“First Who, Then What” – Jim Collins
You can have the best strategy, best lead gen, and all the systems for selling real estate. If you give that to the wrong person you, will lose before you ever start.
I’ve helped countless people successfully implement an Inside Sale agent in their business.
The biggest mistake I see people make when hiring an ISA is that they focus on the skills and efforts of their ISAs, asking questions like, “How many calls have you made today?” or “How many appointments did you set today”. Or, they say, “Hey, let’s role play”, thinking that will have an immediate impact on their ISA’s results
Certainly, the number of calls an ISA makes and how many appointments he/she sets are good numbers to track. At the same time, role playing is an absolute must in the development of any ISA.
However, what I’ve learned is that you must do the right things in the right order long before dials, appointments and role playing play a part in your ISA’s success.
Here are the four things you must NAIL in order to successfully add an ISA to your business:
- Hire the right person: Nothing else matters if you don’t have the right candidate in that seat
- Use the right tools: It’s the equivalent of digging a hole with a spoon. You must have the right technology and tools in place for your ISA to experience maximum success.
- Call the right data: Bad names, wrong numbers, inaccurate data and calling the wrong neighborhoods guarantee that your ISA will fail.
- Right effort: When to call, how often to call, when to follow up what to do in order to follow up properly are all keys to making sure your ISA is doing enough to get the results you want and desire.
Most importantly, though, you have to first NAIL hiring the right person and then provide that person the right tools and data.
Time Waits for No ISA
Your ISA’s productivity STARTS DAY ONE.
With that said, when you hire an ISA, you must make sure they are fully trained. I like to think about it like disarming a bomb: you never start if your only partially trained.
At our office, we have a number of processes and systems we use to run our business, as well as some internal operations and technology to make the job of selling homes easier. It’s truly a well-oiled machine.
Each ISA is trained on how to do their job and understand what role they play in making the machine run as it pertains to the processes, systems, operations, and technology that apply to them. The training in all four of these areas happens for a short period of time during the 84-day onboarding period, usually at the beginning of their tenure with our company. The goal is to get them to be as autonomous as possible as quickly as possible so they can focus more on doing what we need them to do—set appointments.
There’s nothing sexy about this part of our training, but it’s vital to the success of our organization. If an ISA can’t get their head around how to disposition a lead, hand an appointment off to a listing partner, manage their prospects in the CRM, or navigate the dialer, he/she will never be effective enough to make a difference in your organization. This training is vital to the your success and that of your ISA—never shortcut this part of the training process.
You know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Being able to do that got you to where you are in your business today.
Now that you’re not going to be making calls as often (if at all), your ISA needs to be as good as (if not better than) you with all the skills necessary to build relationships, move prospects along in their pipeline, and set appointments consistently. These skills range from scripts and dialogues to influencing prospects over the phone, from active listening to being an expert at asking questions, from handling objections to using tie downs, trial closes and closes to gain commitments from prospects…and everything in between.
This type of training never ends. You will continually work on all aspects of selling over the phone with your ISAs. You’ll do this by:
- Holding weekly training sessions
- Role-playing with your ISA (or getting them a role-play partner)
- Shadowing him/her on live calls and giving him/her feedback
- Reviewing recorded calls with him/her and breaking the call down
- Having your ISA handwrite the script every couple of days until they internalize it
There’s no shortage of things you can do to train your ISA on improving his/her skill set. The most important thing is that you never stop training your ISA as long as they work for you.
Your reward will be a larger number of high-quality appointments.
I Do It, We Do It, You Do It
The easiest and fastest way to transfer your knowledge and skills to your ISA is through a strategy called “I do it, we do it, you do it.” The methodology has been around for hundreds of years as it has been used by tribes to transfer knowledge, skill sets, and traditions down from one generation to another.
With this approach, your ISA gets to see the perfect model (you) in action, receives the proper instruction with your involvement and isn’t left alone on an island trying to figure things out by himself/herself with little guidance from you.
Here’s how it works:
- I do it: You will make calls and your ISA will sit and listen as you prospect the various types of seller leads you work in your business. When doing this, you’ll point out important points for your ISA to make note of and help your ISA learn by watching you.
- We do it: You and your ISA sit together for prospecting sessions. In these sessions, you and your ISA alternate back and forth in making calls. You give the ISA feedback on ways to improve and you also make note of better ways to handle certain situations based on how you handle your calls.
- You do it: You will sit with your ISA and let him/her make all the calls. As he/she makes the calls, you will give feedback and help make your ISA as independent as possible on the phone before you turn the reins over to them completely.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents want so badly to get an ISA in place and stop making prospecting calls that they skip this hands-on approach and often throw their ISAs to the wolves too early. This can be a huge mistake because it will take your ISA a lot longer to become successful on the phone. As well, bad habits can form and you may not get the lights-out results you’re looking for.
Very important: Just because you hired an ISA does not mean you can stop making prospecting calls altogether. You must gradually work your way out of the job of prospecting and the “I do it, we do it, you do it” approach is the perfect way to make that happen.
Overall, the hiring process is fraught with all kinds of pitfalls and challenges that can derail your inside sales efforts…even before your ISA makes his/her first call. By following the process we’ve laid out for you in this chapter, you should have a good handle on where all the bodies are buried to get optimal results from your ISA department.
Make sure your hiring ad is on point and relevant so you attract the best candidates. Make sure you do a thorough job of vetting your prospects so you hire the absolute best candidate possible. Don’t skip the onboarding process. In fact, make sure it’s laid out ahead of time and very detailed.
Remember, you can get a copy of our 84-day onboarding checklist by going to www.insidesalespredictability.com/onboarding
Lastly, train, train, train so you know your ISA can do the job lock, stock, and barrel.