When marketing to probates, the "go to" person you want to contact is the executor, also known as the Personal Representative, among other terms. This is the person that has been given the authority by the Court to wind down the early affairs of the deceased, and is tasked with liquidating the real property attached to the estate.
Although most people are mailing the executor, some real estate agents and investors are intent on calling them. What to say once you get them on the phone? One idea is to build momentum by getting a series of yes's. I'll explain.
It's long been a practice of phone sales to ask questions that only lend itself to a yes. By building a series of "yes", "yes", "yes", the sales person asks for the sale and the prospect, having been in a mental pattern of saying yes throughout the call, is more pre-disposed to say yes to the close. Is this reminiscent of the boiler room tactics of the 80's? Maybe a little, but it still works.
When calling executors in an effort to list or buy their home, one game plan is to simply ask them to verify truths contained in the probate case file. They know this information to be factual, and so they are hard pressed to say no. So for example:
You: "Good evening, Mr. Smith. I understand that you have been appointed the Personal Representative for the estate of Sally Smith, is this correct?"
Executor: "Yes, that is correct".
You: "I also understand that the estate has a property located at 123 Main Street?"
Executor: "Yea, that's the property".
You: "Great. I'm curious if I can come by for about 15 minutes on Wednesday to view the property to see if we can make an all cash offer on the property...."
The quintessential point is to not ask the executor for any information, but to merely confirm what you already know.
It's worth noting that typically, the executor phone number is included roughly 20-30% of the time in the court records. To get more phone numbers, there are other "phone append" services that can take your list and populate phone numbers. You can also do this on your own through services like White Pages.
If you prefer to take less of a direct approach and want to mail the executor, here's a pdf with sample letter templates. Need a website that communicates with executors? Get some ideas by viewing some sample probate websites.