In an ever-connected world where technology, devices, apps and gadgets dominate our daily activities, Jeff Glover and his team in Detroit are focusing on the fundamental tasks of cold calling and telephone prospecting to build and grow Michigan’s top-producing real estate team.
Why not embrace hot new technologies? For Glover, the answer is simple. “The lower tech approach is working for us,” he says. “Persistence really does pay off. The more prospective clients you contact, the more sales you make.”
It’s not that Glover and his team shun technology. With so many outbound calls made daily, they use REDX and Mojo to power-dial and auto-dial so that they can decrease their downtime and increase their productivity.
On track to close 850 transactions in 2014, Glover’s success shows that the seemingly antiquated cold call is alive and well. In an interview with OutFront, Glover shares tips, tactics and insights he has learned along the line to multimillion dollar success.
OutFront: What traditional prospecting tactics do you use regularly?
Glover: Asking a series of questions is a thoughtful way to get the potential client to think about his or her situation. For expireds, assuming they are not going back with the agent who did not get the job done, I like to ask, “When do you plan on interviewing an agent?”
OutFront: How many times do you try to reach a person before you close the lead?
Glover: We call several times a day for several days. The prospecting team tries repeatedly between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
OutFront: There must be a magic hour for prospecting. What day and time have you found to be most successful?
Glover: We did a study where we had a team member call from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. He called one number right after another. We fed him breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he called nonstop for 13 hours. While the amount of contacts varied per hour, no hour was better than another and every hour generated one appointment or one lead. So, contrary to the conventional wisdom that mealtimes may be the best times to make a connection, those times fared no better than midday or midafternoon.
OutFront: Do you follow up phone calls with a mailing or email?
Glover: If we don’t get an answer after several days, we drop a letter in the mail. It has a customized cover, with a detailed plan of action showcasing all that we are doing to sell homes.
Glover's Cold Calling Tips
For Sale by Owner: Call on Mondays
OutFront: How do you find the FSBOs that you call?
Glover: REDX and Mojo automatically pull them in. We also comb through Craigslist and Zillow daily.
OutFront: What challenges do you encounter with FSBOs?
Glover: One thing we know about FSBOS is they are not as immediate as some of our other target markets. Most owners really do think they can do it on their own, so we find them listing at about four weeks after they have tried a while.
OutFront: How do you persuade them to list with you if they are convinced they can get their home sold on their own?
Glover: We don’t stop calling them. And we always call on Mondays after they have probably had a weekend of low or no traffic through the home. We call for three, four, five or more Mondays until they are ready to let us help them.
Expired Listings: Call Immediately
OutFront: What is the main reason a listing will expire?
Glover: It is always because the price is too high. We are big on being blunt with prospective clients about what the market can bear.
OutFront: How soon after the expiration do they list again with another agent?
Glover: They are usually looking to do something immediately, so typically within a week.
OutFront: What is your success rate with converting expireds?
Glover: About 80 percent. The success is higher because we might be the second or third agent to get the listing.
Just Listed/Just Sold: Call Neighbors
OutFront: What response do you get from neighbors when you contact them about just listed or just sold homes?
Glover: We’ve learned that we have to have about 30 conversations to get a lead. It is a numbers game and you have to talk to a lot of people about what just sold or listed in the area before you get a single lead. This is a tougher category than the others. Sold properties definitely create more excitement, because others wonder if now might be a good time for them to sell too. And it’s perfectly fine to call homeowners in close proximity to recently sold homes - even if you didn’t sell them!
Rejection: Fail Forward
OutFront: Even though you have been cold calling successfully for many years, rejection still has to sting. Can you offer advice for dealing with direct rejection?
Glover: People think you have to dissect the script. It’s not true. After you have studied a script, just pick up the phone. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to stumble through phone calls. Keep picking up the phone. As Gary Keller teaches us, “When you fail, fail forward.” Learn from your mistake and dial another number. Every day you get better than the day before. Little by little, month by month, you become good at talking to strangers. It’s a great idea to role-play with other agents, but there’s no better practice than live practice. It is a lot harder on the phone with a real potential client than it is with an agent. Pick up the phone. Make the call.