Cold calling scripts sound fake and create rejection... isn't it time for a change?

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A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail that echoed several others I’ve received recently.
The gist of them was:

“The sales environment these days is so crowded that my prospects are have trouble seeing how I’m different from my competition – and many times, what we’re offering just isn’t that different. What can I do to be distinctive and stand out from my competition?”

This is becoming a real problem for everyone in business today. Advertisers spend fortunes trying to convince people that their products are unique and different, but how different are they? And when it comes to services like insurance and mortgages, the issue of being perceived as a commodity is cropping up everywhere.

Gavin Watts learned how to stand out from his competition by taking a big step back from traditional sales thinking and behavior.

Let me know what you think of his story.

 To your success,

Sales Mini-Lesson
How to Sell Without Becoming a Commodity

The next time you walk from your car to your office, take a look down your street. How many real estate offices do you see? In the last few years, the real estate boom has motivated thousands of people to enter the field. Agents who were in on the ground floor are probably finding it easier, but trying to break in and slug it out, day after day, with the competition, can be difficult and often times frustrating.

That’s why Gavin Watts’ story is so informative and insightful. Gavin is a fairly new real estate agent. He didn’t have a sales background. In fact, he was a paramedic for 14 years. Like thousands of other agents, he wanted to ride the real estate boom and earn a better income for himself and his family.

But no one ever told him that real estate is a dog-eat-dog business. Today, though, Gavin’s sales are booming, with a 50 percent increase, to be exact. He’s attracting prospects to him. He gets return calls when he leaves voicemails. He’s having a ball and making a really good living.

Here’s his story in his own words:


Dear Ari,

As you know, before I got into real estate, I had no background in sales. The idea of making cold calls was something I deeply feared, but the office I was going to join promised me a full sales training program that would teach me to sell by following “proven” scripts. 

So I decided, “Why not? I’ll give it a try.”
The first few weeks went well -- lots of going out with other brokers, lots of coaching from my manager, and lots of training about contracts, rules, and regulations.
But the first day I had to get on the phones myself, I began wondering if I’d made the right decision. I used all the sales methods I had learned. I was 100 percent “by the book.” I overcame objections. I pulled prospects along a linear sales process. I tried to close every time I could.

All I got was continued rejection.

It was almost as if “real estate agent” was as negative a stereotype as “salesperson.” It didn’t take me long to realize that if I kept approaching prospects the way every other agent was, I was asking for rejection.

I started having major issues making any phone calls, let alone cold calls, and I felt terrified when a prospect would ask me, “Why I should go with you?” and I had to defend myself.

The whole selling thing just felt so awkward and unnatural. All I wanted to do was help people with their real estate needs, and I kept wondering, “Why does ‘selling’ have to get in the way of helping people?”

That was the point when I found your program on your website. I read a couple of your articles, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks:

If I was going to succeed in real estate sales, I had to avoid every behavior that would associate me with a stereotypical real estate agent.

I ordered your Unlock The Game that very day -- and I haven’t looked back since. It turned my thinking upside-down in a positive way that made it possible for me to go back to being myself and yet be extremely effective when prospecting for new business.

The Mindset made complete sense to me. My goal is no longer to “get the listing.” Instead, I focus on getting knowledge from prospects as to whether I can help them or not. 

Here are some specifics about what happened once I made that shift in my thinking and sales efforts -- which have brought me more and more listings and made me the envy of my office.

Example One: Open Houses

You know how these go. Open houses are when a seller’s broker sets certain times to show the home to anyone who comes by. Last week, one particular woman seemed very interested in a home. She even gave me her card so I could follow up with her.

So I called her twice and got her answering machine both times, but I didn’t leave a message. Instead, I did exactly what you suggested about following up without putting pressure on people. I called back a third time and left this message: “Hi, it’s Gavin from the open house, and I just wanted to see if you might have any feedback about the home you walked through. Just feedback is fine, no pressure at all…just wanted to learn what your thoughts were.”

She called back seven minutes later! Even more amazing, she started to tell me her “truth,” as you describe in your program. I learned exactly where she stood, and that was a huge relief because I learned that there wasn’t a fit, so I didn’t have to keep chasing her. Ending the chasing game is a key strategy that I learned from you, and it has saved me untold hours of time and energy.

Example Two: Free Market Evaluations

One major marketing strategy that real estate agents use with prospects is to offer a free market evaluation of how their home compares to others that have recently sold in their neighborhood. A lot of sellers actually interview several agents and get these evaluations from them before deciding who they’ll list with.

The problem is, if you use any of the typical scripts, prospects shut down right away because they know that these “free” evaluations give agents a chance to apply subtle pressure to get the listing.

I decided to call a prospect who I thought would be good for one of these evaluations, but to do it based on your program, in a way that took the pressure off the call.

What I said to him was, “I’m happy to do an evaluation of your home to give you an approximate price that I think it can sell for, but under no circumstances do I want you to feel at any time that I’m using this as a way to get your business. I don’t want to make any assumptions here. I simply want to help you -- no strings attached -- and if you need my help afterwards, you can reach out to me at your convenience.” And this wasn’t just a “line”, this was the truth, based on your Mindset.

All I can say is, I could hear him melt on the phone. He invited me over, we had a great talk, I now have a solid relationship with him, and he knows that when he is ready to sell his home, he can call me knowing I’ll be 100% focused on his interests and not mine.
I did what you said. I focused on helping him rather than on trying to “make the sale.” This approach just feels so right.

My results and how I feel are how I measure your program. My sales are up 50 percent. I feel centered and relaxed, and I don’t feel affected by the negative real estate stereotype that everyone else in the business I know carries.

Thanks to your coaching, I’ve released my mind from thinking about where my next paycheck is coming from, and it’s bringing me more business that I can handle.

If I had to summarize what I learned from you, it would be:

It’s not about what you’re selling, it’s about how you’re selling.
Thank you Ari,


Gavin Watts
RE/MAX Real Estate - Australia
+61 7 3843 9108

Listen to Gavin
tell his story --->

Sales Mini-Lesson Take Aways

In your own field, you can probably come up with situations that are like the ones Gavin described. Here are some ideas about how you can use his examples to help you stay focused on how you’re selling rather than on what you’re selling:

Does your field have its own form of “open house”?

Most industries let prospects “walk through” the product or service by offering a free trial period or free demonstration. And, depending on the field you’re in, trade shows, exhibitions, and business networking events are like “open houses” where prospects can look at what you have to offer and leave contact information so you can call them later.

In any of these situations, you can adapt Gavin’s approach when you call the other person. If you reach him or her directly, you can say something along these lines:

“Hi, it’s Jill from ……, and I just wanted to see if you might have any feedback about our product or service now that you’ve had a chance to spend some time getting to know what it’s all about. Just feedback is fine, no pressure at all…just wanted to learn what your thoughts were.”

If you reach their voicemail, you can leave a message that is also along these lines. In many cases, your no-pressure message will lead to a return of your phone call and a cordial conversation.

Does your field offer its own types of “free market evaluation”?

Free, no-obligation initial consultations are the equivalent of real estate market evaluations. But, like Gavin, you may find that prospects pull back if they sense in any way that you are trying to exert sales pressure on them as you offer consultations.

The key here is to offer a consultation that is keyed specifically to the prospect’s problem or issue, and to make it clear that you’re offering it as a service without any expectation that a sale will result.

You can say something along these lines:

“I’d be happy to give you a free, no-obligation consultation so we can explore possible solutions for the issue you’re dealing with. But under no circumstances do I want you to feel I’m using this as a way to get your business. It’s completely no-strings-attached. I simply want to help you, and if you decide you’d like me to help you down the road, it would be totally at your convenience.”

When you fully integrate the Mindset from Unlock The Game of solving problems and not applying sales pressure, prospects will probably stop asking why they should go with you -- because it will be obvious why they should.

To your success,


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March 26, 2017         Quote Of The Day

"Learning to walk away may be the hardest part of selling because we've been so conditioned to pursue anyone who we believe could benefit from our solution or who shows interest in what we have to offer. The longer you've been in sales, the longer it may take you to rewind the tapes in your head."


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