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Telephone Technique and Cold Calling with Claudio Encina

Transform head coach Claudio Encina takes the Super Six through some techniques to use to build confidence on the telephone as well as some scripts for success for cold calling, Call To Action letters and Open For Inspection callbacks

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Claudio Encina and Fiona Blayney

Coaching Links:

  • See Claudio’s week 2 lesson where he spoke about defining your Why as well as incorporating it into your Ideal Day/Week
  • See Claudio’s week 6 lesson where Claudio explored developing your hyper local market knowledge
  • For more information about Claudio

Email Claudio for a copy of his CTA letter or for his list of telephone prospecting questions

[html]To have a copy of Claudio’s Market Monitor spreadsheet covered in Week 6 lesson sent to you [/html]

Video Notes/Transcript

00:00 Introduction and Session Overview: Samantha McLean

01:06 “If you don’t know what to say, you don’t deserve the business”

Okay, guys. Let’s start another session this week with phone scripts and technique. One thing that I learnt earlier on in my career when I had my first coach who was Bob Boland, he taught me if you don’t know what to say, you don’t deserve the business. I learnt really in the early of my career that it was really powerful to know some scripts, but you’ve got to be authentic and you’ve got to be yourself. It did lay a foundation into some of the conversations that I was going to have with certain people.

01:37 Smart Calling, not Cold Calling

Today, I was just going to share with you a bit of a warm call script and then a bit of a cold call script and that some of you do cold calling or not. I like to call it more smart calling, because you’re ringing with a purpose rather than cold calling. Today, as I see teams of agents … you might be single agents but there are teams growing and they’ve got Sales Creators onboard, they’ve got Buy Managers, they’ve got an admin person, etc. A lot of these Sales Creators do a lot of cold calling or door knocking to look for new and future business, because one point is that you need to be growing your database all the time.

The skills and the technique that I’m going to share with you today, hopefully, will give you a little bit of an insight to help you gain more market appraisals, understand your client needs, etc. Also, I want you to sound a little bit different than most other agents. I think this is where agents struggle in their businesses, because they don’t know what to say. When you don’t know what to say, that’s the fear of getting on the phone. That’s what stops people like, “I’m going to make prospecting calls today but I don’t know really what I’m going to say,” so then it’s like, “oh, it’s too hard,” and they give up.

02:42 Getting your client’s attention

First thing I want to touch upon is how do you get a client’s attention? If you’re doing a cold call or you’re doing a call back from the weekend, I’ve always said, you’ve got to have a thirty second impact message. Your thirty second impact message is the first bit that you need to look at. What’s your point? You know when you make that phone call, people want to know…’get to the point’. The questions that you’re going to be asking … I always say to things; you want your client to stop and think.

When you get your client to stop and think, or the prospect on the phone, it allows you to buy more time on the phone. As you buy more time on the phone, we’ve all heard, you build rapport, you build some sort of connection with them, you earn their respect and hopefully an element of trust may come from that phone call as the more minutes go on the phone.

The second point that you want to look at is get to the point but also be creative. For example, wouldn’t mind getting an idea on the price based on that recent sale around that corner. I’ll share with you a script, that I’ll do in a moment with you and how we put all this together. Number one: Get to the point. Number two: Be creative.

Here’s a really big one. Master Execution: Delivery has to be strong. You have to be unique and as natural as possible. This is what lets a lot of agents down; is the delivery. I might say something with a happy face, and then I can say something with a sad face, and there is a difference. You can hear it in my body language even though I’m on a phone.

04:17 Make your calls while standing

I don’t know how you make your calls at the moment, but I did a study tour in the US about fifteen years ago and I went to a couple of offices. They’ve all got like stand up desks. You walk in, literally your desks are up here. You’ve got to stand up. They don’t have anywhere you sit down. One of the things that they really push over there is when you stand up, you should make your calls. You think about, Ben, you’re putting a deal together for example. I’m using Ben because he’s right near me. For example, Ben, you get an offer on a property that’s like, “Oh my God. I’m five-thousand away from putting this deal together.” Do you tend to stand up and walk around and start talking to that client on the phone?

You get excited and you move up. That’s what you should be doing with all your phone calls. Not just that call that comes in, do your calls always standing up.

05:02 A unique callback

Callback phone script. Here’s what I hear from a lot of agents. You think about it; the average person today on a Saturday, who’s a qualified buyer, would see somewhere between three to four properties each Saturday. Most agents, in general, would make a phone call on a Monday. I ask each agent every time, “Tell me a little bit about what you say when you ring, when you make a call back.” Yes, there are some agents who make calls on a Saturday, and I recommend you do your calls on a Saturday.

Here’s the thing; this is what the typical … “Hi, Jamie. Thanks for coming through number twenty-three Smith Street in Smithville on Saturday. Look, just want to get some feedback for our vendor. Just want to see your thoughts on that property, if there’s any interest.” That is the general script of most agents when they do a call back. Does that sound familiar? Why not stand out? Why not be a little bit different?

05:53 Asking the right questions

Number one: When you’re making your OFI calls on that Monday or Saturday afternoon – which I think it a great idea. Do your call backs on a Saturday afternoon; you get a lot more hit rates. People take the time and listen to you. Start your script a little bit like this – and I’ll put this up for you guys and I’ll email it to you, the script that I have – start of with, “Hey, Ben. It was great meeting you on Saturday between 10:00 and 10:30 at number twenty-three Smith Street in Balmain.” Okay? Always put the time because our minds automatically go, “What did we do between 10:00 and 10:30 on Saturday? Oh, right. I remember that one, Ben. That was the cute terrace house that you’ve got in Smith Street in Balmain, correct?”

Next question I want you to ask is not, “Is there any interest in that property? I want to get some feedback for my vendor,” like most agents do. “Ben, just curious to know, just what exactly attracted you to this property?” When you ask that, it’s like I’m thinking, “Well, Ben. We’re after a two bedroom terrace in the Balmain area not far from the ferry service because I work from a bank and I really want to be nice and close.”

Then the next questions that you want to be asking, and there’s like fifteen questions, but what I don’t want you to do is feel like you’re interrogating people either. Like you’ve got question after question.

In real estate school, I was always taught ask questions and you’ll get the answers. I would say to you, just choose three to four really good key questions which will get your clients to stop and think.

Another question that I found works really well is, “Melinda, tell me, what was the last property that you really liked and you had your heart set on and you may have missed out on?” “Oh, we saw a gorgeous home just at the end of last year. Our finances we’re ready, and the time…but look, that was exactly what we were looking for.” Now, decisions are made on emotions, as we know. The other thing is, you really start to get a little bit to know about that person and what they’re looking for. “Why do I remember that one, Ben? That was a nice two bedroom terrace in Balmain, renovated, beautifully stylished. I remember that granite kitchen that was in there. Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. If you can find us something like that, Ben, we’re going to buy something. That’s exactly what we’re looking for.”

A good question like that, so choose two or three questions. The other thing that I found works really effectively is you hear agents go, “Do you need to sell before you buy?” I think, unless you have a level of rapport or connection with that person, they’re going to put their defenses up. Most agents go, “Ben, tell me, do you need to sell before you buy?”

“Tell me, Ben. What suburb are you guys moving from?” “We’re moving from, say for example, Ashfield.” Fantastic; all of a sudden I go, “Ben, Monroe Smith, Ashfield.” Easy to look up on RP Data. Maybe I’ll look it up while I’m actually talking to him on the phone and find out where he’s living in Ashfield. “You’re moving from Ashfield, okay. How long have you guys been living there for?” “We’ve here for X, Y, Z.” “Tell me, if you saw the right property, would you need maybe an extended settlement to get your place sold?” “Oh, no. No, no. We’ve sold already. We’re ready to go.” “I haven’t thought about that. Maybe that could help us.” “Well, look. Some vendors are flexible with a longer settlement, some aren’t but we’ll see what we can do if we do find the right property for you. Okay?”

In a roundabout way, some of these questions that I’m going to give you – and there’s a whole lot more – I want you to cherry pick three to four good ones. Don’t sound like you’re interrogating someone, be natural as much as you can, “Just curious to know, what attracted you to this property, Melinda, when you came through on Saturday? I saw you between 10:00 and 10:30.” Put the specific time that you saw them and it will automatically take them to what they saw at that time-frame. If they saw four properties, you hear this, “Remind me of which one was that.” “That was the one that had this and that and whatever else.”

09:52 An effective call-to-action letter 

The next one is a cold call script into the BDA. When you’re dominating in your area and you’re sending a call-to-action letter that we spoke about today, your increase of getting a market appraisal goes thirty to forty percent higher. That’s why you’re seeing a lot of teams today hiring Sales Creators into their team, so lead generators basically. Why? Because they know there’s an effect of getting an appraisal. It’s about building a database, getting more face-to-face with people, etc. That appraisal will eventually become overtime, be nurtured into, a possible listing.

Let me give you an example; you send a call-to-action letter, the one that I gave you today, that I showed you. Thirty percent visual. You follow it up two days after with a phone call. The phone call should just go a little bit like this, and just be like, “Hey, Melinda. It’s Claudio from ABC Real Estate here. Look, you may have received a letter from us just in the past few days, we had a really good response to that letter. Look, I’m just reaching out to some of your neighbours because some of them are curious to know what their home is worth. I just thought, as a courtesy, I’m going to be in this area this week and next week. Would you like to get a fresh market update on your home while I’m visiting some of your neighbours?”

Another thing I want you to understand is words move people as well. Keeping it natural, keeping it soft, don’t be too rigid, don’t be too hard, tonality. Do you hear my tonality? One thing I learned is record yourself, when you practise this, how you come across. You might go, Oh my God. I wouldn’t even list with myself and get an appraisal,” right? You might go, “Okay. That’s really good.” Your appraisal rate goes up by thirty percent every time you follow up behind something, either from a door knock or from a call.

11:44 ‘Expired Scripts’

What do most agents do when they approach an expired? An expired script sounds a bit like this for most agents. “Hi, Ben. I’m just seeing how your property is going at twenty-three Smith Street here in Balmain. Just want to know are you getting any closer to sale because, look, I’m working with some buyers?” Expires are starting to come up, but remember I said get people to stop and think? I’ll do one really quickly.

“Hi, Ben. I’m just updating my records being the area specialist for the area. Just wanted to know if you’re getting any closer to a sale?” “We’ve got a couple of offers the agents are talking to at the moment.” “Oh, okay. Fair enough. Tell me, where were you planning on moving to once you did sell?” “We want to get up to the Central Coast.” “Okay. How soon are you looking to be there?” “Well, basically, as soon as we get sold.” “Okay, that makes sense. You’re moving to the Central Coast once you get sold. What’s the price you’re hoping to achieve? I’ve noticed you’ve got it on the market for 1.25 million, what would be the figure that will get you moved up to the Central Coast?” “Oh, look. If we got somewhere around the 1.2 to 1.25, we’re out of here.”

“Fantastic. What do you believe may have stopped your home from selling?” “Well, the market.” “Oh, the market. Okay.” Don’t go into about the market – it’s good or bad – just keep moving along. “Well, look, Ben. I have done some research in the Balmain area and I’ve identified there are four reasons why homes aren’t selling today in around Balmain. I just wonder if you’re open to the opportunity of maybe us sitting down and identifying which one of those four reasons has stopped your home from selling today.”

You get them to stop and think. I’ll tell you right now, I’ve done that with agents on a live going-out-there-in-the-trenches door knock and use that script on expireds. Nine times out of ten, the vendor or the prospective vendor would say, “What are the four reasons? Can you tell me now?” because it’s got them thinking. If you really think about it, it’s the four Ps, right? Price, process, promotion and presentation. It’s really literally just going to the four Ps. “Let’s review and analyse your promotion, let’s review and analyse your price, let’s review and analyse the presentation of your home and the process; the way you decide to sell your home. Was it private? Was it auction?” Whatever it may be, but that’s once you get inside. Are you starting to hear that the technique and the questions that we use are really about getting clients to stop and think?

14:11 Takeaways for your future callbacks

A couple of ideas that I want you to take away from today; change your callback script immediately. Don’t sound like every other agent; number one. Number two: Try doing your callbacks on a Saturday afternoon. The amount of people that respond and talk to you on a Saturday afternoon goes up by half. I look at open foot inspection book; I normally see LM which means left message. Left message, you left message, you left message. The only time they’re going to call you back; unless they’re interested in the property, right? Try Saturday afternoon. You’ll probably connect and they probably would be surprised and go, “Oh, Melinda. Yeah, I met you this morning at X, Y, Z.”

Doing your cold calling. If you do it or don’t do it, that’s okay. There are more agents out there in this marketplace today who are building teams, who are dominating to really get some of these, they build databases and get the cold calling and getting Sales Creators into their business. If you’re not making the call … Bob Boland used to say very clear to me, “If you’re not doing it, someone else is.”

The specific numbers that you want to know; 7% is words, 38% percent is tone, 55% percent is body language. That came from the university of UCLA. I can give you the stats from the report. Need to understand. Stand up when you’re making your phone call, okay guys? Think about your tonality; happy face or sad face. You’ve got to make sure, when you come on there, it’s show time. I can’t bring, I’ve just had a you know with my partner. I just had a blue on the phone. Now I’m going to make fifty calls. I’m going to go, “oh. Hi, Ben. This is Claudio calling from ABC Real Estate.” Rather, bring the joy, energy.

I heard Tom Panos the other day. He was doing a talk the same time that we were doing a talk. He was talking about, he goes, “Guys, 50% is energy about winning a listing.” I’ve got to tell you, 50% is energy bring it to the phone. If I hear someone who’s down and low, I’m thinking, “Do I really want to see this person?” Versus, “Hey, Ben. It’s Claudio calling here at ABC Real Estate.” I bring the joy to the phone.

Have fun, focus on outcomes and don’t get attached to the outcome. I see too many people going, “They said this to me,” or they take it really personally and whatever else. They get stuck with it. Just really learn to quickly move on. Don’t get attached to whatever you’ve been hit with. If it’s rejection; you know what? We get rejection in our lives all the time. Learn to move on as quickly as possible. Are we getting some good ideas around phone scripts and technique and skill? How we can be a little bit different to your competition around our callbacks? Really think about, when you’re doing a letter or something out to your marketplace, following it up. 30%; it will increase your market appraisal rate from following something up.


If you have questions for the coaches or for the Super Six tweet us @eliteagentmag #transform

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Claudio Encina

Claudio Encina works directly with some of the leading agents and sales teams in Australia to identify how to deliver optimum performance. For more information visit claudioencina.com.