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How To Get Cold Prospects THANK YOU for calling

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Greater Princeton

I had a short discussion with an agent recently about our web leads and how we contact them. "If they give me a phone number on the registration page of my website, I'll call them immediately or as soon as possible" I said. The other agent replied that she has done that a couple of times but got yelled at by the online prospect for calling and she will shy away from doing that in the future.

I've never had someone sound angry at me for calling and the vast majority say things like: "you're the only agent that ever called" or "thanks so much for following up so quickly."

Here's a few cold call phone tips -- or talking to anyone really:

  1. Mirror and match your prospects: When they answer the phone I immediately try to sum up their intonation, mood, breathing rate etc. as quickly as I can and try to emulate them. If I get a quick, rushed "hello" I'll try to be quick and to the point in my rate of speech as well. If I get a tired 'hello' that almost sounds like a sigh, I'm not going to be talking too upbeat and fast either. You get the picture.

  2. Ask plenty of questions: The other day I was on the phone with an expired that tried to blow me off quickly but I asked more questions and kept it going for quite a while: how long have you lived here? did you get many showings when it was on the market? Any offers? Where are you moving to? Etc etc. Of course, remember #1 above or you won't get the chance to get many questions in.

  3. Don't talk much about yourself: no one cares how great you are. They want to know what's in it for them and that you listen to them. Which brings us to the next point....

  4. Let them know you are listening: Don't just rush on to the next question, repeat their answer and react to it: "you hardly had any showings? I'm sorry to hear that, that must be so disappointing"

  5. Don't forget to close them: Close them as many times as you have to but not too soon. After talking to them, matching their pattern and rate of speech they loosen up and are more open to you. Now you've earned the right to close them. "So when are you available to get together?"
    "Let's do this, I'll stop by tonight at 7 or would you prefer tomorrow night at 7?"
    "I understand why you want to take a break from selling for a while but if I can bring you a good offer within the next 30 days, would you at least consider it?"

  6. Close them again and again: You can even joke about it: "hey I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask you one more time for an appointment; you don't want an agent that gives up on your buyers after the first 'no' do you?"

Anyway, here's the fun part: when I call expireds or fsbo's or any type of cold calling, I make it a game to see how many of these prospects I can get to THANK ME for calling at the end of the conversation. I find if I mirror and match, listen well, ask questions to show my interest and keep the conversation going at least a minute or longer I can get a Thank You from most prospects.

Now isnt' it easier to prospect if you know they are going to thank you for calling?


Bill C. Merrell
Merrell Institute ~ Appraisal Education Network - Bohemia, NY
Ph.D. - Merrell Institue

A great deal of good advise.

Thanks for the post- Keep on blogging.

All the best.


Jun 26, 2008 04:18 PM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

James that was excellent!  I used to cold call/warm call a far bit..........and loved it..........i've gotten out of the habit, but those were terrific tips and reminders, you've got me all pumped up now!

Jun 26, 2008 04:21 PM
Samson Properties - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

I am cold calling but I just seem to be getting people who are either not interested or just don't have a clue. I cold call a lot and I am not going to give up. People have gotten good leads from cold calling. i am just need to continue to work on my cold calling scripts and timing- Time to call them. Great post.

Jun 26, 2008 04:58 PM
Jen Olson
First Weber Group Realtors - Marshfield, WI

James-  I like the thought of turning it into a question of whether they will thank you or not, rather than will they hang up on me or not!  Cold calling is very intimidating, and I applaude any ideas that may make it easier, and less scary!

Jun 26, 2008 05:03 PM
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - 1000 Palms, CA
Real Estate Broker since 2008


I find myself doubting that you wrote the cold calling tips, but if this was your own material... kudos to you.

It is well written and I can say from experience that all you said is right on.  I've done my share of door knocking as well and those things work well when you're in front of someone just as effectively.

See you at the Top... or from the top,

Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center
951-212-7479 direct

Jun 26, 2008 06:05 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

James, sounds like a good approach. You're saying if you mirror their speech pattern, they will open up and be receptive to answering questions. I hope you get a lot of thank you's. Good luck!

Good Post!

Jun 27, 2008 01:40 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

James, sounds like a good approach. You're saying if you mirror their speech pattern, they will open up and be receptive to answering questions. I hope you get a lot of thank you's. Good luck!

Good Post!

Jun 27, 2008 01:41 AM
James Simmons
RE/MAX Greater Princeton - West Windsor, NJ

Cameron: I don't know why you doubt I wrote the tips, but I'll take it as a compliment. While I did write the post and put it into my own words, theres' no new breakthrough thinking here. The way I do the cold calling is all gleaned from tips, recommendations and instruction from many books and tapes of mine, including Mike Ferry, Brian Tracy, Walter Sandford  and others. I put together different parts from different trainers to come up with what works well for me.

Jun 27, 2008 01:58 AM
Sharon Harris
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Hanover, PA

humm. Sounds like you spend lots of time listening to trainers. if it works for you great. i just shoot from the cuff. I will keep in mind the remember to listen and repeat the answer. Like that. Thanks

Jul 02, 2008 01:42 PM
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

Brrrrrr. I think I will just keep calling my SOI instead.

Jul 02, 2008 03:18 PM
Scott Barr
Pacific Sotheby's international Realty - Newport Beach, CA

thanks for the reminder to allways ask for the sale.

Jul 12, 2008 10:47 AM
Mike Hughes
Hughes Residential - Newton, MA
Services Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Waltham & W

Great post ... I really like the idea of trying to get them to thank you.  I struggle with FSBOs, you might have helped me turn a corner.

Jul 23, 2008 01:20 PM
Krista Abshure
Fathom Realty - Fuquay Varina, NC

Thanks for the tips.  I have heard most of them before, but a refresher is always appreciated and I generally realize that I had been forgetting one of the steps! :)  Maybe I will print out your blog and keep it with me when I make my next cold call.  I know for me the hardest part is the "closing." I do not consider myself a sales person and never want to be pushy.  I do think that your idea of making it a "thank you" game is a great way to put a positive spin on the cold calls.  Thanks for the post!


Jul 24, 2008 12:42 AM
Cindy Masiongale
Leo Parker Real Estate & Auction Firm #5277 - Woodbury, TN

How do you cold call when there'a a national do not call list? I don't have the time to check to see if the persons name is on the list.

Jul 25, 2008 08:15 AM
Dawn LoPresti
United Country/Country Lanes Real Estate - Rutherfordton, NC


Great advice!! I have never called a FSBO-i guess for the fact i don't want to feel like I am bothering them. I normally send a letter with my business card.  I haven't listed a few properties in doing so, but i think i will try your steps.  Thanks

Jul 25, 2008 08:29 AM
Denise Allen
Resh Realty Group - Chesapeake, VA
Realtor@ Chesapeake, Hampton Roads

Good advice.  I always follow the "always be closing" or ABC.  Works most of the time.

Jul 25, 2008 12:57 PM
Doris Freeman
Zach Taylor Real Estate - Gallatin, TN
Broker/Agent, 615-961-7799

Great advice and information, thanks for the post.

Have A Great Day

Jul 25, 2008 01:04 PM
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

James, great post.  Good advice and thanks for sharing it.  Have a great day.

Jul 25, 2008 01:21 PM
Rummy Dhanoa
New York Real Estate Experts - Yonkers, NY
Rummy Dhanoa

This is good, keep on blogging , Thanks

Jul 25, 2008 01:57 PM
Brett Tousley
Keller Williams Realty - Richland, WA
Tri Cities Real Estate | (509) 420-0013

Hey James, Good tips!  Learning from those who have traveled this path before us is just plain smart.  No need to re invent the wheel, I like your approach.

Aug 03, 2008 09:22 AM