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5 ways to improve your call etiquette and strategy

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Cold_Calling_Apto_Best_Practices-320x213.jpgWhether it’s cold calling or reconnecting with past clients, brokers spend a lot of time on the phone. But the key to winning more deals isn’t simply the number of hours you spend dialing — it’s about using that time effectively.

From calling at the best times to making the most of technology, use these five tips to perfect future phone calls and win more business.

1. Prepare

No matter what type of call you’re making, it could be a cold call or reaching out to a long-term business partner, always take the time to prepare. Think through what you want to say and have a good idea of how you’re going to say it.

This doesn’t mean you need to follow a script, in fact in most cases you probably shouldn’t, but it does mean you should think about your reason for calling and brainstorm a few questions you need to ask to achieve your goal. It’s also useful to think of predictable questions your prospect could ask and prepare answers beforehand.

And if you’re nervous about making the call, strong prep work can help reinforce your confidence.

2. Call at the right time, frequently

Despite the best preparation in the world, you need the other person to actually be there to pick up the phone. Of course, if you’re calling an established contact it’s best to simply arrange a time beforehand, but when it comes to cold calling you should focus your efforts during optimal times.

CallHippo’s 2017 study found that Wednesday and Thursday between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. is the best time to call a prospect. If you’re looking to connect in the morning, plan your calls between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

While these guidelines are helpful for actually getting prospects on the phone, that’s exactly what they are: guidelines. When it comes down to it, your best ally is your persistence. Just because a prospect doesn’t pick up at 4:30 p.m. on a Wednesday doesn’t mean you give up. When necessary, call outside these guidelines as many times as it takes to get your prospect on the phone.

3. Use the right tech to turn cold calls into “familiar calls”

Cold calling is one of the hardest things brokers do. It’s also one of the keys to prospecting and finding new business, so it’s critical to get it right.

One of the best ways to connect on a cold call is to know a bit about who you’re talking to. Beyond the basics like your contact’s name, company and position, use a combination of technology and research to strike a deeper connection.

For example, if you know there’s an important development under construction near your prospect, ask them how their business is responding and if their needs are changing. While you may be able to do some of this research on your own, investing in a robust technology stack will add depth to your cold calls and help you deepen your relationships with prospects.


4. Listen and look for ways to help

No matter how much you have to say to a prospect, always take the time to listen to their needs. Nobody wants to be bombarded with information or questions on the phone while having little chance to get their own point across.

If a prospect isn’t responding much to what you have to say, engage them in the conversation by asking questions that show you genuinely care about their needs. Even when it’s clear the conversation isn’t going to lead to a deal, always listen respectfully and see if there’s any way you could help.

While the current call may not instantly open any doors for you, if you’re able to put a prospect in touch with someone who can help you’ll strengthen your relationship with both parties. That’s a key part of effective networking, and helping someone now could lead to business down the road.

5. Close effectively

The closing sets the tone for how your prospect will remember the entire call, so never let a sloppy ending ruin your hard work. Review your discussion at the end of the call and talk about next steps you’ll take to continue the conversation. And above all else, always thank your prospect for their time.

Mastering phone calls takes time and practice. To shorten the learning curve, integrate the above tips and the right technology into your calling habits.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and call!