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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Lauren Cummins

Lauren Cummins Automotive Product Marketing Manager

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7 Steps to a Perfect Phone Call with a Sales Prospect

Training your sales guys to have good phone conversations is hard work. You tell them to make more appointments and their next phone call may sound like “Hi this is Bill, would you like to come in for an appointment?” Whoa there, she hasn’t even told you what she’s calling about yet!

Instilling great phone habits in your team is all about outlining the conversation. If you give them suggestions rather than hard, reusable information, they are likely to forget. There is such thing as the perfect phone call, and it happens when you make sure your team hits on these 7 key parts of the conversation, regardless of the caller’s interest or goals.

1. The greeting- Greeting the caller starts with identifying the department, their name, and asking the caller how they can help them. Simple enough, right? Well after listening to millions of calls, we’ve heard some atrocious greetings. Simply saying “Hello” or “This is Bob” is not enough. It requires the caller to follow up with “Is this the sales department?” since the sales guy has not disclosed that. Make it easy for the caller. 

2. Qualifying- Qualifying means getting all the info you as the sales person can get about what vehicle they are looking for. “Are you looking to buy new or used? and “Are you looking to finance?” are great questions to start. Sometimes asking about their previous purchase or current trade-in will tell you a lot. Don’t ask how much the prospect is willing to spend, because that’s the kind of conversation to have once they are in the dealership.

3. Contact information- Getting the prospect’s contact information is more than just getting their name and number. You must identify he or she's preferred method of contact, as well as the days of the week and time of day they would prefer to be called. Take down more than one method of contact including email, cell number and work number.

4. Asking for the appointment- This is hands down the most important part of the conversation. At dealerships, car salesmen are only asking for the appointment 22% of the time. Can you imagine how many more sales your team would make if they improved that number? Make sure your team asks their prospect what date and time works best for them. Setting a firm date and time is much more successful than “I’ll come by sometime Friday.”

5. Objection handling- On almost every single call your team will experience objections. Your sales guys can easily lose a customer at this step if they don’t know how to properly handle them. If a customer says “I’m too busy this week to come in” the salesman could reply with “No problem. How about we get you in Wednesday during your lunch break so it doesn’t take away from your busy schedule?”  

6. Closure- This is where you open the floor to the caller to ask any questions they may have, and wrap up the conversation.

7. Directions- This is a step almost every single sales guy forgets. Single the majority of people have access to Google M2c574105a1c43995a9f8f7fafed177ab.jpg?t=1aps, we wrongfully assume that a customer can get where they’re going without spoken directions. But chances are your Honda dealership isn’t the only Honda dealership on the block. The last thing you want is your prospect driving to the wrong dealership, only to get hooked by a pushy salesman there.

If your sales guys nail these 7 parts to the perfect conversation, they will gain the trust of their prospects, and ultimately make more sales in the long run. Teach these steps to your team at your next meeting.

 

Carey Fried
I wanted to add to point number four. We know from research and call analysis that when call handlers ask for the appointment TWICE they are more likely to make an appointment. BUT- the timing has to be right. Don't ask too early - before you build rapport - or too late - when they've disengaged; the point is don't be discouraged if you don't make an appointment on the first ask. Let the caller warm up and ASK AGAIN!
Lauren Cummins
@Carey, I completely agree. It's all about building the trust with the prospect. Once they trust you, you'll have better luck at locking down that appointment. Asking for the appointment again never hurt anyone if the timing is right! Thanks for the input.
mark rask
this is good stuff

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