When I first started real estate investing, the only seller I was dealing with was the bank. During the middle of last year, I started a direct mail campaign to absentee owners and I was a nervous wreck whenever I had to talk to a seller. What if I said something stupid? Would the seller smell the newbie on me? I believe I had to talk to nearly 30 people from my first mailing and by the time I finished that, my confidence level was MUCH higher.
For those of you who are new to this and are out there taking action by marketing directly to motivated sellers, I thought I’d share some quick tips that helped me conquer my phone fear.
#1: Remember that you’re in a position of power.
I start with this tip because its the one that actually helped me the most. The fear was all in my mind anyway, so it was powerful to switch things around and tell myself, “Hey, he (or she) called me! I didn’t call them! I received this call because this person has a need.”
#2: Walk and talk.
Don’t sit in a chair in front of your computer talking to sellers. Try pacing. I always took the phone outside in my back yard and paced back and forth while yapping away on the phone. I know the neighbors thought I was strange (plus I wore out the lawn), but this really helped me to feel more comfortable.
#3: Role play.
I found role playing to be pretty helpful so that I could think quickly and respond to a variety of scenarios on the spot. Find a friend or loved one with a good sense of humor to help you out. They can throw all kinds of funny scenarios at you and not only will you have fun, you’ll be gaining confidence.
#4: In the beginning, practice talking to ALL sellers, motivated or not.
This may be unpopular advice as its certainly true that talking to unmotivated sellers is generally a waste of time. However, in the beginning when you’re just looking to build confidence, practice talking to everyone! It can’t hurt. As you gain confidence, quickly shift your focus to determining motivation within the first few minutes and getting off the phone if the seller isn’t motivated so that you can maximize your time.
#5: Use a script.
Using a script will keep your conversation focused and help ensure that you ask all of the key questions. It’s ok to tell the seller that you’re jotting down notes or that you need to grab your paperwork. Having a script should give you a certain comfort level when you’re first dealing with seller calls.
#6: Listen twice as much as you talk.
The good news is that you really shouldn’t have to do a ton of talking when speaking with sellers. The key to determining motivation is to listen twice as much as you talk. Very early on in the call (while the butterflies are still roaming around your stomach), you have a great opportunity to do more listening instead of talking. Simply asking “Why are you looking to sell your property?” will buy you plenty of time to calm your nerves while you’re listening to the seller tell you their story.
I hope you find these tips helpful and I encourage you to share your own tips on how you’ve conquered your phone fear.