Not too long ago, we Realtors used the telephone to do our prospecting. We’d call people and know that a certain number of dials would generate a certain number of conversations, and we could rely on those numbers. In the last year, though, the answer rates for prospects have plummeted. People simply aren’t answering their phones like they used to.
One reason why is that people are less trusting of answering phone calls from numbers they don’t recognize, and we can be put in the same category as phone solicitors—even though that’s not what we try to do when reaching out to them. Another reason is that technology has advanced to the point where phones are automatically screening whatever they consider spam.
Like anything else in business, you just have to adapt, and there are some strategies you can employ right away to connect with more people.
First of all, if calling doesn’t get the response rate you need to make it worth your time and effort, you can text instead. Texting is a great way to reach prospects because it’s less intrusive, and people can decide whether or not to respond to you after they see your message. They have to engage you first, hear your message, and then decide. The arrangement is more favorable to the consumer, which is how it should be. You can also send out videos.
That said, phone calls will always be king when it comes to influencing another person. It’s hard to schedule an appointment or build rapport with someone via text message because you lose so much of the communication along the way (tonality, pitch, etc.). However, if you use a text message to start the conversation, you can then book a phone appointment. After you’ve handled some objections or gained some rapport through texting, that’s when I’d book a phone appointment. You can do this by scheduling it with them directly, or using an online booking calendar such as Calendly. This strategy is working very well for our team right now.
In any case, you have to decide whether or not it’s worth your time to keep dialing and dialing and dialing without anyone answering. I truly believe that the more you dial and the more people elect not to answer, the greater the chance that other phones will start declaring your number as spam. Either that, or they’ll think the person on the other end of the line is someone people don’t want to talk to.
If you’d like to learn some texting tidbits my team and I use daily to book appointments or have any questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.