Blog

Google AIS Custom Search

http://www.dealersynergy.com http://www.internetsales20group.com First Published in Digital Dealer Magazine March 2007 Hello, Can you Hear Me Now? The phone is one of the most misused opportunities in a dealership.” I was actually told that about a decade ago when I went through my first phone sales training class. The truth is that it still applies today. Sometimes it takes forever for someone to even answer the phone and from there it gets bounced from the receptionist to the salesperson and finally to a manager. In most cases like that, the prospect abandons the call out of exasperation. To make matters even worst, when a salesperson or Internet/BDC rep gets a potential customer on the phone, he never even gives his name, asks the prospect for his name or builds value in himself and the dealership. Let me give you a great example. I was recently working with a franchised dealer in Kentucky for a week of training on business development and reviewing the dealership’s phone process through role playing. I was stunned when we engaged our role-play because the manager of the department was ignoring my questions, being vague and personifying the stigma of an old school car salesperson. I corrected her and started to teach her the proper methods and she further surprised me by explaining that she felt that what she was doing was wrong, but was trained to do so. She went on to tell me that the previous training company had told them to follow the scripts and ignore the prospects. She also said that the trainer actually sat in class and said no matter what the customer asks, ignore him and keep going on with your script. Knowing that trainers are teaching this is very disturbing to me. I want to clear up some things and give you all some very powerful information about phone sales and statistics based on our research and experiences in the field: • More than 80 percent of the time Internet or sales consultants don’t ask for the name and number of the caller • Seventy-eight percent of the time they do not attempt to make an appointment with the prospect • More than 70 percent of the time the sales consultant didn’t qualify the prospect properly. Some might have asked questions about the vehicle, but very rarely asked the prospect about wants, wishes and expectations other than the vehicle • More than 85 percent of the time the Internet or sales consultants did not properly identify themselves or ask the customers to write down whom they should ask for when they get into the dealership • More than 70 percent of phone ups are not logged into an ILM or CRM properly or even logged in at all, which means they are never followed up on The bottom line is there are steps to a sale – any sale. You need an opportunity to do business. You need to get someone to like you, trust you and believe you. If that occurs, they will buy from you (or at the very least come in for an appointment). If you want to be successful at selling cars you need to master your phone skills. And if you want to maximize your Internet department, special finance department or business development center, then you absolutely need to not only get control over your phones, you need to master them. You need to remember several things: • There is a science of communication…55 percent of communication is visual perception and body language. Thirty-eight percent of communication is auditory stimulation and inflection of tone. Finally, only 7 percent of communication is conveyed through text…the words we use. • That means you need to have a solid plan of how you are going to engage your prospect. You need to have an escalation protocol; meaning if there is only 45 percent (meaning 38 percent inflection of tone and 7 percent in words that we use) of communication on the phone, your main focus is to escalate that relationship as fast as possible to the next stage…the appointment. So, you should not be focused on selling the vehicle over the phone. You should focus on selling the appointment. The vehicle “selling” should be done in your environment, when you can conduct a full product presentation and the demo drive. You need to get in front of the prospect to start building rapport. • You should have a solid incoming phone call process. Following is an example. Incoming call script Dealership rep: “Thank you for calling ABC Motors, Sean speaking… are you calling about our sale?” *You want to properly greet the prospect on the phone and set the stage. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Right from the onset you are setting the tone for the call. By asking the question, “Are you calling about the sale?” you are finding out why the prospect is calling or from where they are calling. Prospect: “No, I am not…is there a sale going on?” Dealership rep: “Absolutely! We have several sales going on. (Make sure you have a list of current sales or promotions handy.) Are you looking for a new vehicle or a pre-owned vehicle?” *This is an opportunity to create some excitement…sales is about transference of energy. If you aren’t excited, why should your prospect be? Prospect: “A used car probably.” Dealership rep: “Great, which one of our sales were you calling in on?” * Now is the time you are going to find out exactly from where they are calling. This is the time where you find out where your ad dollars were successful. Prospect: “I saw your ad in the Auto Shopper magazine on that pre-owned ‘05 Suzuki Grand Vitara.” Dealership rep: “That vehicle is definitely available… your name is…? And how do spell your last name?” * This is very important; you need to ask his name. Some people might go for the phone number too, but a lot of people on the phone are skeptical about giving the phone number out so quickly. I think it’s best not to go for it this early in the game. Getting a name is a great start. Now you can use the prospect’s name in the conversation and make the experience more personal. Prospect: “Dave A-D-A-M-S” Dealership rep: “Dave, just so I know… besides availability, what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?” * This is so important. You are going to qualify your prospect here. Most sales are not made because the salesperson was on the wrong car and the prospect’s “wants, needs or expectations” weren’t met. A salesperson’s ultimate goal should be to exceed a customer’s expectation, but the fact is you can never exceed a customer’s expectations if you first can’t identify their wants wishes and expectations. Let the prospect tell you what it is going to take to earn his business. Let him give you all the details to assist you in closing the sale later. Remember what Dr. Stephen Covey says… “Seek first to understand before being understood.” Prospect: “I was looking for the best price.” * It doesn’t matter what they say, meet their expectations. Make sure they know you are there to help them. Then transition to your value package proposition (meaning sell, sell, sell your dealership). Show them why they should do business with you. Dealership rep: “Dave, how about this… If I wasn’t able to get you the best price… I would never expect you to purchase a vehicle from me, OK?” Prospect: “OK.” Dealership rep: “Dave, with that said… can I tell you what else we do here to go above and beyond for our customers?” * This is again an opportunity for you to create excitement. This is the part where you can exceed their expectations. If they were “expecting” anything else, they would have mentioned it previously. By this time we have properly qualified our prospect, created rapport, and met their expectations. Now we can go for our “value package.” Prospect: “Absolutely!” Dealership rep: “Here at ABC Motors we have created a special value program that includes: • Free delivery to your home or office • Rewards / loyalty program • Tires for life • Free oil changes • Price guarantee / price protection • Loaner cars • Entry into our drawing (for just coming in for an appointment)” * You can use anything here… whatever your dealership does as its “differentiator.” Dealership rep: “How does that sound, Dave?” * This is your trial close. Prospect: “Wow… are you serious?” Dealership rep: “Absolutely. When is the best time today for you to come in – afternoon or evening?” *That is the close. Set the appointment on the quarter hour. Say something like, “Which is better, 3:15 or 4:15pm?” Appointments set on the quarter hour have a better show ratio. Sales representative should close with asking for the prospect’s cell phone number and e-mail address, explaining that if something changes they can get in touch with the prospect and they will send an e-mail confirmation with directions for the appointment. It is important to obtain this for follow-up with the prospect. I hope you all realize how powerful the phones are… master your craft. Sean V. Bradley
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Automotive Internet Sales - BDC - Free Training Resources to add comments!

Join Automotive Internet Sales - BDC - Free Training Resources

SPONSORS