Our market has changed. Are you prepared to set yourself apart from the masses? Is your website getting found by everyone looking for your product and services in your market and surrounding areas?
The Internet has transformed the way people learn about and shop for your products. Years ago, most people shopped through trade shows, print advertising and traditional marketing methods. But today, most people start on the search engines and social media sites. In order to remain competitive, your business needs to be found online by everyone and an effective Internet presence can increase your market area immensely. Learn how your website stacks up in terms of its Internet marketing effectiveness. This traffic will not only create a greater presence, it will increase the traffic to your phones.
When your phones start ringing off the hook will you be ready and able to handle the increased number of sales calls? Is your team prepared to set you apart from any and all competition?
Every person that touches your phones must be trained in the communications skills essential to “own the phone.” Without these skills, you are effectively taking your marketing dollars and throwing them away. Conversion of first calls to appointments that show and sell, or show and tell, is the only way to justify the cost of advertising. Make every dollar count. Stop prospects shopping your store for information and get them buying vehicles from you by eliminating TMI calls and sell the appointment.
Each call is gold and you never know who is on the other end. The caller may be a prospect that is shopping around trying to find the best deal, however it is not necessarily all about the money. Set your dealership apart from the competition. Sell the sizzle and what differentiates you. They need to gain the whole experience – from your sales professionals all the way to your service department. All must be dedicated to excellence. It is great to have a sale, but when effectively executed from that first call, you can gain a customer for life. Be as prepared as if you were getting ready for The Super Bowl before you touch the phone.
Make sure to know your competition and everything about your dealership and product line. Keep up to date on all ads and find methods to form a sincere differentiation and humanizing approach to every call. Don’t sound scripted. Practice as if it was game day and know the influence and persuasion techniques that will turn dialogue into discussion.
Far too many sales consultants don’t align themselves first (or know how to), and say something confrontational like “well, what are you looking for?” This only pushes a defensive prospect even farther away and confirms preconceived notions. Many times when a prospect states that they are “just looking,” they are really saying “Please just give me a price and leave me alone.”
Their reasons can include negative experiences in the past, a preconceived notion of how we will treat them or that our sole mission in life is to put unwanted pressure on them. We will rarely have an opportunity to change their perception or ease their worries if we are not committed, understanding, able to identify, mirror and match, make the necessary adjustments or align ourselves with them and find common ground.
Our commitment needs to stay consistent from staff to the customer. Let them know that they have reached the person who can “help” them. Commitment is continuing to do what you said you would do even after the feeling or situation has changed and the feeling is gone. This includes when nobody is looking. When our commitment is put into action, we suddenly realize that we have changed their perception of us and have developed rapport.
Rapport is sometimes developed by understanding this and not pressing too hard too fast. Put on appointment “blinders” and do not give TMI on the call. Build urgency for them to come in and meet with the manager to get the best price and experience. Our response must be different from that of any other salesperson they have encountered. If we stick to the process (identify, adjust, align and word carefully and creatively), then we can persuade a change in their perception. When that happens we can show them why our product, service or solution is best for them. Even if they don’t close on the spot, we may very well have taken them off the market. The rapport we have built is something our competition lacks and if they aren’t as effective in their approach, they will fall short of our benchmark.
Every appointment must be given a confirmation number to be confirmed by phone, email and/or texting. Ensure that they have the best directions and even include your picture so they have a face to go along with the name. This helps keep the customers confident that they have found the dealership that will help.
Instilling confidence in the customer and having the best first impression from the start will build a relationship. A real relationship or “connection” will allow you to create a customer for life and is necessary to allow your marketing dollars to pay off in multiples. Satisfied customers are your best marketing tools. Just think of how many people you know that need a car. Start today to maximize the effectiveness of what you have to its highest potential.