New Internet Sales Coordinator HELP!

Ashley Sellers

Hi! My name is Ashley. I just started working at a dealership as a Internet Sales Coordinator about a month ago. I have never worked in the car industry. I am having a terrible time getting leads to answer me back. I call, e-mail and even started sending out videos. How can I get people to respond to me, so I can book appointements? Sometimes it feels impossible. What type of scripts do you guys use to get people in the door? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Shawn Ryder

What sort of tools are at your fingers to communicate with customers? Keep at it... may not be easy but traction can take time. Overall how are vehicle sales at the dealership?

Colin

Ashley, Welcome to DS and congratulations on your job!

I'm a seasoned BDC / Internet consultant - I've built BDC departments from the ground up and have seen what works and what does not. 

Let's talk strictly about callbacks from voicemails you leave.

99% of all appointments are generated through LIVE phone contact. You must understand this key to prioritize your day and increase contacts and appointments; which will of course, directly affect your shows and sales. I've seen BDC's that spend so much of their time pounding emails out that everyone is sending emails and nobody has a phone in hand or a caller on the line - and even though we need to follow up with email for several reasons, it's critical you understand that appointments are only going to be scheduled and kept over the phone. The one person out of 50 that schedules an appointment over email without ever having voice contact will likely never show. There is simply no way we can create the “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) to the customer over the phone, enough to leverage them to come in, unless they were already planning on making that trip; and since our job is business development, don’t look for the low hanging fruit, we have to lead the customer where we want and need them, which is, of course, on the showroom floor.

To increase your call backs, I've seen tremendous success with a simple saying at the very end of your voicemail message: "And don't worry if you don't get ahold of me, I'll try you later on before I leave for the day, thanks and have a great day" This does a few things. 

One - it demonstrates to the customer that you are a professional - and that you are likely different than most other appointment coordinators. 

Two - the customer will feel more of an urgency to call YOU back because they don't want endless calls, but at that point it's on you to confidently ask for the appointment when they DO call back and be ready to provide the reasons and advantages (to the customer) to do so. Simply put, it puts a small amount of pressure on the customer and increases the immediacy to take the next (CTA) action in calling you back. 

As a new BDC rep, the other piece of advice I can offer is to not fall into the trap of attempting to sell the features, benefits, options or PRICE over the phone. As appointment setters it's our job to generate more showroom traffic. We sell the APPOINTMENT, not the car; If the customer thinks for one second you're a salesperson or can engage you in negotiation over the phone, you'll simply end up spinning your wheels generating pricing for a customer that can now leverage YOUR (better) price with the next BDC rep that falls into the same trap at the next dealership.

I know that was a long reply, but hopefully it helps. If your store is looking to take the Appointment activity there to the next level, I’d be happy to provide a free consultation.

 

Ashley Sellers

Thank you both for your reply. I think the biggest thing I struggle with is what to say after they say they're not sure if they want to come in or just plain no. A lot of the customers who put in leads only want to know the price. Once I tell them, I never here from them again.

Ashley Sellers

Or also, how many times I can call them without sounding like I'm harassing them.

Colin

Ashley, does your department you use scripts? How many appointment coordinators do you have there? The fact that you’re posting on DS here shows that you’re invested in your job, so kudos to you for taking the initiative. Also, how many appointments are you setting on average? How many average daily shows? How many average dials per day? You asked about how many times is too many to call, what is your current expectation as far as when and how often to call? 

You mentioned a lot of your customers say they are unsure or sound unsure if they want to come in. The truth is, this is usually a result of the appointment coordinator not sounding confident enough in a process that puts the customer at ease. If you sound like every other appointment coordinator, how compelled is the customer to schedule and show for YOUR appointment at YOUR Honda dealership? I’m being a little hard on you, only because I know you can take it and because you clearly want to improve, which sets you aside from the other 95%.

The thing to remember when a customer asks what your price is – the customer is always either already on your website or a 3rd party website like cars.com or autotrader.com looking at the price – the customer is hoping you’re a sales person who will offer up a lower price. (by the way, what do you tell customers your title is?)

I’ve made it easy for you by bolding out some extremely common word tracks that successful appointment coordinators use.  The words in bold are words I would begin using, you will likely stumble, but that’s to be expected, who cares, you have to fall down a few times to learn to ride a bike, right?

Here’s what I have my reps do when a customer asks for a price

1-Simply respond by saying: “we do reserve our best pricing (you want to emphasize the words: “best pricing”) for our customers who have visited our dealership and test driven a vehicle” Go to step 2

(immediately offer two appointment times (you can’t pause / hesitate / wait for the customer to lead the direction of the call at this point, take control of the call)

2-“I have two appointments today on that (Civic, Accord, whatever the model; whatever the case, it’s important you reference the appointment time related to “that______ model”) Go to step 3 (don’t pause or hesitate!)

3-“I have an 11:15 and a 6:45 appointment, which works better for you? (you’re making up times up on the fly based on the time of day it is when you’re speaking with the customer and what, if any, information the customer has shared with you up to that point about where they might be coming from related to your dealership. Generally, I have reps use times on the :15’s and the :45’s, just like a doctor or dentist appointment. You want to project the image that your dealership is busy without actually using those words. If you buy into giving appointment times out that way your customers will follow suit as long as you’re confident in what you’re saying. Confidence is key!

Never use closed ended questions. If you ask the customer any question where they can answer with a “no”, they will. Always, and you’ll have nowhere to go, so avoid questions that lead to a “yes” or “no” answer

Don’t ask IF the appointment time works

Don’t ask if the customer WANTS to come in

Don’t ask if the customer CAN come in

Don’t ask if the customer wants to test drive the car

you have to lead the conversation and the customer along the path of appointment setting

If a customer asks why they need to schedule an appointment I generally have my reps tell the customer something along the lines of “we have found our customers have the best experience when we can be prepared for their visit, that way we are waiting for YOU (the customer) instead of you waiting on us” There are other What’s in it for me tricks you can use but I don’t know specifically what your store does to prepare for that appointment.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the appointment again after you’ve confidently overcome an objection; it looks like I still have the 11:15 and the 6:45 available, which one works better for you? Most appointments are set on a 2nd or 3rd objection you overcome. In fact, very few appointments are set the first time you ask.

You’re always going to have to overcome objections the key is to seamlessly, without pause or hesitation; always come back to an appointment I have a __:45___ and a __:15___ , which works better for you…

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