A Perfectly Reasonable "Excuse" Not to Cold-Call!

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul
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Counselor

I'm doing a little one-on-one consulting with a relatively new agent (who's gonna ROCK!) in Denver. We have similar personalities when it comes to our feelings about prospecting and business-building, so our conversations about prospecting always lead to some interesting A-HA moments for both of us.

Anyway, yesterday, my agent friend told me about a conversation he had with a like-minded career coach - one who specializes in matching personality types with business-building strategies. According to this coach (and my friend's score on the MBTI), my friend is capable of cold-calling and door-knocking for business, and he might even be rather good at it, as long as he feels he has something of value to offer.

HOWEVER, the coach cautioned him that even though he might be moderately successful in his cold-prospecting efforts, his personality type is simply not one that tolerates rejection well over the long term. That if he spends too much of his time and energy on prospecting activities that involve a steady dose of rejection, he'll eventually become depressed and discouraged. And probably won't realize why he's so lethargic and unenthusiastic about his career... and his life.

That makes perfect sense to me! I've been preaching for a long time now that there's no reason to spend your days doing something that you aren't comfortable with when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives. And if there AREN'T perfectly acceptable alternatives, maybe you're in the wrong business!

The good news is, of course, there are plenty of real estate prospecting techniques that don't involve much rejection. Oh, sure, rejection is a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to put yourself in positions of pursuing it in the name of generating business if you don't want to. There's no need to "suck it up" or "just do it" if the sucking-up or just-doing makes you miserable.

Life's way too short for that. Figure out what you enjoy doing that brings in business. Do that. It really is that simple.

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Rainmaker
359,106
Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 512-845-4204
eXp Realty - Canyon Lake, TX
My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty

Hello, people! Listen to Jennifer, I tell you! Come on, do it! You will be richer for the experience. 

Jan 28, 2010 04:13 AM #72
Rainmaker
131,383
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

I remember sitting in my real estate pre-license class back in 1985.  A visiting broker was talking about calling on FSBO's.  I remember thinking - "how undignified, I will NEVER do that"!  I soon learned that I had to do that and more to make a living.  Cold calling has made me a better person overall - when someone says "no" to me, I just move on - whether personally or professionally.  It really helped me grow into the strong woman I am today.  I love to knock on doors  - I'd rather do that than sit in a model home any day of the week!

kp

Jan 28, 2010 05:31 AM #73
Rainmaker
59,641
Jeff D. Clark
Blue Summit Realty Group - La Grande, OR
Your Eastern Oregon Real Estate Specialist

It is always easier if you are providing information.  Then you are helping the person on the other end!

Jan 28, 2010 06:28 AM #74
Rainer
49,302
Gordon Lane - selling homes in Sacramento and Yolo Counties
Virtual Realty Group - Sacramento, CA

Phone cold calls are hard, in part because it's much easier for someone to be rude to a faceless person on the other end of the phone. I do door knocking though, to invite people to an open house in their neighborhood. I'm offering them something of value (the chance to check out the neighbor's house!) and I've never had anyone be rude. Not interested, sure - but not rude.

Jan 28, 2010 08:06 AM #75
Rainer
80,232
Amy Law
Alliance Properties - Crosby, TX

I can cold call, and I try to do 3 or 5 a day. I have a list I go down. But, many times I am too busy. I agree that it can be hard to be told no alot.

Jan 28, 2010 08:46 AM #76
Rainer
278,138
Lisa Moroniak
Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388 - Leesburg, VA
SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified

Find your passion, and success will find you.

Jan 28, 2010 09:55 AM #77
Rainer
115,094
Kerry Knudson
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC - Colorado - Castle Rock, CO
Broker, Realtor, SFR

Hi Jennifer, I agree...I've never embraced cold calling ~ it's just not me!  I would rather shine doing business in a way that is true to myself than be uncomfortable trying to fit into a mold that may better suit how someone else shines.  To each his own :)

Jan 28, 2010 10:22 AM #78
Rainmaker
1,378,359
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Good post at a good moment in time for me to read and think about. Thanks!

Jan 28, 2010 10:32 AM #79
Rainmaker
77,605
Danny Batsalkin
Keller Williams Realty - Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills, CA
Los Angeles Real Estate | 310.432.5706

Ridiculous.  There are only two ways to have a high volume real estate business - ACTIVE PROSPECTING or SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY ON ADVERTISING.  

All other methods described in this post will not yield a high volume business (OK maybe they will in 10 years).  Yes, if you only want to do 10 or 20 deals a year, you really don't have to do much.   

Active prospecting does not have to be cold calling but any type of active prospecting involves dealing with rejection. Sales is a numbers game.  If you don't like it, go find another job. 

This kind of advice (stay away from rejection if you don't like it) will put many new agents out of business if followed.

-- Danny

Jan 28, 2010 12:03 PM #80
Ambassador
1,886,512
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jennifer I wrote a post today about going with the flow and to do something opposite of your personality and comfort level is so basically WRONG!!

Jan 28, 2010 12:47 PM #81
Rainer
11,828
Tim Marose
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. - Gaithersburg, MD
Maryland Buyer & Refinance Specialist

Jennifer Great Post!   Life is too short to waste time on things you do not enjoy.    Find something that you like, still with it, and if you put your heart into it, you should come out on the end just fine.

Jan 28, 2010 02:24 PM #82
Rainmaker
1,523,755
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I agree with you totally. If we love what we are doing we will be successful.

Jan 28, 2010 02:36 PM #83
Rainmaker
484,557
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Lotsa GREAT comments here!

Daniel - I see that you disagree with me - that's okay! But I must disagree with you (respectfully) that the only ways to succeed are to aggressively prospect or spend a bunch of money. Or, pursue activities that celebrate rejection. But we can agree to disagree - there's plenty of room on the planet for both of us ;-]

John E. - I'm not sure if you're disagreeing with me or not - but from your comments I believe we agree 100%. Although - I can't swear that cold-calling doesn't work - people who do it swear by it, but I'm darn sure it would never work for me. That pesky old Golden Rule - I can't do unto others that which would annoy me if done unto me!

Nevin - Again, I appreciate your dissenting opinion! I just don't believe that real estate is a traditional sales career that is dependent on volume prospecting. We don't sell anything - we provide a service and are very well-paid for our services. Therefore, it really doesn't take tremendous volume to have a good year and it's perfectly possible to implement a Quality over Quantity approach to prospecting as opposed to a Numbers Game approach. But, that's a topic for a different day.

 

Jan 28, 2010 11:20 PM #84
Rainmaker
543,198
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Nevin: "Suck it up and do it or get out of this business."

Wow, what an attitude.  My feeling is - if you want to cold call, fine.  If you don't, then don't.  I have done VERY well in a TOUGH market.  I finished 2009 in the top 30 agents out of nearly 500 active agents...and was #3 in my office for production, behind only my mentor/office owner, and one of the area's top producers.

Both of them were in the top 10 of producing agents in the entire MLS - and guess what? NONE of us cold call.  Ever.  They have other methods of prospecting....as do I.  I made more money last year than I ever did in 3 years time at other jobs.

I am doing just fine building my business without annoying my potential customers. It's not really about rejection for me, it's about being a PITA.  And I hope to goodness I never have the attitude of "Do your business the way I do it, or find another line of work."  Man - that really gets my goat!

Jan 29, 2010 12:20 AM #85
Rainmaker
251,251
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

It's not me - I can't take constant rejection like that.  Plus, I HATE being cold called on myself, so why would I do that to others?

Jan 29, 2010 04:23 AM #86
Rainmaker
717,756
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Nevin: I don't cold call.  I'm comfortably in the top 20%  for the year out of 7000 agents.  For my fiscal year with my brokerage I'm looking at the top 8%.  The clowns who keep telling me about how awesome cold-calling and door-knocking are  appear to be in the BOTTOM 50%.  So what's wrong with this picture?

Jan 29, 2010 08:19 AM #87
Rainer
21,526
Richard Glick
Kingsway Realty - Lancaster, PA

Cold calling is miserable, but giving away free information is genius.  Looking at new introductions not necessarily as a sales pitch but as a chance to proove that you know real estate seems to be the way to go.

Feb 05, 2010 06:27 AM #88
Rainmaker
77,605
Danny Batsalkin
Keller Williams Realty - Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills, CA
Los Angeles Real Estate | 310.432.5706

I think you all have the wrong attitude about "cold calling" and that's why you don't like it and aren't successful with it. 

If you approach calling new people as an opportunity to help people who have a problem (e.g., an expired listing has a problem because they want to move and their prior agent couldn't get their home sold), you can have fun with it, enjoy it and reap the rewards.

Obviously, if you have a negative attitude and feel like you're bothering people when you call, your results will correspond.

-- Danny

Feb 05, 2010 06:31 AM #89
Rainer
28,025
Sheri Rogers
Power Rentals & Investments, LLC - Desoto, TX

Well said! It's very true.... why would you subject others to the things you dislike.

Mar 08, 2010 03:57 PM #90
Rainer
334,224
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

thank you very much for the informative and interesting post. I get so much out of the active rain network.

Mar 24, 2012 03:15 AM #91
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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