The phone rings – it’s go time. Your mind starts racing with all of the things you’re supposed to do – get full contact info, ask timeframe and investment range, answer all their questions, oh yeah! And get an appointment. We check off all the boxes on our list. But did we really? The one thing we sometimes fail to do is building rapport and sounding like we are excited that they called us.
All sales professionals have experienced this at some point. You’ve gone through training and memorized scripts. You’ve learned what to say when someone tells you that they’re “just looking right now.” You’ve learned what to say when someone says they’ll “just stop by your model home.” You’ve learned what to say when someone says they’ve got to “check with their husband” for a specific time. Or how about the prospect that calls in and wants to know if they can change cabinet colors and how much the sunroom addition will be? Argh!! Our minds go through overload. We panic, we scurry to find the answers on our website or in our Google doc that’s rarely accurate.
Some might say, seems simple right? All you have to do is be friendly and answer your phone. Suuurrrreee…. Having been an online sales specialist myself, I can tell you it’s not so simple. We sometimes suffer from cognitive dissonance – or what I like to call brain freeze. Yes, this is a real thing.
Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation that involves conflicting thoughts or behaviors. This produces a feeling of psychological discomfort. You can’t simultaneously worry about saying the right thing AND build great rapport with a prospect.
We are so focused on what we’re supposed to do and say that we forget to relax and have a friendly conversation with the person who called US to learn more about OUR homes.
Want to know the secret of all secrets? RELAX! Remember, you are winning by answering the phone. Here’s what you do next:
1. Be friendly. Smile when you answer the phone. You are in this role because of your ability to connect with people – that’s why you’re awesome! Use this magical ability to your benefit. Responsiveness with a smile cures all ills.
2. Build rapport first! When a prospect calls in with a million and one questions – you know the kind of person I’m talking about – assure them that you are there to help get them answers. But first, talk to them. Tell them you’re happy that they’ve called you. And if it’s someone that you’ve been corresponding with via email – tell them you’re excited to finally connect!
3. Listen. How can we truly help someone narrow down their options if we don’t take the time to ask questions and listen to what they’re telling us? Use cues throughout the conversation to talk about your amazing homes and communities. They have a story to tell and so do you.
If we get too caught up focusing on the checklist of things we’re supposed to do, and the fact that our calls are recorded (hint –call recording/tracking is really a virtual notebook for you), we can lose sight of our primary goal: engaging our buyers and getting them excited about the possibility of building their dream home with us. Don’t misunderstand – You do need to memorize scripts, and you do need to ask those qualifying questions, but not without making friends first. Get those reps in by answering the phone and making your outbound calls.
The more good, bad, and ugly conversations you have = Master Online Sales Phone Rockstar!