Inside Sales Agents: How to Close on your Calls
As an inside sales agent, being able to properly and successful close on your calls is one of the most (if not the most) critical parts of your job. Even if you are a master at overcoming objections, can relate to leads on your calls, and have enjoyable sales conversations, it is all for nothing if you don’t know how to close correctly and consistently.
Successful closing is closely related to successful objection handling. So first and foremost, real estate inside sales agents need to know how to successfully deal with objections. As I explain in my Conversion University Course, the key to dealing with caller objections is to understand the lead’s perspective, process, and outcome—the three parts that make up every objection. This is called the PPO process.
The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own. Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:
- Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
- Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
- Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
- Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
- Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.
More often than not, the objection (and how you deal with it) is going to lead you to the opportunity to close. Through dealing with the objection successfully, you will have had to convince the lead that you can either assist them with their process, or you offered a better process and convinced them that your process will help them better achieve their desired outcome.
The problem that many ISAs or agents have is with timing. Knowing when to close and not closing too early. The solution to this is actually pretty simple: closing has to be the logical conclusion to the conversation you are having with the lead. This means you have to be having ACTUAL conversations with leads on phone. You can’t just be going blindly from a script—you have to be in the moment, react to what the lead says, and ask relevant questions given where the conversation goes.
If you are working with them to get an understanding of the outcome they desire, and you are powering through any objections they present, then the time to close is going to naturally arise once you can tell they are satisfied with your answers to their objections. Just follow the conversation.
If the lead says they are starting to interview new agents and get their home back on the market in a few weeks, then the logical time and way to close would be to say “Oh great! I am excited to show you how our team sells homes in less time and for more money than other agents. I am available on Wednesday or Thursday to meet. Which day works best for you?” That would not be the logical close if the lead said, “We’re not interested in selling. We took it off the market and are going to wait until the market improves.”
Closing with Empathy
This largely gets back to the PPO objection handling process, but it is critically important to closing successfully. You HAVE to close with empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, understand what they know, understand what they want, and understand how they want to proceed.
If, from their perspective, it does not make sense to meet with you, sign with you, or have any sort of next step with you, then you have not done enough work to be ready to close. You have to be constantly viewing the conversation from their point of view. If it doesn’t make sense for them to take the next step with you, then ask more questions and acquire more information from them until you can present a proposition to them that makes sense—for them.
Closing is the key aspect of any sales call. If your job is selling on the phone, like if you are a real estate inside sales agent or even an outside agent, then a successful closing is all you can have to show for you work on any given call. It gets down to having a REAL conversation with the lead. Understand what they are dealing with from their own perspective, and close when you know you have something of value to offer them that will help them achieve THEIR goal in THEIR specific situation.