- Chris Smith's new book "The Conversion Code" unlocks the secrets of converting online leads.
- Response time is the most crucial factor in converting Internet leads.
- Agents can use a "pattern interrupt" to take control and start building rapport with the person on the other end of the phone.
Chris Smith, co-founder of Curaytor as well as the co-author of “Peoplework,” has distilled his real life experience in converting Internet leads into a how-to book loaded with specific scripts, strategies and tools that simplify the Internet lead conversion process.
The two factors of success
Ultimately, all the tools and strategies covered in “The Conversion Code” boil down to two things: immediate response and personal connection.
As Smith describes it, “Be the first, and talk the longest.”
Response time is the most important factor in converting Internet leads. In fact, according to Hubspot.com, 35 to 50 percent of Internet leads do business with the first person they speak with.
Smith asks, however: “But what if you were first and best?”
To be the best, begin by hyper-personalizing your calls.
Hyper-personalize your sales calls
Smith is adamant that lead conversion today does not involve cold calling. As Smith puts it, “Cold calling is so 1980s.” Instead, Internet leads have reached out to you to obtain information.
To convert leads, you must take control of your calls. Smith uses the term “pre-call stalk” to explain how to prepare for your follow-up call by investigating the lead before contacting them. This process allows you to personalize your calls in a way that makes them more likely to convert.
Smith recommends that you collect email addresses from the people who contact you. He likens their email address to the equivalent of an online thumbprint or social security number. This step allows you to hone your search on Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — all sites that require an email address to register.
Once you have a social media link, it’s easy to find valuable information about the people who contact you. Their Facebook page can be especially useful for gaining valuable insights.
Additional search tools include Spokeo, Intelius, Wink, PeekYou and Zabasearch. Smith’s personal favorite is the Charlie app. Charlie researches the person’s interests and hobbies based on their social media posts.
This process only takes a couple of minutes. Imagine not only following up with the information requested but also acknowledging someone for a beautiful photo on Instagram or a clever tweet. This hyper-personalized approach will differentiate you from anyone else who contacts the lead.
One important caveat: Smith advises never to delay returning a call or responding to a lead to gather data about the person who contacted you.
Take control of the call from the beginning
Although Smith doesn’t use this term, he recommends implementing what NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) practitioners call a “pattern interrupt.”
When Internet leads contact you and you call them back, they just want to obtain the information and then hang up. You can use a pattern interrupt to take control and start building rapport.
Begin the process by greeting leads and identifying who you are, the company you work for and why you are calling.
You might want to say something like: “You were inquiring about the property on 234 Elm Street.”
But here’s the pattern interrupt that will help you to start building rapport:
“Would you please grab a pen and paper real quick so that I can give you some information that is not available online? Let me know when you are ready.”
Smith doesn’t suggest specific items here. But two examples might include telling leads about the website HomeDisclosure.com, which provides detailed information on any property in the U.S. including demographics, natural hazard risks, school information, etc. for specific properties, and, for first-time buyers, DownPaymentResource.com, which aggregates national, state and local down-payment assistance programs.
If the person is driving, offer to email the information.
By building rapport and offering something of value, you increase the likelihood that a lead will do business with you.
If you have trouble closing, the most likely reason why is that you haven’t learned the skill of digging deeper to build rapport. As Smith puts it, “Dig deep or go to sleep.”
The way to dig deeper is to ask qualifying questions that begin with “how” or “what.” Here’s an example:
Agent: “What is the No. 1 reason that you are moving right now?”
Lead: “My wife is expecting our first child.”
Agent: “Wow, you and you wife are expecting your first child! Do you know whether it’s a boy or girl?”
Or another scenario that digs deeper might look like this:
Agent: “How exciting — your first child. What type of floor plan would be best suited for where you want to place the nursery?”
Lead: “My wife and I want a single level home, so a two-story, especially one with the children’s bedrooms upstairs won’t work for us. Also, we would like our daycare for the baby to be close to where my wife works, so the Englewood Heights or Lakewood View subdivisions would be best for us.”
“The Conversion Code” goes on to explain how to build trust in two simple steps, how to identify proactively and overcome objections, the “Five Yes” technique for closing the sale plus the detailed steps of how to get to the close.
If you’re serious about converting more Internet leads for your business, “The Conversion Code” has the proven strategies that work in today’s market. Check it out.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/