Last month in part one of this series, we discussed the importance of identifying call reluctance within your team and the fact that every salesperson has some form of call reluctance that can hurt their income—or even worse, cause failure in sales and business. Don’t think some of your team members are immune just because they are experienced in sales. Experience causes prejudices as they experience failures, and reluctance can actually get worse as careers progress. For example, if they had a bad experience with a relative? Then don’t call on family!
Now, we must address the all-important question: What can you do about call reluctance?
Step one is admission
They cannot correct something unless they admit there is something wrong. As in the famous training program at Alcohol Anonymous, the first step is to admit that they are an alcoholic. Without this admission, you cannot go any further. This is where coaching comes in—to get at the root of the problem and come to a consensus as to what needs to be improved.
Step two is to change the mindset of sales
We are beset by prejudices as we get older. Even if they are a salesperson they may be influenced by the “classic” picture of a used car salesman twisting someone’s arm. But what is sales? It is really helping fill someone’s needs. It is not pushing them to do something they don’t want to do. It is all about helping. You need to remove the “classic” picture from their mind.
Step three is to change the way they think about what they sell
In the real estate industry today, there may be a dark clouds overhead … for example, challenges in getting qualified with tighter lending standards. However, that cannot stop them from being 110 percent behind the concept of homeownership. If they are not positively charged, then you will have trouble selling.
Step four is to change their view
What you need to do is open their eyes wider and see the bigger picture. They may be looking for a deal/paycheck today, but what about the people they can help who may not pan out for months or even years? Are they willing to help them too? The more people they help, the more referrals they will get and the less they will have to ask. Again, as a leader, you need to get your team to look at the bigger picture.
Step five is to change the way they think about the call
Going back to the “classic” definition, many of us see a call as a way to ask for business. We see the call as intrusive and perhaps even badgering. However, as they open your eyes wider, they will see many other objectives to the call which are not as intrusive. How about an introduction to a financial planner or other potential referral source? Their contacts will not say no to that. And if they are interested in purchasing, they will let you know that as well. They just keep the door open during the conversation. There will be a second benefit to this “introduction” objective. The next call will be a warm call instead of a cold call. And warm calls are much easier to make than cold calls.
Step six is to change what they do
Pure logic here … you want to change their results, you have to first change their actions. That means, among other things, you need to help them …
►Get rid of enablers. The ones who enable them not to call. Perhaps they give them administrative tasks or empathize with them.
►Get rid of lower priority tasks. There is no more important objective than increasing business. Make a list of things they do which are not related and can be eliminated or at least diminished.
►Help them delegate where they can. Assistant or no assistant, there are always some who should be doing the tasks they are now doing.
►Measure the results. If their goal was to make a particular amount of calls per day, how many did they make? If they did not meet your goals, what do they need to adjust their time management to make that happen?
Step seven is to set goals
Make sure these goals are specific and reasonable. Try to have them reach their goals one at a time, taking just one step at a time. If their goal is to make 100 calls this month—then that is simply four to five calls per day. Make sure they prioritize as well as some calls are more important than others. Don’t make the easy ones first—make the important ones first.
Step eight is to buddy up
Make sure they find a buddy who will help them keep going towards their goals on a day-to-day basis. If you have more than one salesperson who has call reluctance, this may be a perfect buddy partnership. One call a day to a buddy can make all the difference (and vice-versa). And make it fun. Make sure they reward themselves when either of the buddies does something well!
Step nine is to add more value to the lives of their targets
The more value they add, the more emboldened they will be to ask. It is easy when you invoke the law of reciprocity. Many of us are bashful because we don’t feel deserving. The more value we deliver, the bolder we will become. How can you help them either add value-added tools or develop them as part of their marketing plan?
Dave Hershman is a top author in the mortgage industry with seven books published, including The Complete Mortgage Management Kit. Dave is also director of branch support for McLean Mortgage. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]
or visit OriginationPro.com.