Marketing Monday: How To Categorize This Caller?

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Marketing 5 Comments

Working a full time job during the day makes it impossible for me to answer most of the phone calls I get from people responding to my direct mail marketing.  Not only that, but finding the time to return all the calls is near impossible as well.  There are lunch times, or while you are cooking dinner or before going to the gym.  How many calls can you actually return in a given day before 8pm?  Not a lot, at least for me.

In the beginning when I wasn’t getting to many phone calls, I could return them all and gain the experience talking to all kinds of people who are in all kinds of readinesses (is that a word??) to sell.  However, there came a point when I couldn’t possibly return all the calls.  What to do?

I started filtering the calls from the beginning.  I have my Google voice mail answer ever call I get from my marketing.  I use to have Google voice forward the calls to my cell phone first and then pick up if I didn’t answer, but now I just have all calls sent to voice mail.  This way I can quickly determine if the person is…

  1. Not interested in selling (they usually say, “take me off your mailing list”
  2. Is Angry that you even dared to contact them
  3. Is a Realtor calling on behalf of the seller
  4. Is looking to sell their property(s)

Only #4 gets a call back and sometimes #3.

Determining motivation from a voice mail message is darn near impossible 95% of the time.  So I don’t try and play that game and just call the people back and talk to them.

Here is an example voicemail message that I got this past week.  Do you think I should call them back?

[audio:|titles=Caller Example 1]
Scott Costello
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Comments 5

  1. Scott,

    Not sure what to tell you. Some followup could lead to a shadow sale down the road. ie Friend tells a friend. Course other calls could lead to an ass chewing. Ah the fun of direct marketing.


    1. Yea I agree, it’s hit or miss but if someone has limited time you kinda have to make a decision to call the most likely “to be motivated” back. It’s true you never know though

  2. Hi Scott –

    One thing I would suggest is that you break up your mailing. If you plan to mail 400 pieces in a month, only mail 100 per week. This makes the calls more manageable. I don’t see the need to call back someone that wants off your list.

    You should definitely call back all the Realtors. Even though they may be calling for their seller this time, they are a valuable contact.

    A lot of agents are also investors as you know. Realtors have pocket listings all the time, and you want to be the person they call when they get one. As I remember, you have your license. You should try to attend some of the functions they have and get known in your “tribe”. You can also market any deals you get to them for their buyers list. Robyn Thompson used to do this all the time. She would list a house after the rehab and give the entire commission to the agent that sold it; and they always worked hard for her because of it. She just figured this in here sales price.

    I am not a licensed Realtor myself, but I had a home inspection company for 17 years. During that time I always belonged to the Board of Realtors as an affiliate member. I sponsored and attended a lot of their functions during those years. Those contacts still serve me well today.

    1. My question though is if you have limited time, is it worth calling the Realtors or someone interested in selling their house? How would you order your priority list?

  3. He sounded interested, like, even tho he sounded bit confused, im guessing he just wants to know what you are interested in. I’d call him.

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