So I get a call the other day from one of the big internet portal sites. And they tricked me.
Here’s how they did it and why it makes me think less of them now. Here’s also why I think we as agents should avoid this same type of behavior.
I was in a zone where I was getting things done and generally avoiding all other interruptions for a while (no email, phone, texts, etc.). But my phone rang with the caller ID showing my local area code. So, figuring it had a greater opportunity to be a real connection of mine than one that came from 10 states away, I picked up the phone.
“Hey John – this is Sammy from homeportalsite.com” (obviously, fake name and domain used here). With a super-energetic voice, she proclaimed “I finally have zip code areas available for you to advertise in. They’re in really high demand and they just opened up, so I wanted to give you the first opportunity at them.”
I’m not sure why anything in high-demand needs sales people to cold call you about it, but that’s a story for a different time.
Anyway, it was a short conversation as I explained that I do my own marketing. But before the call ended, I remembered that the caller ID was from my own town so I asked “when did you get an office in Naperville?”
Her response was the basis for this whole article.
She said “oh, we don’t have an office there. It’s just that our phone system creates a calller-ID number from the location where we’re calling to. It’s helps in getting our calls answered.”
First, bravo for using technology in a creative way.
Second, I view this particular creative implementation of technology to be a trick. Had I known who it was – or who it might have been – I wouldn’t have picked up the phone.
This, of course, is why they use it. Because they know that I wouldn’t have answered the phone if it was a sales pitch for something that few people want.
This feeling of being tricked got me a bit frustrated. The call was a waste of my time and, further, it makes me think even less of this company now because I know that their product is of so little value to most people that they have to come up with inventive ways to connect with me just to beg for my attention.
This got me thinking about the value that I provide to people:
I’m working hard to make sure that it isn’t.
I understand that prospecting is essential to stay alive in real estate. I know that not everyone is going to want to hear from me at all times. And I know that some people will see or hear me and think “oh great, another cheesy real estate agent” and not give me the benefit of the doubt.
But I also know that I’m not going to trick people into talking with me.
I feel that what I do has strong enough value that, if you’re in the market to be buying or selling, then you won’t be offended if I contact you in a straight-forward and transparent manner. And I think we’re in a day and age where consumers are absolutely repelled by anything that has the slightest hint of shady sales tactics.
People don’t want to be tricked. They have very limited time and so it requires us to up our game to make sure that when we do connect with them, they feel good about us when the conversation ends.
What do you think? Is this just an arrogant rant or do you think that it’s right and good to employ any and every way to connect with possible new prospects, even if the method is a little devious?
Let me know in the comments below.