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Six key stages to an effective phone-out call

"My staff tend to fire emails at their applicants when new properties come onto the market but I am keen for them to actually pick up the phone and make focused sales calls. However, there is a fear factor amongst the team relating to this activity. Can you help?"

Julian O'Dell
Julian O'Dell image

Julian O’Dell is founder of TM Training & Development

JULIAN SAYS: In the busy environment of a sales office, emails can be very tempting to get things done in the quickest way possible – even if that way is less effective than other methods.

Without doubt, if you have built a relationship of trust with your applicants, a phone call directly to that customer is the most effective way to get results.

Six key stages to an effective phone-out call:

Agency staff on phone imagePREPARATION Applicants worthy of VIP treatment, typically ‘hot applicants’ and ‘local property to sell customers’ deserve a regular phone call or instant notification of suitable properties becoming available, as they represent business opportunities.

It is not practical to call every applicant with every new instruction, price reduction or property coming back onto the market. The first element is to plan which applicants are worthy of these calls and in which order calls should be made.

When stock is in short supply, it is a good idea to contact potential vendor applicants with new stock first, showing them that you are looking after them.

Deal with viewing appointments in an exceptional manner; demonstrate their priority treatment!

That can increase your chances of getting their property to sell. If you get those ‘property to sell’ applicants out looking, deal with their viewing appointments in an exceptional manner, demonstrate their priority treatment, you will massively increase your chances of securing their instruction.

Next, be effective. A new instruction should be matched within your software system as soon as time allows. The subsequent list of suitable applicants should then be prioritised for ‘phone calls.

Book a ‘Protected Time’ slot in your diary to shut yourself away from distractions and get on with the calls in peace. Before calling: review the applicant’s needs, price range, reason for move and timescale. Ask yourself – why would this person buy this property?

Decide on your objectives – is it just a viewing you want to achieve, or are there other business opportunities to aim for – market appraisal, mortgage appointment or conveyancing referral.

OPENING A clear positive greeting, check they have time to talk, set an agenda.

“I just wanted to talk to you about your latest moving plans and to discuss a property that might be suitable…”

Then: REQUALIFY A great start to the call: “Can I just check I have the current situation clear…”

Then summarise your understanding of the applicant’s motivation, ability and needs. Listen carefully to the feedback, amend your records accordingly. Things may have changed so the property you are calling them about is no longer relevant, you may need to do an instant match on your system to see if any other properties are potentially suitable.

Then: PRESENTATION When you introduce the property, remember that the applicant can only imagine what the property is like by the words you use, but that their response to the suggested property might also be influenced by your tone of voice. Be upbeat – use positive language – smile as you speak….all these enhance the customer experience.

Use empathy – I thought of you when this one came available because your son’s school is just around the corner… I remember you saying that your partner commutes and she would be able to walk to the station from here…

The technique is known as the ‘Benefit Cycle’ is effective. It includes the four key stages of

NEED, FEATURE, BENEFIT, AGREEMENT For example: “I remember that you have two Labradors” (Need) “This property is just down the road from the park…”(Feature) “Which means you can walk them without having to take them out in the car” (Benefit) “How does that sound?” (Agreement)

Many agents simply rely on spouting features but you can be more effective by employing the benefit cycle during these calls.

The next stage is: COMMITMENT Once you have presented the property, try for their commitment to a viewing.

CLOSE OF THE CALL If you have secured a viewing, then clarify timings, dates etc.. If not, agree the next time for you to contact them. For example, if they have said they want to look at the outside first, ask ‘when’ and agree a call soon after that time.

So – the golden rules of phone-out calls. The quality and quantity of these calls will have a direct impact on your results.

Simply making these calls will make you different from other agents. Making them effective will help you outperform them.

October 6, 2017