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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jim Bell

Jim Bell Performance Manager

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How Are You Standing Out in Your Phone-ups?

Phone ups are getting to be a key in the automotive business. The internet has changed our environment dramatically as customers used to visit at least 4-5 dealerships and that number has dwindled down to under 2 dealership visits before making a decision on a new vehicle. Also, call volume is trending down as dealers are being more transparent with options/equipment, carfaxes, and more photos of vehicles on the websites. We have to be sharp on the phone and also stand out.

I was walking through the showroom yesterday, and heard a salesman on the phone calling a customer that had inquired on a vehicle over the phone. He hadn't set the appointment, but he followed up with the customer the next day just to say thanks for the interest in the vehicle and he was there if they had any further questions. I have another salesman that will do a reverse look up on the phone number and not only follow up with them on the phone, but will also send them a postcard. I will guarantee there isn't any salesman in town that is doing that. This is all why he is as successful as he is in what he does.

Too many times, if a salesman doesn't set an appointment on the first incoming call, the customer goes to the side and is never followed up again. I have no idea of what that statistic is, but I am sure it is high.

To stand out, we have to ask the right questions and open that customer up to the whole inventory, not just that vehicle that they called in on. We have to listen to the customer in their needs and wants. If they call in on a 2 door smaller car and they said that they have 3 kids, that might not be the right vehicle for them if they are replacing a vehicle. We have to be there to be an advisor, not just a salesman.

Here are a few tips to make you better than the next guy the customer calls:

  1. Get a name. Too many calls are going without asking for the customer's name.
  2. Get their best contact info. Most dealers have caller id and use it. Mr. Customer, is this 555-555-5555 the best number to reach you at?
  3. Open them up to your whole inventory. How many times have you listened to a phone call and they ask if the 1999 Honda Civic is available and you say no and they hang up right away? Are you specifically looking for that car, or something that gets great gas mileage at a great price?
  4. Get their email. Make yourself stand out and do a quick 2 minute walk-around on the vehicle and send it to them. Make yourself stand out from the rest.
  5. ASK FOR THE APPOINTMENT! Too many salespeople are scared to ask for it.
  6. Give them your name and have them write it down. How many times did a customer that you didn't get logged in the CRM for some reason just come in and didn't ask for you and bought from your coworker?
  7. Log them in the CRM! Protect yourself. Put in good notes. If you didn't make an appointment, call them back the next day and put them in your normal follow up routine.

So what are you doing to make yourself stand out?

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