Scripts are often thought of as a key tool in the repertoire of any successful real estate agent. They use them to stay on target during their phone conversations, in-person meetings and any other encounters when they want to make sure they are asking all the necessary questions and checking all the boxes.
The benefit of using a script is that it allows agents to essentially copy and emulate tried-and-tested conversation strategies. They don’t have to start each call from scratch, and the script gives them a contingency for likely objections or resistance. In some ways, scripts allow more seasoned agents to transfer their skills to less experienced colleagues.
But scripts are not a definite key to success.
There is no such thing as a magical set of words that will convert every lead on every call or in every meeting because every situation is different and unique. In reality, scripts are only useful and effective as part of a wider conversion system and strategy to turn more no’s into yes’s on your calls and in your meetings.
Different types of scripts
There are two broad categories of scripts that every real estate agent should have handy: one for inbound leads and one for outbound. In addition to those, there should also be special scripts for unusual leads like probate, home valuations and specific scripts for unique offers.
The most important thing for all of them, however, is that each needs to be tailored to the type of lead you’ll be speaking with. The way you speak to and address a lead is different for people who have sought you out (inbound leads) and for people who you are essentially calling out of the blue (outbound leads).
Second, a good script is one that is straight to the point, asks great questions of the prospect and has a close that contains a great value proposition. It also needs to not be too wordy and should mostly prompt the lead to do the talking.
Because script or no script, the key to a successful call is understanding what the lead is trying to accomplish, understanding what is preventing them from accomplishing it and what their own existing plan is to overcome those obstacles.
Objection handling through conversations
More than any script, the key to successful sales calls or meetings is consistent objection handling. And the way to effectively deal with objections is to have genuine conversations with your leads. At Smart Inside Sales, we emphasize that all of your calls and meetings need to be real. They need to be actual conversations that are enjoyable and productive for both parties.
This means that, especially as you get more experienced, you cannot rely solely on pre-programmed responses. Each situation is different, and you need to be able to respond appropriately and intelligently to each unique conversation on every call.
For this, we developed a technique to handle objections and to get to the heart of what the lead wants that goes beyond scripts, called the PPO process. PPO stands for “perspective process outcome.”
- The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation.
- The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan, and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
- And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them.
Scripts alone aren’t enough
Real estate scripts can be useful to keep your calls on track and to make sure you are remembering to ask all the necessary questions and gather all the required information. But at the end of the day, scripts are more for beginner agents.
This is primarily because they don’t have the experience that more seasoned agents have and so to be successful, they have to rely on templates that increase their chances of converting the different types of leads.
More experienced Inside Sales Agents (ISAs) and agents, on the other hand, know the basics of speaking with outbound and inbound leads and probably have developed a decent collection of questions and responses. More than scripts, seasoned real estate ISAs and agents need to hone and perfect their discovery, objection handling and closing skills.
In other words, instead of scripts, more experienced agents need to focus on conversation and conversion strategy.
Scripts as part of an overall system and strategy
Real estate scripts are valuable as a general outline of how to approach the different types of leads and to make sure you are hitting all the points you need to hit. This is especially true for newer agents who are still learning the finer points of cold calling, sales calls and converting leads over the phone and in person.
They can’t, however, be the only thing in your wheelhouse. There are no magic scripts that will help you convert every time with every lead. Each conversation is different.
To increase your success, you have to focus on learning to deal with objections and how to get to the core of what the lead wants. Scripts are helpful to use as a general outline in case you get stuck on a call, but the key is focusing on having real conversations and producing real value for the lead.
Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia. Follow him on Facebook or checkout his Facebook group.