What can you learn from spending an hour reconnecting with clients you’ve helped with a life-changing transaction?
Yesterday, BAM hosted its live cold calling event with Byron Lazine and Tom Toole, accompanied by top agents from each of their teams: Emily White of The One Team and Stacey Mitchell of the Tom Toole Sales Group.
After hearing and watching all four of them on the phone, we noticed eight valuable tips worth breaking down:
- The 5-5-4 Rule
- The next action step
- Smiling and body language on the phone
- Remembering personal details (and updating your CRM)
- Empathizing and adding value
- Reasons for calling—and events to avoid
- Following up after leaving a voicemail
- No apologies
#1—Use the 5-5-4 rule
Here’s what those numbers mean when you’re cold calling. Every day, have conversations with:
- 5 people you know
- 5 people you don’t know
- 4 follow-ups
Obviously, clients you’ve worked with before fall into the first category. But, depending on when you called them last and what your last conversation entailed, they could also fall into the follow-up category.
#2—Reasons to call
There are a number of topics you can use to get a conversation going with a client you haven’t talked to in a while. The F.O.R.D. acronym offers a good place to start. Use the personal details in your CRM to ask about any of the following:
- Family—namely their spouse/partner, kids, and grandkids. Ideally, you want to use actual names here. “How are Stacey and the kids?” or “Calling to see how you and Ted are enjoying your new home now that you’ve been there for a year.”
- Occupation—If they have a job, ask them how that’s going, using the name of their employer. If they run a business, you can ask about that (by name). Their professional life no doubt matters to them, so it should matter to you, too.
- Recreation—What do they do for enjoyment? Ask about their hobbies or if they have any vacations coming up.
- Dreams—Ask how a particular client’s dream is unfolding, especially if this was a topic they enjoyed talking about with you. Let them know you care about their happiness.
Another way to start a conversation with a client you haven’t spoken to in a while is to use the classic Phil Jones O.F.Q. formula:
- Opening— “Hey, this is Tom Toole….”
- Fact— “I learned something interesting about the market value of properties in your area and thought you might want to know”—or another fact they’ll likely find interesting
- Question—Ask them how they’re doing, and whether they’d like to know more (about the fact)
You can also call a client to congratulate them on the anniversary of their home purchase. This is a great conversation opener since, for one thing, they’re not likely to have their inbox flooded with “Happy home anniversary” messages.
On the flipside, some agents feel it’s better to avoid birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and holidays since they probably have a ton of other messages to respond to for each of these.
And nobody wants a generic holiday message.
That said, shared spouse-hood, motherhood, fatherhood, and grandparenthood all provide something relatable to connect over. So do similarities in your chosen careers, recreational activities, and dreams.
#3—The next action step
Another thing you want to remember is to set the next action step. Depending on the situation, this could mean different things.
If you’re having to leave a voicemail, give your client a reason to call you back.
With some clients, you’ll want to set a day and time to meet in person. With others, you might let them know you’ll be sending them something they’re likely to find valuable. Stacey Mitchell told a client she’d be sending him information on a contractor she knows and trusts.
The timing of an in-person meeting doesn’t have to be specific. One of the clients Byron called is an old friend who was out of town, but who agreed to call him when he returned. Byron, for his part, made a point of setting a reminder for himself to check in after a couple of weeks.
#4—Smiling and body language on the phone
This is something most people have known for a while now: people can hear you smiling on the phone. They can also pick up signals that you’re calling only out of a sense of obligation or a desperate hope of getting more business from them. Neither is a good look.
A genuine smile with a sincere desire to reconnect and see how your client is doing can go a long way.
Body language helps with this, even if your client can’t see how you’re sitting or what you’re doing with your hands and feet. It comes through more than you might think.
If you’re genuinely interested in your client, that comes through, too.
You know how people are drawn by those who seem genuinely interested in others—and generally put off by those more focused on getting other people interested in them? It’s like that. Be the kind of person who really cares about how your clients are doing.
That doesn’t mean you call them every week (that would get old), but when you do pick up the phone to call these clients, make it about them.
#5—Remembering—and adding—personal details (update your CRM)
This should go without saying, but you need to take good notes while making these calls, so you can add any new personal details to your CRM.
Life happens, and you want to keep up with major developments that impact your client. Anything new you learn that matters to your client should go into your CRM.
For example, if one of them reveals they’re going through a divorce, that’s a detail you definitely want to remember for the next conversation. You don’t want to be asking them about their spouse only to be reminded of something they told you last time. Awkward.
#6—Empathizing and adding value
Empathy with your client is crucial to building and maintaining a strong connection with them.
This includes staying on the phone as long as your client wants to keep the conversation going. It won’t be forever; they have things to do, too. After all, you called them—and they answered!
Badly as you might want to get back to other things, you don’t want your client to get the impression that you’re looking for a way to politely end the conversation. Stay focused on it, and let them decide when to wrap things up.
#7—Following up after leaving a voicemail
Your client won’t always be able to answer the phone, so have a voicemail message ready.
Not only that, but make a note to yourself to follow that voicemail with a text message. Or send them an email if they’re more likely to respond to that.
Also, if their voicemail box is full, text them afterward to let them know you called. And give them a reason to text or call you back.
Another thing to remember is you don’t owe them an apology for not reconnecting sooner. You’re calling them now because they matter to you. You’re making time in your busy schedule to catch up with them and add value, if you can.
When you apologize to your client, you’re implying that you’ve wronged them in some way, which sticks in their subconscious (as well as yours) and subtly undermines your relationship with them.
Sometimes, apologies are warranted—and appreciated. But they’re not necessary here. Your client can probably understand that you don’t have a lot of time to chat with people you aren’t actively helping to buy or sell a home, so they’ll appreciate your thinking of them and making the time to reconnect.
There’s plenty of room for thank yous. But apologies are out of place. Focus on strengthening your connection with them and on looking for ways to add value to the conversation.
Watch the full replay on YouTube so you don’t miss a thing.
After the event, we did a livestream Q&A with our BAMx members. Join our community here and use code COLDCALLS for 10% OFF the annual subscription.