Every internet lead appears to have received a memo on what to say to get you off the phone.
"I'm only looking."
"I already have representation!"
The irony is that we get upset with leads who say, "No, I'm just looking." But first, let me ask you a question. What should you do if you walk into a store and the salesperson asks, "Is there anything I can help you with today?"
Exactly. "No thank you, I'm just looking!" you say. Why? You don't want to be sold to, do you?
Calling leads is no exception. We just need a little more information and to pay attention to the details to overcome objections like this. In this article, I'll explain exactly what you should say to overcome this and five other common buyer objections.
1. "I'm Only Looking—I'm Fine"
This is the most common objection encountered by inside sales agents (ISAs).
There are several paths the conversation can take, but the most important goal is to determine where they are in the process of making a move.
The best way to accomplish this is to continue asking questions. Here are a few key questions to ask your lead to elicit more information and address any objections before they arise.
Lead: No thanks, I was just looking around.
Agent: Do you have any plans for the future?
Lead: I'm not sure, maybe next year.
Agent: Oh, do you mean spring, summer, or fall?
Lead: will most likely fall.
Agent: If you were to relocate, what would be the reason for your decision?
Lead: School will be out, and we will be downsizing.
Agent: Will you sell or keep your current home?
We're not sure about the lead yet.
Agent: Not to worry. What information can I possibly get into your hands while you are gathering information? We want to be your go-to source for market information.
Lead: We'd like to find a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for around $300,000 to $400,000.
Agent: Excellent, I will keep you informed. Do you mind if I just check in now and then to see if you have any questions or want me to revise anything in the search? Oh, and did I mention that your email address is?
The emphasis was on determining the time frame and reason for the move. These two points are the most important because they assist the lead in telling their story, which everyone secretly wants to tell.
We need to understand their pain (the reason for the move), as well as the timing and reason for the move, in order to qualify the lead based on priority.
Consider the following exchange if they had responded differently to your question about future plans:
Lead: I honestly don't know; I was just looking.
Agent: How about your future plans?
Lead: Well, maybe in the future.
Agent: How does the future look one, two, or five years from now?
Can you distinguish between conversations and the importance of nurturing a lead? The more questions you ask, the more onion layers you can peel back to determine how and when to follow up with them.
Of course, this was a fictitious conversation. Here's how I handled the "I'm just looking" objection on a recent phone call, all with a lead:
2. "I Already Have A Representative"
This is my personal favorite objection! Of course, if they are immediately angry or impolite, I simply let them go with an "OK, thank you!"
However, most people are not immediately angry or impolite. This is how the typical conversation goes:
Agent: Hello, [First Name], and welcome to [Your Name]. I noticed you looking at homes in [where they were looking] online. I'm just dropping by to see what your plans are and what you might be looking for.
Lead: Oh, absolutely. I'm looking for something.
Agent: What exactly is your current situation? Do you own your home, rent it, or live with your family?
Lead: I'm a renter.
Agent: Do you have a lease? Or is it month to month?
Agent: So, when do you want to live in a house?
Lead time: ASAP.
Agent: How long have you been on the lookout?
Lead time: 3 months
Agent: Have you only looked online, or have you visited any homes?
We've been in a few houses with lead.
Agent: How did you notice them? Are you contacting the listing agent, or have you made a commitment to someone?
Lead: This agent has shown us several options.
Agent: And how has your experience been so far? Why haven't you discovered anything?
Lead: It already has offers on it by the time we see it.
Agent: I don't want to step on any toes, but please allow me to ask you a question. Has that agent sat down with you and asked you what you want in a home, how much you're willing to spend, and how well you understand the market?
No, she only shows us what we want to see.
Agent: Again, I don't want to step on anyone's toes or steal their business, but this is a significant investment you're making, right? Don't you owe it to yourself to know you have someone looking out for your best interests? When would be the best time for us to meet and talk? I would simply appreciate the chance to earn your business.
If someone says, "I have an agent," things may go very differently. My favorite line to use in that situation is:
Agent: I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but I do need to sleep tonight. It's 2022, and it appears that everyone has a real estate license. Are you confident that the agent you're working with is protecting your future investment and doing everything possible to find you a home?
Try it! The responses will surprise you.
Please keep in mind that just because they say they have an agent does not mean they actually do! As if they are doing business with the worst agent in your market and you need to save them from a bad experience, ask questions.
Here is an audio recording of this exact conversation, and after this call, my agent followed up with me and said she had a buyer agency agreement signed the next day! Success!
3. "I'm Just Hoping To Get This One Home"
Don't drive the Real Estate Taxi! These Zillow leads will be your undoing. They don't understand the process of requesting information, and almost none of them are aware that their phone number is routed to multiple agents. They mistakenly believe they are contacting the listing agent! It is the ISA's responsibility to educate and qualify.
Here's how a typical "I just want to see one home" conversation goes:
Lead: I was only concerned with getting that one home. Why aren't there any new photos online?
Agent: What is it about this property that piques your interest?
Lead: It's a good price in a good neighborhood.
Agent: How long have you been on the lookout?
Lead: For a while.
Agent: And why haven't you discovered anything?
Lead: It hasn't been the right place to live.
Agent: What makes you think this one will be different?
Lead: I'm not sure; I'd have to see it to know.
Agent: So, tell me about your current situation. Do you own or rent your home?
We own the lead.
Agent: Are you planning to sell or keep your current residence?
We're not sure about the lead yet.
Agent: In terms of financing, will you pay cash or obtain financing?
Financing is in charge.
Agent: Are you ready to write an offer with a pre-approval letter if this is the perfect home for you?
Lead: My credit is fine; I'm not concerned about it.
Agent: That is something I completely understand and respect. However, because the market is moving so quickly and most homes have multiple offers, I don't want to put you in a position where you fall in love with a home and are unprepared to buy it. Would you be interested in seeing any other homes that met your specific criteria if I found them?
Lead: I suppose so.
Agent: I'll tell you what, I have to make plans to move into this house anyway. In the meantime, do you mind if I have my lender contact you to start the process in case this is the perfect home for you? We'll be a few steps ahead this way. I assure you that there is no obligation and that I am not attempting to persuade you. I just don't want you to risk losing something that works perfectly for you. It's a jungle out there! All I want is to protect your investment and have the chance to earn your business.
The key to dealing with this objection is to remove it from their hands. That is, make it clear that there is no obligation and that you are not forcing them to do anything. Make it about them; persuade them that you want to protect their money and future investments.
You probably don't want to work with them if they don't see that. Take it from me: the leads you force are your worst nightmare, and you can't wait to say goodbye at the closing table.
4. "I'm At Work, And I Can't Talk Right Now"
This one drives me completely insane. Someone finally answers the phone, and they are in a hurry. There are two approaches to this objection. Of course, no matter how you handle it, the most important goal is to find out where they are in the moving process!
The last thing you want to do is return a call from someone who has no intention of making a move.
Here are my two favorite responses to this objection:
Agent: Oh, I'm sorry; when can I call you back or text you?
My second approach assumes that if they can answer the phone, they can answer a few simple questions:
Agent: Gosh, I'm not looking to keep you; I just wanted to know if you had any plans to relocate in the next six months to a year. Last but not least, I have your email address as _____________; is there anything else you'd like me to set up before we talk again?
5. “I Just Wanted To Look But I Had To Sign Into Your Website To Look”
Leads are irritated by the requirement to register in order to view homes. Remember that most people don't understand the process. So don't succumb to their discontent or feel guilty for obtaining their information. Simply accept it and feel empathy for them.
Lead: I'm not interested in talking to anyone; I just want to look at houses.
Agent: I completely understand how frustrating it is. However, guess what? You don't need to take another call right now because we're talking.
Agent: I completely understand. I know it's inconvenient, but we just want to make sure you find what you're looking for. It is our job to make your online experience as simple as possible. How can we continue to assist you with market information so you don't have to register elsewhere? What exactly are you looking for?
Lead: I'm not sure, I'm just looking for now.
Agent: Awesome! What kinds of houses are most appealing to you?
Leader: I must have a single family. I don't want a homeowners' association.
Agent: Is that correct, and do you have a price range in mind?
Agent: Excellent! Oh, and do you have a timetable for when you want to be in a house?
And there you have it. It is not difficult to steer the conversation away from the negative. Simply accept it and empathize with their frustration.
"I'm just checking to see if there's anything I can afford."
The main goal with these leads is to persuade them to meet with a lender as soon as possible. You can show homes all day, but what's the point if they don't have any purchasing power? Here are a few approaches to pique their interest in speaking with a lender:
Agent: Have you asked anyone how much a mortgage payment would be on a specific price property?
Lead: No, not at all.
Agent: I want to make certain that we stay within your budget, and this is the best place to begin. We can look at houses all day, but first I want to make sure you're comfortable with the payment. Does that make sense?
Lead: It certainly does.
Agent: Do you mind if I have (either my lender or my agent) contact you? When would be the best time for them to contact you?
Here's an excellent example of a call that assisted her in understanding the process and how to get them talking to a lender before viewing a home. The key to a successful close in qualifying and setting expectations.
Bonus Cold Calling Video: Ask the Right Questions And You'll Get Everything
Don't be afraid to ask probing questions and hold genuine conversations with leads. Everyone wants to go house hunting, but you don't have time. I wanted to share this conversation as an example of simply having fun with leads and conversing with them as you would with a friend.
My favorite inquiries:
- What would a move look like for you if I had a magic wand and everything was perfectly aligned?
- What has to happen for you to act?
- What are your plans for the future?
- Would you move sooner rather than later if I could make something happen for you that met your expectations?
- What can I do for you in the meantime while you're researching the market? What information is most useful to you?