5 Ways to Handle Phone Anxiety in Real Estate
Cold calling. Prospecting. The mere mention can trigger sweaty palms for new agents (and even the most seasoned sales vets).
We know where the anxiety comes from in cold calling: fear of rejection and lack of preparation to handle a situation “live.” Also, for those introverts in real estate, this part of the job can be particularly taxing. So how can you help yourself overcome these jitters and grab that phone with enthusiasm? Here are 5 ways to get you started.
1. Get Out of Your Own Head
First of all, realize that it’s perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable making a cold call, so don’t try to suppress or ignore that feeling. Instead, consider that the worst thing that could happen is you’ll get hung up on, or someone will tell you they’re not interested in talking. Sure, that’s not going to make your day, but it’s ultimately not that big of a deal.
Addressing these feelings instead of simply brushing them off will give you the power to conquer your anxiety about cold calling and start with a more relaxed approach. Don’t take it personally, just realize that your services aren’t right for that person right now. Simple as that.
2. Dedicate Time to Prospecting
You know that tendency to push the things you don’t want to do to the very bottom of your priority list? Yeah, we all do that. And then we’re less likely to ever get it done. (There’s a name for that, it’s called the Law of Diminishing Return.) Set some realistic goals for yourself for calling your prospect list, and create a time block each day to make sure it gets done. Carving out some specific time and making multiple calls in a row helps you get into a rhythm and gain some momentum.
During these time blocks, turn off your email and sign out of social media. Make this 100% about making your calls and staying on task.
Hint: It’s great to make these calls first thing in the morning
3. Do Your Homework
It may be a cold call, but it doesn’t have to be a blind call. Prepare yourself before calling and try to learn about your prospects.
- Determine different personas in your target audience and have a solid understanding of what their needs are so you can deliver the most value when you get someone on the phone.
- Drill down to the individual level. Research what a certain prospect has purchased in the past, what they’re looking for based on their searches on your site, and what their priorities are.
- Leverage social media profiles to look for common connections you might be able to mention like a shared alma mater, or a sports team you both support. Do you have friends in common? Mentioning a reference or name dropping a mutual connection can go a long way and help build rapport.
When you take the time to develop a solid understanding of your prospective clients and you have the right information at your fingertips it will help you stay confident and convincing on the phone and feel mentally prepared before the conversation.
4. Craft the Right Scripts
You might have mixed feelings about a “canned pitch” for your phone calls, but having a solid script at-the-ready helps you remember what you need to accomplish on your call, and can boost your confidence. Create scripts for different scenarios you might encounter during a call, and create some voicemail scripts too. (We’ve all had those moments where we’re rambling and stumbling over words as they’re being recorded. The horror.)
Keep your scripts as general outlines. If you write them out word-for-word, you might be tempted to read it if you get nervous and you’ll sound robotic.
Get to the point and grab their attention from the beginning. If you don’t get them interested at the start, they’ll tune you out after a few seconds, so make sure you have a good opener.
Make it about them! Ask the prospect about themselves, and then keep it personal by customizing your approach accordingly.
It’s also helpful to create a resource for objection handling. Brainstorm the most common objections or “push-offs” you may receive, and then generate some responses you can lean on when you’re “live” to combat them.
After you’ve developed a few scripts, practice them until you sound natural reading them and take every opportunity to role-play with your colleagues.
5. Track Your Progress (and Make it a Game!)
Set some SMART goals for your prospecting efforts, and track your progress each day. Engage in a little friendly competition with coworkers or just some self-competition to push yourself harder. It might start to feel more like a game and you can remove yourself from taking rejection personally and becoming discouraged.
The best way to boost your conversions from calls is to keep doing it, and there’s no better way to start than to tackle your fears head on and pick up that phone.
Prospecting can be daunting, but it’s worth it. Knowing who to contact and when can be easy with the right system.