4 min read
We believe having a strategy in place for outbound calling is far more important than having one for inbound calls. When you receive an inbound call, the prospect is already somewhat interested in the service you offer. You’re far more likely to be given the chance to build up a rapport with the caller and as they have called you, you can only assume they have some spare time to talk (otherwise they wouldn’t have made the call in the first place), so half the battle is won straight away.
What about when you need to be the go-getter and cold call prospects? How can you make your calls effective, and cut through the barrier that the recipient will most likely have in their mind against sales calls? Here are our six tips for achieving the best possible outcomes when making outbound calls.
1. Mix up your offering.
To be an effective outbound caller make sure you vary your calls. There is nothing worse than being on the receiving end of a stale scripted outbound call, saying ‘Hi Mr X. I’m calling today to discuss your property needs. I want to provide a free service…etc.’. Try putting together half a dozen or so different calls to action, and as you go tweak them depending on what you find works best through trial and error.
You could offer free appraisals, to update them about their local market or specific requests relating to their home (maybe you already have a prospect interested in their home). Another way to win over a caller is by asking them for help. Asking for help empowers the individual and provides them a compliment that they know more than you. This is a valuable trick, so try whole heartedly seeking information out from the individual to get them on side.
2. Focus on the time of the call and keeping them on the line.
Your initial goal should be to just get the phone call happening, and getting the person talking to you for an extended period of time. This helps to build up a rapport and helps you establish the foundations for the beginning of a business relationship. When you start calling, focus on the fact you want to speak to the potential client for at least two to three minutes. Work in topics about what they may be interested in, and use information that may get them talking and keeps the conversation flowing (such as a recent sale in their street), and then push towards the offering you want to provide.
3. Get over the fear.
Before making any outbound calls, think of the worst possible outcome that could result from that call. They yell, they get angry or worst of all they hang up on you? All of these are possibilities that could happen when you make the call. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. Every time someone gets annoyed or hangs up mid-call is a learning opportunity to better your outbound calling technique. The lesson you can take away is that you didn’t convey quickly and effectively enough a benefit to help them, or they would have stayed on the line and engaged in the conversation.
You can use any negative experiences you may encounter as a learning opportunity to guide and alter your opening lines, and a chance try out something different. The weaker agents will quit here and go back to their comfort zones, sending bulk impersonal emails and hiding behind the screen. But you’re better than that. Pick up the phone, and call again and again. Don’t fear the possible outcomes, just embrace them. Learn from any hiccups you encounter, evolve your technique and move on to the next phone number.
4. Have a compelling opening line.
People receive phone calls all the time, the biggest thing that will make them take note is when they break the pattern of a standard call. Try being more formal in your phone manner, using Mr and Mrs for example. This will catch them off guard, get their attention from the get go, demonstrates you respect them and shows that you’re polite (which is never a bad thing). Doing this won’t do you a disservice as people are complimented when they feel well respected. Try varying your openings, with more and less formal greetings and measure how the different lines and language effects the length of each call. You’ll quickly realise which ones work better than others.
5. Promise to be brief.
Why would someone be receptive and appreciate you if you’re taking something from them? Don’t express to them you’re taking up their time. This will make them feel as if their time is more valuable than the conversation you’re having and limits the scope of the call. You’ll be better off saying something along the lines of: ‘Thank you kindly for taking the call, I promise to be brief, I just wanted to discuss…’ and then go on to your key benefits and discussion points.
6. Set goals for every call.
Many people make outbound calls, ask if someone is interested and then leave it at that if they get a ‘no’. Do you want the secret to successful outbound calls? Follow a checklist. Your first cold call should be to introduce what you do, the market you look after and a service you want to offer. Your ultimate goal should be to get an email address so you can send homes and market updates to them, and push articles regarding the advantages of engaging an agent, especially to provide an appraisal.
Possible goals for each outbound call could be:
To get an email address
To subscribe them to your mailing list
To offer a free appraisal
To meet and discuss the services you offer
To start searching for homes for them or connect them to an agent in another department
There are many other outbound call techniques but these are a great way to get your foot in the door and start building connections with potential clients over the phone. This will serve to build your brand but also get you into a market that you otherwise would not have had a chance to get into. If you want to differentiate yourself from the other agents in the market place, perfecting your outbound calls is a great place to start.