Whether you’re just a regular customer looking for a car, or a Sales / BDC Manager, or someone like me, who’s been coaching consultants for a while, you’ve probably wondered why it seems so difficult to call a dealership to ask about a vehicle and make an appointment to test drive it.

It isn’t rocket science, after all. It seems so easy to ask a few questions, in a pleasant and interested tone of voice, and listen to what the customer wants, to make a connection.

The North American automotive business spends millions of dollars a year on training these basic skills. Yet the average perception of inbound call responses, and the performance of “call handlers”* generally is negative, and not good for business—or customers.

This article is about the gap between Training and Learning. What is it about the content or the process of training Phone Skills that fails to connect with the actual experience when calling a dealership? Or could it be that Training isn’t the solution? Perhaps, Coaching would create better results, changing behaviors, more appointments made, and more cars sold…

* (In this article, the term “call-handlers” applies to anyone and everyone who answers inbound customer calls—including owners, managers, salespersons, BDRs, advisors, and receptionists.
It isn’t about position; it’s about the dealership’s brand voice—on the phone…)

Why is it so important to differentiate Training from Coaching?