Examples, Tutorials /

Cold calling a hot lead

I’d like to share some best practices on approaching a lead over the phone.
KickFactory’s background is in data science. We started building an artificial intelligence engine back in 2013 that brands used to target consumer intent. Think of it like “those ads that follow you around the Internet.” You know when you say talk with a friend about buying a new car and then you get car ads for the next 2 weeks in your Facebook feed. KickFactory found a less intrusive way to do this through better contextualized messaging.


Our technology allowed us to speak with 4.8M consumers for 52 of the Fortune 1000 brands since 2013. We’ve sold products, services, and generated leads, all in the name of growing the businesses bottomline while at the same time helping the consumer. 


Through millions of conversations and their associated data points we’ve learned about human behavior – what motivates, what inspires people to action, and the best ways to approach people seemingly “out of the blue.”
Let me summarize those learnings in 3 points and then talk you through how to apply them to the leads you’re working off KickFactory Events.


Context

Conversation

Closing

Let’s walk through an example.

Let’s say you’re notified about a fire at 742 Evergreen Terrance through KickFactory Events. And from the event page you can see Mr. & Mrs. Simpson.

Let’s further assume this event has caught your eye and decide it’s a loss you’d like to pursue. After using the Reserve feature to make sure no one else grabs it, you decide to start with a phone call. Here’s how I would coach you to have that call.

You: ***dials phone number
Mr. Simpson: Hello?
You: Hello Mr. Simpson. This is Scott Lewis from the Restoration Company. I saw on the wire this afternoon you’ve had a fire at your home. Is everyone OK?
Mr. Simpson: Yes, everyone is OK. 
You: Great. I’m glad to hear that. [PAUSE] I know that your head is probably spinning right now with all that you have to do to begin putting your home back together. I’ve seen it first hand on the 783 families I’ve done restoration for in our area over the last 10 years.
Mr. Simpson: OK.
You: Would it OK if I came and walked the property with you to help you asses the damage and where to go from here? We don’t charge for estimates. We may be able to help you or I may be able to refer to one of the other great companies in our area.
Mr. Simpson: OK
You: I’ll get in my truck and head over now. See you in 15 minutes.
Some things to point out.
First, the phone call itself won’t be long. It may be less than 2 minutes in some cases. Your job is to lead through the key points – who you are, why you’re calling them, social proof that you’re someone who can help them, and the permission to come visit them in person.
Second, you need to use a script. You cannot wing calls like these. You need to know your points and how to quickly move to your close – the permission for the visit. It’s OK if you need to read your script for a while.
Third, if Mr. Simpson starts asking questions, making objections, or simply starts rambling, let him completely finish his thought, and then go right back to where you left off on the script. Remember, you’ve worked many-many-many jobs like this before. This may be the first time Mr. Simpson has experienced a loss in his home or business and his thinking may not be clear. Your job is help him make decisions that help put his life back together. You do this by working your script and getting his permission for a visit. 
Fourth, don’t worry about how Mr. Simpson may receive your call. He’s not thinking about you, your business, or anything other than “my world has been interrupted and I need things to go back to the way they were yesterday.” If you keep the focus on him and how you can help restore his world, that’s what he needs.
Finally, focus on empathy – being able to see and feel the situation from his perspective. This is why I encourage to open by asking “is everyone OK?” And not “Can I come and asses the property?” Having spoken to 4.8M consumers in a moment of need we’ve learned that empathy creates loyalty and endearment. All things being equal between 3 restorers, the customer will choose to work with the guy they like best and can trust.
KickFactory Events provides you context for these conversations with home and business owners who’ve experienced a loss so that you can successfully close more business.

Mr. Simpson: Hello?
You: Hello Mr. Simpson. This is Scott Lewis from the Restoration Company. I saw on the wire this afternoon you’ve had a fire at your home. Is everyone OK?
Mr. Simpson: Yes, everyone is OK. 
You: Great. I’m glad to hear that. [PAUSE] I know that your head is probably spinning right now with all that you have to do to begin putting your home back together. I’ve seen it first hand on the 783 families I’ve done restoration for in our area over the last 10 years.
Mr. Simpson: OK.
You: Would it OK if I came and walked the property with you to help you asses the damage and where to go from here? We don’t charge for estimates. We may be able to help you or I may be able to refer to one of the other great companies in our area.
Mr. Simpson: OK
You: I’ll get in my truck and head over now. See you in 15 minutes.

Some things to point out.

First, the phone call itself won’t be long. It may be less than 2 minutes in some cases. Your job is to lead through the key points – who you are, why you’re calling them, social proof that you’re someone who can help them, and the permission to come visit them in person.

Second, you need to use a script. You cannot wing calls like these. You need to know your points and how to quickly move to your close – the permission for the visit. It’s OK if you need to read your script for a while.

Third, if Mr. Simpson starts asking questions, making objections, or simply starts rambling, let him completely finish his thought, and then go right back to where you left off on the script. Remember, you’ve worked many-many-many jobs like this before. This may be the first time Mr. Simpson has experienced a loss in his home or business and his thinking may not be clear. Your job is help him make decisions that help put his life back together. You do this by working your script and getting his permission for a visit. 

Fourth, don’t worry about how Mr. Simpson may receive your call. He’s not thinking about you, your business, or anything other than “my world has been interrupted and I need things to go back to the way they were yesterday.” If you keep the focus on him and how you can help restore his world, that’s what he needs.

Finally, focus on empathy – being able to see and feel the situation from his perspective. This is why I encourage to open by asking “is everyone OK?” And not “Can I come and asses the property?” Having spoken to 4.8M consumers in a moment of need we’ve learned that empathy creates loyalty and endearment. All things being equal between 3 restorers, the customer will choose to work with the guy they like best and can trust.

KickFactory Events provides you context for these conversations with home and business owners who’ve experienced a loss so that you can successfully close more business.

News /

Making a phone call first

Scenario

Let’s assume there was a fire at 742 Evergreen Terrace where Mr. & Mrs. Simpson live with their 3 children, dog and cat. 

You receive a notification from KickFactory Events. You look over the information and determine it’s a job you’d like to work. Before you head over, you decide you want to talk with the property owner first – so you call on them.

Your Mindset

A lot of this you already know and do, but it bears repeating.

  • Empathy will be your greatest tool. The ability to see the situation from the perspective of the homeowner or business owner. Feeling what they feel. Seeing what they see. Recognizing the fears and anxieties being surfaced for them.
  • This may be the only time in the life of the customer they experience a fire, water damage, etc. You need to present options for them to choose based upon your experience. They will not know what to do because it’s something they go through infrequently or never. You’re the expert because you do it everyday, present yourself as such.
  • You may have anxiety over how the customer will receive you on site or over the phone. The customer is not thinking about you, they’re thinking about themselves and what they’ve lost. They’re thinking about “how do I put my life back together.” Your job is to be empathetic and let them know you’ve got the experience, tools and team to make this happen right away.

Making the Call

You: Hi, this is [Scott Lewis] from [KickFactory Restorations]. I just heard the news that you’ve had a fire at your home.

You: Is everyone OK? (You ask this open ended question to get them talking).

Homeowner: Yes, everyone is safe. The house is pretty badly damaged.

You: I’m really sorry to hear that. 

You: Can I come now and visit with you for a few minutes and see the property? I’d like to see if we can begin to help you put your home back together. 

You: Is there anything that I can bring to immediately help? (You ask this open ended question to get them talking).

Homeowner: No. I’m not even sure what we need right now. 

You: I understand. It’s OK if this feels overwhelming. I’ve done this [100+] times now over the last [10] years, so I’ll help you sort things out.

You: I’ll get in my truck now and be there in 20 minutes.  (Set the appointment)

Homeowner: Thank you.

Common Objections

The overall objective of this call is to get the permission to come and visit with them in person.

If the homeowner asks “how did you know about the fire?” The easiest answer is “I saw it in the news. We’re always looking for situations like these where we can help. Can I come by and take a look at the damage and see if we can help?”

If they press you on this point, you can let them know you subscribe to broadcasting services that notify you when events like this happen. 

If the customer is flustered by the opening and does the “wait…who is this…who are you again….”, you go straight back to “This is [Scott Lewis] from [KickFactory Restorations]. I’m calling because I see that you’ve had a fire.” You pause for 2 breaths here to let that information sink in for them and then ask “Is everyone OK?” And then you’re right back on script.

It’s important you supply the context for the conversation, not just who you are. The conversation is about them and their problem, not who you are.

Final Remarks

Like all things in life, if you don’t put in the work, you’ll never reap the benefits. That means if you’re not making the calls to these prospects KickFactory is not going to increase the number of jobs you’re running each month.

Examples /

Animal Crackers, Water Bottles, and Winning Bids

I talk with a lot of people in the restoration services field. I mean A LOT. Over the last 30 days I’ve spoken with 169 business owners. I ask a lot of questions as I’m still trying to learn my place within our industry.

I learned something this week you may find valuable: Empathy wins bids.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

The woman I spoke with told me she has a 95% close rate on homes she visits. I had to stop her, because I’ve never heard of anyone with high of a bid acceptance rate before. I said “what kind of magic do you do that gets you a 95% close rate – surely that cannot be true!”

And she said, “Scott, I’m woman and a mother, so I have a natural instinct to care for the people, not just care for their home. Whenever I approach I a home, especially if I know they have children, I always bring a snack with me for them.”

She went on to talk about how people are experiencing a traumatic event in their life. Be it a fire, water in the basement, the death of a loved one that needs to be cleaned up – all of these situations have great personal loss attached to them. And while she and her company are more than capable of cleaning up the damage, it’s her ability to put herself in the shoes of those affected and asking “what would I need right now – this instant” that could help bring some normalcy to this traumatic situation.

And her answer is snacks. She said she keeps water bottles, animal crackers, apples, and other snacks in her car so they can be pulled out at a moments notice. It’s her way of saying she understands the pain they are experiencing and she’s here to help. 

For her, this results in 95% of the bids she’s submitting being accepted by the homeowner. And the $25 she spends stocking the snacks is resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of revenue gains.

When you go to your next bid, do something different. Bring some animal crackers and bottles of water. Before you start assessing the property, assess the family, start with the empathetic approach, and see if it doesn’t tip the win in your favor – and make you feel better about yourself too.

Buy Animal Crackers on Amazon.

Examples /

Seeking a competitive advantage

I talk with a lot of clients and prospective clients each week. One theme I’m hearing a lot lately is that brands are looking for a competitive advantage on the hunt for new customers.

Often these brands are talking with me because they recognize the competitive advantage KickFactory offers brands. 

For example, I spoke with a pet food brand. They are looking to both sell their pet food and increase their market share. Those customers fell into two main types: 

  1. When customers are going to be buying from a competitor
  2. When customers are going to be making a purchase, but it’s not clear where they are going to make the purchase.

I talk with a lot of clients and prospective clients each week. One theme I’m hearing a lot lately is that brands are looking for a competitive advantage on the hunt for new customers.

I showed the client how KickFactory can find people raising their hands today, self identifying as these types of customers.

Take a look at the types of hand raisers our AI is finding for them: https://kickfactory.com/showme/?campaign=X9UNSLREQP

If you’re interested in finding people who are about to start shopping, let’s connect. Here’s my calendar.

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