The showroom floor is swamped. Your website needs an update. A sales mailer just went live. Vendors are calling . Your third-party leads need an audit. The copy machine is broken. Does that sound familiar?
Somewhere on a 50 item to-do list, your dealership’s phone performance might show up. That’s scary since these expensive quality leads are right at your fingertips. It’s also exciting because the quickest and easiest way for dealerships to see a boost is to get better on the phone.
The challenge for dealership management is as simple as figuring out where to start. It’s exhausting to try and execute perfect phone performance from day one. The good news is there is a better way.
Dealerships that embrace a simple focused approach will quickly see improved results and more opportunities walking in the door. This simple approach is highlighted by a Crawl – Walk – Run mindset.
CRAWL by Connecting More Calls
Pick up the phone. Seriously, it’s that simple. We’re just crawling right now, remember? The average dealership fails to connect 31% of inbound calls to someone who can help. Put another way, 31/100 calls aren’t adequately served. The reasons are not surprising: hang ups on hold, bouncing between departments, full voicemail boxes, scribbled messages with the receptionist.
Connecting more calls to a qualified agent allows you to capitalize on appointment opportunities already reaching out. You can’t take a shot if you’re not in the game. Try using warm transfers on inbound calls. Instead of the receptionist blindly sending calls to a department or extension, confirm that someone is actually available to speak. The most important words for phone handlers to use, “Is there something myself or someone else here can help you with?” Feeling a little less overwhelmed? You should be. You’re well on your way to owning the phone.
“The quickest and easiest way for dealerships to see a boost is to get better on the phone.”
WALK by Requesting Appointments
Now that we’re crawling forward by connecting more calls, it’s time to stand up and walk. This important next step is steering sales calls to an appointment every time. Every inbound sales call should include an offer for the prospect to visit the dealership. Remember that the goal of a sales call is not to sell a car over the phone. The goal of a sales call is to sell the opportunity for a store visit, vehicle demo, and to shake the hands of a trusted salesperson. Appointments won’t be set unless they’re requested.
Build this principle into the mindset of your entire dealership. Anyone who handles phone leads should know that setting an appointment is deserving of high fives and back pats. Print out little reminders that say “Remember to Request the Appointment!” and tape them next to the phone. Get in the game and put yourself in position to win by requesting appointments.
RUN by Pursuing the Right Opportunities
You should be feeling pretty good at this point. By connecting more calls and requesting more appointments, your dealership is positioned to own the phone. The final step in the Crawl-Walk-Run process is using outbound calls to pursue the right opportunities.
Outbound calling campaigns have always been a key piece to dealership success. These efforts have often relied on a “spray and pray” mentality. Make as many calls as fast as possible and pray your efforts work. High call volume is not a bad thing, but smart call volume resulting in quality conversations is how you own the phone. Use your CRM and phone tracking tools to focus some of your outbound efforts on specific opportunities:
- Prospects who failed to reach someone who could actually help
- Prospects who weren’t offered an appointment at all
- Prospects who agreed to a soft appointment but no set date and time
- Prospects who were promised a follow up
Simple, Simple, Simple
The quickest and easiest way for dealerships to see a boost is to get better on the phone. The Crawl – Walk – Run process should be a relief to dealerships who suffer from an overwhelming view of the phones. Take it simple. Take it one step at a time.
What are you waiting for? Start crawling.