National Average: For every 100 in-bound sales calls… 15 appointments are set, 8 customers show, and only 4 buy…
In this post, I will be covering how your business can drastically improve your dealership’s numbers in order to:
- Overcome the resistance and objections of your sales people to answer the phone effectively
- Learn the sequential time-tested steps of phone handling skills that overcome customer objections and dramatically increase the volume of appointments set, with customers that show and buy
- Increase your appointments made with a show ratio 2 to 3 times greater than the national average
- Empower your call handlers to increase their closing ratios between 3 and 7 times the national average
With today’s focus on technology, we have overlooked one of the most valuable tools available in every company across the globe – the telephone! Over 85% of all automobile sales are initiated with a phone call. Further, 80% of callers purchase a vehicle within 3 to 5 days of calling, while 90% buy within 10 days. Therefore, today’s caller is four-times more qualified as a potential buyer than the standard showroom-up.
Take into account that 86% of callers purchase a vehicle OTHER than the one for which they are calling. It turns out that it’s the call handler’s worst case scenario to actually HAVE the vehicle for which the prospect is calling! The sales person is typically compelled to talk about that product (versus qualifying the customer). Wherein, the typical caller will find at least one objection in the details to use as an excuse not to come in or to even set an appointment to see the vehicle. The more information the prospect receives about the vehicle (or the more the call handler talks) – the less likely the prospect will make and keep an appointment.
The average length of a successful sales call is under 5 minutes.
Of further irony, some of the best sales consultants on the showroom are the least successful on the phone. When we assess the reasons for this, in person, exceptional sales consultants instinctively use the universal five behavioral cues: Words; Tones; Gestures; Postures & Facial Expressions. However on the phone, they only have Words and Tones. Therefore, they lose 60% of what makes them great on the showroom – the intuitive people-reading skills of Gestures, Posture & Facial Expressions. To make up for this, they often over-compensate by excessively using WORDS – thus talking too much and not taking control by asking questions and qualifying the prospect in the simplest of ways: “I’ll be happy to check on that for you – now is that the style of vehicle you’re hoping for or the nicest vehicle in that price range?”
Through our affiliation with call capturing services, we have monitored over 20,000,000 recorded calls and have established clear and decisive patterns of call handlers who set appointments & those who set them inadvertently – for their competitors! Companies are expanding the use of call tracking and recording services beyond advertising to monitor & measure customer responses via their call handlers’ performance. If carefully interpreted, this intelligence will reveal ways for businesses to adjust their sales and marketing processes so they can attract more customers, set more appointments and sell more products & services. Of those dealerships who are currently tracking and recording their calls, most do not review their call data and trends regularly. They make few changes to their phone handling process, staffing, training or operations based on the call information collected over the past months or even years!
To help overcome the sales person’s resistance to taking calls and regularly coaching them for improvement, we recommend reviewing their calls and going over each with pin-point focus. While “painstaking” in execution, those dealerships that do this or who out-source their calls, are dramatically more successful at setting appointments and converting callers to buyers. They reduce busy or unanswered calls. Their sales staff promptly return missed calls. They review recordings for mishandled leads for “Save-A-Deal” opportunities and make customer recovery contacts. These habits generate thousands of dollars per month for companies who make these efforts and overcome the typical objections – both from their phone handlers and their customers!
These opportunities may seem obvious, but most organizations just don’t have the time, staff or inclination to review and interpret call data, listen to inbound calls and continually train and retrain salespeople. In just one month of utilizing our simple and cost-effective phone handling processes, one of our Midwest customers went from a market share of 11.4% to 18.8% – resulting in a value of several hundred thousand dollars annually.
Are you ready to change and transform your business from average to extraordinary? If so, please contact us for an immediate consultation.