I have been going through a training program at work. The idea behind the program is to get you acclimated with the various ways you can drum up some business. A quick overview of the plan goes something like this:
In a given week, pick from this list and prospect off of it for the week.
1. FSBO (for sale by owner)
2. Short Sales
4. Expired Listings
Here’s the problem for me, this is a list of people to cold-call. When I signed up for the program, I thought I was well qualified to be an agent because of my sales background. I had won many contests and had wonderful relationships with my clients. The problem for me is that I am a face-to face type of person. I’m not talking about the type of person who will show up at your door unannounced. I offer my services in a laid back unthreatening way. I am not a pushy sales person. Honestly I don’t even like the title “salesperson.” I prefer to see myself as a consultant who is available to help a customer navigate down the road to a new home or out of the home they own now.
I have spoken with several agents in the office. The training program is helpful in that you are shown several ways to possibly find new clients. The idea being that if you touch on each area each week, something is bound to come through for you. Basically it’s a numbers game. It’s a starting off point that none of the agents I spoke with use.
I have given an honest effort towards making cold-calls. For me, it has felt like a huge waste of time. It is the amount of research and general downtime needed before calls are made that really get to me more than anything. Lets say you want to call expired listings. You have to look up the listings, cross-reference for a phone number, cross-reference that with the do not call registry, and then make the call. In 23 calls I made, I got two people who answered. One person no longer owned their home, the other was just not interested. It had taken me almost three hours of cross-referencing before I could make the calls. All other numbers on that list were either fax machines, answering machines that were full or disconnected numbers. This is what I call a huge waste of time.
I am in the process of overhauling the way I do business. I prefer to go with my gut. I know what works best for me. I want to come across as the authentic, honest person I am. I don’t want to appear robotic and seeming to talk from a script. When I make cold-calls, I never know what to say. I seem clumsy and inefficient. The response is bad and then my self-esteem goes down the tubes. I really love real estate and know I would be a great person to work with. That being said, I am throwing out all the techniques aimed at spinning your wheels.
I am going for the human approach. This means that I will be going in to places such as attorney’s offices, caterers and senior living centers to see if there is an opportunity to pass out some cards. I am also doing some more volunteering. I would prefer to spend my time doing something I love and hope to spark some interest along the way than be stuck in a chair for hours making calls to uninterested people who get overloaded with calls from agents every day.
I’ll get back with you and let you know how this new way of going about business works out for me. In the meantime, as always, thanks for stopping by. 🙂