The 10th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition in Orlando last month was the best ever. One major concern though: I still hear way too many dealers and partners say, “We can’t handle the calls.” Yes you can!
Train everyone to “humanize” and differentiate more than ever. Stay appointment-minded until they show up, then sell the “steak.” People buy a different new car from what they have in mind more than 75% of the time. Stop your “sales prevention department” from talking like scripted robots, sounding similar to all the others and bring out the “sizzle.”
The problem is deciding what technology or management process to use or, even in many cases, blindly depend on. I’m sorry but that is NOT enough. Quality Control your greatest piece of gold: the incoming sales call.
I have a couple of challenges for you to consider doing and delegating:
1st Challenge: have everyone look up and write down what representative means in general and to them, exactly who and what they represent and why it is so important to “own the phone.”
2nd Challenge: Everyone study “What makes Our Competitors Tick.” Define with a quality evidence manual and find their own practical application for communication skills to differentiate. The key is to know how your competition sounds, what their fine print is and what they offer. Have them share why they love working there or chose to join you. If they can’t write it down they cannot transmit with sincerity that feeling of validation to the customer, that yours is the right dealership and you have the right vehicle. Incorporate with “Skills not Scripts,” the four steps to a show. Appointments mean nothing unless greatly differentiated and properly confirmed so that they show. We are in the age of the “show business!”
My four “I’s” or steps:
1. Introduction: Smile, thank them for holding. The average American will hold 28 seconds for someone they deem “dispensable.” Answer in an even tone, so it isn’t obvious if you adjust your tone to match theirs. Learn and communicate from the way they respond. Commonality equals rapport.
Sound different and practice so you don’t default to what doesn’t work. (e.g. “What’s your name and # in case we get disconnected or so I can check on that and call you back”). That is a failing grade sales call that has dropped your chances of appointing them by 50%. They likely have mentally lumped you into their perception of “us” and already moved on.
Use active listening with quality, leading and assumptive questions. Use some yes/no, but mostly either/or and multiple choice questions to show them you care. Perform a quick and easy needs recap. This now justifies getting accurate information, such as the correct spelling of the buyer’s names, cell phone # and, finally, multiple emails.
2. Interview: Don’t sound scripted: run the obstacle course enough times so you won’t fall or revert to bogus rebuttals. They are forms of arguments which evoke the human instinct of fight or flight. Ask questions such as: “And the number there is? Thanks I will share mine with you as well. Which phone are you using?” Make note and know its capabilities. You can build rapport, make a customer for life and definitely sell long distance with the right equipment.
“How do you spell your last name? And your first name is spelled? Thanks Glynn. (urgent tone) Hey Glynn, can you hold on for just a moment, I just spotted someone (or something) that can get us the information we need right now. Hold on, thanks.” (12 second pause has proven effective)
3. Initiate: “Glynn, we do have that vehicle available. Actually, I have a few you may not have seen. This is something we should act quickly on so we don’t miss our window of opportunity with the sale ending (date prepared in advance). Is today or tonight best for you?”
Set a specific appointment. Answer questions, but don’t volunteer TMI. Leave something for the arrival. Build the “Information day is OK” feeling or “Buying day is your day, I’m here to help and make it fun.” (or easy, depending on personality).
Make sure they have a pen and, just like your confirmation calls, don’t give them an out. “Ok, I have some information for you and it’s pretty important. Do you have a pen handy? I will wait for you.” Wait, otherwise they won’t write it down. Writing, repeating and reading our text/email will instill retention of the feelings we leave them with in comparison to anyone else they talk with. Really!
Set 75-80% every call. How? One hundred percent turnover. If you don’t have a solid appointment, turn over the call to someone that was listening in or is quick on their feet.
4. Insuation: Ensure the show with proper questions. Not, “If you were running late you’d call me right?” But rather, “If for any reason I am running late, I will give you the courtesy of a call.” What hits the back of their mind about you? Courtesy! That’s just one example of impact wording.
Text them “the best directions for our appointment” including their confirmation number. A confirmation number creates a mental drive to show. You will “activate” it upon arrival with their DL allowing a demo drive or a credit application. Always keep in mind, no show, no sale.
The phone always has been and remains “gold.” Leads can take several calls, especially if you haven’t mastered Curiosity Based VMs. Leads call because they are ready. Are your representatives?