When you work in customer service for a dealership, one of the goals you may have is to set appointments for people to come and test drive new cars. If you are new to the dealership, this may seem like a waste of time, especially if there are people walking in to buy a car regularly without an appointment. However, appointment setting is one of the most valuable ways you can contribute to the dealership’s bottom line. 

WHY SET APPOINTMENTS?

Even if your dealership gets a lot of walk-in traffic, appointments are an incredibly valuable way to make sure a sale occurs. People who walk in off the street are often window shopping. They may have an idea of what they are looking for, but they may not be ready to buy yet. If they test drive a couple of cars and decide to make a purchase somewhere else, then the salesperson has wasted their time. On the other hand, someone who calls to set an appointment is more serious about their intentions to buy a car from your dealership. Setting the appointment allows you and the sales team to prepare for them. Think of setting an appointment as a pre-closing deal. You are one of their first contacts, and the experience you give them can be a deciding factor in whether or not they actually end up buying a car from you.

COLLECT THE INFORMATION

One of the big benefits of setting an appointment with a customer is that it allows the sales team to prepare for them and make sure they place the right cars in front of them. As part of your phone call, you can gather important information, such as their budget, what kind of car they are looking for, features they want, and even colors. Many people do their own research ahead of time and come with cars that they want to test drive, but having this information can help your team place other cars in front of them that they have missed. Being treated as a valued customer is a great way to make the right impression in order to close the sale.

CLOSE THE DEAL

While you may not make the final sale on the phone, you can prime them to close the deal with every part of your interaction. Using the phone script will help you cover all your bases and appear confident. Make sure you answer all of their questions thoroughly and that your questions are more open-ended, rather than simple yes and no questions. All of these things will give the potential customer more confidence. When setting the appointment time, focus on what works best and is most convenient for your customer. Working on their time makes it more likely that they will actually show up to their appointment. It is also a good idea to walk them through what to expect in terms of reminders and at their actual appointment. The more you prep them, the more likely it is to be a successful appointment.

TRACK METRICS

In order to make sure your phone calls are as effective as they can be in setting appointments, it is important to track the right metrics. The ratio of phone calls to appointments set and the ratio of appointments set to appointments that actually happen are both important measures to make sure that everything is working properly. If there aren’t a lot of appointments being set or if a large number of the set appointments don’t actually happen, it points to an issue with how the phone calls are going. This could require more training or an adjustment to the phone scripts that are being used. These metrics can also be used to identify the top performers. For your top performers, analyze what they do that works and see if you can implement that with the rest of your team.

Appointment setting is one of the most powerful pre-sales tools in your arsenal for selling cars. With the proper training, these phone calls can set the sales team and customer up for a successful visit and leave a great impression. Focus your efforts on making sure you are optimizing your phone calls.

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