Mastering The Automotive Internet Sales Lead / Phone Sales Process With Sean V. Bradley - Car Sales
Mastering The Automotive Internet Sales Lead / Phone Sales Process With Sean V. Bradley - Car Sales
Email Customers - Hot or Not? Earning the right to the phone number.
I decided to write this as soon as the deal ended while it was still fresh on my mind. I've noticed in my personal department that over time email customers become looked upon as dead or cold leads before they have even been touched. I was recently reading an article about a very successful Internet Department that explained how we must "earn the right" to have the phone number with many customers. Dealer Synergy has taught the same principle on the phone through their phone scripts that enable the coordinators to earn the number. The same goes for email only leads. Hopefully this short example will remind us to work email customers just as hard as phone customers.
The customer submitted the lead this morning, it was an email only lead. Right off the bat my coordinator was upset. I stated this is a hot customer, but instead of sending an email template as usual, send the Value Package followed by a personal email to start the trust building process. The customer replied within a few minutes wanting price, like most. From this point I personally took over the customer and worked the customer. We emailed over price, trade value, and financing options. In each email I was very personal and expressed my confidence in the dealership, the product, and in myself. Not in a single email did I ever give the customer an exact price whether it be on trade or on the vehicle he was interested in. Rather I continued turn the customers focus from absolutes to the value of our dealerships. I did give the customer a range to keep him confident. After about 4-5 emails the customer said "outstanding" and emailed me his number. I immediately called the customer and was greeted by a happy customer. He was excited and enthusiastic about the deal and set the appointment. In the end the customer wanted all the paperwork done before he got here so he could sign and drive.
The conclusion is this "Email Only" customer turned into an easy sign and drive customer. This deal might have even been easier than a simple phone up appointment. Through building value, gaining trust, and gaining confidence, the customer bought. Not every deal turns out this way, and this is in no way an attempt to blow smoke. I am sharing this to remind everyone that every lead is considered hot. Buy or Die right? Remember to treat every type and source of lead equal, you just might not know which one is ready to buy today.
Sean V. Bradley Training On Automotive Sales, Phone Process, Objections & Rebuttals - Strategy
Automotive Dealer Principals & General Managers BEWARE of Internet Sales or BDC Department!
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Dealer Synergy LIVE Onsite Training -Very Unimpressed with Mystery (Phone) Shopping Car Dealerships in Chicago... WOW
I was onsite at a progressive Chevy Dealership in Chicago and we Mystery Shopped about 5 dealerships... They were all shocked by how bad the phone calls went. EVEN the "Big" dealerships totally blew it on the calls.
It is a fact that the Phones are the MOST underutilized tools at a dealership.
*** I am editing the actual videos of the Mystery Shops... CRAZY!
Automotive Internet Sales - Example of How to Handle "Bought Elsewhere" / Dead Deals - Don't WASTE Opportunities!
Everyone knows that the hardest part of Automotive Internet Sales is getting someone on the phone... I get it. As a matter of fact on average you will only connect with approximately 11- 14 percent on the phone. Meaning that if you make 120 Out bound phone calls, you will connect with 14-17 people on the phone (Not a very good ROI on your efforts). But, it is what it is...
Now it gets EVEN more frustrating when you FINALLY get someone on the phone after following up with them for days or sometimes even weeks / months and hearing "Sorry, I bought elsewhere". You have to FIGHT the urge of getting mad, or even being rude. Or worse, being indifferent and just letting it slip into the "Dead Deal" folder on your CRM.
Even though you lost the opportunity to sell a vehicle, you can turn that prospect into a service opportunity. Why would you care...? Because a service customer is 7 times more likely to purchase a vehicle from where their service their vehicle from. AND... your dealership might have lost the "sales" revenue, but THEY might be able to secure "service" revenue.
Furthermore, It is a well know statistic that a prospect that buys a vehicle, someone else in THEIR HOUSEHOLD will buy another vehicle within 90 days! That means, even though you lost that initial sale you can possibly secure a strong referral for a future opportunity if you handle the situation the right way.
If you would like me to elaborate on this post or if you have any questions what so ever, please feel free to email or call me.
AutoSuccess September 2011
I received a lot of great responses from my article a couple of months ago on getting Internet sales departments to effectively make phone calls. I had some people contact me with skepticism, but after we hung up from our call, they were complete believers and understood exactly what I was trying to articulate in my article. I also had people excited because finally someone broke it down with details on how things should work and why. But, I also had some communication with people that were a little confused about the numbers and the strategy. So, this article is going to break things down a little deeper.
Let me recap the highlights from that article:
Here, however, is the most powerful advice I can give:
Every dealership should really think about having professional appointment setters in their dealership, and I mean every dealership. We have clients all over this country and abroad, and it doesn’t matter if they are a small dealership, a large dealership, a dealer group, highline, import, domestic or even an independent dealer. Our most successful clients have professional appointment setters and some even have a full-blown team of appointment setters.
One recent example is Gary Mathews of Jackson in Jackson, Tennessee. This is a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Hyundai dealership that went from 35 units per month to 86 units per month and were on track for 102 for August. In a down economy, they have broken dealership record after record. And they are proud to tell you why: their dedication to their Internet business. One of the main keys to their success is that they have a team of appointment setters, and all they do from open to close in shifts is pound the phones and e-mail (the CRM is programmed with an automated e-mail action plan). Think about it: How much more successful would your dealership be if you had a team of trained appointment setters, and all they did at your dealership was make phone calls all day from open to close in shifts?
Remember that you only have a 11 to 14 percent connection ratio on the phones. So, if you only make 50 calls, you will only have five to seven connections. Plus, if you leave this up to your sales team to do, there will be no consistency. How could there be? They have to do follow-ups, product presentations and deliveries; they sometimes chase stips; they have days off, shifts off, personal time, and so on.
You need 100 percent consistency on those phones, from open to close.
I will give you another example. We have a Honda Dealership client in New Jersey that went from 60 units online to more than 200. How did they do this? Well, they had a team of 12 professionally trained appointment setters who made 120 calls per day five days per week for a total of more than 30,000 phone calls in one month. That’s what it takes to sell 200 units online. More than 15,000 phone calls to sell 100 units online. More than 7,500 phone calls to sell 50 units online.
Math is math.
The push back I get from dealers is that they don’t trust “BDC Reps,” “appointment setters,” etc. The reason why most are not successful is that they have the wrong people in those positions and most don’t have the proper training.
At minimum, an automotive Internet sales / phone sales professional — A.K.A. “Phone Ninja” — should be trained in areas including:
These people are truly phone sales professionals. The only difference between them and your showwroom sales professional is that they do not sell the vehicle; they sell the appointment. They should, however, be no less intelligent, skilled and trained.
If you have any questions about this article please feel free to call or e-mail me.Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 866.648.7400
How Many Phone Calls Can and Should Your Internet Department Make?
Here’s a question I hear a lot at my Internet Sales 20 Groups: “How many phone calls should my department make per day?” This question is huge, because simply dialing the phone can dramatically change the outcome of your dealership’s Internet Sales. Your dealership’s Internet Department and BDC are, after all, a number’s game. Let me break it down for you:
I know that this might sound too easy to be true, but it really is this simple: If you dial phones more, you will sell more vehicles. I have been doing automotive Internet sales and business development for more than 12 years now, and that has proven to be the case over and over again all over the country. Doesn’t matter what type of franchise you have or how big your organization is — math is math.
Let’s go a little deeper. I have dealers who tell me over and over that their Internet sales coordinators, BDC reps, and appointment setters are only making 50 to 60 calls per day, and that is like pulling teeth from them. They complain that they can’t make any more calls — it’s impossible. Or, they don’t have anyone to call, or they are worried that they are calling too much, or that people are mad at them for calling too much, or countless other excuses for mediocrity.
Here are some important statistics:
• 55 percent of communication is visual perception and body language
• 38 percent of communication is tone and inflection
• Only seven percent of communication is text or the words that we use
This means with Internet prospects, it makes a lot of sense to escalate the e-mail to the phone call and the phone call to the appointment. The appointment builds the relationship, product presentation and demo drive, and all this builds value.
The average Internet prospect is searching five to seven other dealerships and or Websites (this can be same franchise or other franchises). That means five to seven other dealerships are following up sending e-mails and leaving voice mails.
The average connection on a phone call attempt is 11 to 14 percent. That means if you dial 50 attempts you are only going to reach five to seven people. Think about that for a moment: If you have full-time appointment setters, BDC reps and Internet coordinators and they work an eight to nine hour day, they are only connecting with five to seven people? That is not enough at all.
On average, you will close 25 to 33 percent of the people you actually get on the phone. That means if you attempt to call 50 people, you will get five to seven people on the phone, and from those you can expect to make about one or two appointments. That is nowhere close to being enough.
Let’s just use a safe and realistic 50/50/50 closing ratio. If you make two appointments per day, five days per week, that’s 10 appointments per week, or 40 appointments per month. Out of 40 appointments per month, about 20 people will show up and about 10 people will buy vehicles.
Our clients are making 120 phone calls per day per rep. Out of the 120 attempts, they are connecting 11 to 14 percent, which means they speak with 14 to 17 people. They are converting 25 to 33 percent to appointments, which gives us between four and six appointments per day per rep. Let’s say they make five appointment per day, five days a week, for 25 appointments per week or 100 appointments per month. Of those, 50 people will show up for the appointment and they will deliver 25 units.
Now that I have your attention, how do you get your department to actually make these phone calls? Its simple: accountability. Do not let them accept mediocrity. They will give you every reason, why they can’t do it. You have to encourage them they can and they will. For a sure-fire way to prove it to them, however, have them go through the “Power Hour.”
The “Power Hour” is a contest you will have with your team. Put some type of bonus, prize, or gift up for the winner. Here are the rules: For one straight hour, your people are going to make as many Internet sales calls as possible. Whoever makes the most Internet Sales phone calls wins the bonus. At the end of the “Power Hour,” you calculate how many phone call attempts everybody made, and then add them together and divide them by the number of people who participated.
For example, I just did this very exercise today at a Ford / Mazda dealership in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A couple of weeks ago, they were kicking and screaming that they couldn’t make more than 50 calls per day, per rep. I put out a $100 bill for a “Power Hour” prize. They have four appointment setters and an Internet director. Here are the results:
They made 179 calls in one hour, for an average of 35.8 calls per rep. Now, multiply 35.8 phone calls times 6.5 working hours in a day (that’s taking out breaks and lunches), and you get 232.7 calls in a day. Now, that might seem crazy, but the math doesn’t lie. I’m not suggesting that they should be making 230+ calls per day per person, but I am saying that they can sure as heck make a lot more than 50 calls per day.
The reality is that they were killing themselves making phone calls because they wanted to win that $100 bill. They had the desire, the want and the need to make a lot of calls. The end result for this dealership was that they all were floored at the end of the exercise when I broke down the math to them. They could not believe how many calls they were able to make in one hour.
I have been doing the “Power Hour” exercise for more than seven years now and it works every time. If you have any questions about this article, or you would like me to e-mail you the video of this exercise and the exit interview of this exercise, please e-mail or call me and it would be my pleasure to send it to you.
In conclusion, you need to make sure that your team is dialing the phone. An Internet sale is predominately a phone sale. Just think about the math. Remember you only have a 11 to 14 percent connection ratio. Everyone will tell you the hardest part of Internet sales is simply getting the prospect on the phone.
Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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