In 3 sentences, get higher site visit conversions from Property Portal inquiries
There is no denying the alarming trend. A member of the sales team calls a prospect (from portals) and the prospect says no, or not interested in the first minute of the call. Reportedly, this is starting to happen quite often. When prospects are researching the internet, for a home, they are in a very complex state of mind. Property portals carry a lot of content, options, and viewpoints that are all inter-playing in the prospect’s mind. Add to this, some property portals forward “similar to criteria ” to criteria leads. While this may not exactly be what you were expecting, nevertheless this is not a completely disqualified lead. By the time your sales team calls back at an unscheduled time, the prospect either has forgotten, or is unwilling to commit to being sold to. Keeping these factors in mind, several parts of the marketing and sales strategy must be re-evaluated.
a: Which of these leads can we use?
b: How to build comfort and context when we first make a contact and initiate dialogue and (THIS ARTICLE)
c: Should we progress these leads differently?
Everything evolves, portals and their leads have evolved too and if you can keep up with that evolution, property portals are still every penny worth the budget. So what can we do to not lose a potential customer? Keeping some of these nuances in mind, we have come up with a call script example that is sure to help you achieve, at the minimum, two very important goals while dealing with property portal leads – reduce the number of customers saying “No, I am not interested” in 10 seconds of the call and setting the stage for exchanging (bi-directional) sales information.
If you are continuing to advertise on the portal, here’s a call script that I recommend. This script/structure focuses on building comfort and context in the initial parts of customer engagement. The problem lies partly in the lack of empathy on the sales team’s approach. If you call everyone and say the same things, will you achieve site visits? Absolutely not. This call script focuses on consultative selling and tries to lower the defense wall that a prospect hides behind when dealing with professional sales rep. By conducting business responsibly, confidently and honestly, you can dispel the generally prevalent misconceptions about the sales function and it’s practitioners – starting with yourself. In turn, you will gain the trust needed for sharing information and the transparency required for seller (you) and buyers (them) to understand if there is a match.
Remember – Practice makes Perfect, so please write a script/structure for your own and practice-practice-practice. And for the love of God, please do not print this and start reading from your next call. ON YOUR CALL, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT’S WRITTEN IN ITALICS OR UPPER CASE OR IN BRACKETS TO A PROSPECT – THOSE ARE FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND (Instructions) AND THINK ABOUT (Thoughts/Suggestions). For the academically inclined, a more detailed structure is also available in this blog.
3 sentences with explanations, that will help you get better results in the first 10-30 seconds of your call – Property Portal Inquiries.
You: (pause.slow down.easy tiger) Good morning/Afternoon, Am I speaking with “Prospect Name”?
Theory: It is the first call, first 5 seconds. Your goal is to not sound like an aggressive tele-caller, who just wants to fill a form classifying a customer as interested/not interested. You are here to represent your firm and as their brand ambassador, the onus of a good first impression lies with you. The initial pause, is to tell yourself and the prospect, without using words that you are prepared to set an easy pace for the communication. If this is the first time you are talking and you are sure of the prospect name, you should still say, Am I speaking with….. and before you say the name, confirm that you are saying it correctly and to the best of your ability.
Prospect: Yes/ Yes+Who is this/ Why are you calling
You: Prospect Name, You and I have never spoken to each other or met – But I need a minute to tell you why I am calling. Is this a bad time to talk for a minute?
Theory: It may strike your prospect as odd, because till date most sales call she gets are from over confident and over enthusiastic sales people who are eager to impress. However, your call was different, you paused when the prospect said Hello, and took the time to start a conversation at a pace that is slower than aggressive sales folks. You also continued to establish some time by using unusual phrases like “we don’t know each other”. A very natural reaction to situations where there are too many unknowns is that people sometimes use aggression, low baritone voices, higher than usual pitch, pretend to be very busy etc. they will portray through their words and tonality an image that helps them gain control over this new “unknown territory”. Sometimes, they might also mistake this for a call that brings in unexpected news or information, so be prepared to half ignore and keep working on your process. In the next few seconds after all, they will learn what this call is about and be comfortable in this new unknown territory. Using phrase like “we’ve never spoken or met” is a powerful way to prepare the listeners ears and differentiate. Similarly, when was the last time you asked a customer is this a good time to talk and the customer/prospect said Yes! I have been waiting to hear from you!! Of course never. If you really go slow and/or stress on the words”bad time” you will very successfully register as a call that sounded different from millions of sales calls made everyday.
Prospect: Ok, What is this in regard to? Tell me fast/ I have a minute.
You: Well, I recently received an email from a property portal, which claimed that you may be interested in knowing more about our Project in “LOCATION-AREA-DESCRIPTION”. You know sometimes property portal gives us information which is not 100% accurate so I am calling just to confirm that. Do you remember going on the property portal and exploring projects in “Location”??
Theory: No need to gain momentum here – go easy, nice and slow. Important to note that the script or structure suggests that you do not lay stress on the portal name, but the location name. To appeal to the rational mind and memory of the prospect, you must take the easiest way to reach his mind’s familiar territory. Prospects will find it very easy to remember the location/description of the area of the project compared to the portal where they were searching, or the project they showed interest in. This is just the nature of the jungle, regardless of how good your landing pages are on that property portal, how well established your brand name is or how compelling your offer was advertised as, prospects would have forgotten in less than four hours of searching. There is just too much information everywhere. You should also not talk about the property portal in a manner that totally shifts the blame away, use balance there – because believe it or not, prospects, even the most honorable ones do not always mind lying to a sales professional. If you use tonality that speaks very negatively about the portal, they might even take that as a cue and say yes, you are right, the portal was wrong, I did not inquire at all. It could be a lie or a case of lost (forgotten). And God forbid if the portal gave you a lead on “similar to” criteria, then of course the prospect did not explicitly enquire for your project by filling your unique form manually, but did so for similar project once and that got copied and sent to you. If you would like to learn more about that we are happy to tell you – but in a nutshell you are not being cheated, neither is this God’s own true lead. Focusing on location or area, is the easiest way to get the prospect to say a yes early in the process. If that happens the prospect has, on their own choosing given themselves the purpose for this call. The job of the sales associate is now to build this into a platform for exchange of information.
Prospect: Yes I do remember.
You: I know I called you out of the blue/ OR SAY – I know I called without an appointment and you must be – busy this morning (if morning), having lunch (if noon/after), getting ready to wrap up work for the day (if later afternoon-evening). If you would like I can call another time for a short discussion.
Theory: The prospect agreeing that she is interested in the location does not give you a free pass to dump all sales information on the call. Play it slow, remember nice, easy!! By being prepared to walk away from a conversation mid-way, all you are doing is acknowledging that you truly appreciate their busy schedules and are perfectly comfortable talking again. They will give you another time if they are TRULY busy, but in the highest likelihood, they will say LETS TALK NOW…why you may ask? Well because they feel that you’ve told them nothing much about the project, you the person, or pricing etc. and acted exact opposite of the millions of sales calls that the prospect has received. Usually the prospect says one small yes to anything, and the sales associate starts selling like there is no tomorrow. But you’ve acted responsibly and differently.
Prospect: If 1: Yes call me (convenient time) or if 2: We can talk now
You: For 1: Sure, I will send you a reminder via SMS and email about our call (convenient time). Really looking forward to talking again. Thanks and Have a nice day.
For 2: Sure, My name is (FIRST NAME) and I work in Client Relationships team here at ABC. For Location/Area name our Project, Project name has about N number of residences getting ready by this date. Oh – before I proceed, can you please share with me – when would you like to occupy the residence?
Prospect: My time frame is (TIME FRAME)
You: Also, Sir/Ma’m – can you describe the ideal residence for your family, how many rooms you’d need, approximate budget that is easy for you in terms of financial planning, and your current home?
Theory: At this point the Prospect may answer and make it easy for you, or push back and not co-operate. It is not unusual for Prospects to ask for details, meaning replying to your question with more questions. Remember, if you do not ask questions, you are not selling – you are only telling. And telling doesn’t make money. Selling does. So go back to Prospects questions, with half answer, politely and resume questioning. An example of that in the detailed call script/structure which you can read by clicking here…