Let me give you a little tip. If you are ever cold calling looking for real estate leads and the pickup rate falls below 10%…stop calling that list and switch to a different list.
I had a listing appointment and a few other things to do today and for whatever reason I killed my morning call session with only 4 contacts left to go. I came back after my listing appointment, fired up Mojo and checked Evernote for the next list scheduled up for evening calls. Selected it in the Mojo Triple Dialer and was off to the races.
Or so I thought.
This should only have taken 12 minutes or so. Instead I started getting answering machine after answering machine after answering machine. Once you’ve done this for a while you can start to tell when pickup rates are abnormally low. It’s a very weird feeling and makes you feel anxious if you’re nearing the end of your daily quota. You become overwhelmed with this sense of dread that even though it’s statistically impossible, you’ll end up calling through all 120 names left on your call list without getting ahold of anyone. You start wanting to chew your own arm off becuase it feels like you’re in a trap – even though you’re not.
This phenomenon can rear its ugly head at any time, but it usually takes a while for you to figure out that “it” is happening again. The most common example of this type of episode is when you start run into a rash bout of answering machines sometime after 11 am. This is time-of-day related and can be expected. It also seems to happen at ANY time if you start calling into subdivisions completely dominated by immigrants. Don’t start foaming just because I said that. It’s true. There are certain areas where it seems like less than 1 in 10 residents speaks good English. As those people don’t want to say, “No English, No English” to every person who cold calls their home, they just stop answering at all. The result? Pickup rate falls off a cliff. So these types of situations have a reason attached to them as well.
There are sometimes though, where ultra-low pickup rate is not easy to explain. You’re calling into a normal area with no reason to believe that there’s a major language barrier issue, you’re calling in the morning or evening so there’s no time-of-day-issue either – yet nobody is answering.
I don’t really have a good explanation for this. I think it has something to do with demographics and the fact that birds of a feather flock together. Perhaps you’ve heard me touch on this before. Anyway, if certain people are all alike and they all have the same reason for not answering the phone on a certain day of the week, or at a certain time of day, or for any other factor that they don’t even know they share in common yet still do – then you’re going to hit a series of calls where nobody answers.
Just Switch Lists
The answer to this is to just switch lists. It works like a charm. If some demographic characteristic that you can only guess about is causing certain people in a certain part of town to not answer their phone, then switching to a different list in the next city over (which is also part of your traditional marketing area) makes sense. Maybe those people don’t share this hidden behavioral trait and will answer.
This is what happened to me today. I needed 4 contacts to round out the day. I scored the first one within 5 calls but it took a LONG time to get to the next one. I didn’t get my third pickup until dial #27 and then was about to pull my hair out when I saw that the display on the Mojo screen tell me that I was at 42 dial, with one contact to go, but was STILL getting nothing answering machines.
Easy math tells says that 42 dials with only 3 contacts is less than 10%. Time to make a change.
So I killed the calling, told Mojo to switch lists and on the very first set of 3 numbers I got that last dial. The first list I called was in Plymouth. The second list was one town to the south in Canton. There was “something in the wires” over in Plymouth this evening that had the residents refusing to answer the phone at 7:00pm – traditionally prime time calling hours. Whatever “it” was must not have been a factor in Canton because the response was very different there. (Thank God)
Sometimes you just need to switch lists. If your contact ratio ever falls below 10%, it’s time to consider it.
Cold Calling Activity Report
So you can see from the screen caps above that yesterday I didn’t call at all. Shame on me. I’m over it though and moving on. Today I made all 100 contacts as planned. I also took on a new listing.
In the background I’m working on a couple of “Epic Posts”. Super-charged content that dives in deep into subjects that concern us all. Right now Realtors nationwide are worried about what’s going to happen in the very near future. What changes are afoot. Will Zillow destroy real estate agents with their “Coming Soon” section? Will “the internet” in general make us irrelevant in our own industry – or if not will web technology have such an impact that our wages get cut in half? I’m about to drop the hammer and make some bold predictions on these (and other) issues. So keep coming back if you want to find out what all I’ve got in store.