When you become a client of CINC, you're immediately greeted by a warm community of fellow agents either through our Facebook groups or during our many training events hosted at CINC HQ. Within this community, we hear a lot of chatter about ISAs (Inside Sales Agents). When should I hire an ISA? How do you train an ISA? Am I ready to give up control to have someone else call my leads? And the list goes on. So we've invited Michelle Wakefield, Team Leader at Appointments Inc by CINC, to give us some tips and tricks.
Thanks for joining us, Michelle!
Michelle >> Happy to be here!
Some people may not know anything about Appointments Inc. (AINC), so can you start with a brief overview of what it is and what you do?
Michelle>> Absolutely. AINC is your personal (virtual) Inside Sales Rep. AINC is designed to convert internet leads from registration to an appointment. We have executed a specific sequence of phone calls and broken it down to the simplest form of what our clients want and need. Buyers want to view properties and sellers want to get the highest value for their property. Over here at AINC, we are considered call crushers and fearless on the phones. What makes us unique is our determination to overcome objections. Each week we do mini break out sessions and we focus on 1 specific objection. This week was the dreaded, “Just looking.”
So what do you do at AINC?
Michelle>> I hire and train all of our ISAs to make sure they are the best at what they do and continue to learn best practices. All of our ISAs are located in our headquarters here in Marietta, Georgia, so I personally make sure our service is top notch.
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of CINC clients (and real estate agents in general) are looking for advice when they start getting more leads than they can handle on their own. A great option is to, obviously, use the AINC service. However, if someone decides to hire their own ISA, what qualities do you look for when hiring an ISA?
Michelle>>The ISAs that are the most successful, in my experience, have the following qualities:
- Are not afraid of someone telling us no
- Thick skin
- Jazzed about helping others
Those can be difficult qualities to find. We hear a lot of agents have high turnover with their ISAs because of under-performance, more so than with other positions. So what makes AINC different?
Michelle>>I am really proud of our team at AINC and their success for our clients. We have a wonderful culture and team spirit, so that helps tremendously. All of our ISAs have the qualities above, but they also always:
- follow-up on all new leads
- have a good understanding of the what to capture when making a call and taking notes
- make calls following a call sequence
- leave detailed notes of everything that happened in the conversation
- assign accurate labels
Those skills require training and many agents don't have time to devote to that. They're already too busy and that's the entire reason they're looking for help from an ISA. Unfortunately, if an ISA is not effectively capturing lead information or following-up as soon as a lead comes into the system, it hurts your business. That's why training is such an important component of our offering.
Let's end with a quick tip that our readers can take away and share with their teams. You said that, this week, your mini break-out sessions focused on a very common objection that agents and ISAs hear a lot, "I'm just looking." What are some talking points that you can suggest to our readers to help them overcome that objection when speaking with leads?
Michelle>>This is a tough one. Don't be scared to fall back into customer service - help them – and avoid Yes/No questions. We've found these follow-up questions work pretty well:
- "Great! What are you looking FOR?"
- Hey, look, real quick... we can optimize your search if you have 30 seconds to give me a rundown of what you are looking for."
- “We have already created a saved search for you and we want to make sure you are getting the right properties.”
- “In a perfect world, when would you be in your new home?”
- “We like to check in while you’re on the site, make the most of your search.”
Let them know that you want to make the most of THEIR time. Bottom line, we need to get their story and these questions can help to get your leads talking.
Those are great ideas! Thank you so much for your time today, Michelle.
Michelle>> Thank you for having me!
If you want to learn more about AINC, click here.