Outbound Phone Calls-why is this a problem? How do we fix it?

In this business we focus on all the steps to the sale.  Over the course of the last couple years, even with the technology that is revolutionizing our industry, one of the most important talents to have is THE PHONE.

When you read that last sentence, I have to assume many of you are cringing as it's the flaw of our business for many.  How many times do Managers have to harp on salespeople to MAKE THEIR calls?  And of the people making their calls, what is the quality of the phone calls?  Anyone can pick up the phone, and say "I completed my phone calls"-but the whole purpose of the phone call is the FIRST STEP to making a sale.

A phone call when handled properly, leads to an appointment, an appointment leads to the sale.  We can all agree on this.

Here is my confession, before intense phone training-I relied on my video greetings and one or two phone calls a day to make sales.  YES, it was effective, but after being a trainer for Phone Ninjas, when I came back into a store I APPLIED everything I taught. 

So, I get it.  I can remember a time, when I would "complete" my calls for the day but they weren't effective. Part of this was because I really didn't know what to say.  I would do the typical "if you have any questions, let me know, I am happy to help." And guess what?  I got a few phone calls back, but they were only phone calls impressed with the video greeting they got.

Now, I call a customer 4x a day and aim my video greetings not to "sell them a car online", but to "sell them the phone call/calling me back" and when I get them on the phone I don't ask if they need help, I help them.

I see you are interested in a new Honda CRV, is that correct? 

Yes

Okay great, and are you interested in a CRV with leather or cloth interior.

Cloth

Okay excellent!  Any preference on having a moonroof or without a moonroof?

I want a moonroof

Perfect.  Great news Mr. Customer, I'm looking at my availability and I just got a new shipment in with about 20 new CRV's.  Based on that availability, WHEN are you available to visit with me?  Right now, or later today?

I KNOW, that phone calls are a problem in our industry...to keep this as simple and short as possible...  WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET EFFECTIVE PHONE CALLS MADE from sales people.  Is it training or accountability?  Or both?  What are the best practices to get this done?



Elise Kephart is a sales and marketing phenomenon in the automobile business and is nationally recognized as "The YouTube Diva". Since 2007 Elise has sold thousands of vehicles to local and out of the area clients. Her personable and persuasive sales and marketing videos are personalized for every customer creating a strong bond and trust. Elise has presented at seminars nationwide, including several of Jim Ziegler’s Internet Battle Plans as well as the spring 2012 Digital Dealer conference in Orlando, where she has consistently 'wowed' the audience by teaching how to create and edit quick and effective videos and deliver them to customers within minutes. Elise has visited several dealerships across the country teaching her unique technique in the auto industry and has been praised by the likes of Jim Ziegler, Grant Cardone as well as Dealer Marketing Magazine. Elise is currently an Internet Manager at Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, California. Her amazing videos can be seen at youtube.com/sunsethonda and she can be reached at ekephart@sunsethonda.com

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Comment by Robb McCalmon on March 18, 2014 at 6:44pm

Very well said Elise, I have seen many of the articles about your accomplishments, and I am good friends with Michael Hargrove, who just showed most our staff the way you handle and do the videos. Most of our people have embraced the video, but I will now share this posting with them. It hopefully will sink in with the real point of the video is to get the customer to call them and set the appointment. Very great point on the way to handle the call, too many of us fall into the "what can I help you with" instead of helping them. the calls must back up the video! Great job and thanks for sharing your awesome success!

 

Comment by Ernie Kasprowicz on November 20, 2013 at 1:03pm

Nice post, Elise.  I believe both training and accountability lead to increased performance.  When my retail career first began I worked for a dealership that required one hour daily phone room time.  Some "training" was reviewed; depending upon the manager.  Mostly, it was brute force of making countless cold calls to "prospective" clients straight out of the directory.  Ultimately, our objection handling skills sure improved and we did make a few appointments and sell cars.  The industry has come a long way since then and what you are advocating makes a ton of sense.  Being able to effectively utilize all mediums to reach prospective clients is a must. 

Comment by DealerELITE on November 18, 2013 at 2:11pm

Elise ,thank you for the post, Excellent information for dE members

Comment by Zachary Dunn @YourAutoGuyZach on November 16, 2013 at 4:26pm

Great Post, Elise. 

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