Re: Need Help with Telephone Skills - Posted by JPiper
Posted by JPiper on April 09, 1999 at 11:45:42:
You say “I know my main purpose of the initial call is to find out if the property seller is really motivated and also flexible enough to consider creative options. So I ask questions like “Do you need all your cash now?” or “Would you consider a lease option or land contract?””
I would suggest that you take a look at the articles in the “Money Ideas” section of this site. They might give you a few ideas.
But in general, I don’t care for the approach that you’re indicating in the statement above. The first problem is that you need to clearly define the purpose of your call. Is it to screen the seller? Is it to screen AND find out information? Is it to SELL a PARTICULAR type of transaction? Your answer to this question would dictate what type of call you make. But in my case, my purpose is NOT to sell a particular type of transaction. My purpose is to screen, get information, and perhaps make an appointment if the information I get leads me to a conclusion that there is some POSSIBILITY for some type of transaction.
The questions that you give above are called “closed-end questions”. What that means is that the answer to them will be given by a “yes” or a “no”. If you ever want an answer that you don’t particularly want to hear, just ask a close-ended question?..you’re bound to hear it. “Do you need all your cash now?” Answer: “Of course I do Dave H.”
Your second question is more problematical. “Would you consider a lease option or land contract?” Answer: Seller (thinking “What the hell is a lease/option?”) says “No”??or he says “What’s that?” Now notice something. When the seller asks you “What’s that?”, he asking you an open-ended question?.that is, a question that requires a response of much greater detail than a simple yes or no. So now you end up talking trying to explain, why the seller is listening (maybe, or maybe his eyes are rolled back and he’s thinking about how to get you off the phone). When you’re talking, and the seller is listening?..YOU LOSE.
So the point here is that one of the goals of your call should be to get the seller talking about his property, his situation, his loan. You listen. To do this you ask open-ended questions.
What I’m trying to do on a phone call is to recognize circumstances where I can make some type of a deal. I don’t have a preconceived notion as to what that deal is. I going to ask sufficient questions?.open-ended questions?to understand the situation and what I might be able to do with it, if anything.
Personally, I don’t try to explain concepts over the phone, or go into much detail in that regard. If you make enough calls, someone might just jump right in and tell you “Yeah, I want to do a lease option. Matter of fact, how about I give you a 5 year deal, and reduce my price to boot”. But don’t hold your breath. I save explanations of programs for a time when I know all the information, have an idea of what I want to do with the property, have built some rapport with the seller, and have an inkling that what I am proposing might help the seller to accomplish a resolution of his needs.