While providing excellent service is important to any successful business, if the business relies entirely on an individual, ongoing success will eventually be handicapped. There are only so many hours in a day. How many hardworking agents out there are sacrificing dinners with family, kids’ recitals, and any real personal “down” time to answer any and every prospect call? There is a better way, and the good news is that the solution is better for both you AND your customers.
Prospects are hungry for good information, but are very leery of the selling process. When you place a house ad and ask prospects to call you directly, you are really handicapping yourself. Prospects will go to great lengths to AVOID a sales pitch from a salesperson.
Whether you’re marketing a property or a special report or a hotlist, you must make it easy, convenient, and most of all, NON-THREATENING for them to get the information they seek.
Your Prospect Calls Will Triple When You Move to a “Talking Ad” Format
The term “talking ad” refers to an ad that directs prospects to an automated hotline that will not only answer, but also sift and sort your callers for you vs. having these prospects call you directly to get the information they’re after. Three times as many prospects will call in on your listings when they are offered the opportunity to call in for information any time they want, without ever having to talk with an agent (unless of course they want to – you should give them the opportunity to be connected with your office directly by pressing “0″ at any time during the message.)
There are a few important features your hotline system should have in order for it to work optimally for you. For example, your system should have branching capabilities, the ability to capture telephone numbers (even if the caller fails to leave a message), etc.
The benefits of using a Recorded Hotline are numerous. If you set it up correctly, 10-15% of prospects that call will leave messages for you on your hotline. With a proper script, your hotline will then automatically sort your prospects, revealing which ones are the most qualified, allowing you to follow up only with your best opportunities.
10 Ways a Talking Ad Format Will Benefit Your Business
Benefits to Sellers
1. Detailed information about sellers’ homes is available to interested buyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
2. The system generates 3 times as many calls for information on sellers’ homes when buyers don’t have to speak directly with an agent
3. The system automatically prequalifies buyers
Benefits to Buyers
4. Buyers have immediate 24 hour phone access to information on properties that interest them
5. The system is non-threatening as buyers never have to speak directly with an agent (unless of course they want to)
6. Buyers will save time by ruling out homes they are not interested in
7. Buyers can receive a FREE info package on any property you have listed for sale
Benefits to Agents
8. The hotline answers all prospect inquiries 24/7 and automatically sifts out the most qualified and motivated prospects (they will be compelled to leave a message)
9. You are positioned as an “Information Provider”, offering an objective, easy, non-threatening place to get information
10. This is a great listing tool as you are able to demonstrate to sellers how your system draws more calls (you can show them the call report printout)
There will be some of you who protest that no one uses a telephone anymore and all leads should be directed to your web page. Certainly I agree that all of your ads should include a web link (as long as it is directed to a specific and properly crafted page on your site that will correctly motivate them to leave their contact information, and incorporate the same sifting and sorting elements to qualify them), but you would be foolish to not also offer prospects a way to reach you by phone. Remember, internet is not the only communication tool that has grown by leaps and bounds in the decade — cell phone usage has also taken the world by storm in the last ten years. In a 2007 study, 846.8 of every 1,000 people in the US owned a cell phone and 2/3 of these also had a landline. At the end of 2009, there were 4.6 billion cell phone users worldwide … 300 times as many as there were just 20 years earlier. Bottom line, you need to offer both.
Just because I’m counseling you to not be a slave to your own cell phone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leverage the fact that your prospects certainly use theirs!