5 Tips for Phone Solicitors Who Farm Activerain

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

My first thought of a title for this post was "Phone Solicitors Stalk Activerain Members."  However, I decided to play nice and take a more positive approach to the problem we all experience.

Angry man

If I were selling real estate leads or websites or SEO training or any other product used by real estate professionals, Activerain would probably look to me like a GREAT source of prospects. That's understandable, and I "get" why so many of them email or call us.

Spam received through Activerain is annoying, but we can delete it or even get a few points for reporting it to Activerain. The phone calls are another story because most phone solicitors who farm Activerain members are relentless to the point of being obnoxious.   Hard as I try to be courteous and upbeat, the majority of them push to the point that it's obvious the call will never end unless I just hang up on them.

While I certainly do NOT wish to encourage anyone to farm Activerain, I know it's inevitable and I prefer they do it well.  Who knows... they may have a product I would consider if I weren't spending so much energy being angry at how inconvenient and/or ineffective their call is.

 

This post is for the phone solicitors who farm Activerain for profit.

1. Know your audience.  Most Activerain members are highly trained sales people... they did not just fall off a turnip truck and lay by the side of the road to await your call.  They know how to do what you're doing - i.e., prospect for customers and clients - and they expect you to practice the same skills they use in their business.  Bring your "A" game!

Phone solicitor

2. If you're going to use Activerain in your introduction, at least get your information right.  If you say, "I see you're one of the top agents in your community" to someone who is #1 or #2 in their state, you just devalued their hard-fought journey to the top.  If you say, "I see you're one of the top Activerain agents with over 200 points" (but they have 500 points), you just insulted them.  Make this mistake and they won't hear another word you say.

3.  Accept rejection and move on without arguing. The purpose of prospecting is to identify leads. You might have to accept rejection from 97 prospects to identify 3 leads.  Don't waste your time or mine if I tell you I'm not interested because you need to make more calls and find those leads, those flowers among the weeds. 

If you're a real pro, you'll send a very short note or email to everyone who rejects you to thank them for their courtesy and time and give them your contact info.  That's much more likely to convert them into a lead than arguing over the phone that their website sucks and they need you to save their dismal career.

4.  Assume that anyone you call is on the DO NOT CALL registry, or at least check the list.  Use the typical work-arounds like conducting a survey or giving something away, and pretend you're not selling anything.  There's plenty of time for that in a follow-up call, when you can make the case that you're already doing business with them (as a participant in your survey or the recipient of your free trial).  Remember, Activerain members are sales pros and we know better than most how this works... we expect you to know, as well.

5.  Ask if this is a good time to talk, and LISTEN to the answer.  If the Activerain member says, "I'm on my way out the door for an appointment, but I can hold the phone and walk at the same time if you make it quick" - then you've got about 30-60 seconds.  Chances are they live in a state where it's illegal to talk on the cell phone while driving, so end your call quickly and ask permission to call back later.  That second call will then be a warm call, and not a cold call. 

On the other hand, if they say "Sure, fire away!", you probably have time for your usual script.  But please, practice your script in advance, and try to make it sound conversational.  We do that, and we expect you to do the same before you call us.

 

If you find these tips to be helpful, you can thank the many phone solicitors who called me last week.  I didn't get their names or companies because their sales scripts were uninspiring.  In fact, the only thing they inspired was this list of suggestions for telephone solicitors who farm Activerain.  :)

Posted by


Margaret Woda

Margaret Woda - Real Estate The Woda Way

 

The Woda Way can probably best be described as the voice of 45 years of real estate experience combined with formal training, the latest technology. and an extensive network of other real estate professionals. My clients know that I work tirelessly for them and disappointing them is never an option. I've helped thousands of home buyers and sellers, and it would be a privilege to help you.

Learn more and search for homes in the greater Crofton area at MargaretWoda.com.

 

Margaret Woda, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. (410)451-6245|MWoda@mris.com

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Karen Kruschka 07/28/2010 09:16 AM
  2. Tony Marriott 07/28/2010 09:38 AM
  3. Nestor & Katerina Gasset 07/28/2010 11:23 AM
  4. Vick Pacheco / Luxury Homes & Lifestyles 07/28/2010 01:53 PM
  5. Roland Woodworth 07/29/2010 01:47 AM
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Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Cheryl - How do they all know when we're busy?  Oh wait... I'm always busy.

Beth - Whether they call my home or business, I try to be polite initially.  However, sometimes the caller just doesn't listen - like when you tell them you're on another call right now and can't speak to them...

Jonathan - That was the big pitch I heard last week, too.  GRRRRR. 

Anna - They do get old, don't they.  Really, each person who calls shouldn't get the brunt of the annoyance from the last 5 calls we got, but I do find myself being less patient towards the end of the day.

Pamela - Yes, please send all spam via the Activerain comment button so I can get ten easy points by clicking on "report a concern"

Jul 28, 2010 11:20 PM #132
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Susan - You're right.  IF they are an Activerain member, they are not rainmakers, they have no photo, no details on their profile, and fewer than 2500 points...

Bruce - I understand the temptation to do that.  It is ironic that they call us because they found us online but they say no one could ever possibly find us online.

Tricia - True.  And I didn't learn about Activerain from telephone solicitors.

Nancy - I don't think any of them are interested in doing it right.  LOL.

Lesley - It IS frustrating, isn't it?

Jul 28, 2010 11:25 PM #133
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Philip - So true!  LOL.

Sharon - You can't know for sure, can you.  I don't answer if I'm with someone else and I don't know the number... I just let it go to vm. 

Tean - They do.  This list was created using techniques learned in telephone training back in the days when it was the only free way to prospect.  Thank God we now have the Internet, and no one's asking me to cold call!

Charita - Good luck with that!

Bill - You're right, it would.

Jul 28, 2010 11:29 PM #134
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Patricia - If only it were that easy.  The problem is they're still talking when you finally have to hang up.

Michelle - Cute little doggie in your photo.  I guess that's true... we're apparently still in the business. That's probably why they target Activerainers.

Gary - Good strategy!

Kymberly - Who does?

Shannon - Good trick... save the # as "sales" or something like that so you know to avoid future calls from that #

Jul 28, 2010 11:32 PM #135
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Tammy - That's easy to do.  They sometimes bring out the worst in me.

Ron - Are you pooh-poohing the tips and saying callers are doing just fine?  I think not - either that or different people are calling you than call me. 

Erica - I hear you... Lots of people seem to share your feelings about this.

Dee - A competent phone solicitor... wouldn't that be (almost) a treat.  Actually, I did have one from US HUD, and I did sign up, as much because he deserved a sale for being so good at what he did as for any other reason. 

Maureen - Yeah, that line dosn't work with most of us any more, does it?

Rene - It's not easy to find something new to say when there have already been 100 comments, but you did.  Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

Curt - I get the impression from reading all these comments, that most people are willing to answer the phone, respond with courtesy, and politely reject the caller.  It doesn't get ugly unless the solicitor keeps talking and won't take "no" for an answer.

Thank you for all your comments.  I always appreciate comments, but I've also really enjoyed these.  You guys have had me laughing or at least smiling all day.

Good night... sleep tight...

Jul 28, 2010 11:44 PM #136
Rainer
4,629
Jason Piedrasanta
Seth Campbell Realty Group - Worcester, MA

Thanks for sharing.  Maybe I should offer to email it to all the telemarketers who call me...

Jul 29, 2010 12:27 AM #137
Rainer
94,045
Lisa Bosques
Burien, WA

You've written a very nice post but even if the telemarketers who call me follow your advice I will still disregard them. :|

Jul 29, 2010 01:40 AM #140
Ambassador
602,096
Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

Great timing Margaret - Just today I got the famous Realtor.com call and they refered to finding me on Active Rain.

Jul 29, 2010 01:43 AM #141
Rainmaker
698,321
Elite Home Sales Team
Keller Williams Realty - San Clemente, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Now it does make since that the calls came from solisators AR is how they find me.

Jul 29, 2010 01:54 AM #142
Rainer
108,064
Ron T. Weems Jr.
Weems Real Estate Group/N.W.R.E. LLC - Marysville, WA

Margaret,

Thank you for taking a stand. I don't mind a cold call to sell me something but make it exciting enough for me to listen. I also tell them, it is a two way street. In order for me to order from you, you need to provide me a referral. Once, I have a referral from you I will do business with you if it is a service I will actually use in my business. I know most will not have a name or a referral. It is really a shock to them when I ask for a referral.

Jul 29, 2010 02:30 AM #143
Ambassador
519,295
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

I say we all give them Lenn's phone number and wait for the detonation in the northeast...I feel sorry for the cold caller...

Tom

Jul 29, 2010 02:35 AM #144
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Jason - Haha... I don't think most would stop talking long enough to hear our advice, and they probably don't open their own email.

Pamela - You're on the right track, and will get better at your approach the longer you're on Activerain.  The first thing you might want to do is correct the spelling on your profile for the term REALTOR, since you consistently have T before L - It might help your credibility with your target audience if you have the correct name for our trade association.

And, Pamela, it's really not one-sided.  This list was developed by someone who trained agents to telephone solicit back in the day when cold-calling was the only way to prospect "for free" - before the Internet - so respect that some of your target market DOES know something about this topic. 

By the way, if you're going to sell your writing skills to REALTORS, you should probably start using spell-check in the writing you do on Activerain.  It's available even on comments... the little icon on the right with ABC over the check-mark.  But some errors aren't caught by spell-check - pray and prey, for example - so it's a good idea for someone who is offering to write for others to re-read what they post.

Lisa - That's fine... their job is to identify leads, and they shouldn't expect most people they call to be receptive.  You're one of those people they should respect and get off the phone quickly so they can move on to find someone who is.

Roland - 'Can't help wondering how effective that cold-calling is, can you?  It must work because REALTOR.com has been doing it for years.

 

Jul 29, 2010 07:31 AM #145
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Ron, that certainly seems fair.  Maybe I should compile a list of responses provided by the many commenters here and offer them up to people who are looking for a new way to handle cold calls.  LOL.

Tom - I'm sure Lenn would love that, but I wouldn't want her to know I referred the caller. 

Maybe we should give them Pamela's number so they can try to re-finance her home (lenders), re-purpose her furnishings (stagers), inspect her home for defects (home inspectors) or sell her a home (real estate agents). I'M KIDDING, PAM.  The point here is that not everyone on Activerain is a real estate agent, let alone a REALTOR.  Once more... #1:  Know your audience.

Jul 29, 2010 07:38 AM #146
Rainmaker
188,968
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Margaret -- I have subscribed to this post to read the comments. ;-) I loved it. :-)

Jul 29, 2010 07:55 AM #147
Rainmaker
285,457
David Karp
Peachtree Realty Group, LLC - Woodstock, GA
Woodstock, Marietta GA Real Estate

I have been hit with more phone calls than email. It really becomes quite a nuisance.

Jul 30, 2010 06:27 AM #149
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Clint - Welcome aboard!

Pamela - Enough is enough!  Hi-jacking other people's Activerain posts through lengthy comments is surely against the Activerain guidelines, although I don't have time to look them up right now.  I have deleted your most recent comment and your earlier 2nd comment, and I will delete any other comments you add to this thread.  It is EXACTLY this relentless behavior which makes telephone solicitors come across as obnoxious, and you have proven the point MUCH better than I ever could or than anyone else has in their comments on this thread.

David - You're right, it can be, but a good telephone solicitor can make some sales and actually save a buyer time and money.  My son has taken professional sales from cold calling to a six-figure income building revenue through initial sales for start-ups - it can be done right.

Jul 30, 2010 12:14 PM #150
Ambassador
2,416,094
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Margaret, also, probably not a good idea to farm Rainers with the old "So, do you want to be Number One on Google?" 

Jul 31, 2010 10:41 AM #151
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Pat - Isn't that the truth!  Whenever they bring up that point and I tell them "thanks, but no thanks - I'm already there" they don't believe it.  LOL.  Frankly, most of them drive me to hanging up.

Jul 31, 2010 02:15 PM #152
Rainmaker
914,186
Tony Marriott
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Associate Broker, REALTOR

Now that the vigorous debate over the disappearance of the rankings followed by the emergence of the new leaderboard has settled down, our opinion is that the new leaderboard is a significant improvement!

Nov 06, 2010 09:32 AM #153
Ambassador
904,116
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I haven't even gone looking for the new leaderboard, Tony and Suzanne.  Where the heck is it?

Nov 06, 2010 08:40 PM #154
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Margaret Woda

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