Phone Skills and Internet Leads – If You Don’t Have Them, You Won’t Convert Them

Posted by: Ryan Ward on November 28th, 2008

When my neighbor gives me the phone number of his brother who is moving to Atlanta, I have something that I don’t have when I’m trying to convert an internet lead into a client.

My neighbor knows me and though I may not have ever spoken to his brother, I come equipped with some degree of trust in his eyes. I know his brother. His brother trusts me enough to refer him to me. The first two requirements needed to be successful in selling real estate have been met.

I have generated a lead and I have some level of value and trust already built in even before the first words are spoken to this new client.

Internet leads are very different. With an internet lead, I have the first requirement that I will need to be successful in that the lead is there, but, that is where it ends.

In fact, internet leads might be thought of as slightly on the negative side of trust on a scale compared to a referral lead from a friend or neighbor. To convert them, we need to be polished in our phone skills. We are already fighting against the idea that we will be calling someone who might see us as salespeople and that’s a battle best fought if we are concise, polite, helpful and knowledgeable on the phone.

But where phone skills can really come into play is not so much when we are calling, but, when a potential internet lead calls us. These are people who have taken the time to pick up the phone and call a stranger for information. If we can’t demonstrate our value to them, they can call someone else just as easily.

As we begin the last month of 2008, I am bringing my brand new Atlanta real estate website online. At the beginning of 2008, there was me and my website with an occasional outbound referral to agents in areas of Atlanta that I did not service. 

Now it is me plus 4 agents with more on the way in early 2009. The number of leads that I had at the beginning of 2008 was roughly the same as it is today. What changed was my recognition that to convert these leads, I would need to be able to demonstrate my knowledge and therefore my value within the first 10 seconds that I was on the phone with a lead.

So, I will be placing a priority on improving the phone skills of myself and of every member of our group. As I think about what we are doing right and what we need to improve upon, I am placing emphasis on 2 areas specifically; tone and confidence. Information can be provided by anyone in front of a computer and I believe that the conversion ratio begins to diminish as we get passed the first 10 seconds of the conversation. With that in mind, I believe that the way we sound is more important than what we say – at least at first.

People want to hear confidence, professionalism a good mood and people can very easily tell if you are smiling and sound happy. Here is what I am focusing on and I know many HomeGain Blog readers and fellow bloggers may have more to add.

When answering the phone, keep these things in mind:

  • Sit up straight or stand up – a caller can hear the difference.
  • Smile when you are on the phone.
  • Do not say um or yeah.
  • It’s O.K. to laugh.
  • Be precise with your words.
  • Don’t worry about not knowing the answer before it’s asked.
  • Listen.

OK. Be specific here if you have anything to add. I realize that some of these things may seem obvious to some of you, but, for others and for us to be successful we all need to remember to do these things on a consistent basis. Internet leads require it.

This may be the only time we ever get to build rapport and trust with a potential client. I think that it is essential that we constantly improve our phone skills to meet the expectations of todays online real estate home buyers and sellers.

Read more of Ryan’s posts on his HomeGain AgentView blog here



6 Comments on “Phone Skills and Internet Leads – If You Don’t Have Them, You Won’t Convert Them”

Kevin Sandridge

Ryan – amen! Basic phone skills are dying out on us! Social networking has become so prevalent that we seem to have forgotten how to use our “spoken” voices. We seem to need that PC/Mac screen and keyboard as a filter – something to give us a second to formulate our thoughts. Toastmaster’s is a great choice for folks who want to learn to speak on their feet. We had classes w/ them in college (1991), so not sure where they are now.

I think if used properly, social media can grease the wheels for the phone contact. I do believe that the age of the “cold call” is dead. There needs to be some warming up taking place. What do you think?

Kevin Sandridge
Winter Haven, FL

Marc Rasmussen

Great post Ryan. I agree with all of your pointers above. The most important one in my opinion is listening. Sometimes we talk too much and not let the prospect be heard.

You spoke abotu confidence as well. I would add that to the list. We are the experts and need to portray confidence and authority. That does not mean be cocky or pretentious.

Mark Argentino

Hello, that’s a good post, I agree with most of what you are saying. Do you think that this will have a postive effect on our marketplace over the next few months?

Thanks again and all the best!

Jodi Suguitan

Good advice. With younger clients there is definitely an increased tendency to text and want to use technology.

Real Estate Taxi

Building trust over the phone is an art, and now a days its an art real estate agents aren’t training. It is the difference between a new client and a stranger.

internet lead conversion

really good information about phone skills and internet lead

Leave a Comment


For Real Estate Agents

Online Marekting Solutions

For Home Buyers and Sellers

e.g., 1250 S Main St, Burbank, CA or 91506
     Search Foreclosures    Search New Homes    Search Rentals    

Blog Categories

Blog Archives

Real Estate Blogs

Top Articles

Recent Comments

Guaranteed LeadsReferral Lead ProgramListings PackageVisits to your WebsiteFind REALTOR®Homes For SaleHome Values