12 hr employees that only know what I tell them - not real estate investors. If the callers don't go along with our process - they are likely unqualified sellers.

Originally posted by @Walt Payne :
Send me $1000 a month and I'll get you 100 calls a day.

If I were to offer you $500 per month, would you send me 100 calls per day? Similar voices I can deal with as long as they have unique caller ID.

Seriously, 100 calls per day equals 1 deal per day. How much is one deal worth? Certainly more than $1000 per month, no?

@Ted Schmidt You still don't understand. Let me put it like this. You can drive to your office directly, and it takes 5 minutes. Or, you can go 20 miles out of your way and take the toll road that costs $10, and it takes you an hour. Which is the better way to get to work? Just because you get where you want, that doesn't make it the best, most efficient way.

Let me rephrase my question. What if I told you that you can reduce the calls to 3 per day, rather than 100? BUT you would still get that one lead. And what if I told you that you could send out at least 30% less mailings while doing it? Now does it sound like such a bad idea??? That is what direct marketing is about. Fine tuning your campaign. Those 99 bad leads per day will cost you a ton of money. Answering services charge $1 per minute for a good reason. A good script would probably take you 3-5 minutes. Does spending $3-5 per call for 97 extra bad calls EVERY DAY really make more sense to you? Does sending out an extra 1000 or more letters PER DAY to generate those calls EVERY DAY really make sense to you?

If you are doing that for your other campaigns, you need to talk with a professional. I am serious. Hire a marketing specialist to help. They will save you a ton of money and get you high quality leads. It would be money well spent.

@Walt Payne

Walt, I agree - targeting and fine tuning are an essential part of any marketing campaign. If I believed that it is possible to hire someone that could target ads that much better, to make the calls produce 1 in 3 deals instead of 1 in 100, then I would hire him and tell him to produce 100 of those 1 in 3 calls per day.

My other campaigns are profitable and they produce around 100 calls per day. The conversion on these other calls is around 5%.

Please share with me and the BP community how a "marketing professional" could better target my ads to increase their conversion.

A 5% conversion on calls means that 95% of your callers think they qualify, but they don't. Why is that happening? That is what you want to find out. Your message most not be telling them who you can help in a clear enough fashion. You may not be setting realistic expectations.

If you were converting 5% Of Mailed Pieces I would consider that quite good. But you are wasting a lot of money talking to the wrong people. I can't guarantee 30%, but 5% is bad. What is your conversion of mailed pieces?

The 5% conversion refers to the rate at which my customers convert the calls/leads they buy from me, to actual closed deals (loans / legal services). My actual conversion is nearly 100% since I sell the calls/leads to others that perform the services that I advertise. I know exactly what an incoming call is worth to me based on the sales in that vertical market.

I intend to create a new lead vertical for real estate investors. Hence my request for guidance on a call script from the BP investor community.

Ted Schmidt - I think the disconnect here is that you want to sell leads, correct? If that's correct, then the question that you need to answer is: 'What information do you need the call center operators to collect?'

I use a call center with a carefully crafted script to vet lead calls to determine if the callers meet my very basic criteria (CA real estate, if they are executor, administrator, trustee, etc. and basic property info to determine equity). I also want to know, of course, what service they think they wasn't from me. Ultimately, I get the information in the format that I want (online form).

I've spend a lot of time working on scripts and not about to share my work here on BP. I can tell you that I started by writing down what I needed from a lead before I got involved in the conversion process to turn into a qualified prospect. A good inbound telemarketing company will work with you to develop an effective script that their operators can implement seamlessly.

I suggest that, if you really are serious about generating the volume of leads as you suggest, BP ain't the place to get your answers. If you want to play at the big boy level, you'll need to do what the big boys do and get professional scriptwriters involved as part if a well-thought-out, comprehensive marketing plan. Don't think it's cheap, either.

Ok. So everybody is making money, and happy. That part is always good. Would your customers not pay more for higher quality leads? I know that makes it harder to nail down the problem, but it would increase everybody's profit.

@Rick H. :
Thanks for helping me nail it down. Your insight is helpful.

I like to think of myself as a professional script writer as I earn my living crafting marketing scripts. I have never hired someone to do that for me. Can you recommend someone?

@Ted Schmidt Was it difficult to set up your call centre, how many seats do you have? I am setting one up as well mainly to handle inbound calls for various small businesses. It will be offered as part of a package of a desk rental in a co working space. I figured I could get a higher yield this way than simply leasing the whole space out.

Hi Ted, It looks as if you have a good Idea of how things work with incoming calls. I hope I'm not breaking BP rules and I certainly have financial affilliation with this company. Patlive is targeted at real estate Investors aims. They get info and they have many scipts already in place from others doing what you plan to do. If you have had success doing this in another form then you will propbably have success in this endevor. You only want to talk to the motivated sellers, I get it. Take what they offer and minipulate it. to your tastes. I think that was the original question. Wasn't it?

Patrick

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