You press the green button, and then you wait. The rhythmic brrr noise doesn’t calm you down; it makes you tenser. You know you’re doing the “hard part” of your job, but it’s the part you don’t want to do. Deep down, you hope no one will answer.
“Hello?” answers a voice on the other side. And there’s silence. Your tongue has frozen. Only too late do you realize that you have no clue what you’re going to say.
“Hello?” the now annoyed voice repeats.
“Um, yes, hi.” You stutter.
“I’m going to say this for the last time. I want you people to quit calling me!” the voice shouts before the line dies.
It’s over, and it couldn’t have gone much worse.
It’s the cold-calling mistake everyone wants to avoid. We all make a mistake at least a few times in our careers. And it’s not the angry person on the other line that makes it so bad. What makes it so bad is knowing that the failed call is 100% on you.
It’s happened to every cold caller, and whether you’re new or an experienced veteran, you can expect it to happen to you again. Your script will get stale, you’ll trip over your words, or you’ll have an off day.
No matter how experienced you are, it would help if you had several good openers on hand to make sure you start calls the right way.
Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before you recreate the situation from above.
So we’ve put together six cold call openers that you can start using today. You’ll discover how to make property owners curious, hook them immediately, and get your words flowing like the pros you see online!
- The Greeting and Introduction
Whether you’re nervous or just moving quickly, you might get right to business when you start a call. But before you start talking about cash offers, buying the home as-is, and avoiding repairs, you need to build rapport.
University donation centers have this one figured out pretty well. Many of them rely on students calling alumni and asking for donations. Their scripts start like this:
“Hello, Jim! This is Trevon. I’m a Business major at ASU. How are you doing today?”
Now you might be thinking, “That’s for universities. That’s not relevant at all.” But suppose a college student with nothing to offer can hook busy professionals and get them to donate money. In that case, a professional wholesaler with an official title and a business shouldn’t have a problem hooking distressed property owners.
Your script should look something like this:
“Hello [Owner Name]! This is [Caller Name] from [Business Name]. How are you doing today?”
Using an opener like this will set you apart for three reasons:
- Introducing yourself starts a real conversation. The property owner will be interested in why you’re calling and will open the conversation further.
- Most scam callers jump right into their scripts because their goal is to build pressure. Starting conversationally reduces stress and shows property owners that you aren’t a scam caller.
- Identifying yourself professionally associates you with a business and adds legitimacy to your call.
Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone will be receptive, but you will start more conversations the right way and increase property owner engagement. That’s a pretty great goal, to begin with.
- The Good Manners
No one likes to be bombarded when they’re busy. This isn’t a shocking revelation to you, but sometimes we don’t realize how much we’re bombarding property owners when we cold call them.
So another great way to start the call is to make sure the property owner has time to talk.
This opening looks like this:
“Hey [Owner Name] this is [Caller Name]. How’s it going? I’m buying and selling homes in the area, and I’d love to chat about your property. I know life is busy right now, so this won’t take long, but is this a good time to chat?”
By starting the conversation this way, you make yourself sound considerate, friendly, and professional. Remember, there’s nothing worse than getting a high-pressure call, and that’s what most people expect when they answer an unknown number. If your opening is the opposite of what they expect, they will be more open to what you have to say. Just remember to match the energy of the person you’re talking to. You don’t want to bring too much energy to the conversation. It is still a cold call, after all.
You have to be careful with this one. You don’t want to open a massive exit door on the conversation from the beginning. But giving the property owner a chance to reschedule can build a lot of rapport from the start.
- The Trend
People make decisions about a cold call within the first 5 seconds. If you haven’t caught their attention by then, they will move on with their day. But few topics catch attention, like the promise of money, especially when talking to a distressed property owner.
Distressed property owners are usually in a financial bind, and the promise of cash or the fear of loss are great motivators to stay on the line. So pick a current trend in the market, and bring it to their attention.
“Hey [Owner Name], this is [Caller Name]. You may not know this, but investors are paying more than ever for houses like yours. I thought I’d give you a call to ensure you hadn’t missed that news.”
Alternatively, you could say, “Hey [Owner Name], this is [Caller Name]. I’m not sure if you heard, but there may not be much time left to sell your house with interest rates rising. If it’s something you’re considering, now is the time.”
This is an excellent opener for niche lists, like pre-foreclosures or highly-distressed properties, but be careful. It’s a very high-pressure way to open the call, and it could earn you some early hangups. Just remember to tailor this kind of opening to the specific list you’re working on.
- The Request
We are hardwired to assist people who ask for help. You might refuse a direct request like “I need some change,” but how often do you say “No,” when someone asks, “Can you please help me?” Probably not often.
This is good news for you as a cold caller, and it explains why most cold calls fail immediately. We usually start by asking for people’s time. That’s something precious to them, and we typically haven’t earned it. But if we begin by asking for a bit of help, property owners have a hard time saying no.
Here’s what it looks like “Hi [Owner Name], this is [Caller Name]. Can you help me with something real quick? I’m a real estate investor, and I’m looking for people interested in selling their homes. Do you know any?”
There’s a three-pronged goal here. We want to draw them into the conversation, but we also want them to say, “Well yeah, that’s me. I want to sell my home!”
But we also have another goal. Even if the person you called doesn’t want to sell, there’s a good chance they know someone who does. And they probably live close by, so this is a great way to generate more leads in the neighborhood you’re working in.
Another great way to start with a request is to ask for the property owner’s opinion or advice. Everyone loves to share their opinion, which will help level the playing field from the owner’s perspective. Instead of coming across as a big-money investor looking to take the property, you’ll come across as an equal who wants to chat.
The important part about this opener is that by asking for help or advice early, you lower the chances that someone will hang up on you immediately. Then you have two more opportunities to generate real value from the call. This is a win, win, win kind of strategy.
- The Gift
Has a salesperson ever given you something free? It’s called pre-giving, and it creates something called reciprocity. And when you use it to give a valuable service away for free, it can be compelling.
Giving the property owner something valuable for free creates goodwill and encourages them to provide you with something in return: their time. This is one of the most popular tactics in high-ticket sales and marketing. It does work.
But what can you possibly give to a distressed property owner?
This depends on the distress factor of the property. If it’s in general disrepair, you could offer to walk through the property and estimate repair costs. If the property is in pre-foreclosure, you could offer a free payment plan consultation.
With this opener, you have the opportunity to let your creativity shine! Come up with something of actual value and use it to open the conversation. You’ll be surprised how well this one works.
Not only can it open the door to a conversation, but it can schedule an on-site appointment for you. Plus, your offer is the logical next step after the consultation. “If you’re not interested in these repairs, payments, etc., selling your property is a great option, and I’m interested in buying it.”
- The Referral
This one is pretty conditional, but you have the perfect opening if you have a referral from tactic #4.
It will look like this: “Hi, [Owner Name]. This is [Caller Name]. Your neighbor [Referrer Name] from up the street told me you’re looking to sell your property. I’m calling to learn more about your house and what you’re hoping to get for it.”
This opener is effortless and will help you get right to the conversation. Then if the owner is ready to sell, the rest will take care of itself. Just make sure you’re prepared to move forward and avoid the common mistakes that steal deals from wholesalers everywhere.
Starting a call the right way is essential to cold calling success. No matter how experienced you are, it would help if you had a variety of scripts to help you start strong.
We’ve explored six effective ones here, but cold calling is a science with a lot to explore. This will be your number one skill in wholesaling, so we highly recommend checking out more resources and regularly calling to master it.
One of the best ways to do this is to invest in a phone system like BatchDialer so you can call multiple lines at once. This will let you connect with real people and work through your lists at lightning speed. Plus, you can create campaigns in BatchLeads and push them to BatchDialer with the click of a button. You’ll even have a property details tab pop up while you’re on calls, so you don’t have to open a separate tab in Zillow!
The best part? If you click here, you can enjoy a free 7-day trial with unlimited outbound dialing, so you can put these call openers to work immediately!
So are you ready to take your calling campaigns to the next level? Then get out there and put these openers to work!