Many times, salespeople contact potential customers through email and then wait to get a response, if they ever get one at all. Though email is a convenient and important tool for businesses, the best way to develop and maintain customer relations is through brief, well thought out conversations on the phone.

A personal phone call is ten times better than sending an impersonal email to a customer. 

Phone calls show customers you care and helps them connect on a more personal level.  Taking the time to make these scheduled calls will go a long way in ensuring you will be on the customer’s radar when the time comes for another purchase. 

There are many good reasons to contact customers throughout the year.  These contacts can be made in a variety of ways—through phone calls, email and of course texting.  Should you have a prospect that is in the decision making process, the phone call and text are by far the best method of communicating.

Taking the extra steps to procure a customer, such as a simple phone call, can do wonders to help the customer move forward.

But having a plan before you call is just as important as the call itself. Your salespeople should be strategic and know what they are going to say prior to the call. Whether it is a check-up call, service call, or to answer questions the customer may have, knowing how to address issues or concerns is crucial. Make sure you have a planned response when leaving a voicemail too. 

In today’s technology age, potential customers do their research first on the internet before going to the dealership. In most cases, they will call first to ask about a vehicle they have seen on the internet and obtain more details before stopping in to see it firsthand.

This is where having phone expertise is key. Addressing a customer’s questions and alleviating any possible concerns they may have (i.e. the mileage is too high or the model is older than they were looking for) is an important step to holding on to a potential sale.

Salespeople need to have a planned response to a question or concern before the call. For example, if an interested buyer was calling about a pre-owned vehicle you had on the lot and the miles on the vehicle made them uncomfortable, a good response to their objection would be:

“Well I appreciate your concern, but you may be pleased to know that our dealer’s pricing philosophy is to price every vehicle according to its precise mileage and condition. For example, if the miles were lower, this vehicle would certainly be priced higher. If you are more comfortable investing more to one with lower miles, I can investigate and see what other vehicles we have similar to this one and we’ll go from there.  What I do recommend, since this one interested you, is to come see and maybe drive it, and in the meantime I’ll be looking into other options for you.  What would be a good appointment time for you?” 

By addressing their concerns and assuring them they are getting the best deal for the mileage and price point, you have given them a better understanding of the vehicle and possibly increased their comfort level with you and the dealership in the process. 

Also, by providing them more options with lower miles, or whatever their preference may be, you are telling them you understand their needs and want to help them find the best car, RV or boat for them.

Remember, getting a potential customer into the store is key. 

Therefore don’t volunteer too much information right away. Offer to show them the product in person and then give them the full details.  A prospect seeing a vehicle, boat or RV in person will allow you to greatly increase the probability of closing the deal. The ability to see, touch, and drive it firsthand helps the customer imagine themselves owning it.

Another question that troubles some salespeople while on the phone, is when a customer asks if this is the best price, or says you have to work more on the price.  Sometimes this is simply a test, they’re just doing their job and want assurance they don’t spend more than they absolutely have to.  

As in most situations when working with customers, the most important thing is to know what to say next, not seem evasive or come across as unwilling to work with the customer.

One good response could be “We may have a little room, but the best thing you can do is come in to get a closer look, drive it, and let’s make certain it’s the right vehicle.  If it is, then we will work hard to get you a fair proposal.  When is a good time for you to come in?”

Other important topics over the phone include trade-ins

Many times, people will call in about a vehicle they are interested in, but exclude the fact they also have a vehicle they may want to trade in. By asking if they do, and that you are motivated to help them get the most money out of their trade, you are establishing trust and confidence in your service. People can be suspicious of dealerships because of the perception that the dealership is only in it for themselves. By assuring a potential customer you are looking out for their best interest and want to give them the best deal you can offer, it shows the customer you care about their needs and concerns.

You can also create some urgency when you express that their timing is perfect.  Letting them know that your dealership needs pre-owned inventory more than ever and this will have a possible impact on the purchase price they receive.

The Mar-Kee Group offers many video tutorials to help salespeople make the most out of phone calls and other important sales topics. To watch a demo video on Ultimate Phone Expertise, click here.

The Mar-Kee Group are leaders in AutomotiveBoat and RV sales training, The Mar-Kee Group takes every effort to ensure our clients and their employees are confident and empowered by the tools we offer. Ultimately, it means happier customers that return time and again to your dealership, increased overall sales, and boosted morale for your sales team. A win-win-win for everyone involved! Contact us with any questions or for more information on our sales training courses and strategies.

Richard Keeney
The Mar-Kee Group
251-680-6633 (cell)

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