At some point in every investor’s career, they will need to be able to close a deal over the phone. As an investor, there are times when you need to sell people to get a deal. However, you also need to use your sales skills to find information and explain an uncomfortable situation. A lot of these interactions will take place over the phone. That said, there is a certain way that you can talk to people over the phone that will help your chances. The more comfortable you can get over the phone, the less of a salesperson you will sound like, and the more deals that will come your way. Real estate investors need to feel at home on the phone.
The real estate business has changed. Most conversations are done over the phone instead of face to face. Even if you do eventually meet in person, the majority of your communication will be done by phone. This means that you need to create trust while simultaneously finding out information based solely on conversations over the phone. If you are sending out any type of mailers or postcards, you need to be ready to handle the rush of incoming phone calls. If you do not know what you are going to say, you will be lost. You may even end up disappointed in your marketing results.
As much as you may want to ask questions and keep the conversation moving forward, you need to listen to what is being said. Having a script is nice, but if you do all the talking you will lessen the window of opportunity to find out what it is you need. Instead of a firm script, start by having some talking points or questions that you want answered. You don’t need to rattle them off one by one, but you should have answered all of your questions by the end of the conversation. It is important to make the conversation seem as personal as possible. If you just ask five questions without pausing or interjecting anything personal, you come off too much like a business instead of someone looking to solve a problem. If a homeowner mentions something about the weather, feel free to add your point of view. Instead of trying to get them off the phone as quickly as possible, spend five or ten extra minutes to build trust and help secure a deal.
After the initial contact over the phone, the next step is to follow up. The second call is as much about seeing if you have a deal or not than finding out information. You should have all the specifics on the property, mortgage and homeowner situation from the first call. The next time you reach out, you should be able to sense which way they are headed. This doesn’t mean they have to give you an answer on the spot, but you should know if they are going to move forward and when. If you are pushy over the phone and demand an answer, you might as well not even call. You are looking for deals or business from people whom you have only had one conversation with over the phone. If you feel that trust is the issue, ask to meet somewhere you can go over the numbers. The second contact you have with someone will often dictate if there will be more moving forward.
The most difficult contact you will have with someone is when you have to deliver bad news. Nobody wants to hear about why a deal fell apart at the 11th hour. Instead of beating around the bush and making small talk, it is best to come out and deliver the news as straight forward as possible. This is certainly never easy – especially if you were to blame, but if you can stand up and take responsibility as soon and direct as possible you may just gain the respect of people in the deal. You never want to throw anyone under the bus or make excuses if you were the one to blame.
The more people you talk to on the phone, the more comfortable you will become. Whatever you have to do to make yourself come across in the best possible light is what you need to do. Often times this means having a firm grasp on the deal, the property, the process or the business in general. If you don’t know what you are talking about, it is difficult to portray confidence over the phone. As much as business relationships are grown by face to face meetings, they usually start over the phone. Everything from new leads to building contacts can be done without having to meet someone.
You don’t have to be a fast talker to get your point across over the phone. In fact, if your personality is laid back, you may have better results. The phone is certainly not going away any time soon and usage may only increase. If you can perfect your phone skills, you will find yourself with more contacts and deals than you can handle.