Prospecting: The State of the Union

Posted By on Sep 20, 2015 | 0 comments


Adventures in Cold Calling #47


 

I know I’ve been MIA for a while now and I come back to find that I have more traffic than ever to this site. Most of it is coming from people looking for good cold calling scripts. Here’s the thing – I’ve not been straight cold calling much in 2015. I’ve been building a FSBO prospecting machine.

We are all on a path of change in our business lives. We learn new things. Sometimes we learn them quickly. The problem is that implementing any one of those things takes a LOT longer than we want it to. At least if we want to do it well. Do it at a “high level” as Tim & Julie Harris are known to say in their podcast.

For me, I found myself burned out on cold calling headed into the beginning of this year. Let me be straight with you, all of the benefits I’ve talked about in regards to true cold calling (not calling FSBOs and Expireds) is all there. You pick and area you want to work in and not necessarily the place you live or where your broker’s office is located. People are not as resistant to calling. Contacts are quick, fast, and plentiful. Other agents are not pounding the same people on the phone that you are. You catch them early in the process so you can follow up with them longer and have them “get to know you” in less of a rush like you would with an Expired. They are not as focused on your commission rate.

All that stuff is true. But there is one major downside to Cold Calling.

Boredom.

For me it ended up trumping everything else. Now if you’re just getting started at the cold calling game, then you might be saying to yourself, “Boredom? Not a problem for me. As long as I’m closing two to four deals per month after giving it a good go-of-it for a year, then I can take the boredom. No problem. Let me at ’em.”

Sure. That’s what I said. Come back and tell me how you feel after making hundreds and hundreds of these mind-numbing cold calling sessions day-in-and-day-out and tell me if you can see yourself doing that same task for the rest of your life.

Not only that, but the boredom is only HALF the problem. The other half is knowledge.

The knowledge that cold calling for real estate leads is such a simple and routine task that there honestly isn’t any other job in the world that takes LESS skill. My very first job working at McDonald back when I was 15 required more skill. So you get the point (rather quickly) where you realize that YOU should NOT be making these phone calls. You should be hiring someone to do it for you. Part time help to call for 3 hours per day or so to pick up that one lead.

Well obviously the solution to that problem is to just save a bunch of money from the commissions you generate from cold calling and use that to pay some part-time help to do the calls for you and then keep rolling from there with the money you make from the commissions that you earn from the leads they generate.

The problem is that the cash flow from doing the cold calling takes a LONG time to ramp up. Unless you live in an area where pretty much ever home is over the $350,000 price point, you’ll chew through the cash you earn in commissions to fund your life. There won’t be any “nest egg” to pay someone else. You’re up against the burnout clock. Will you get that money set aside to hire someone before you burn out doing the calls yourself – or not?

The Burnout Got Me

Now let’s be clear – I still have both the skill set AND the organization system to mount a full-blown cold calling campaign. I could bang out 100 contacts today in 2 hours and get a lead that I could follow up with. But do you know what else I can do?

I can go to Zillow. I can go to Zillow and pull up two, three, even four NEW FSBO leads. Complete with phone numbers. These people don’t need to be followed up with for the next six months to a year before I know that they’re ready to do something. They have a little red-and-white sign in their front yard NOW.

So I can get three free leads just by logging on to Zillow today or I can sit and make cold calls for 2 hours to get ONE lead – which almost certainly won’t be ready to sign a listing contract until NEXT YEAR. Which is the better investment of my time?

That was the dominant thought process heading into 2015. So I decided to make the switch.  Unfortunately…

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

…is it?  I’m here to tell you that this isn’t as easy as clicking from one YouTube video focusing on Cold Calling to the next one sitting in the sidebar focusing on calling FSBOs.  But that’s the impression we have right?  Just switch gears.  Make it happen.  Nose to grindstone and be up and running full-bore next week.

It hasn’t been that way.  It’s been a long and hard sluggfest punctuated with a personal tragedy in my family that took me out of the game for 60 days this year.

What you need to know is that even with coaching putting me in the right direction where scripts are concerned, you have all the organization that needs to be built from the ground up – and that takes creativity. Creativity takes TIME.

LOTS of time.

In my next post I’m going to tell you the truth about calling FSBOs.

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