Let me set the scene for you…
Say you were out at a social event recently – maybe a networking event, an open house or even your kid’s soccer game. While you were there, you met a promising prospect and now you’re ready to follow up with this person, either during your lead generation time or your lead follow-up time.
Now, before you start your call, you need to know that there are a few key phrases that can tank the conversation before it even has a chance to get off the ground. Your success at converting your prospect to a qualified lead or customer may depend on your ability to get through the call without uttering the following phrases!
“I’m so sorry I haven’t called yet”
Let me be clear – there’s only one instance in which this phrase is appropriate. And that’s if you told your prospect that you’d call back at a certain time or on a particular day and then didn’t.
If this isn’t the case, know that saying this creates a tremendously negative energy that taints your entire call. Think about it this way… If you didn’t promise your prospect that you’d reach out at a certain point, he isn’t expecting a call from you. You haven’t made a commitment to him, so you really have no reason to apologize.
So if you encounter this situation and do apologize, all you’re doing is projecting your guilt onto your prospects, putting them in an incredibly uncomfortable situation. Instead, let it be a delightful surprise that you’ve called at all. Let your prospects know that you’re excited to be speaking with them – not that you feel guilty over some slight that you’ve made up on your own!
“You probably don’t remember me, but…”
Just recently, I was walking through my office and heard somebody say, “Hi, this is John* calling from Keller Williams. You probably don’t remember me, but…”
(*Names changed to protect the guilty party!)
Now, let’s look at what this phrase does. Right off the bat, you’re projecting your insecurities onto your prospects. You’re immediately telling them, “I don’t think I’m memorable, so I can’t imagine why you’d remember me.” If they do remember you, you come off as sounding unconfident (and nobody wants a realtor who isn’t confident). And if they don’t remember you, you’ve just made them feel bad – not a great start to a business partnership!
Of course, the real solution to this problem is to become so memorable that there’s no chance people will forget who you are. Develop such a winning personality and track record that people can’t help but remember your name – and remember to call you when they need real estate service.
“Do you remember me?”
This one’s just mean. Don’t make your prospects guess! Asking this question puts them on the spot and creates the same dilemma described above. If they can’t remember who you are, they’ll feel bad – making them less inclined to seek out your services in the future.
A much better alternative is to introduce yourself as part of your opening statement. For example, lead with something like, “Hi, this is John calling from Keller Williams. We met a week ago at your son’s soccer game.”
When you open the conversation in this way, you not only take the stress of remembering names away from your prospect. You also define your existing relationship and give the call a direction from which to grow. It’s a relatively simple tweak – and it can take some time to train yourself away from the insecure crutch statements you’ve used in the past – but it can make a major difference in your prospecting success.