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Lawrence Wittrock

Lawrence Wittrock Sales & Marketing

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Romance the Phone

– by Boyd Warner

The car business seems enraptured by the phone these days, but rarely for talking to customers, and this loss in sales and productivity is really too bad.

Texting is fast and hip, but using the telephone to actually talk with customers can be a most potent competitive advantage and using the phone to engage existing customers can be especially rewarding – for everyone!

To gain such rewards, we have to become comfortable with actually talking on the telephone again. Gaining experience and confidence using the phone to conduct business is acquired when given special attention and dedication.

There’s an old phone sales axiom that the telephone can become a 64-pound weight when used for making direct sales calls. It can often feel more like a ton of weight when faced with lifting it up to call someone you don’t know and who doesn’t know you, especially when you cannot provide any specific value for having interrupted their day.

Avoiding the phone is like avoiding a customer who walks into the showroom.

Currently there’s no reason to make cold calls without having foreknowledge of what will grab the customer’s attention. With these advantages going for you, the phone can seem as light as a hundred dollar bill.

Proper preparation using the telephone to sell vehicles and service can make your job productive. Learn to reach out to customers who’ll readily receive your calls, listen to you long enough to decide if there are actual benefits and then accept your offers.

Think outside the box; don’t give listeners predictable car-sales pitches. Forgot those words we love so much, like “deal” and “special offer” and “trade-in”. Instead of calling to sell something, let the customer know right away:

  • You’re calling to buy – their existing vehicle. You currently have a demand for vehicles like theirs; as compensation, propose a newer model for about the same monthly payment

 

  • You’re calling to protect them – from making a costly mistake. Your records show their leased vehicle mileage is going to exceed their contract limit, costing them X dollars in penalties. You can eliminate those potentially expensive fees and move your customer into a newer model for about the same payment

 

  • You’re calling to offer peace of mind – the customer’s factory warranty is expiring soon and you can offer a commensurate vehicle service contract with additional protection for many more years to come.

 

  • You’re calling to save them frustration - your records show their aging vehicle has become increasingly costly to maintain properly and you have a fine selection of certified pre-owned units they might want to consider. These include late model vehicles complete with lower miles and the balance of factory warranties or with vehicle service contacts included.

Does romancing the phone like this truly generate additional business? It certainly does when the sales staff is comfortable speaking to customers by phone and they can follow a basic key-points talking script. They should also have sufficient industry experience or commensurate training to answer customers’ basic questions.

Texting is here to stay, yet when it comes to using the phone as a selling tool, nothing beats dialing up customers and offering real value to their lives.

Boyd Warner is CEO of AutoAlert®, Inc. (www.autoalert.com), the most advanced lead generation solution available on the market today. Contact him at boyd@autoalert.com

 

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