REALTOR Magazine asks: "How Can a Cold-Calling Agent Prospect in the Age of the Do Not Call List?

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

The other day, a nice man from REALTOR Magazine called me up to chat about the Do Not Call list - specifically, what recommendations I, Jennifer Allan, queen of cold-calling (*snort*) might have for agents stymied in their prospecting efforts by that cold-callpesky DNC.

We had a great conversation, although it remains to be seen if any of my brilliance will make it into the final article since I really have no experience with the DNC except for being first in line to sign up.

But one of the last questions he asked made me think... and I came up with an answer off the cuff that I'm rather proud of. Thought I'd share it with you.

Question: "Jennifer, I understand that you never cold-called, but I'm sure that someone in your RE/MAX office did. If that agent were to ask you for advice on what to do instead, what would you have advised him?"

JA's Off-the-Cuff Answer: "Hmmmmmm."

No, seriously, I did come up with something...

"What I would probably tell him would be to get out from behind the desk and the telephone and take his naturally charming self out there into the world and make contacts face to face. No, not by knocking on doors or attending power networking events, but rather by striving to make a positive impression on as many people as possible as he goes about his day. By implementing a Quality over Quantity approach to attracting business. Instead of trying to make contact with 100 people a day, who will almost certainly promptly forget about him, try to really connect with two or three, who will be much more likely to remember him tomorrow... and six months from now."

I'm guessing that someone who has experienced success in cold calling has an appealing personality and a confident aura of success, which would be very attractive out in the real world, too! And, frankly, being out in the real world making real friends and real connections sounds a whole lot more fun and rewarding than dialing for dollars three hours a day!

I must confess that while I think my advice is brilliant, I've never been approached by a master cold-caller for my opinion and I don't expect to be in the near future. There are many paths to success and we're all better suited to one path or another.

So, while I don't expect the cold-calling world to suddenly shift their tactics to the JA-Way, I do hope I can inspire those who'd rather not cold-call to try the JA-Way and see if they like it!

Oh, and watch for your April edition of REALTOR Magazine to see if any of this made it in...

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
433,024
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Rob - LOL! Actually, he did - that's why he called me because he knew I didn't cold-call! Wanna do what we talked 'bout yesterday?

Rick - I love it when it works that way... and it really CAN!

January 12, 2010 10:33 AM #13
Rainmaker
85,344
Sharon Harris
Coldwell Banker Select Pros. - Hanover, PA
Realtor

I tried cold calling one day.. IT Sucked . Never again. I am the first one to hang up on a unwanted call!

January 12, 2010 01:17 PM #14
Rainer
283,880
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTORĀ® - New Port Richey, FL

I was emotionally Devastated when I got my license and about the same time the DNC came into the picture.  It was my entire plan on developing my business initially, being as I was a recent Transplant.

I was confident I would succeed that way after my Wall St Cold Call training with a minimum 500 calls by 5 pm or you are fired

So I basically did what you have said Jennifer, but my SOI all but completely collapsed with the market, so I feel like I am re-starting all over again

January 12, 2010 01:18 PM #15
Rainmaker
507,141
Kevin J. May
Hobe Sound, FL

Jennifer, this topic surely is entertaining although the cold callers appear to be in the minority when commenting.  Are we afraid to be the dinosaurs?  Maybe, but I feel we are the barometers to the consumer's expectations in the marketplace.  It's quite educating if you can stand the rejection.  Long live the Queen!

January 12, 2010 02:00 PM #16
Rainmaker
433,024
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kevin - ooooh, I don't do rejection!!! Call me a wussy female, but I just can't voluntarily put myself out there for people to be mean to!

Daniel - I LOVE your tagline. It's fantastic. I'd love to steal it (but I won't). When I talk about my SOI, I don't simply mean that I count on my friends and acquaintances to send me business - in this market especially, that's a recipe for disaster. No, my SOI philosophy is actually based a lot on this blog- being OUT THERE in the world, taking care of business, keeping in touch with friends, meeting new people and leaving the sales-pitch in the car. I do realize that cold-calling can generate quick business (I'm told that's the case anyway), but I just don't have the stomach for it, not do I wish to subject anyone to something I don't appreciate myself.

Sharon- You're a braver woman than I am! I never even tried it ONCE!

 

January 12, 2010 04:21 PM #17
Rainmaker
366,576
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

I've taken the tact that I won't do any type of prospecting that would make me mad if someone did it to me.  No cold calling, no door knocking and I really don't do snail mail anymore either because I just toss that stuff in the garbage.  We are trying to attract "like" people, so I do what I like.

January 12, 2010 07:34 PM #18
Rainer
24,047
Shana Haugen
Century 21 - Gold Key - Fargo, ND

After all of your books, the blogs, the forums, it finally clicked.  Real estate is not a numbers game; it is a relationship builder/grower/continuer/system/maker.  I've seen it and read it, but that lightbulb finally went off.  Success isn't the "take out a workbook and know that you will lose 50% of the appointments and cold calls work 1/100 times, now multiply by the amount of money you want."  I thought I got it, but now I really get it.  You rock!

January 13, 2010 11:59 AM #19
Rainmaker
433,024
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Shana- don't you love those paradigm shift moments!!! Your book is in the mail!

January 13, 2010 02:45 PM #20
Rainmaker
681,025
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Jennifer,

Our brokerage is divided into two camps....The cold-calling, door-knocking agressive set and then....well schumks like me who are just too wimpy to get out of their "comfort zone."  Finally, it got to me.  I decided to take a look at sales production.  This being a Keller Williams brokerage - there is a big push for traditional prospecting.  I found no shortage of enthusiasts - but what were their sales numbers like?

Weeeeelllll..... the SEO, blogging, social networking crowd appear to be winning the game.  Now a couple of the top producers undoubtedly got their start the old way.  After all, they've been in the business for 20+ years.  But newer agents - what was happening with them?

I had one door-knocker telling me how is cornering his neighborhood doorknocking.  Telling me how I've just GOTTA do it!  He added 45 people to his email list over the past couple of months.  But what about sales?  Well, this person has been in the business since about 2002.  So he's got a three year jump on yours truly.   Either I got ridiculously lucky this year or things aren't working out so well for him.  My sales volume is roughly five times his.  In fact, apart from the Principal broker - the agent with the biggest volume is an SEO type that wouldn't be caught dead cold-calling or knocking doors.  A former engineer, he relies on providing great service.  Number 5 on the list of producers, by her own admission, never cold calls or knocks. There was only one knocker - but he supplements his knocking with a strong on-line presence and has a very relaxed persona for which knocking might actually work.   The point is - I'm not seeing the "results" that all the cold-calling, door-knocking gurus say is there for the taking. In fact the one's talking this stuff up are in pretty rough shape...

Hmmmmm....

January 13, 2010 05:32 PM #21
Rainer
22,160
Lisa Schmitt
Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell - Plainfield, IL

"The ambulance chasers of Real Estate!"

 

Ellie, I LOVE this! That's the perfect metaphor.

 

January 13, 2010 10:05 PM #22
Rainer
50,794
Rich Rogala
Consistent Clients - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Marketing Coach

Great response! I absolutely agree that making a real connection with 2 or 3 people is worth way more than having 100 people that sort of remember your face/voice from when you bugged them that one time. Not the impression I want to leave. I really liked Tanya's response above: "If we all tried to make a positive impression on 2 or 3 people each day, naturally, as we go about our day, no matter what line of work (paid or unpaid) we are in, what a wonderful impact we would have on the world!" 

So true!

January 14, 2010 08:10 AM #23
Rainmaker
433,024
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Rich - I love the way you put that!!! "sort of remember your name face/voice from when you bugged them that one time!"

Lisa - Isn't it great?!

Ruthmarie - Wow - good stuff! That's really interesting. And congrats on having a good year. Feels good, doesn't it?

Lisa - I just seems so OBVIOUS, doesn't it?

January 15, 2010 06:41 AM #24
Rainmaker
681,025
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Jennifer,

After all the HYPE and TALK about how I was "missing out" the results of my little research experiment was an eye opener! So where's the production they are talking about?  Oh....doesn't exist!  Maybe its a sign that the balance is turning more towards SEO and pull marketing.  When you think about it, we are inundated with push ads - small wonder it becomes less effective.  The only way it works is if you have a bigger bull horn than the next guy.

January 15, 2010 08:18 PM #25
Rainmaker
228,375
Christopher Watters
Watters International Realty, LLC. - Austin, TX
Austin Real Estate (512-298-4010)

Jenn - Dialing for dollars, boo! I'm with you 100% on quality over quantity!

January 15, 2010 09:06 PM #26
Rainmaker
433,024
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
March 19, 2010 07:26 AM #27
Anonymous
Anonymous
Belinda

Hi Jennifer

I found out about you while searching on Amazon.com for books on improving my cold calling and telephone skills. I was forced to seek out ways to improve  because by real estate coach recommended cold calling as the number one way of prospecting.  But, I am an introvert as well as a shy person and maybe have minimum social intelligence, so I am not comfortable cold calling. In fact, I tried several times at cold calling and it did not feel natural.  It felt like I was doing it the wrong way and needed to improve, since I had no result at cold calling. I thought I was a failure and would be unsuccessful in my real estate business because I failed at cold calling. However, your view on cold calling have given me hope. I think that from now on I am going to find other ways of prospecting and finding clients for my business. I have also tried joining REIA networking groups and it has not worked for me either. I agree with you a 100% that getting business the natural way by making a a good impression while commuting or while interacting with people on a daily basis is the best way. 

 Also, in the MLM businesses people are taught to look for business by selling to family and friends but I hate doing that as well. I am so thankful that I purchased your book, "IF You're Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate - You're Not Doing it Right." Keep doing what you are doing Jennifer there are many more people like me and you out there who believe that there are other comfortable and natural ways of getting business.

March 20, 2010 03:31 PM #28
Ambassador
1,675,223
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

A great big congratulations is in order!  Sure looks like Realtor Magazine thought your advice was brilliant! Just sent you an email.

March 22, 2010 11:27 PM #29
Anonymous
Anonymous
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April 08, 2011 04:06 AM #30
Rainer
7,884
Jane Chen
Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc.,Brokerage - North York, ON

I do cold call, door knocking, video blog, seo, twitter, facebook....

August 07, 2011 02:06 PM #31
Rainer
333,062
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

Yes u need to warm call not cold call as most are very blunt and say no.

March 24, 2012 10:14 AM #32
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Rainmaker
433,024

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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