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I have recently fielded questions about the best methods to handle pre-owned inbound phone leads and have proven ideas and a script outline below.  A well thought out and rehearsed script can help even the best sales person get more contact information and schedule more appointments.  Any personnel fielding phone calls should have the script down pat.  The key is having a proven process to ensure consistent results from inbound calls.  And the script has got to sound real and engaging; nothing turns people off faster than someone reading to them over the phone.  Anyone taking calls should be required to have the script memorized.  Test them to ensure this!         

The goals for all calls should be 1.) qualify the shopper, 2.) get contact information and 3.) set an appointment.  I can tell you from years of experience, most calls are not this structured and frequently end without capturing any of this information.  Here is a basic script that can be used as a starting point for your dealership. (It's not completely original, but I think it stresses the points well.) 

Sample Pre-owned Inbound Phone Up Script
Hello, this is ___________. How may I assist you today?

That's a great car.  I can check on that for you.

What type of equipment are you looking for? (This is a qualifier question we don't ask enough.)

Any other equipment like _________, or _________?

What is the price range you’re trying to stay within?

Great!  I will check on what’s in stock and what’s coming in the next few days as well. It should only take about 15 minutes.

Are you calling from home or work?

What’s the best number to reach you? And who should I ask for? Could you spell that please?

Actually, rather than call you back, my manager just walked by. He will know about these off the top of his head.  Can you hold for a second? (This is a powerful control point that allows you to regain your thoughts before returning to the call.)

Mr. or Mrs. __________________, I’ve got great news.  We have both __________ and _______________, like you’re looking for. (Since you opened their range from the single vehicle they called about above, you now can present more options.)
What is a convenient time for you to stop in, right now, or later today? (Giving only two choices is easier for the shoppers mind.)

I have opening in my appointment book for (time) or (time).

Do you have a pen handy?  My name is _________, and my direct number is ____________. I have penciled you into my appointment book for _________.  Please call me on this number if you think you’re going to be early or late. (Making the shopper write down the information solidifies it mentally, which helps increase appointment shows.)

Make certain that any person who takes a call is prepared. This means they have a pad and pen right in front of them to write down important information about the shopper. They also should not be multi-tasking during a phone up.  Focus and attention get the appointment; multi-tasking gets you nothing.

Interestingly, our live chat team employs the same techniques as above to capture information from shoppers who chat at the dealership website.  It is no wonder we achieve an almost 90% data capture rate for contact information from the website shoppers. 

Do you have a proven script you can share?  What has been your experience with phone or other scripts?  Please share! 

Todd Smith
P: (800) 775-7358 x9200  
C: 321-662-7800
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