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Be honest: Do you really enjoy cold calls? Personally, I don’t and never have. Early in my real estate career, I studied all the tips for cold calling — do your research, create a script, rehearse, be confident, assume the sale, yada yada yada. And after doing all that, I still hated it.
But then I figured out how to turn a cold call into a warm or even hot call, where the client was ready to sign the dotted line before I even showed up. Wouldn’t this make your life a lot easier? To remove the pressure of “selling” to someone who doesn’t know you from Adam? Wouldn’t it feel great to walk into a room of potential customers who already have a favorable impression of you and what you offer?
I teach this to all of my students, and when they apply the techniques, they’re amazed at how quickly their customer base grows. Here are some ways to make this happen.
Use informational presentations
Making presentations to community or business organizations as an introduction to potential clients has been used by entrepreneurs for decades. The key is to make sure that you’re sharing good information that people can really use, and to give value without asking for anything in return.
Seriously, give your knowledge away. By doing so, you gain their trust and confidence; however, this will not work if your presentation is just a thinly-disguised sales pitch. That will only get your audience’s defenses up.
What do you talk about in these presentations? The key is to think from their perspective: What worries keep them up at night? What do they desire most in life? What could you share that would immediately improve in their lives? Don’t just throw out information to prove how qualified you are or how terrific your product is. To earn their respect and trust, you need to really give them value.
Though live presentations are still a good way to connect before your first call, it’s time consuming and reaches a much smaller group of potential clients than other methods.
Related: 4 Tips for Mastering Cold-Calling (and How to Not Annoy Leads in the Process)
Make personalized videos
Years ago in my real estate business, I started sending potential clients a series of short videos explaining each part of the process and what they can expect before I meet with them. I shared my knowledge about things they may not know about real estate and what they should look out for. I also gave them the latest updates on the market.
By doing this, my clients felt like they knew me before they met me. They could see me, hear me and feel my energy. They got to see how they were getting value from me, even before engaging with me directly. This led them to like me and trust me. It armed them with good information and helped them feel comfortable in our first meeting.
I created some of the videos so I could use them for any client, but I also made personalized videos specific to the particular client and their situation. This way, before I showed up on their doorstep, they knew I would go the extra mile for them and they were not just a number to me.
Related: Why Do You Need to Cold Call?
Write a book
I know you’re probably thinking, “Is she nuts? Me, writing a book?” Writing a book may seem impossible, but is it really? You don’t need to write a massive 300-page novel. Even a short 30-page book can be a great introduction if it’s done well, looks professional and provides great information — and is not just another sales brochure.
Being an author gives you instant credibility. It establishes you as an authority in your field. When someone reads your book, they know you’re highly qualified even before you open your mouth.
A divorce mediator I know wrote a short book that gives pointers on the legal process, as well as the emotional rollercoaster people can expect during divorce. She gives the book away for free to marriage counselors (a great source of referrals for her), so they can keep it in their waiting rooms. A financial planner I know created a free step-by-step checklist for people who have had a death in the family, what they need to do and all the documents they need to find. She offers it for free to folks in her business organizations and at her church. The result? Both of them find that the books get passed around and end up bringing in clients they’ve never interacted with.
Cold calls are stressful because usually people start on the defensive, not wanting to be “sold.” You have to get their trust, prove your qualifications, show you understand what they need and explain what you can do for them in what seems like nanoseconds. Instead, try warming up those cold calls ahead of time by sharing yourself and your knowledge, and see how much easier sales can be.
Related: 5 Cold-Calling Myths That Keep Businesses in the Matrix