Phone training. Two of the dirtiest words in the auto industry. In fact, I bet your latest phone training manual (from 2002) probably sits on your shelf with two inches of dust, and has pretty much been forgotten about.
It’s common sense that we all know how to have a phone conversation. We call or talk to our spouses, parents, coworkers and even prospects on a daily basis. We talk to each one with a different demeanor. The problem is, three out of four of those conversations are relatively casual and unscripted.
That same lackadaisical attitude is transferring over to conversations with prospects, and they are not having it. In fact, poor phone conversations with customers, due to a lack of skills, are costing your dealerships tens of thousands.
Let me give you an example. One of the dealerships I’ve worked with, Young Group Hyundai, was plagued with poor phone skills. Fixing their team’s phone skills was 49 out of 50 on their to-do list, and complicated initiatives to improve would only set them back even more. Does that sound familiar?
Instead, we gave them a universal formula to keep it simple. No, it’s not KISS. But the concept is similar.
It’s called CRISP. The acronym stands for Connect, Request, Invite, Set and Pursue. These are the five most crucial parts of the conversation that can and need to be addressed on your phones, no matter how big or small your dealership is.
The goal here is, if you printed out the word CRISP and put it on your wall, it would serve as a seamless call outline for your team.
Let’s take a deep dive into each letter, and learn what it really means to be CRISP on the phone.
Connect: A whopping 39% of inbound calls never land in the hands of a qualified employee. Connect with every caller, and repeat the caller’s name at the beginning of the call. Leaving a caller stranded is like throwing money away.
Request & Invite: Four out of 5 callers aren’t asked in for an appointment. Make sure your team goes above and beyond the norm and offers two appointment times. Yes, they may have objections, but your team should never leave the call without an appointment. Even a soft appointment is accepted 90% of the time.
Set: An appointment is not truly set unless the caller agrees to a specific date and time and confirm with a reminder, which is called a firm appointment. Merely offering the appointment does not cut it. Neither does the answer “I’ll come by sometime next week.” There’s only a 12% chance they will say no, so it can’t hurt.
Pursue: Make sure your team reaches out to established customers and new leads, rescues stranded calls and saves missed appointment opportunities. Getting in touch with those missed opportunities is an easy boost to the bottom line.
Talk about CRISP at your next team meeting. It’s just five letters they have to remember when they’re on a call. Heck, they can write it down on the piece of paper in front of them as a reminder. It’s less of a phone training tactic, and more instilling a new value system for your team.
Don’t believe me? Ask Young Group Hyundai. They increased their appointment booking rate from 40% to 70% in just two weeks.