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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Best Practices on Handling Phone Leads

Studies show that 50% of sales for most dealerships start with a phone conversation. Understanding how to approach a phone lead is instrumental in converting a prospect from a shopper to a buyer. While phone leads could be considered an easy close, many dealerships struggle with them - losing opportunities and money.

For instance, most dealers only identify themselves 70% of the time while on the phone. Prospects want to know who they are calling and they have specific questions they want answered. Dealers also have less than a 30% chance of getting a prospect back on the phone. If you are not answering their questions immediately, you can almost guarantee the prospect is calling a different dealership after they hang up.

GetAuto’s mission is to help dealerships sell more cars, so, we are excited to offer these best practice suggestions to help increase the closing ratio on phone leads. Consider these ideas when handling your next call:

When answering a call

  • Have a smart (and personable) front line – phone greetings should always be friendly, enthusiastic, and professional
  • The person who answers calls needs to be educated on dealership inventory
  •  Get the first and last name of the prospect as well as his/her phone number (make sure to provide yours)
  • Remind the prospect of what he/she saw on the website (How did you hear about us? What site?)

While on the phone:

  • Be informative and answer questions, but do not flood the prospect with information
  • Don’t try to sell over the phone – the goal should be to gather information and get the prospect in the door

Setting the appointment:

  • Ask the prospect when he/she would like to come in for a test drive and make sure to mention any promotion that could help close (i.e.: we are currently offering 5 free oil changes with every car purchased)
  • Ask questions about why the prospect has a current interest in this vehicle. This information can help you select similar vehicles that match the prospect’s needs
  • Educate the prospect on the dealership’s  process of test driving the vehicle and discussing options
  • Consider an “internet special” offering to solidify the prospect’s visit to the dealership

Remember:

  • The prospect is looking for immediate answers
  • The goal is to get the prospect in the dealership, not to sell the car over the phone
  • Treat every prospect as a long-term client – convey genuine concern for their welfare
  • You have multiple toll-free numbers assigned to your dealership. Make sure you know where the call came from
  • Always answer professionally. Some phone leads will have a “whisper” before connecting phone lines

The phone leads you receive can be a valuable resource if you understand how to handle each call. Make the most out of your marketing investment by implementing these best practice suggestions.  

Bryan Armstrong
It's amazing to me the amount spent to make the phone ring, but how little is spent on training and process in handling those calls. Appointment-record info in CRM, confirmation-reception should be an integral part of every Dealers process.
Maggie Gormley
We agree, Bryan! Phone leads can high-converting sales opportunities with proper training. We're here to support dealers if anyone would like guidance on how to close phone leads or receive them.
Mike G
I think phone leads are better than walk on ups. I like informed consumers. The ones I really hate that are the hardest are the "I want to save your time and mine, what is your best price on X car" There seems to be no one good for everyone response. I try to engage them in conversation and have a few little "best lines". but they are the hardest. I can always use more tips on how to handle those phone ups.

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