5 Reasons Your Last Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ) Hire Failed
A bad hire can leave you licking your wounds for a while.
Many real estate agents have little to no hiring and/or management experience before the joined the industry.
As a result, their first couple of hires hurt them emotionally, psychologically and financially.
Don’t get me wrong.
The majority of these hires are done with the best of intentions and the goal of growing a real estate business while helping the person who got hired create a great life for themselves.
All too often, though, the wheels come off the cart and both agent and employee are left with broken dreams and lighter wallets.
Jim Rohn, one of the pioneers of the personal development movement told us that “Success leaves clues.”
It’s safe to say that failure leaves them as well.
Let’s take a look at the five reasons that many agent’s first (and even second) Inside Sales Agent Hire ( ISA ) failed.
Reason 1: You didn’t actually hire an ISA
There are lots of companies out there who fancy themselves companies who have a desk of Inside Sales agents ready to take your marketplace by storm and unearth legitimate listing opportunities for you on a week-over-week basis.
The unfortunate truth here (all apologies to Al Gore) is that the majority of these companies are nothing more than well-trained telemarketing companies.
Now, you can certainly get results using a company like this, but they’re not the profit-producing numbers you have with an actual, in-house ISA.
With your own ISA, you can build a predictable pipeline of business that produces roughly 50 to 55 home sales per year.
More prospects are converted to appointments and sales and fewer opportunities fall through the cracks because you have a highly-trained sales professional standing guard over your pipeline day after day after day.
In most cases, using anything other than an in-house ISA means that you are doing nothing more than replacing your prospecting efforts without a long-term strategy to build a true pipeline of sales opportunities.
If you hired a virtual ISA or virtual ISA company and got few to no listing appointments and sales, that may be a reason your last ISA hire failed.
Reason 2: Didn’t have the right skill set
After hiring scores of ISAs over the last 15 years, I’ve come to know exactly what you need to look for in an ISA.
And from my experience, the most important thing you need to have - and the criteria that most agents fail to require in the ISA hey hire - is prior phone sales experience.
A lot of the ISA’s that get hired, and then fired fairly quickly, lack the minimum two years of phone sales experience I would require in any ISA that I would hire.
My goal is to bring on someone who already knows how to sell over the phone and teach them how to talk about real estate.
I’m not looking to teach them everything. The learning curve is too steep and it takes way too much longer to get a good return on investment (ROI) when you’re literally starting from ground zero.
Sure, you need to have someone who is aggressive, likes to talk on the phone and can carry on a conversation with anyone.
But without having the background of selling on the phone and all the experiences that come with doing that job, your ISA hire is going to take a lot longer to get results.
Worse, they have a much lower chance of succeeding over the long term.
Failing to hire an ISA with prior phone sales experience is almost always an indicator of why the hire failed itself.
Reason 3: You hired the wrong person
Look, we’ve all hire the wrong person before.
Like I said earlier, most real estate agents - myself included - don’t have a ton of hiring and management experience the day we get our license.
So it makes sense that we’re going to make mistakes.
A lot of times, we’ll hire a friend, a family member or someone who we “think” can do the job because they’re super nice or are willing to work really hard.
Newsflash: EVERYONE who you hire should be nice and willing to work really hard. Those are basic requirements of each and every person on your team.
Above and beyond that, if you want great results in using an ISA, you must hire the right person.
In addition to the aforementioned requirement of phone sales experience, the right ISA - the right person - also possesses the following skills and attributes:
- Can handle objections
- Knows how to build rapport over the phone
- Understands how to use empathy
- Has resilience
- Is an active listener
- Deals well with rejection
- Likes to use scripts and dialogues
- Is open to ongoing training
- Enjoys being on the phone every day
- Is motivated by commission
That’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s certainly a good base set of skills possessed by the right person for the job.
It’s likely that the last ISA you hired and then let go wasn’t the right person for the job, especially if they didn’t have a makeup that included the list of attributes mentioned above.
Reason 4: Expectations weren’t clear
DialAmerica Marketing Inc. brought telemarketing to the nation as an actual career back in the 1950’s.
The term “Inside Sales” was first coined in the 1980’s as a means of differentiating the job and its requirements from that of a telemarketer.
Despite that, the job of Inside Sales didn’t really take on a true identity with a solid description of what was required until the late 1990’s, early 2000’s.
In fact, In 2004, when Dave Elkington and his partner, Ken Krogue, founded InsideSales.com, they searched the keyword "inside sales" on Google and there was nobody else that popped up in the search.
I’m sharing all of this because the job of being an ISA and all the expectations and requirements that come along with it is relatively new, especially in the real estate industry.
Most agents, even today, don’t know what’s expected of an ISA and how to put them in position to get great results.
It stands to reason, then, that if you, as business owner, don’t know what’s expected of your ISA, it’s hard for your ISA to know what to do, how to do it and provide you with the result you’re seeking from them.
Again, this isn’t intentional in any way, but it is a one way ticket to having to let your ISA go.
An ISA needs daily, weekly and monthly goals. They need to know their key performance indicators (KPI), their key result indicators (KRI), what they mean and how to improve them when the results aren’t where they should be.
You, as their manager, need to be able to articulate what’s desired and hold them accountable to the outcome you want.
Anything short of that leads to failure.
Reason 5: Poor or insufficient lead sources
A good ISA needs leads and they need good leads.
Not all lead sources are created equally, which means if you give your ISA leads that they 1) can’t get in contact with or 2) aren’t the decision makers who they need to talk to, they’re not going to have a lot of luck with their prospecting efforts.
As well, if you’re not having your ISA contact Expireds, FSBOs, Withdrawns because you either think there’s no opportunity or because you don’t do well with these lead sources at the kitchen table, you are not giving your ISA the best chance to succeed.
Your ISA needs good good leads with good data to make consistent contacts each day.
In addition to the lead sources mentioned above, your ISA should also have data for circle prospecting, home evaluation leads and even buyer leads if you want to make them a part of your ISAs daily activities.
Without good leads and good data, your ISA is doomed to fail (and it may be the reason your last ISA didn’t make it).
No doubt, there are some dos and don'ts when it comes to hiring an ISA and having it be a successful venture.
The five aspects of hiring an ISA I’ve listed here are key elements in ensuring that your ISA is a long-term, successful hire.
Be sure to take all of them into consideration when you hire your next ISA.