How to do a follow up call from a Dead List

paramantra crm can identify which leads you should follow up with

Dead List to Un-dead List: Plan for reviving lost deals.

Re-engaging old leads which some might want to call “dead leads” too, is a great way to re-generate the lead pipeline. Uncertain scenarios that develop en route to a sales closure makes the sales process challenging, sometimes even to the most experienced sales leaders. Dead leads are most of the times results of unpredictable outcomes during a sales interaction,where further action cannot be taken on a lead at least temporarily and it has to be “shelved”.

While companies spend a lot of time and money generating new leads and contacts, follow up on old contacts (‘Dead Leads”) is a cost effective way of recycling the existing lead pipeline any day. If you would like to see some good results on your lead “regeneration ” process it’s time to follow up! There are several reasons why some of your leads become part of this inactive/dead list, here are some examples:

1) Prospect who became uninterested in your offering after initial interactions.
2) Interested contacts but situations changed for them, so the sale did not happen then. Does not mean it can not happen now-so one could get back to such leads.
3) Interested contact but just went cold. Meaning they were interested but stopped responding all together after some time.

In our experience,we have seen around 9 – 10% revival rate of dead leads if they are not beyond 2-3 years old. Some careful handling of the leads while reconnecting efforts are made are important to get positive responses. Converting an old lead into a sale is not a simple task, but here are a few tips for your sales team to start with when reviving old leads and the lead recycling process. There are several ways to run a campaign on these contacts: using an Inside sales or sales team, sending targeted emails, mailers or text messages. If your product value is high-typical in case of real estate and B2B product/service offerings, I would recommend a three pronged approach-email, text/SMS(if you can) and most importantly a direct call from Inside sales. While building this communication plan, ensure that there is a generous dose of empathy and the entire message comes across as non-salesy. Let me give you an example- Assume you are talking to a prospect who has been classified as not Interested -Budget and that you are in the real estate sales profession. For such a scenario, my opening lines would be as follows:

Saiyed : Hello Mr. X, You may have forgotten, but you have interacted with us last year in the month of June. My name is Saiyed and I am calling from ABC constructions.

Mr X: Yes I faintly remember

Saiyed: Well, Sir, I will keep it short as I have called you without a schedule. You have probably already found a good apartment to purchase? You will not be interested in purchasing any more real estate would you?

Mr. X: Actually, Yes I may be interested/ No I am not interested.

If it is a yes- then you know what to do, talk about how his needs may have changed in an year and schedule a meeting. If he says not Interested, ask if the prospect wants to be contacted again, ever. In either case be cordial and genuine. In general, here is a quick list of approaches and best practices that you can follow:

1) Recheck the current designations of the contact person on portals like linked-in before making an effort to reconnect. Use this information in your discussion or emails
2) An email explaining the “past interaction” to refresh their memories followed by a phone call will help leads have some context before you call them.
3) When on a call with the prospect describe clearly when you had spoken previously and the reasons that led to the “hold” on communication.
4) If the lead has a clear memory of the previous connection, take the opportunity to tell them of developments and “whats new” in your organization.
5) Inquire how things have been with their business or work, since the last call. How have his needs changed, if at all.
6) It will be helpful to have your “activity notes” handy and mention of things they mentioned or referred to during their previous call.
7) Request for  “referral” .Money grows on trees. Referral trees.

More and more marketing teams are embracing re-connect campaigns as a standard practice. First task for marketing is to identify “dead leads” once every six months and second step is to start the recycling process. Businesses cannot afford to waste leads calling them “non workable”, so please start including reconnect campaigns in your marketing and sales plans. The mathematics behind this approach is very clear. In most businesses lost deals can be classified to a great extent in various causes. eg Lost to competition, Budget Mismatch, Timing-Postponed, Needs Mismatch, On Hold, Cold-No response, Unknown reasons, Others etc. As a marketer, if your closure ratio is 5% of all leads (Just an Example guys!) then there are at least 2 or 3 groups of lost deals you should be going back to. Time is the biggest healer- who knows, those who postponed their decisions, did not have budgets back then, or were lost with unknown reasons -Should’nt this 5% success ratio be applied to a few of these dead or cold leads? To extrapolate this- Assume you get 500 leads a month, your win rate is 5% and Lost/Not Interested rate is 10% (assuming in this case, that ABC co. closes one for every two deals in NI/Lost status). By the end of the year, you should have :

1: 6000 Leads

2: 300 Closed Deals

3: 600 in not Interested or Dead List.

4: Again Assume you have a meaningful discussion with 300 of these 600 in the dead list, which were not lost to competition or needs mismatch.

5: You would 5% of 300, ie 15 More closures. Now just to bring this to a real life road test- what if your company has 6000 Leads in not Interested/Dead List? And you have greater than 5% closure rate, which is not very unusual-And you have flexibility of pricing that was unavailable in the past. What would those results look like?

With the right focus, tools and structured processes, working on old leads could unlock tremendous growth potential. This is something Paramantra CRM does automatically. It can identify which leads you should be following up with-sometimes the prospect forgets the sales rep and some times sales reps forget the prospect. In this day and age of hyper activity everyone’s life is on overdrive. So forgetting, or change of priorities is sometimes intentional and sometime unintentional. Paramantra keeps track of every single lead even if they are dead to uncover and present sales opportunities that you may have otherwise missed.

Virtual Number vs Call Tracking

virtual number alternative-call tracking solution free from paramantra

Description of Call tracking Solution

You would already know that there is nothing virtual, or real in the business of virtual numbers-here is a detailed article on this topic. Now, if virtual numbers can harm you, how to track calls? Well the answer is using a call tracking solution-and hopefully you will pick call tracking solution from Paramantra, which is free and truly enterprise grade. A disclaimer here, call tracking solution is a part (a very important part)of our sales management and service management solution. Over the last 10 years of our existence, we have seen several companies promoting virtual numbers as a tracking solution, and charging for it. Some of them are venture capital backed, while others are lead generation companies and real estate developer owned companies looking for customer data-either way, they have been unfair and under-priced. In these 10 years, having served Fortune 500, large and medium sized customers, we have decided to invest back in the Indian economy. So Call tracking which is part of our sales/service management suite of products, is being offered to any one interested for free.

That said, lets take a look what features A call tracking solution must have and what is Paramantra offering for free:

1: Professional Greeting: Announcement of your company name eg. Welcome to ABC co. your call is important to us…..etc. You may already have one recorded, but if you do not have one, our dedicated media team in the US will be happy to write, voice over, record make one for you, as a complimentary service.

2: IVR-Press 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for something else: You may skip this step if your business does not need it. However it sometimes helps to distribute and register calls based on the choices a caller makes. So if you need an IVR functionality, Upon signup, or any time thereafter you can either set up your IVR yourself, or ask our support team to set this up for you.

3: Music On Hold: While the system is searching for an available or appropriate (See #4) representative, this is the music your callers hear. If your organization does not have a corporate music on hold, our media lab will be happy to custom create one for you- you can chose from various music genres, like Jazz/Blues, Hip Hop, Upbeat, Rock themed, electronic etc. This will be custom created for your organization in the US as a complimentary service.

4: Text/SMS Alert Post Call: There are several scenarios both during and after, a successful or unsuccessful call that an SMS needs to be sent. These messages will be sent by your companies sender ID, so your customers can differentiate and know that the SMS came from your company. You can configure the system in many different ways to send this messages(unlimited, of course) and write whatever content you may need to send. If you are short on time, you may use from amongst the many professionally written messages that Paramantra can provide.

5: Roles and Rules: If you are planning to track calls then of course, there are several scenarios and rules that you may need to put in place. For example what to do if a customer calls for the second time? What if the call is after working hours, What if the representative does not answer -these choices are innumerous. Paramantra has every aspect covered, you may choose any kind of rules or logic about the rights a representative has -to the call experience you want to give to your clients.

6: Toll Free, EPABX, Landline, Mobile Number: You can display anything, we will support you with anything or all of these. Plus since these are your own official assets- eg your existing landline is on your own name and provided by Tata/Airtel so there is no need to worry about vendor Lock in. Come and go as you please. Also the set up in most cases is at a click of a button-meaning it takes lesser time to set that up for you than it took to write these lines.

7: Tracking a PRI/Fancy Land Line number: A PRI line has 30 channels and can be used by 100 people simultaneously, if you have one or want one then these services are provided by popular telecom companies. Paramantra will be happy to set your own private telephony exchange in your office premises. Not a lot of customers know but this solution is actually amongst the best ways to set up a call tracking solution. The IT requirements are easily attainable if you have a proper company and office set up. Cost wise too-if you have ever used a PRI line in the office, then of course you can afford another one since the monthly bill includes free calls to that invoice value. Some need it, some do not. For those who need it, we will set you up for free.

8: Reports and Dash Boards: When we were founded in 2008, our first few project assignments to build technology and reporting frameworks for Fortune 500 clients. That has helped build strong foundation of data analytics, big data, reporting etc. There is no restriction or limitation on the kind of reports that you can pull up in this solution. It is endless really, but again if you are short on time, you can use reports that we have curated and recommended based on popularity and usage.

9: Mobile App: You can find the mobile app that works both online and offline. This is available on all three platforms- Windows, I OS, Android. Just go to any of the stores and search with the term Paramantra. Keep Notifications on

10: Pre configured APIs: Just by entering your login credentials you can access, in real time all your leads from portals like Quikr, common floor, 99 acres, roof and floor, Magic bricks, Housing.com, Indiamart, Just dial and several others. What this helps in is making sure leads from all sources and channels are easily created and distributed after being de duplicated centrally.

11: Tracking Calls from different Sources: With so many new ways of marketing, trying each approach should not be difficult. The trick is to monitor results in each of these new approaches. If you want to track which marketing effort is giving you most customer call backs, there is only one way to do it, without manual intervention. Display different numbers in different places. With Paramantra’s free call tracking solution you can easily do that. Of course it is dependant on how many of these we have left, so while we feel unlike ourselves to say this but Hurry and get yours for free now. Some Virtual number companies charge 30,000-1,00,000/yr for 2 numbers, with Paramantra though, you can even get 200 such numbers to display. Even in our paid product subscription, our pricing in not dependent on how many numbers you need for displaying.

12: Call Recording/ VoiceMail: You may need to record calls for quality monitoring purposes. This is also included in the call tracking solution that we provide. You may also configure your system in such a manner that the feature is enabled for all or enabled for select team members only. Other advanced options include selecting to give your team members the ability to download or delete these voice recordings. There are no restriction to storage of these sound files. We have had customers who have stored their voice data with us for 10 years at no incremental price.

13: Unlimited Minutes: Virtual number solutions that are available in the market today give only up to 1000 minutes of talk time. Even if you customer calls you and you are unable to answer, it is counted as usage minutes. Paramantra does not make margins on calls, therefore in our free call tracking service you can talk for as long as you need to. There is no call duration monitoring.

14: Click 2 Call: Free click to call- You can use our open APIs to implement click to call on any of your landing pages, email campaigns or your website. Again this is a complimentary service and we charge nothing for this service. A click to call service is the modern day alternative to a toll free. It allows the user to start a call just by by clicking on the computer monitor. In using the click to call service you will also be able to ensure that the customer need not read the number on the screen, then type it on the phone-no manual intervention, no error call connects each time.

15: Website and Landing Pages: This particular feature is not really a call tracking service. Since some of your customers may choose to write to you instead of calling, it would make sense to track all those inquiries in one central place. After all it is probably the same sales team which will follow up with these inquiries too. The last thing you want is multiple systems to manage customer engagement. With the call tracking solution you also get to Use our APIs that can make integration to website and/or your landing page very convenient.

The features and functionalities mentioned above are complimentary and will give you the opportunity to build and automate good processes and practices in your customer facing teams. When you are ready for a full fledged sales management software, you can get access to industries best modules, more advanced features and provisions by subscribing to the paid version. Paid version of the product is very affordable, it is built on customer feedback in India for over 10 years. For an overview you can watch a video of our real estate CRM software for India by clicking here.

Paramantra Enterprise Real Estate CRM Solution for India

paramantra crm features from acg on Vimeo.

Transcript of the Video:
Hello and Welcome to Paramantra’s video, made exclusively for senior real estate professionals in India. Have you ever felt like the sales and marketing teams should deliver more? That there is some secret, some truth- somewhere, which is holding the team back from selling more? Let me ask you a question. While reviewing sales and marketing performance what are some of the questions that you need answers to?
In my meetings with people in roles such as yourself, I get told that amongst others, some of these questions are:
1: How Many leads can we really use to convert to site visit?
2 : Amongst those who visit, who will buy?
3: Which lead did we forget to follow up with?
Those are simple questions, yet if answered correctly and on time, can decide the fate of a real estate project. Of course, the biggest challenge in answering these questions, lies in getting team members to find and fill information, both correctly and regularly. This is what we do at Paramantra. We help find answers to these questions, without forcing your teams to provide information manually. Since 2008 Paramantra has worked with Fortune 500 Brands as well as startups. Not only have we earned the trust of private sector corporations, but also been awarded by the Honourable Government of India. With over 2500 users in real estate alone our success is based on the way we make selling real estate easy in India:
1: Firstly, We are directly connected to all property portals, 99 acres, MagicBricks, Housing.com, Sulekha, and many, many more.
2: We are also pre-integrated with Google AdWords, FaceBook ,Twitter and Online Chats like liveSurv. All your landing pages and websites are also integrated centrally.
3: Thirdly, your Land Lines, Advertized numbers, Mobile Numbers, Hosted PBX or IVR system, Toll Free, SMS and email systems are all seamlessly connected with our award winning solution.

With Paramantra you get a direct, real time, de-duplicated access to interested customers and an automatically updated view of work done on emails, calls, SMS and sales statuses. On top of this, using deep machine learning, Paramantra guides your team to focus on important leads- so they never miss an opportunity to sell!  So Imagine—no manual reporting, getting more site-visits, ensuring 100% site visit follow ups, and having the ability to see how much revenue will be generated. And All this, without the hassle of asking your team members to fill reports. Would you like to learn how Paramantra users are always ahead of the competition? The solution to better sales is a call away- Contact us today, we look forward to getting introduced to you.

Using Virtual Number? It’s Bad for You-Try this instead

real estate crm, real estate call tracking free, virtual number is actually a myth and a lie, misconceptions about virtual number, affordable virtual number

Virtual Numbers- Not Ok. Tracking calls- Is Ok. Free Alternative for You.

What is a Virtual Number: By using the term Virtual Number(VN), I am referring to cloud based telephony offering that are prevalent in the market. Yes, the popular names and “affordable” pricing. I am not disputing that you should track incoming calls-That you should. However, as you know, THE DEVIL IS IN DETAILS. The detail I am providing will help you understand what to be careful about and what to focus before signing up for a VN. Here goes some marketing-if you need a virtual number, to track calls, as part of special promotion, we are giving away 1000 Call tracking systems for free. You can get as many as you want at no Cost and in several cases- FOREVER.

But, my guess is you like research, reasons, scientific facts and proof before you would bother thinking about the problem of using VN. So here it goes:

  1. Who owns that Number forever? If you are a serious marketer you will want the number to be with you regardless of whether a campaign is running or not. It is part of your brand identity. If you stop a campaign and stop paying for the VN, the service provider will give this number to someone else-even your competitor. It could also be that you have taken a virtual number that belonged to someone else. If you like second hand-go for it. For a SIM card, if I am a respectable business, I would go for new SIM card -not second hand.  Now you may Ask—Wait SIM CARD????????? Is this not a Virtual Number? WHICH SIM CARD ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  Please read the 2nd Point
  2. Virtual Number: Is not Virtual. It is a SIM Card. Want me to state that again. Oh, Sorry, here goes the reason. So-does this VN, look like a cell number? Think again, it hsd 10 digits. Now Ask yourself, who is allowed to issue phone numbers? Of course only Telecom Operators duly authorized by the Government Agencies. In India the licenses are with companies like Tata, Airtel, Reliance, Jio, Vodafone, BSNL etc. You also know that each player has its own number series. Now look at the virtual numbers that have been provided to you for choosing. Do they look like Tata, Reliance Airtel etc?  You know why they look like that? Well, because they are. Meaning these numbers are clearly provided by TATA/Airtel/Vodafone. So if there is a number, then there has to be the possibility of assigning a SIM card-Right?? Basically-if your vendor says the sim card is in Cloud, you can not have it, it is a service, all of that is just Misinformation or BS. The truth is you can have the SIM card in your phone and still use it as a Virtual Number. So tomorrow, you can re-use it by paying the minimum rental to TATA/AIRTEL or the provider. Not only can you have that SIM card, you can also have the SIM card in your or your businesses name. Then why would you not buy the best number for your business DIRECTLY from Airtel/TATA/Vodafone in your Name? Gives you ownership, control (what if  a customer sends SMS or Whatsapp on that number?) and you can change tracking/IVR solution provider whenever you want.
  3. How many VNs do you need: Well it is very simple, you need one VN for every source of leads. If you do not track every source, how will you really understand what is working for you and where you should invest more?? By having a bunch of these numbers, you will truly be able to decide on marketing related expenses. Since the SIM card belongs to you and they are really inexpensive, you can have as many numbers as you want. Well at least that is the logic we follow at Paramantra- it sounded very fair to us. You take as many numbers as you need and we will track at no cost. Of course in today’s world why would you need to pay some one for tracking and managing your own business calls? It is free forever,  so please fill the form and we can save you thousands every month in call tracking expenditures.
  4. Do you want another real estate company to provide you call tracking service: I hope NOT!  Ok so this is really big. There is a company, that gives call tracking solutions. The prices are unbelievably low and their customer list is large enough due to the prices. Sorry to Break it to you- that companies’ owner has a real estate company too. You may be un-knowingly sending your customers to them. Another big factor, what if your virtual number provider is also a marketing agency that sells leads to all real estate companies? Or worst– what if a big real estate company has funded the software that you are using??? Of course, your data and your business is AT BIG RISK. Do not believe us? Would you believe if we showed you Government Records Right Now??? contact us and we will show you the information right now.
  5. What about Landline, PRI, Toll Free? If you would like to advertize your landline number, PRI(30 Channel/100 extension) or a Toll Free number you can very easily do that. You will notice that most VN suppliers will come up with reasons for you to not do that, or will want more money. The basic theory remains the same- These numbers are provided by service providers like TATA, Airtel, BSNL etc. and there really is no point having someone else take these numbers on your behalf, losing control and paying money. There is a perfectly normal option available, you can take these numbers directly in your name and Paramantra can track/manage them for you, forever and for free. And please do not worry about hardware, if the virtual number provider says, why do you want Hardware-put it in Cloud? Then Just say-I want complete control and peace of mind. By the way, you only need Hardware if you are using a PRI phone line. If you are using a PRI line, then of course you have a decent sized team, which means you are not a startup. Regardless-the Hardware comes free with Paramantra CRM, along with complimentary tech support.
  6. Features, Benefits, Price, Problem to Solve: Well like we said, the regular Virtual Number solutions that are currently in market, actually do not do much, other than track calls and hosted IVR. You can actually get the same features, in a safe environment, that too at no Cost. Now the problem that you really want to solve, is tracking and maximizing sales. Making sure there is no theft of opportunity, making sure every lead has been followed up with, making sure the pricing is correct, making sure there is some science or process behind Revenue targets, ensuring Channel partners are comfortable. You get the drift right? Sales gets money- so build a culture of sales, get a good team, give a good process and please do not feed a competitor.

 

Channel Partners-Serve them Right

real estate channel partner near me

Is your Channel Partner Strategy Old? Modernize Processes and Systems and get Immediate results.

If you are promoting real estate projects, one of the best ways to drive sales is to have a strong Channel Partner strategy. With the right tools and policies, you can establish your self as a trustworthy, long term partner who is committed to the success of your Channel Partners. Gone are the days when giving strong incentives and commissions was the only way to attract channel managed sales. These days, channel partners are tech savvy, strong marketers themselves and have gained a lot of trust from the end users. Today the customer knows that a channel partner can give better options, more options, deeper discounts and relatively unbiased consulting as compared to the sales reps of the Builder. Believe it or not, but it is the channel partners rep that can gain more trust with a real estate buyer than a builder’s sales rep. And Channel Partners today want to be practical- they need transparency, priority and a clear communication line with the Builder, to keep coming back and referring more and more business. If closing one deal is hard for them, then however profitable it may be, they will  still not want to invest their time, energy and effort. But if they see that they are getting the support, clarity and confidence in product where they can do more volume of business, they will keep coming back to the builder. Who does not like an Easy Deal??

What can you do to make it easy and fair for everyone involved, Builder and Channel Partner? Of course, it all begins with building the strategy as well as process frame work. Here are some basic things that you must have in place to support your channel Partners:

1: Quick On-boarding : I am surprised that some builders do not have automatic sign-up for a Channel Partner on their website. All you need to do is let them sign-up automatically online , and if you really need to: Then do a meeting before making them authorized channel partners. This will save everybody a lot of time and ensure that everyone who wants to be your partner has an equal opportunity, a clear and quick way to do so. By continuing with manual processes of registering channel partners, you are only making your organization look slow and unprepared to support. Also, just a simple sign up form is not enough! Read Further-

2: Availability, Offers and Product Knowledge: Are you still manually sending availability updates, new brochures, pricing changes, commission structures and project description? Well, you should not do anything manually, that’s why we have technology -Use the online login as a forum for you to nurture the relationship with your partner. If your partner has access to the latest information on their personalized login(after sign-up) it will make the daily communication very smooth. Not only should the channel partner have a login, but every employee of the channel partner should have direct login to the basic sales related information. This platform should also address any doubts or queries that the partners may have. Is that enough-Well not really, here’s more:

3: System Based Support: Your partner management system must allow the channel partner to check availability, know pricing and generate quotations on the fly. Remember you have already authorized your partner-now go ahead and give them the tools to succeed. This quotation will not only be co-branded with the partner and make them look good in the buyers mind but will also give you the complete peace of mind that pricing flexibility or availability of the product is not abused by anyone. The level of discount or incentive that is available to the partner on each deal should be automatically managed and clearly shown to your partner. The same holds true for the commission that is due, approved or pending approval.

4: Registering Channel Partners’ Sales Inquiries: Another basic functionality that the partner management system should give, is the ability for the partner to register their leads/deals-automatically. Every deal that the partner registers should be automatically registered and tracked. If there are conflicts, e.g. my lead /your lead/ will pay /won’t pay-then it should be properly recorded in the system. Remember the channel partner only makes money when the deal closes. Paramantra’s Channel sales module makes it easy for each employee of your channel partner to register deals and track progress over the entire sales process. Your goal is to make every step of the process easier for them. Trust, not discounts gets deals done.

5: Updates & Automatic Alerts: The partner management platform should automatically alert if certain events have happened in the deal. Also if the Partner needs to know update on the deal status, that should be available at the click of a button. If you can share little, then share little-But please share often. There is nothing worse for a partner than keep running from pillar to post, trying to get updates. If you keep updating them proactively, you will build a solid foundation of trust and avoid unnecessary dissatisfaction and communication on non productive matters.

6. Automated Issue Resolution: Another very important aspect of managing daily operations with channel partners is conflict resolution. Some times two channel partners claim revenue for the same booking, sometimes a channel partners claims credit for a deal where an internal sales representative claims a direct deal, at other times the conflict begins even at the time of registering an inquiry. In all these examples and I am sure there are a great deal more, nothing works better than a system based approach. With Paramantra’s resolution centre, the channel partner manager or sales management teams can easily identify conflicts, investigate causes, make decisions and automatically communicate the entire process to the channel partner.

Paramantra CRM provides a very vast array of practical features that you can utilize to drive efficiency in your channel partner strategy. From onboarding Channel partners, to communicating with them, to compensating them, treating them like extension of your own sales team. Paramantra’s solution goes beyond the usual ordinary systems-Paramantra has features to help you with every single aspect of this very critical path to sales success. By using automated systems, you will be able to not only manage your partners better, but also attract and retain them as long term revenue contributors.

Call Script: Follow Up after First Email

Do you struggle with following up after initial email? Use this call script

Have you or your team mates wondered why things slow down after sending the first email? The prospects have are most interested when they speak with you for the first time. this interest is fuelled by their lack of knowledge or detail about the project. Once they speak and an email is shared, they get more information. Most of the time when you follow up with such a prospect, you are trying to get to the next step in the sales process and remind them of their interest in the project. Funnily enough, this is one of the hardest parts, getting a commitment to meet after the email has been sent. It’s hard because prospects do not mind saying I have not read the email or I have not received the email, when all they need to be saying is I do not want this- I am not interested. To top it all, the prospects do not like follow up calls, because it forces them to be accountable to the sales process. By using a differentiated approach, you will stand out from the archetypal sale rep image and start building accountability to fairness in the sales process.

RING Ring Ring:

Prospect: Hello

You:  Pause. (Pause/Umm) Is that Prospect Name?

Prospect: Yes it is. Who am I speaking with?

You: I will be briefI am not sure if you remember –we spoke on Jan 10th. My name is (Name) -You wanted to learn about our Project in “Location”. I will not be surprised if you have forgotten about it!

Theory: Say I am not sure, even if you are. It is called acting the exact opposite of a typical sales person. If you act opposite of an over enthusiastic sales rep, your prospect will also, as an effect, not act like a typical prospect. By the way, your CRM should tell you if the email was sent and read. In this part of the call, If you know it was read, there’s no need to tell the client. If you know it was unread, just do not say anything about it either, Just wait for the prospect to bring up whether or not they received, or read the email. The goal is to not sound too eager or enthusiastic. You are here to help the client choose a piece of real estate, reading/receiving emails are not the most important things in the deal to talk about. At this stage all you need is for the prospect to say, in their own words, that they remember you.

Prospect:  I remember, but have not received or read the email.

In which case, confirm email ID, and if that is correct, ask –

 You: “”What would you suggest we do alternatively, seems like my emails are not getting to your inbox.””

And wait for a response from the prospect. If you do not suggest or accept re sending the email with a brochure, you would save yourself from going one step back in the sales process. The ideal option is for the prospect to google and get to landing page while you are both still on the line. If the prospect does not come up with that step, try getting the prospect to think about it –

You: Would you like to review the project information on our landing page, it is easy to find that -do you have a computer in front of you? I can show you how to get there easily. 

OR, if it sounds like the prospect is outdoors/at home- How about I send you the link via a Text message? It has a lot of information about the project.

Once the prospect reaches the online landing page or your website, or says ok send me the text–Retreat and reschedule. Do not ask for an appointment or visit or discuss any details now. Just tell the prospect,

You: I will let you explore the information on your own for now, and connect with you in a day or so to see if you want to explore in greater detail. Does that sound ok?

Prospect:  Yes I remember. I got the email

If prospect remembers: 

You:It’s probably not the case here, but sometimes when I do not hear back after sending the brochure, one of two things have happened. Either my prospective client has gotten terribly busy, or they have found the project does not meet their needs. Just wanted to take a minute to learn from you which of the two cases has it been for you? Too busy or material too bad?

Theory: Do not think this will not work. Have you ever tried this? Probably not. So go ahead and try it. I will tell you why you should try this and it’s relevance. We’ve used a softening statement, “Probably not the case here” if you speak that line with the right tonality, you can set a platform to put forth your fears or concerns in the deal. If you discuss freely and encourage your prospects to be fair and transparent, you will have less roadblocks to sale. Know the biggest roadblock to any sales? The sales rep not knowing what her prospect needs/wants. Again, we use third person, meaning we say you are good, but some people I work with do not call me back because they get too busy or just did not like what was in the brochure. Finally we end this with a closed ended question Too busy or Too Bad- you can use different words here if you think the gods will be angry at you for questioning your prospects. When the prospect hears the question, too bad or too busy, they are subconsciously preparing an answer in the negative. If they say too bad, ask for more details. Use a simple line–Can you tell me more about why you feel this may not fit your needs? and if the prospect says

Prospect: I was too busy to revert/ talk

You: That’s not unusual, Not sure if you would be open to visiting the project site? Is it too soon in the process for you do that? 

Proceed to scheduling the site visit, but If the prospect asks more details try to answer as shortly as you can. You may also offer to send these longer responses on emails and say you would check back later to see if prospect is willing to explore later. Showing that you are willing to give space and control to your client, is essential to create a fair bi-lateral exchange of information. Now go ahead and modify this script to your needs and practice practice practice. It’s like location location location, you know, the only way?

 

 

 

 

 

The Changing Face of Real Estate Sales and Marketing Team

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Building a good sales engine is both a science and an art. Unfortunately, there are very few places where one can get information about this topic. Specifically in the real estate industry, there is lack of access to industry best practices about this topic. In our experience working with over 3000 sales and marketing professionals from the real estate industry, we have seen some great models. For this article though, let us focus on the different functions in the sales process – what it means in terms of work needed and how to distribute that work. Before beginning, we would also like to highlight that the “one-person-does-everything-in-sales-process” model is definitely obsolete. The reasons behind its obsolescence are several: the advent of better time management principles, increase in salary expectations of tenured sales professionals and logistical issues where travelling back and forth between corporate and site offices is no longer feasible, longer sales cycles, increased competition and so on. In recent times, a new framework of team structure has emerged that distributes the sales function across two or three groups. Here’s how the components look like:

1: Pre-Sales: AKA Inside Sales. AKA Business Development.

These teams are mostly tasked with registering all leads, qualifying them, providing first level of information and scheduling a site visit. You can search any job posting website to find that the real estate industry is recruiting heavily in this area. Modern marketing practices, when successful, produces leads more efficiently and in larger numbers and lower costs. These leads are at different stages of their purchase cycles – ranging from not really knowing how to define their own needs to someone price shopping for limited set of options from as many places to drive a better deal. Since this bears a huge toll on the sales system and requires constant communication, organizations today are building teams just to focus on attending to new leads, qualifying, classifying and sanitizing the sales funnel.

2: Sales: Duh!

Of course everyone knows that you need wheels to get going. So this role obviously will never go away – although, the demands from this role are changing dramatically. The sales function today has to deal with a very well informed customer. Of course, some of this on-line information is incomplete and causes delays and unwarranted friction in the sales process. Nevertheless, the prospect today likes to be informed, likes options and will compare till there is an analysis paralysis. To top it all, deals are getting complex by the day due to economic uncertainties, change in industry regulations and a general shift in weightage to brand names. Today the sales team is required to be as tech savvy and informed as the prospect in order to stay relevant. With an Inside Sales team in place, the sales team  gets the bandwidth to focus only on progressing and closing valid leads.

3: Marketing:

Like Sales, this function is  well established in the real estate industry. Gone are the days when the best sales reps became marketing managers. It is now well known and accepted across the industry that modern marketing is a specialized trade. And one that is seeing a digital revolution like never before. At this point, the marketing team’s number one KPI is online lead generation. A bit unfair in my personal opinion but it does seem to me that this result is expected from the marketing team more than brand building, media planning and creatives. The marketer’s being hired together boast of not only old world media credentials but also SEO, SEM, online advertising, advanced analytics and new forms of e-marketing that are coming up every few months.

4: Channel Partner Management/ Central Teams:

This is the new warm and fuzzy division in certain geographic parts. While managing channel partners was always an important function in the organization, today it has become more centralized and more isolated from direct sales. The channel management teams recruit, manage and drive sales only from channel partners. There are several good channel partners today that completely defy the stereotypical “broker” of yesteryear. With the channel partners going digital, corporate, technical, venture backed and tech savvy, there has been a new push to have specialists in the home building community to dedicate staff in growing and nurturing these alliances. If you would like to update yourself on latest best practices in managing channel partners, you may enjoy another article in our Blog, click here.

5: Management:

The management teams of today are also not devoid of action (read fire). At one hand, they are expected to prepare forecasts, drive channel strategies, plan marketing, and ensure every prospect has been followed up with. There is a report for each and every aspect of the sales and marketing process and the management is expected to keep a keen eye on what is leading and lagging KPI on a real time basis. With more and more professionals from other industries joining the real estate industry, the management principles are at par with industry peers. I am not shocked to see top listed, B School management graduates at medium sized real estate companies working their way from middle to upper management. And neither am I shocked to see management team members in their 60’s wax eloquent about their knowledge of IT backed systems or globally accepted management methodologies.

Everybody seems to have embraced the new change – the change that does not have shape or form – it is just defined by the constant flux. The future will see more clearly defined roles, deeper expertise will be needed from individuals and a much broader set of functions that would all need to be synchronized to make the machinery work.

Just 3 Sentences – Call Script to Convert Property Portal Leads to Site Visits

call script for better responses

In 3 sentences, get higher site visit conversions from Property Portal inquiries

There is no denying the alarming trend. A member of the sales team calls a prospect (from portals) and the prospect says no, or not interested in the first minute of the call. Reportedly, this is starting to happen quite often. When prospects are researching the internet, for a home, they are in a very complex state of mind. Property portals carry a lot of content, options, and viewpoints that are all inter-playing in the prospect’s mind. Add to this, some property portals forward “similar to criteria ” to criteria leads. While this may not exactly be what you were expecting, nevertheless this is not a completely disqualified lead. By the time your sales team calls back at an unscheduled time, the prospect either has forgotten, or is unwilling to commit to being sold to. Keeping these factors in mind, several parts of the marketing and sales strategy must be re-evaluated.

a: Which of these leads can we use?

b: How to build comfort and context when we first make a contact and initiate dialogue and (THIS ARTICLE)

c: Should we progress these leads differently?

Everything evolves, portals and their leads have evolved too and if you can keep up with that evolution, property portals are still every penny worth the budget. So what can we do to not lose a potential customer? Keeping some of these nuances in mind, we have come up with a call script example that is sure to help you achieve, at the minimum, two very important goals while dealing with property portal leads – reduce the number of customers saying “No, I am not interested” in 10 seconds of the call and setting the stage for exchanging (bi-directional) sales information.

If you are continuing to advertise on the portal, here’s a call script that I recommend.  This script/structure focuses on building comfort and context in the initial parts of customer engagement. The problem lies partly in the lack of empathy on the sales team’s approach. If you call everyone and say the same things, will you achieve site visits? Absolutely not. This call script focuses on consultative selling and tries to lower the defense wall that a prospect hides behind when dealing with professional sales rep. By conducting business responsibly, confidently and honestly, you can dispel the generally prevalent misconceptions about the sales function and it’s practitioners – starting with yourself. In turn, you will gain the trust needed for sharing information and the transparency required for seller (you) and buyers (them) to understand if there is a match.

Remember – Practice makes Perfect, so please write a script/structure for your own and practice-practice-practice. And for the love of God, please do not print this and start reading from your next call. ON YOUR CALL, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT’S WRITTEN IN ITALICS OR UPPER CASE OR IN BRACKETS TO A PROSPECT – THOSE ARE FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND (Instructions) AND THINK ABOUT (Thoughts/Suggestions). For the academically inclined, a more detailed structure is also available in this blog.

3 sentences with explanations, that will help you get better results in the first 10-30 seconds of your call – Property Portal Inquiries.

Ring-Ring-Ring

Prospect: Hello

You: (pause.slow down.easy tiger) Good morning/Afternoon, Am I speaking with “Prospect Name”?

Theory: It is the first call, first 5 seconds. Your goal is to not sound like an aggressive tele-caller, who just wants to fill a form classifying a customer as interested/not interested. You are here to represent your firm and as their brand ambassador, the onus of a good first impression lies with you. The initial pause, is to tell yourself and the prospect, without using words that you are prepared to set an easy pace for the communication. If this is the first time you are talking and you are sure of the prospect name, you should still say, Am I speaking with….. and before you say the name, confirm that you are saying it correctly and to the best of your ability.

Prospect: Yes/ Yes+Who is this/ Why are you calling

You: Prospect Name, You and I have never spoken to each other or met – But I need a minute to tell you why I am calling. Is this a bad time to talk for a minute?

Theory: It may strike your prospect as odd, because till date most sales call she gets are from over confident and over enthusiastic sales people who are eager to impress. However, your call was different, you  paused when the prospect said Hello, and took the time to start a conversation at a pace that is slower than aggressive sales folks. You also continued to establish some time by using unusual phrases like “we don’t know each other”.  A very natural reaction to situations where there are too many unknowns is that people sometimes use aggression, low baritone voices, higher than usual pitch, pretend to be very busy etc. they will portray through their words and tonality an image that helps them gain control over this new “unknown territory”. Sometimes, they might also mistake this for a call that brings in unexpected news or information, so be prepared to half ignore and keep working on your process. In the next few seconds after all, they will learn what this call is about and be comfortable in this new unknown territory. Using phrase like “we’ve never spoken or met” is a powerful way to prepare the listeners ears and differentiate. Similarly, when was the last time you asked a customer is this a good time to talk and the customer/prospect said Yes! I have been waiting to hear from you!! Of course never. If you really go slow and/or stress on the words”bad time” you will very successfully register as a call that sounded different from millions of  sales calls made everyday.

Prospect: Ok, What is this in regard to? Tell me fast/ I have a minute.

You: Well, I recently received an email from a property portal, which claimed that you may be interested in knowing more about our Project in “LOCATION-AREA-DESCRIPTION”. You know sometimes property portal gives us information which is not 100% accurate so I am calling just to confirm that. Do you remember going on the property portal and exploring projects in “Location”??

Theory: No need to gain momentum here – go easy, nice and slow. Important to note that the script or structure suggests that you do not lay stress on the portal name, but the location name. To appeal to the rational mind and memory of the prospect, you must take the easiest way to reach his mind’s familiar territory. Prospects will find it very easy to remember the location/description of the area of the project compared to the portal where they were searching, or the project they showed interest in. This is just the nature of the jungle, regardless of how good your landing pages are on that property portal, how well established your brand name is or how compelling your offer was advertised as, prospects would have forgotten in less than four hours of searching. There is just too much information everywhere. You should also not talk about the property portal in a manner that totally shifts the blame away, use balance there – because believe it or not, prospects, even the most honorable ones do not always mind lying to a sales professional. If you use tonality that speaks very negatively about the portal, they might even take that as a cue and say yes, you are right, the portal was wrong, I did not inquire at all. It could be a lie or a case of lost (forgotten). And God forbid if the portal gave you a lead on “similar to” criteria, then of course the prospect did not explicitly enquire for your project by filling your unique form manually, but did so for similar project once and that got copied and sent to you. If you would like to learn more about that we are happy to tell you – but in a nutshell you are not being cheated, neither is this God’s own true lead. Focusing on location or area, is the easiest way to get the prospect to say a yes early in the process. If that happens the prospect has, on their own choosing given themselves the purpose for this call. The job of the sales associate is now to build this into a platform for exchange of information.

Prospect: Yes I do remember.

You: I know I called you out of the blue/ OR SAY – I know I called without an appointment and you must be – busy this morning (if morning), having lunch (if noon/after), getting ready to wrap up work for the day (if later afternoon-evening). If you would like I can call another time for a short discussion.

Theory: The prospect agreeing that she is interested in the location does not give you a free pass to dump all sales information on the call. Play it slow, remember nice, easy!! By being prepared to walk away from a conversation mid-way, all you are doing is acknowledging that you truly appreciate their busy schedules and are perfectly comfortable talking again. They will give you another time if they are TRULY busy, but in the highest likelihood, they will say LETS TALK NOW…why you may ask? Well because they feel that you’ve told them nothing much about the project, you the person, or pricing etc. and acted exact opposite of the millions of sales calls that the prospect has received. Usually the prospect says one small yes to anything, and the sales associate starts selling like there is no tomorrow. But you’ve acted responsibly and differently.

Prospect: If 1: Yes call me (convenient time) or if 2: We can talk now

You: For 1: Sure, I will send you a reminder via SMS and email about our call (convenient time). Really looking forward to talking again. Thanks and Have a nice day.

For 2: Sure, My name is (FIRST NAME) and I work in Client Relationships team here at ABC. For Location/Area name our Project, Project name has about N number of residences getting ready by this date. Oh – before I proceed, can you please share with me – when would you like to occupy the residence?

Prospect: My time frame is (TIME FRAME)

You: Also, Sir/Ma’m – can you describe the ideal residence for your family, how many rooms you’d need, approximate budget that is easy for you in terms of financial planning, and your current home?

Theory: At this point the Prospect may answer and make it easy for you, or push back and not co-operate. It is not unusual for Prospects to ask for details, meaning replying to your question with more questions. Remember, if you do not ask questions, you are not selling – you are only telling. And telling doesn’t make money. Selling does. So go back to Prospects questions, with half answer, politely and resume questioning. An example of that in the detailed call script/structure which you can read by clicking here…

Happy Selling!!

 

 

Property Portal Long Script for Site Visit Conversions

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When was the last time you felt comfortable around a too well spoken (almost unreal), overconfident and pushy individual or someone who seems desperate to get your attention and time? Hint: Never.

Drum-rolls! – Here goes the script!

Ring-Ring-RING

Prospect: Hello

You: (pause 1-2 seconds)  Am I speaking with “Prospect Name”?

Prospect: Yes/ Yes+Who is this/ Why are you calling

You: Prospect Name, You and I have never spoken to each other or met – But I need a minute to tell you why I am calling. Is this a bad time to talk for a minute?

Prospect: Ok, What is this in regard to? Tell me fast/ I have a minute.

Theory: Because the prospect says a minute, you do not need to rush. If you slow down you will win, if you go fast you will likely loose control over the outcome in the next few seconds. The following lines must be spoken as slowly, genuinely and matter of fact-ly as you can. With patience and practice, you will learn that your prospects slow down and stop forcing you, being aggressive, stubborn and demanding, if only you, slow down and go easy on the prospect. It is human tendency to mirror and match other’s energy levels, it is bound to happen when both your minds are free from the fear of a negative outcome.

You: Well, I recently received an email from a property portal, which claimed that you may be interested in knowing more about our Project in “LOCATION-AREA- DESCRIPTION”. You know sometimes property portals give us information which is not 100% accurate so I am calling just to confirm that. Do you remember going on the property portal and exploring projects in “Location”??

Prospect: Yes I do remember.

You: I know I called without an appointment and you must be – busy this morning (if morning), having lunch (if noon/after), getting ready to wrap up work for the day (if later afternoon-evening). If you would like I can call another time for a short discussion.

Prospect: If 1: Yes call me (convenient time) or if 2: We can talk now

You: For 1: Sure, I will send you a reminder via SMS and email about our call (convenient time). Really looking forward to talking again. Thanks and Have a nice day.

For 2: Sure, My name is (FIRST NAME) and I work in Client Relationships team here at ABC. For (Location name) our Project, Project name has about N number of residences getting ready by this date. Oh – before I proceed, can you please share with me – when would you like to occupy the residence?

Prospect: My time frame is (TIME FRAME)

You: Also, Sir/Ma’m – can you describe the ideal residence for your family, how many rooms you’d need, approximate budget that is easy for you in terms of financial planning, and your current home?

Theory: At this point the Prospect may answer and make it easy for you, or push back and not co-operate. It is not unusual for Prospects to ask for details, meaning replying to your question with more questions. Remember, if you do not ask questions, you are not selling-you are only telling. And telling does not make money. Selling does. So go back to Prospects questions, with some answers, politely and resume questioning. The goal is to ask questions, get answers and then establish focus areas to get to the next steps in the sales process.

3: Use this section for Prospect who does not give you much details, but asks for lot of details, earlier than you would like in the process.

You : I appreciate the questions, you see for this Project, we have tried to accommodate a wide variety of prices and options. The all told prices today start (PRICE MINIMUM) to (Price Maximum). This variation depends on floors, area (Area Minimum) to area (Maximum). A quick question here, What attracts you to (THIS LOCATION)?

Prospect: Says something, sharing reasons about why the location is preferred.

4: Use this section below and ignore the Section 3, ONLY once the prospect shares reasons for being interested in the location.

You: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well, the location is a great choice. Anyway – I have already taken quite some time on the phone, May I make a suggestion?

Prospect: Yes

You: Unless this is too forward, I was thinking – Why don’t you please come over to the project site and we can discuss about technical aspects of the project, your family’s requirements and possible options we may be able offer? The project may or may not be a great fit and you can easily decide that – but I will make sure your time is well utilized. Can you accommodate the meeting ?

Theory: Remember do not give the prospects more reasons to like the location or your project just yet. They are already convinced — at least till this time, about the location. By using words like “may or may not be – you can easily decide” you are sharing control of the sales process with the prospect. There is no need to elaborate that if you do not make the prospect feel in control, the prospect will start trying to gain that by asking details, comparisons, pricing, discounts etc.; basically anything to send you back in position to service or chase. It is advisable that you start giving away control so the prospect does what you need most at this stage, a site visit. Also, please use a close ended question – can you accommodate the meeting? In the prospect’s mind, the two biggest options here are Yes I can and No, I cannot. Honestly, both are good answers. In my opinion, the worst is when a prospect says send me an email with details, invariably leads to a long chase – unless you have already sent it, and if you already know that they have checked. If you ask an open ended question: When can you accommodate, When are you free, What is a good time for you to visit (Planet Jupiter in some cases) you are going to force the prospect to Think it Over and you are likely to hear an unfavorable time frame or set of next steps. Therefore, ask closed ended questions, proceed to scheduling after the prospect says: Yes, I can accommodate. Then ask about the date. Do not propose date and time just yet, wait for the prospect.

 

 

Happy Selling!!