The Showroom

Dirty Dozen Phone Tips To More Sales

November 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

Is it smile and dial or frown and drown? Phone usage is at its all time high. Don’t believe me? Look at many people have cell phones today. I think they are starting to give them out in nurseries now. My question is, why are salespeople so afraid of the phone? You can always hang up, can’t you? You don’t even have to answer it if it rings. Remember that movie, “Dial M For Murder”? Ok, when your customers call into the dealership, it’s to get information, not anything else? So you can take the fear out. Besides, isn’t fear ignorance, and isn’t ignorance cured by knowledge? Isn’t knowledge valuable when placed into action? Don’t you get paid for what you do with what you know?

All I know – after being in sales for years – is that the telephone is a way to sell more cars in this business. You have to decide, do you want to be a phone wimp, or phone ninja? I can tell you one thing; you will never surpass average without mastering great telephone skills. It’s impossible, unless you want to become a lot lizard and wait for those “I can’t stand salespeople,” tough to close, low gross customers.

To Insure Performance Salesperson. Let’s review those TIPS.

George’s Dirty Dozen Phone TIPS to More Sales

  1. Preplan the call – Don’t make the call without preplanning.
  2. Determine the objective of the call. Is it a referral call, is it a call back or is it to give them a sense of urgency to come back? Why are you calling?
  3. Get to the decision maker
  4. Collect as much information as possible. Now that doesn’t mean you sell cars over the phone; you sell appointments.
  5. Give them a couple of reasons why they should come in to your dealership if it is a phone up.
  6. It is called voice mail, not voice jail. How many times have you deleted a message before it was played out? Leave a couple of benefits on the voice mail such as: “This is George calling from Downtown Motors. The number here is 951-898-9071, and the reason for my call is that we have the exact car you need. Our best finance manager is here today, and you should really take advantage of it. Please call George at Downtown Motors at 951-898-9071. I look forward to your call.”
  7. Give your customer something right away if you are calling back; start off by saying, “Mark, the reason for my call is…”
  8. Use your customers name frequently during the phone call
  9. Don’t talk too fast on voice mail. How many times have you had to play back the voice mail because you couldn’t remember the phone number?
  10. Don’t talk too much. Talk 30 percent; listen 70 percent. You have to ask questions. That means you give up control to get control.
  11. Don’t leave people on hold too long. What a joke! Have you ever hung up on someone because they left you on hold too long? Duh, 30 seconds seems to be a lifetime!
  12. Move towards the appointment along the way, and when you do, say something like this: “Can you come in now or later on?” Now before you say this, practice it like this: “Can you come in Now…or later on?” Make sure you pause at the word NOW. Don’t ever ask, “When can you come in?” That question is way to open ended.

I would take these tips and place them on a 3” by 5” note card. Go ahead and get one right now, and write these tips down. Then, review the tips before you make your calls or even when you take an incoming call. You must remember, most people call your dealership for a couple of reasons. One is to see if you have the car or credit they need, two is to get a price and three is to hang up and call more dealerships. The longer you stay on the phone, the worse it gets because at some point, when your customer runs out of car questions, it then turns into price questions, doesn’t it? The more information you give them, the less reason they have to come in now. Sell appointments, not cars over the phone. Don’t prequalify and play FBI secret agent on the phone. Get them to commit to an appointment by using skills. Don’t lie or do anything of the sort. That should be left for the weak. Sell them on you, your program, your dealership and your product. One last tip – when taking or making a call, stand up and use your tone and inflection along with body language. Those that call while relaxed will get results. Now go do the right thing.

Have a great month,

Vol 3, Issue 9

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