No. I’m not saying don’t talk to strangers.
Here is why “Cold-Calling” is not a prospecting approach I recommend:
All right, let’s talk about cold calling. Brrr, cold calling.
One of the things I hated in real estate when I started was when they told us we needed to cold call. Just the thought of cold calling sounded painful to me and so today I want to talk about why you should never cold call, ever, ever, ever, ever again. Now, I don’t mean from my dad so just in case, before you shut me off here, before you shut this off … You may be going like, “Yes, no more cold calling,” or you may be going like, “No, I’m a cold call and you’re an idiot.”
Whatever you’re thinking right now hear me out. I am not saying … When I say don’t cold call ever again I am not saying you shouldn’t talk to strangers anymore. I’m not saying you shouldn’t call people anymore, I’m not saying you shouldn’t door knock anymore. What I’m saying is you shouldn’t cold call or what we call cold doors and here’s why. I’m going to give you two reasons why I do not and have never taught cold calling.
In fact, if you have the copy, if you’ve seen the book, my book The Book of Yes, The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide, one of the things that you will notice in here is that there are no cold calling scripts. A lot of agents believe that that’s an entire business framework is cold calling. Here’s the reason I don’t like cold calling and here’s the reason I never liked it and the reason I’m going to try to talk you out of ever doing it.
Number one is expectation. That is that whenever you think of what of an activity as cold, you just created an energy that has an expectation of discomfort, it has an expectation of pain, it just feels painful doesn’t it because words have energy. When you just think cold calling, “I’m going to go out and I’m gonna knock cold doors.” Well, are you expecting? Are you expecting a warm reception at that cold door? No, you’re expecting a cold reception.
I just always thought when I go out I’m not going to be cold and I really don’t want to get a cold reception from whoever’s door I knock on or whoever I call so I don’t want to cold call. This is what set me free was I was listening to a cassette tape by the late great Zig Ziglar. I always loved Zig Ziglar. In fact, ever since I was in third grade way back in the 1970s, if you can believe that, Zig Ziglar, they used to play him on our PA system every morning at school and he had this daily thing called See You at the Top.
Well, in his sales training here’s what Zig Ziglar said. He said, “I don’t believe in cold calling.” He said, “Because when I call somebody I don’t want them to be cold and I’m not going to be cold, so when I call somebody I call it warm calling because I’m going to be warm and I expect to be warm.” Now you’re like, “Well, that’s just semantics.” Yeah, it’s expectation.
You see, when your expectation is one thing, guess what? You tend to get in your life what you expect. Earl Nightingale told this nearly 100 years ago in the book called The Strangest Secret, and that is that you tend to get in life what you expect, what you think about, what you focus on, that is what you get. It is the law of attraction in action and that is that if you expect a cold reception, if you expect people to be cold to you, if you expect people to not be warm and receptive to you, that is what you are going to get.
Cold calling, just the idea of cold calling creates this energy and expectation of discomfort and, in a sense, a lack of success. Now, what I am going to tell you on this is I am not saying that “cold calling” does not work, I didn’t say that and I did not say that you shouldn’t do it. The idea of cold calling is where you’re just like going door to door down a street with no reason or just randomly calling a bunch of people in a neighborhood or whatever, sometimes it’s called circle prospecting.
I call that random prospecting, which means I’m calling a person, I’m calling an individual and I really don’t have a reason to call that person other than the fact that they happen to be living in a neighborhood where I’m calling because I sold the house or I have a listing or whatever. It’s just kind of a random conversation and I have a script for it and all that but here’s the second reason that I’m going to tell you and suggest that you probably never want to cold call again or random call strangers.
Here’s the second reason, effectiveness. I’m not saying it doesn’t work but what I am going to say is it’s not the most effective way to generate leads in this day and age, simply not. Fewer and fewer … If you’re making phone calls, random phone calls, and you’re just calling people on a call list, fewer and fewer people, one, have home phones, and two, if they have a home phone they probably don’t answer it. More and more people have just a cell phone and if they don’t recognize the person calling them on the caller ID fewer and fewer people will actually answer the phone.
Just in terms of efficiency, it’s less efficient than it use to be, number one. Number two, people are less trustful of strangers than they used to be. Used to, if somebody back in the 1900s and when I was growing up way back earlier than the 1900s, when somebody called and you answered the phone, I can even remember back before the days of caller ID. Yeah, I’m showing my age a little bit but that was the truth, is even back then is somebody would call and we would answer. If they were a salesman we would give them a hearing just out of respect. Even if weren’t interested in what they had to offer we didn’t think they’re scamming me or you’re just out for the money. We believed that people were generally good people, that they were honest and so forth.
Today, there’s so much distrust, there’s so much skepticism that people automatically tend to be skeptical or suspicious or distrustful when you knock on their door or when you call, when you’re just showing up out of the blue and all of a sudden you’re knocking on their door or calling them. Now let me just say the next thing about efficiency and effectiveness. For sale by owners and expireds are different all together.
Now I hear a lot of agents refer to calling for sale by owners and calling expireds as cold calling. Well, to me that’s not cold calling and it never was cold calling for both of the reasons we’ve already talked about. Number one, because I don’t want them to be cold and I’m not going to be cold so my expectation is this is not cold calling, this is hot calling because these people have already declared they want to move. They’ve already declared they want to sell their house and so I’m not calling a cold prospect, I’m calling a hot prospect so it’s not cold calling it’s hot calling.
For sale by owners and expireds are totally different than just randomly calling a bunch of people or randomly knocking on a bunch of doors with no reason other than to say, “Hey, I want your business, I want to sell your house,” type thing. There’s different approaches that you can have that some are more effective and some are less effective. In terms of effectiveness, way better than random calling is strategic calling, what I call turbo lead generation, where you’re talking to people that have indicated a need or a desire to sell their house; like for sale by owners; like expireds; like distress sellers; like probate listings, that kind of stuff because they’ve already indicated a very high likelihood that they’re going to be moving.
Internet lead generation. While those are really not leads, they’re prospects, at least they’ve indicated an interest in doing something. My whole point is, be strategic in where you’re spending your time, and your resources, and your energy in trying to generate leads. I’ll tell you one other one that is probably the best and that is people you already know, your personal circle. Your personal circle, in terms of bang for the buck and effectiveness, it’s the best for two reasons.
Number one, they already know you, like you, and trust you. Number two, if they like you and trust you they want to help you. Even if they’re not planning to move they want to help you get business and so they will become your word of mouth marketing team. Just to summarize all this, it’s not a question of what works, it’s a question of what works the best. What will give you the biggest bang for your buck, the best return on your investment whether it’s time and/or money so that your chances are the most likely that you can always expect yes.
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