JF1142: Build A High Quality Sales Team That Consistently Brings You Leads with Dale Archdekin
Dale is currently the director of lead generation for the mega team, Global Living Companies, with Keller Williams Realty. He builds inside sales teams for real estate agents and brokers, hiring sales people, training them, and keeping them trained. To say that Dale has inside sales tips and tricks that we can make you a better at sales, (which if you’re in real estate, you typically use sales in some way) would be an understatement. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Dale Archdekin Real Estate Background:
Founder of Smart Inside Sales, a coaching & training company serving residential real estate agents/brokers
Currently Director of Lead Generation for the top 10 mega team, Global Living Companies, with Keller Williams Realty
Both Dale and his wife have close to 10 years of experience selling and investing in residential real estate
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Say hi to him at http://www.smartinsidesales.com
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff.
With us today, Dale Archdekin. How are you doing, Dale?
Dale Archdekin: I’m doing fantastic, Joe. Thanks for having me.
Joe Fairless: Well, nice to have you on the show, my friend. A little bit about Dale – he is the founder of Smart Inside Sales, which is a coaching and training company serving residential real estate agents and brokers. He is currently a director of lead generation for the top 10 megafirm Global Living Companies with Keller Williams. Both Dale and his wife have close to 10 years of experience selling and investing in residential real estate. Based in Philly, Pennsylvania. With that being said, Dale, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Dale Archdekin: Yeah, I think you pretty much summed it up there. With Smart Inside Sales, what we do is we focus on helping real estate agents and teams either add an inside sales division to their company or their team, or help them optimize the inside sales agents that they have in their team. Inside sales is really a bit of a new thing; only in the past couple of years have real estate agents and teams been focused on that kind of hyper-focused lead generation and conversion. So I built one, I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way with that, perfected them, and now I help other people do the same thing.
Joe Fairless: This is a stupid question I’m gonna ask, but what’s the inside sales team? Is that just people who are actually in the office and not on the road?
Dale Archdekin: Basically, it’s a salesperson who does the hard upfront work of either receiving inbound inquiries, like sign calls on listings, or registrations on websites, Zillow leads, Trulia leads, or they’re doing outbound prospecting phone calls, making cold calls, calling expireds and withdrawns, of for-sale-by-owners in order to set up listing appointments. Then they pass those appointments over to the actual outside agent who’s gonna go and take that listing, or who’s gonna start showing homes to that buyer and close the business.
Joe Fairless: Okay. So these people are on the front lines; they have some thick skin and they know how to navigate some tricky conversations. Where should we begin? How do we create an inside sales team that’s top notch?
Dale Archdekin: Really what we do is we start with the recruiting process. What we wanna do is definitely its own lead generation. What you wanna do is you want to get as many inquiries as you can coming in, and then you wanna streamline your process. I prefer to have people calling to a phone number and leave a voicemail about themselves, and I’ll just have an outgoing message that says something like “Okay, give me your name and your best phone number to reach you at, and then in your own words tell me why you are the best fit for our inside sales department and why you are a sales rockstar.” That’s it.
Now they have to do a little verbal audition, and we just listen to those recordings… So I’m not wasting any time looking at resumes, reading resumes, finding out about your porcelain cat collection only to find out that you don’t actually sound good over the phone.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I like that. Makes sense. And it’s efficient.
Dale Archdekin: Yeah, definitely. That’s what it’s all about, because you have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find a really good inside salesperson. Because let’s face it, really not many people like making phone calls all day, or being told no all day.
Joe Fairless: So you start with a recruitment process, you get as many leads as possible… How do you get those leads?
Dale Archdekin: Just running different ads. Using Indeed, using ZipRecruiter, using anything that you have, pushing the ads out there, just like any other job ad. And what you’re looking for is you’re looking for people with sales experience, not necessarily real estate experience. That’s one secret that I’ve figured out. A lot of teams get hung up on trying to find somebody who’s already licensed, and in some states there’s some very heavy requirements around actually getting a license. So what we do is we look for people that just have sales experience, because we can teach them about the real estate process. They don’t have to know that, but it’s hard to teach sales skill.
Joe Fairless: So we’re getting leads coming in for our team members, and we’re listening to those voicemails. We are able to screen some out, and then what do we do after that?
Dale Archdekin: Then the people who make it through that – we set up a role-play with them. So we actually get on the phone, answer a couple questions about the job – how much is the pay, where is the location, what are you gonna be doing all day; you’re gonna be on the phone for six hours plus every single day – how does that sound to you? “Yeah, that’s good. I’m ready to go.” “Okay, great. Here, I’ve sent you a for-sale-by-owner script. You’re gonna be the agent and I’m gonna be the for-sale-by-owner. You have to set up an appointment with me. And the only way that you fail this exercise is if you let me off the phone before you ask all the questions on that script. Ready to do?”
Just doing that script tells us a lot about this person. If I give you explicit instructions that if you let me off the phone you fail, and you let me off the phone because you didn’t wanna be too rough on me, you fail. If you can’t do it when I specifically tell you not to get off the phone, you damn sure aren’t gonna do it once I give you the job and I’m not listening all the time.
Joe Fairless: [laughs] What do you do in that conversation, in the role-play, to attempt to shake them up a little bit and have them quit on you before you actually get off the phone?
Dale Archdekin: Their script – it’s a pretty common physical script in the real estate world; I think it’s actually from Mike Ferry, which everybody knows who Mike Ferry is. So my script – I’ve already baked in objections. One that does trip up a lot of people is “Hey man, listen, I’ve gotta go; my kids are playing in the yard, I just don’t have time for this.” That really shakes–
Joe Fairless: That’s pretty legit! What do you do? You have ten more questions, how do you do that?
Dale Archdekin: You stay on the phone, I don’t care — you’ve gotta be rude; you have to put aside your natural human inclination to say “Oh my god, that’s too much; I can’t keep going” and you have to keep going, because I told you to keep going. And if you can do that, then you can come in and interview for the job.
Joe Fairless: But what’s the specific response? “Hey, I’ve gotta go; my kids just got electrocuted by putting their finger in an electric socket.”
Dale Archdekin: Oh my god, Joe, that’s crazy! You’d better get them to the hospital. Real quick though, are you interested in selling that property or not if I come to see you?” [laughter] That’s the response, man… Get your most important question in. “Joe, are you definitely selling that house – yes or no – before you go?” Because if it’s a no, I don’t wanna waste my time following up with you anyway.
Joe Fairless: “I’m sorry, I can’t answer right now; my kid’s turning purple…”
Dale Archdekin: “Okay, you’d better go. I do care about your child.”
Joe Fairless: Okay, alright… [laugh]
Dale Archdekin: There is a threshold.
Joe Fairless: There is a threshold, got it. I like the tenacity, that’s for sure. My natural thought is I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that, because that would make me pissed off about the person calling me. What are your thoughts on that?
Dale Archdekin: Here’s my thoughts, and this is for the Best Ever listeners out there. The reality is if your kid just got electrocuted, I’m gonna hear the phone hitting the floor. You’re not gonna say to me “I’ve gotta get off the phone, right?” That’s not really gonna happen. So usually what happens most of the time when somebody’s like “Listen, I’ve gotta get off the phone”, really that is they can’t answer one or two more questions. So what we do is if they have a legit reason, like “I’m about to walk into a business meeting, my cab is here”, whatever, you just get your most important question answered. As long as we get the most important question answered, it leads us to whether or not to follow up with you again, and believe it or not, we don’t go so far as to be rude and try to close them on a sale in that situation, but we do wanna understand “Does it make sense to invest our time dialing your number again later on?”
Joe Fairless: Okay. You do the script, you make sure that they don’t hang up prior to getting all the questions asked… Then what?
Dale Archdekin: Then, if they make it through that, we invite them in to a three-hour calling session in the office. And keep in mind, Joe, most of these people have zero real estate sales experience. So going through that script with them, where they have to pretend that they’re an agent also tells us what the level of sales skill is it they have. Because somebody with more sales skills can basically bull***t you through anything that they haven’t sold before. They will stay on the phone with you and they will still set an appointment with you even if they’re selling 3D laser printers and they have no idea what that is.
So we invite them in for that calling session, for the first hour or so we teach them the script, and for the next two hours we put them onto a recorded line and have them make real outbound calls to real consumers. Then we get to listen to that and see how they actually did.
Joe Fairless: Are you legally allowed to record calls with owners?
Dale Archdekin: The federal law says that one party to the call has to give consent. Now, different state laws have different rules. In my state of Pennsylvania, it’s a two-party consent rule, which means that we have to tell them “Hi, this is so and so from Keller Williams. This call me be recorded for training purposes. How are you?” So you have to make that announcement. So what I would say to all the listeners is just know what your state laws are in order to do that.
Joe Fairless: Alright. So now once we go through that process with them where you teach them the script and they’re on a recorded line for an hour doing outbound calls, what next?
Dale Archdekin: We review it, and from there you will know who should be offered a position and who should not. And through that process — because it’s one thing… I’ve had coaching clients where they’re like “Oh, well I sat next to them and I heard them on the phone; I didn’t really hear what was on the other side, but they sounded really good on this side”, and then I’ve given them recordings to listen to of where it seems like the agent sounds good, but once you listen to what the other side of the call is going on, you’re just like “What is wrong with you? You’re not tracking with this person at all. You’re not hearing them.” So that’s critical. You’ll know once you listen to those, and then at that point we offer people the position.
Joe Fairless: And what is the compensation amount, typically?
Dale Archdekin: The most common compensation for a full-time in-house ISA would be around $2,000 to $2,500 a month base pay, plus compensation for various factors. The most simple one is a percentage of the commission on a closing at the end of the sale, but there’s all different sorts of arrangements. I’ve seen hourly, I’ve seen strictly commission-based, but most of the time if you’re gonna have a dedicated person who is sitting there, receiving calls and making calls like a machine and is expected to follow a schedule, generally that’s gonna have a base compensation to it.
Joe Fairless: Okay, and what’s the percentage of commission for closing a sale usually?
Dale Archdekin: The average is between 5% and 10% of the gross commission income.
Joe Fairless: Okay. Now taking a step back, looking at the larger picture of the compensation, what would you say annually is this person making?
Dale Archdekin: It depends on the market, because obviously some markets are gonna be far higher, like certain areas of California, and in some areas it’s gonna be much lower. My market, for instance, the annual earnings – it’s one of the phrases that we use – would be somewhere between 60k and 100k, between their base pay and their commission.
Joe Fairless: Got it, and you’re in Philly.
Dale Archdekin: Yeah, we’re in Philly. So I would say we’re sort of middle-to-high, right?
Joe Fairless: Yeah, okay. Now, with this process, we have now gotten the right team members in place, but I imagine that’s when the real work begins, right? So what do you do after that?
Dale Archdekin: So then the training begins. We’re basically training these ISAs to be an agent; not to act like “Hi, I’m a customer concierge” or “Hey, I’m just giving you a call, but the real specialist is gonna take this call farther.” So we want to train that ISA to be that agent and really handle that call, convert that lead into either a nurture for future business, or into an appointment for immediate business.
So we’re training them on everything that you would train a regular agent on – how does the process work, how does financing work, mindset, time-blocking, understanding the types of leads that they’re calling and receiving, what the mindset is of those leads that they’re calling and receiving. And then scripting.
A lot of people put way too much emphasis on scripts. They think that there’s some magic script out there. But really, it just comes down to teaching people how to have conversations with another human being and to understand how to move them to the outcome that they are looking for and that you match yourself up with. So how do we come to an outcome where you and I are walking down the path, smiling, arm-in-arm? That’s what we’re trying to teach them.
Joe Fairless: How do you do that without being overly focused on scripts?
Dale Archdekin: We use scripts for the baseline. Scripts are to get you started; use the scripts so that you have something to say when you call somebody. But then, if they understand the mindset of this lead and they understand some core principles that I teach, such as experience, process and outcome – so for any person who’s trying to do anything or who’s objecting to you (an objection), that person has some type of experience that they’re drawing from; they’ve created a process in their mind that they think is going to get them to an outcome that they’re trying to achieve. So that objection is just a result of the experience process and outcome.
If you can ask enough questions to understand what their experience is, how they put that process together and what the outcome is and what it means to them, you can show them a different process that can get them to a more, better, faster, cheaper or easier outcome, and then you can say “Would you like that?” and they say “Yes, I would. That’d be great.”
Joe Fairless: So you’re basically learning those three components, and then you’re restating it to them to make sure that it’s accurate, and then you agree upon what the outcome that they want is, and then you say “Hey, would you like it a better, faster way?” and then they agree to it, and then you build from there?
Dale Archdekin: Yes. I’ll give you a very simple example. You call a for-sale-by-owner, the for-sale-by-owner says “My neighbor sold their home by themselves, they didn’t use an agent. They saved a lot of money. I’m gonna sell the house myself without an agent, and I’m gonna save a lot of money.”
Joe Fairless: Yeah, typical.
Dale Archdekin: There’s the whole thing, right? So then I come in, I understand what your experience is, I understand what your process is, and I understand a little bit about what the outcome is that you want – you want to sell your house, and you wanna save money. So to make it very simple, I just simply say “Hey, you’re absolutely right. You totally could sell this home yourself, and that’s great that your neighbor did that, too. If I could show you how I could not only net you more money than it costs you to hire me and make this easier for you to do, would you consider meeting with me to discuss potentially listing your home with me?”
Joe Fairless: Yes, absolutely.
Dale Archdekin: Why wouldn’t you?
Joe Fairless: As long as you’ve built rapport and I don’t think that you’re being disingenuous.
Dale Archdekin: Yes, absolutely. And that brings me to another point, which is what I hear a lot is people closing too quickly, before they’ve built that rapport.
Joe Fairless: How do you know when you built the right rapport?
Dale Archdekin: What I like to tell people when I’m coaching them is “Your close should be the logical conclusion to the conversation you just had with that person.”
Joe Fairless: Oh, okay.
Dale Archdekin: So if the conversation is “My neighbor did it, I’m gonna do it myself; I’m gonna save money, I’m gonna sell my house”, and I say “Well no, I think you should meet with me. Can we get together to talk about that?” – that is not the logical conclusion to what you and I just talked about.
Joe Fairless: Yeah. Let’s just take a step back and we can be talking about any type of sales, that philosophy, your close should be the logical conclusion to the conversation you just had with the person – that can be applied to everything, any type of sales.
Dale Archdekin: Yeah. It’s just communication between people. It doesn’t matter what the sale is, what you’re buying, because it’s not about buying or selling, it’s about you achieving an outcome.
Joe Fairless: Makes a lot of sense. What else as it relates to building a top-notch inside sales team do you wanna mention that we haven’t talked about?
Dale Archdekin: This is the elephant in the room, that doesn’t often get mentioned, but I’m gonna mention it because I run across it so often in my business, and that is when you have a real estate team who has leads coming in, the team leader is investing in them, but the team leader doesn’t have a lot of time to hold their agents accountable to actually making results for those leads… And the agents say “Oh, we’re too busy to call these leads, and they kind of suck anyway, so we need an ISA to come in here and do that for us.” So then the team leader invests money in this ISA, and you make sure they’re trained well and they are an assassin, speaking to these people, setting appointments and nurturing leads, and then they give those appointments to the same agents who were too “busy” to work the leads and follow up with people – that is where the wheels come off the wagon. Those agents are just still gonna cherry-pick the appointments; they’re still gonna just kind of crap on the leads that you’re giving them, the brushed up leads or the appointments.
That is where I see a lot of problem happen, and often times I’m helping a team leader or agent brush up their SalesForce.
Joe Fairless: How do you do that?
Dale Archdekin: So of course I have to work through my client, I have to work through the team leader or the agent. I help them understand that as a team leader, they have specific business goals that they want to achieve, and they want to do it with a certain methodology, which would be lead generation and lead follow-up, and they have agents who refuse to do it, even after that team leader starts investing their time and holding them accountable, inspecting what they expect. If they still have those agents on their team, they have to get out of business with them and they have to fill their bench with agents, salespeople who will help to carry out that vision. That’s how you do it.
Joe Fairless: Based on your experience on the topic we’re talking about now, what is your best advice ever for real estate professionals?
Dale Archdekin: Best advice ever would be to focus on your lead generation and never expect that you can get someone else to do the lead generation to a higher level than you are either capable of or willing to do yourself.
Joe Fairless: And will you give an example of that?
Dale Archdekin: Yes. If you are a team leader of a team, and you do strictly sphere of influence business, right? Just people that you know, warm referrals, “Hey, come over and list my aunt Millie’s house” – if that’s what you do, do not try and tell all your agents that they have to cold-prospect for three hours a day, and expect that that’s going to happen to any great success unless you’re in there doing it, too.
Joe Fairless: Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Dale Archdekin: Yes.
Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our best ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve read?
Dale Archdekin: How To Win Friends And Influence People. I’m a driver, and it’s made me a much nicer person. [laughter]
Joe Fairless: Are you also a real estate investor?
Dale Archdekin: Yes.
Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?
Dale Archdekin: I made a little over 15k on an assignment deal that only took me a couple hours’ work.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?
Dale Archdekin: A mistake on a real estate transaction?
Joe Fairless: Yeah.
Dale Archdekin: The first property I bought was a triplex in a questionable neighborhood. It was massive, and it had a bunch of deferred maintenance. I didn’t know what I was doing; I was smart enough to go and ask a friend of mine who had about 20 years of experience in construction, but I didn’t like his answer when he said “Don’t buy that building, it’s a money pit”, because I was so hot because I really wanted to get my first deal. That was a huge mistake, and it cost me a bunch of money.
Joe Fairless: How much did you lose?
Dale Archdekin: I basically broke even, but basically I was there on a Friday night, snaking a 100-year-old sewer line because I didn’t have money to pay a plumber. I was also there with a sawzall, cutting out an old oil tank (I didn’t realize these things could ignite), because I couldn’t afford to get it removed. I put the sweat equity into that lesson. Fortunately, I didn’t lose money.
Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever way you like to give back?
Dale Archdekin: I like to mentor agents and investors, and help them. Because if I can help them with my experience and let them avoid some of the pitfalls or tears, then that would be great.
Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Dale Archdekin: They can just reach me at Dale@SmartInsideSales.com, or they can find me on Facebook; I have a Facebook page and a Facebook group.
Joe Fairless: And also your website is SmartInsideSales.com. Alright, that will be in the show notes page. Thank you for talking through how to build a top-notch inside sales team; you got into the granular details of it, talked through how to first recruit them, then how to compensate them, and then how to train them. I’m sure we didn’t cover it all, but we covered a lot of it, and it was incredibly valuable because the Best Ever listeners who don’t have a brokerage – it’s still relevant.
I don’t have a brokerage, but it’s still relevant to me if we want to bring on an inside sales staff member for whatever we’re doing; maybe it’s podcast sponsorships, or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s getting my conference sold out in February in Denver. There’s all sorts of things, and for anyone who’s in the business of selling anything, this is a relevant conversation, so thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Dale Archdekin: Thank you so much!