Do You Suffer From Call Reluctance?
Mark Schnurman Jan. 27, 2014, 7 a.m.
Almost 80 percent of brokers who fail do so because they cannot handle phone rejection and consequently suffer call reluctance. Call reluctance is the inability to effectively manage rejection; it saps a Broker’s energy away from calling prospective clients and replaces that with “too much” research, analysis, busy work or schmoozing. The Broker feels busy but is really just practicing avoidance behavior.
Sound like you? There is good news! Call reluctance is purely in a Broker’s head; there are no limitations that cannot be overcome with a little effort. The following tips will help you conquer call reluctance and take your game to the next level.
Acknowledge your fear. It is okay to be afraid but you cannot let it impact your behavior. Identifying areas for improvement generates opportunities to improve and is decidedly not a sign of weakness. So if you have call reluctance, admit it and create a plan to overcome it.
Don’t focus on the result of each call. Repeated failure can be frustrating, debilitating and draining. Cold calling, regardless of how talented you are, results in many more nos than yeses. Therefore, focus not on the result of each call, but on something else. For example, what if after each call you immediately received $500. I am sure the immediate positive reward would motivate you to make 300 calls a day because you would be tricking your brain into focusing on the $500 and not the potential rejection. Identify other areas to focus your attention on.
Compete. Competition makes cold calling a game, again redirecting the focus away from rejection. At Eastern Consolidated, for example, our Brokers compete with each other for rewards based on call volume and call effectiveness. We make it fun and offer immediate positive reinforcement.
Have a short memory. Do not dwell on negatives. Great athletes have short memories. And every time they fail, they forget it and move on. They do not dwell on negatives. Successful Brokers exhibit the same trait and that is why many earn professional athlete money.
Become an expert. Call reluctance is exacerbated when you have knowledge deficits because you think you are unworthy. The antidote is educating yourself on the market. Learn trends, comps, zoning, etc. Make yourself an expert and recognize the value you deliver. Also, practice calling. At Eastern we prepare our Brokers by role playing so challening that they cannot wait to hit the phones because it is easier than training!
Just do it. Nike had it right after all. Success is born of disciplined action. Set an activity goal and do it. For example, set out to make 50 calls per day and do not go home until you make them. Do not allow excuses such as being tired, not feeling well or needing to do research affect your behavior. Just make the calls.
Believe in yourself. I used to play a lot of basketball. At the end of each game I wanted the ball in my hand for the final shot. If I was hot I knew I would make it; if I was shooting poorly, I knew the law of averages was on my side. Either way, I was making the shot. That is the belief that will propel you through call reluctance.
Schedule call blocks. A key to overcoming call reluctance is to schedule your call blocks early. Cold calling may not be your favorite activity, but it drives appointments, listings and revenue. By completing your calls early you remove angst and become more productive.
Call with others. Calling alone is tough regardless of how motivated you are. It is helpful to partner with a few other brokers, sit near each other and call at the same time. Calling with others is very energizing.
Stand. Sitting reduces your energy level. So stand. It will energize you, add enthusiasm and make calling easier. It may seem awkward at first but you will quickly adapt to standing.
Find someone to hold you accountable. I run call numbers every week and challenge our Brokers to reach their goals. When chided in a good-natured way the Brokers step up and increase their call and listing volume.
Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is a great tool to reinforce behavior. The reward will keep you motivated during your calls. When you hit your call number for the day take a walk, get a snack–do whatever you consider a reward. Then go back to work.
Call reluctance is something that afflicts most Brokers at some point in their career, but these simple ideas can help you overcome it.