How to make your phone Sales “Stickier” comes down to telesales agents taking the time to share more of themselves with the client.
If you are new to selling on the phone, there is a trick to replicating the relationship that forms when you are face to face. You might just hang up and think, “Wow, that was easy!” and move on to your next client. That would be a mistake. Clients who are trusting enough to buy from a “stranger” sight unseen over the phone, are just as likely to call another agent after they see a more persuasive TV commercial or get a new lead card in the mail. Easy come, easy go. Phone sales are not very “sticky” if you don’t work to build a relationship with them. Do you have a retention plan in place? This is the fall of many call centers and can be the thorn in your side too, if you don’t start selling on the phone in a way that allows the client to get to know you. Think what happens when you are across from the kitchen table with a client. They see you and form an opinion about you. You make small talk and they learn about your family, your hobbies, your unique interest and hopefully, you find something in common to bond over. You won’t hear this from a phone sale, “Oh, you look just like my niece” because the can’t see you. But it is possible for your client to see what you look like, and it is important.
You don’t think your looks matter and I’m not talking about being attractive (let’s face it, that almost never hurts though) but it does.
Ok, there is the rare person who is so unphotogenic that sending a photo is actually a negative. 90% of people are not excited to share their photo because they look average—average is good! Most people are average and while we love to look at movie star good looks, they are rare. Sometimes people have a negative bias against people they perceive to be too good looking, so if you are average that is perfect! I’m talking about that imprinting that naturally happens when we meet people. No one buys from an agent they don’t like and it’s easier to like someone you feel like you know. It is much more challenging to get to know your clients over the phone. I’ve trained our agents to listen to the back-ground sounds and pick up on the puppies barking, the grand kids playing on the spouse signing.
It can be very efficient to sell over the phone but a complete waste of your time if your sales don’t translate into long term clients.
It’s easy to make meaningful small talk when you really do care about your clients and love your job. It’s more fun to get to know your clients and to let them know who you are. Don’t assume they don’t care–because they do.
Technology is your friend—and has made phone sales possible in a way they weren’t just a few years ago
Use tech to build a relationship. Send photos. Not just of you in professional attire, but in your running suit, playing tennis with your son or frisbee with your dog. Clients like to see you as a person, not just someone trying to profit off of them. At Gordon Marketing, we have filmed hundreds of short video clips that agents send to their clients so the client can get a feel for the agent and build a more lasting rapport.
My own client videos result in calls every day from people all around the nation who see the videos and like the way they make them feel. Sure, I take a little rubbing from my colleagues about the quirky nature of my videos, but they resonate with the public and agents. I come across as a person, not just another talking suit. I’m not saying you have to do yoga or dress in a German folklore costume like I have; but convey who YOU are in your postcards, newsletters, videos and emails. Don’t be afraid to let the veil down and show your family (see below photo of us in Michigan), pets and hobbies and you’ll see that your clients are more likely to remember you and are more loyal to you once they get to know you.
Skiing with Rebecca and her 4 kids and 2 of mine
Technology makes it all possible, all you have to do is take the time to draft a retention plan something like this:
- Day of first contact, send a video link and short resume with a personal photo.
- 10 days after sale call and see if they have any questions, send another photo with a caption
- 30 days after policy goes in force, call and ask if they have any questions ask them to forward your video to a few friends who might need your services
- 6 months send a newsletter with pertinent info and a blurb on your summer plans and a family photo
- 11 months call to set up an annual review appointment and send a birthday card personalize with you blowing out candles or you opening gifts on your birthday!
I remember when I bought my first house, I received lots of solicitations from realtors. Most looked the same. Some lady or man in a suit, smiling in front of a house. Bla. But one creative broker sent me a family photo with their golden retriever. He stood out. Isn’t that what we are all trying to do? Faces are more engaging, although most agents are very proud of their offices and they might feel that a fancy office is more impressive to a prospect.
Plus, most agents are not comfortable sending their photos because they are not as attractive as they used to be/want to be. Forget about that. Be proud of who you are and share your interests. People are more likely to retain you and turn away solicitations from other agents, when they feel like they know you. But beware of bragging. As proud as you are of your Porsche, most people are going to be turned off with a photo of you and your luxury automobile. I think back to my first house purchase an the mortgage broker showed up to my house in a $90,000 car. It was an instant turn off. We want to work with successful professionals,–but not TOO professional. Or better said, no one wants to see displays of conspicuous wealth. If you want to brag, brag about your pets, that’s always safe.