Cold calling sales scripts have been used in the real estate industry for a number of years, and are particularly popular with agents who are new to the business. Their goal is to get your prospect’s attention, highlight the benefits of using you as their representative, and to push them towards a particular action. They are also designed to rebuff common rejection scenarios in order to make reluctant prospects come over to your side. But, are sales scripts still achieving their desired effect?
These days, advertising is every where on billboards, in email inboxes, on news websites, and intruding on our phone lines via telemarketers. There are so many people trying to sell us something that anything resembling an advertisement is regarded with annoyance and suspicion. This is why scripts have lost much of their value in terms of winning over clients.
When you start your script, you likely sound cheerful, purposeful, and talk fast. This is because you know you need to get your spiel out before the person has an opportunity to reject you. You also want to make sure that the person hears what a professional salesperson you are, and how your services are exactly what they need. Unfortunately, even if your script is compelling, if it sounds rehearsed, your prospect’s defenses will be raised.
If scripts are such a difficult sell in today’s world, why do so many agents still use them?
Most new agents have inadequate training in cold calling. Without proper training in the art of communication, a new agent will feel overwhelmed by the idea of calling strangers and trying to promote their services. In order to avoid having their minds go blank during a call, they rely on scripts to guide them. It’s a way for them to navigate some very intimidating waters. Unfortunately, rejection is exactly what they’ll face most of the time if they rely on sales scripts.
In order to engage a prospect, you must be natural. You want the flow of the conversation to be organic and spontaneous, while getting across important points. To make sure that you don’t forget key items, it’s a good idea to brainstorm before making calls. This way, you can create an outline to guide you, while being flexible and ‘in the moment’.
It’s also critical that you shift your focus from selling to problem solving. If your goal for making the call is to get the prospect to hire you, you’re headed in the wrong direction. People can sense when others are trying to manipulate them, and are less likely to fall for sales pitches than they used to.
To avoid stirring up your prospect’s defense mechanisms, be genuinely concerned with helping them with a problem. In order to find out what their main concerns are, you need to ask open-ended questions and to truly listen to their answers. Then you can suggest ways that you can solve their problems. When you talk about your services, don’t go into automatic pilot listen and react naturally. When they sense your genuine desire to help them, they’ll be much more receptive to you.
Active listening also promotes trust, which is a key component in sales. Prospective clients need to know that their best interests are your top priority which is really hard to convey when you’re relying on a static script. This is especially true when prospects steer the conversation in a direction you weren’t prepared for. Panic can set in as you try to get the conversation back on track to suit your preset dialogue.
Sales scripts suck all the natural flavor and authenticity out of a conversation. While they can create a sense of comfort to agents who are nervous about picking up the phone, the second you go into your speech, you disconnect from the person on the other end of the phone.
For new real estate agents, the best way to learn how to do cold calls is to practice with other agents. Role-playing can significantly reduce fears, and make the process of cold calling more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to record yourself reading your scripts. Once you see how unnatural you actually sound, it’ll be easier to trust in your own abilities, and to just be yourself.