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Lauren Cummins

Lauren Cummins Automotive Product Marketing Manager

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Transform the Phone Culture at Your Dealership Right Now in 5 Easy Steps

As a dealer, the phone can be a sore subject. At this point, you’ve probably tried just about everything-- phone scripts, call coaching, incentives to make calls, etc. But nothing seems to stick.

Changing the way your guys perform on the phone is less about finding a quick solution to fix the problems, and more about changing the way they think about the phone. Yes, phone scripts and incentives boost participation, but that won’t change your team’s phone culture.

Your guys work their asses off on the floor to close deals, so giving them some complicated strategy to improve on the phone just won’t fly.

Remember in college when you used acronyms to remember your biology notes for a big test? Well, we kind of did the same thing here. CRISP is an acronym that makes it easy for your guys to remember the parts that will guarantee more appointments, and ultimately more sales.

Here’s a breakdown of CRISP:

Connect: Connect with every caller, and repeat the caller’s name at the beginning of the call. The number one priority here is to make sure every caller is connected with someone who is qualified to help them. Make picking up the phone a priority and never leave a caller stranded.

Request & Invite: Offer two appointment times in an effort to set a firm appointment. A firm appointment constitutes offering a specific date and time to come in, on every single call.

Set: An appointment is not set unless the caller agrees to a specific date and time and confirm with a reminder. Merely offering the appointment does not cut it. Neither does the answer “I’ll come by sometime next week.”

Pursue: Reach out to established customers and new leads, rescue stranded calls, and save missed appointment opportunities. Getting in touch with those missed opportunities could double your business just this month.

Fairly easy acronym to remember, right? You’d be surprised at how much this boosts your bottom line.

Carey Fried
I like the emphasis on the basics. And the CRISP acronym works well. My question is Why is it so hard for phone handlers to stick to the basics? Consistently? Is it lack of training? Or an environment that doesn't support learning?
Grant Gooley
CRISP. I like it! Some really nice points here Lauren. Than you for sharing. In my experience, training on a constant basis will keep the team using the phones properly. As soon as training stops, you see a dip in the quality of calls.
Megan Barto
I've never heard of CRISP before, but it's a great acronym! Even to this day, the phone (& chat) are 2 of the most under utilized tools in a dealership.
Jonathan Dawson
@Lauren, I'm a big fan of acronyms and mneumonic devices like acrostics. I use them in my phone training too. When responding to a question use the T.H.A.N.K.S. technique. I love ideas that K.I.S.S.

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