A great phone strategy doesn’t only help your dealership earn a good reputation; it will lead to getting more people into your dealership so you can sell more cars.
You wouldn’t ignore someone who walks into your showroom, right? So why would you ignore a ringing phone?
Dealers need to start paying attention to phone leads and ensuring a stellar phone performance, all the way from answering quickly, to getting the caller to set an appointment – and everything in between. Let’s review what makes a great phone call and how this should go down at your dealership.
1. Pick up the phone
While this seems obvious, it is a necessary step that doesn’t always happen. Phone answering should be a top priority in your dealership, and no calls should go unanswered. CallSource data finds that 95% of dealership calls are getting answered—either by an IVR or a real person. This is great news…. the next step is connecting that call to the right person the first time!
Just because your IVR is picking up the call, doesn’t mean you are delivering a great customer experience. We find that call routing (although an easy solve) is often ignored; this is super frustrating from the customer’s point-of-view.
Have you ever called your dealership to see what a customer’s phone experience is like? Evaluate your call data and look for details like callers hanging up after being stuck in the IVR (either from too robust of an IVR, or a salesperson taking too long to answer the phone), or if they are getting transferred to phone lines where no one is able to answer.
2. Direct calls appropriately
Answering the phone is not enough –make sure callers are reaching the right person. Transferring calls to lines that keep ringing and ringing does a disservice to the customer and your dealership. Letting callers end up in a voicemail gives the caller the opportunity to hang up and call your competitor. All calls need to be handled by a live person who can help the caller, right then. Customers are used to a seamless digital experience—you need to make your phone experience equal or better than their online search.
3. Be helpful and informative
Callers want to speak to a knowledgeable and informed salesperson who can answer their questions and seems trustworthy. Since purchasing a vehicle is the second-largest purchase for most people (behind purchasing a house), they must feel that you are the right person to help them with this big decision.1
Buyers spend less time researching and shopping for a vehicle than ever before, and over 60% of their time spent vehicle shopping is online.2 Once they finally call your dealership, you don’t want to blow the call and lose the business of a shopper who is already far down the purchasing funnel.
4. Overcome caller objections
While we’ve touched on how to overcome caller objections at your dealership in-depth before, it is worth noting again as one of your most important phone skills to enable more sales for your store.
CallSource automotive data based on over 100 million phone calls over 4 years shows that only 20% of viable sales leads result in an appointment set. Why aren’t these calls ending in a commitment to come in? Call handlers need to learn how to overcome caller objections and sell the appointment.
Although it is true that consumers are further down the purchasing funnel by the time they reach out to speak to you, just because someone calls your dealership does not mean that you are guaranteed to be the dealership they ultimately choose to purchase from.3
Callers can have a variety of reasons to object to setting a firm appointment with your dealership, such as scheduling availability, wanting to do more research, and other excuses. If you can successfully demonstrate the value of your dealership and convince them that they are making the right decision, you can overcome objections and book the appointment.
5. Ask for the appointment
The ultimate goal of any inbound phone lead is to set the appointment so they walk into the showroom and you can make the sale. The sooner the time from the call you can get a possible customer to commit to, the better. Same-day appointments are a great way to ensure that urgency is created and the consumer doesn’t have as much time to flip-flop or possibly cancel or no-show. But remember to “sell” the appointment, use time scarcity so they give you the “Yes.”
A sales call that ends without asking for an appointment is a failed call. Use all the great phone skills outlined, and get the commitment to make sure that they walk into your dealership.
Let us help you improve your phone skills
CallSource has industry-expert call coaches to help your dealership hone in on phone skills and keep employees accountable to follow-through with their learned skills to set more appointments.
Stop using those old and outdated phone scripts. CallSource’s Own-Set-Close program teaches the skills and talk-tracks that salespeople need to set more appointments on the phone. Set up a time to learn more about Own-Set-Close today.
Start improving your inbound call skills and setting more appointments.