Last week, in Part 1 of “Real Estate and the Art of Conversation,” we covered TWO essential points that all real estate agents must embrace if they want to be prospecting stars:

  1. You need to be a different person when you’re prospecting. You are, essentially, playing a role, just as an actor does when taking the stage for a performance. You have to be engaging and, above all, charming when playing the role.
  2. You need to be prepared before making a call. Or, maybe put a better way: you need to psyche yourself up so that you bring energy to the conversation. Remember, the person on the other end of the call can sense fear, which all but guarantee that they will be hard-pressed to trust you.

Today, we focus on specific tips that can guide you to have more effective conversations with your prospects (assuming, of course, that you have embraced your alter-ego AND are psyched to make the next call your best call ever!).

Let’s start with something of critical importance for anybody who makes a prospecting phone call: THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END MUST BE THE STAR OF THE SHOW! Yep, it’s not about YOU, but about them.

So, as the “star of the show,” your prospects will be looking for a few things from you:

  • They want to be entertained! Which makes sense because, as we said above, you are playing a role. Before you make any call, you need to relax, loosen up, go into the call with an attitude that it will be a fun, rewarding experience (even if the previous call was not a fun, rewarding experience). Here are a few thoughts on being an entertaining caller:
    • Practice your responses to obvious questions so that you sound comfortable and relaxed. For example, if your expired-listing prospect goes on an angry rant about all the agents who are calling to bug him/her, you can have fun, and even be a little self-deprecating: “I’d be angry too. I work with real estate agents, and I wouldn’t want them calling me.”
    • Practice your questions. We’ve covered this in numerous blogs, but you need to ask questions that show you’re interested in the star of the show.
    • Be a story-teller. Remember this old saying before you make any calls: FACTS TELL, BUT STORIES SELL. People love stories, and everyone has a story to tell. Stories break the ice, and we all need ice-breakers.
  • They want to feel as if they matter. Sometimes, in their zeal to move through the call and get to the deal, agents might forget that they are talking to the star of the show. So, how do you make someone feel like they matter?
    • Mirror what they say so that they know they’ve been heard, and understood.
    • Be relatable… the more you sound like a salesperson on the hunt, the less relatable you’ll be, which will prompt your prospect to get off the call as soon as possible.
    • Show true empathy. A study done by Harvard Business School revealed that the number one reason salespeople did not sell more was a “lack of empathy” with their prospect. Makes sense, because the definition of empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

Let’s close with a few thoughts on the potential pitfalls that can happen with any prospecting call:

  • There is a lack of reciprocity between you and the prospect, or, put another way: you do not allow them (the star of the show) to openly share their thoughts, concerns and feelings.
  • Never, ever allow an awkward silence to creep into the call. Such silences suggest to the caller that you do not know what you’re talking about (mostly because you’re not talking!).
  • Stick to your strategy. The prospect’s job is to get you to veer away from your strategy. You need to control the flow of the conversation, without dominating it.

Let the conversations begin!