I'm just calling for the fun of it...

One of the most glaring issues affecting dealerships today is the dismal state of their phone skills. It’s alarming to witness how poorly some sales consultants handle inbound calls. Often, they fail even to say a simple "thanks for calling ABC Motors," instead opting for a generic introduction like "sales, Chris…" This lack of professionalism right at the outset leaves a negative impression on potential customers and set the tone for the entire interaction. 


Another detrimental mindset that has seeped into the industry from the Covid-19 days is the belief that customers will naturally gravitate toward Sales Consultants without any proactive effort. This complacent attitude will wreak havoc on your dealership and overlooks the importance of effectively engaging with customers. Dealerships must recognize the value of every call that comes through their various ad campaigns and ensure that no potential customers slip through the cracks due to a lack of interest or effort.


When customers inquire about a vehicle, it’s vital for sales consultants to gather their information. Unfortunately, this step is often overlooked, leading to missed opportunities. By neglecting to collect essential details about customers' needs and preferences, dealerships risk failing to match them with the right vehicle. Especially given that most customers don’t end up purchasing what they inquired about! But we can’t know that if we’re not asking the right questions. A thorough understanding of customers' requirements enables sales consultants to tailor their recommendations effectively and increase the likelihood of booking an appointment. An appointment that leads to a sale!


Some sales consultants have even adopted a combative stance during phone conversations instead of taking a helpful approach. A call I recently listened to was regarding a vehicle that was sold. The Sales Consultant literally said, “It’s sold.” Didn’t bother to mention the similar vehicles they had available. Just that the vehicle was sold, and had zero interest in continuing the conversation. And no, this isn’t about beating up Sales Consultants. But it is about understanding the importance of effectively handling inbound calls. If your Sales Consultants are neglecting to engage in professional discussions with customers, they miss the chance to understand their exact needs. Understanding the customer's wants, budget, and specific requirements is crucial to guiding them toward a suitable vehicle.


It is undeniable that customers prefer setting appointments when visiting dealerships. Nobody wants to spend an entire day or hours on end at the dealership when purchasing a car. By encouraging customers to schedule appointments in advance, dealerships can provide a more streamlined experience, allowing both parties to be adequately prepared. This approach saves time and increases the likelihood of closing a sale, as the dealership can focus on catering to the customer's specific needs during the visit.


Bottom line: it is imperative that dealerships recognize and rectify the shortcomings in their phone skills. Answering every call with professionalism and a courteous greeting is the first step toward improving customer service. Sales consultants must effectively engage with customers, collect their information, and employ effective fact-finding techniques. Additionally, setting up appointments and proactively discussing the next steps can enhance the customer experience and boost sales. By prioritizing these aspects, dealerships can create a positive impression, capture valuable leads, and ultimately achieve their goal of selling more vehicles.


Don’t believe your Sales Consultants are missing opportunities? No worries, sign up for two free mystery shops to see how they’re handling inbound phone and web opportunities!

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