At car dealerships, a cold calling script combines two ideas that may take some getting used to for your salespeople: outbound sales calls and sticking to a sales script.
That doesn’t mean you should dismiss cold calling script use. Quite the opposite — making calls is a valuable way to bring in new leads, and phone scripts provide the structure that helps each call reach its potential.
When you incorporate phone scripts and outbound calls into parts of your lead prospecting process, you’re adding a new dimension to your dealership’s sales ability. This is true whether the people picking up the phones are your sales staff or members of a dedicated business development center (BDC).
By exploring the ways more professional phone use can add value to your dealership, you’ll see what the ideal cold calling model looks like: well-coached reps using scripts to make consistent, expertly targeted calls and drive lead generation.
The value of outbound calling for auto sales
If your phone strategy only deals with inbound calls, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to warm up new leads for your dealership. But while the phone isn’t a trendy way to communicate with customers, and the idea of a cold call has a bit of a stigma attached, none of this should stop your team from picking up the phones.
For many customers, buying a car is a big investment and an involved process. When doing research, a customer will often decide that the simplest way to get the info they need, even if it involves more time, is to call the dealership and speak to a human directly.
That’s all right for inbound activity, but what about outbound? Will cold calls reach their targets often enough to be worth making? The answer is yes because the calls are not 100% cold. After all, your team isn’t picking up an old phone book and dialing numbers at random.
Prospects for outbound calls may serve customers who have visited your shop for parts but did not buy a car. They might be previous auto buyers who are coming to the end of a lease. A customer may have named them as a referral. Or they could be lapsed customers who bought a car from your dealership many years back, but then went somewhere else for their most recent purchase — a potential customer can come from one of many sources.
While the people receiving the calls are not necessarily warm leads, after a successful sales call, they can eventually warm up. With an organized and well-designed outbound sales strategy, cold calls can generate leads seemingly out of thin air, leading them into the sales process.
This level of strategy needs a few tools to thrive. Foremost among those tools? Cold calling car sales phone scripts.
Cold calling script use
Contrary to common belief, a sales phone script isn’t on-hand to make a sales representative give a generic sales pitch, and it won’t take the humanity out of a phone call. It is there to make sure every call is consistent and gets results for your dealership.
When a salesperson uses a cold calling script, all the parts of the call will be accounted for:
- A comprehensive introduction.
- Information-gathering steps.
- Confirmation of everything said on the call.
- Setup for the next step in the car sale process.
A sales script should be divided up by the type of call taking place. Approaching a previous customer ending the near of a lease begs for a different strategy than phoning a customer who gets their service at the dealership. A lapsed customer who went to a different dealership for their most recent car deserves a different approach than a referral prospect.
Having a deep well of phone script types to draw from equips your sales reps to make the most of every interaction. It even pays to have a voicemail script on hand in case a sales call reaches an answering service.
One of the best features of a cold calling script is that it gives an objective standard to measure phone calls against. Did the sales rep ask all the right questions? Did they introduce themself and the dealership? How was the sign-off? If your reps are consistently hitting these marks, their calls stand a good chance of success.
While the sales managers should check up on these metrics, they shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for improving employee phone skills. That’s where coaching comes in.
One-on-one coaching for cold calling phone skills
Training sales employees in phone skills is one thing. Keeping those abilities strong over time through continued one-on-one coaching is another — and it can offer more consistent, long-term value for your dealership.
In a coaching model, the expert will review real customer calls, determining where a particular salesperson excels and where they can improve. From there, the coach engages in a conversation and review with the employee, delivers cold calling tips, role-plays potential customer interactions and tracks progress.
One-time phone sales training will likely lead to diminishing results over time, as the lessons recede into the past and old habits return. The continued engagement of periodic coaching is a way to keep lessons from fading and to keep the team pushing forward.
Making sure your employees are skilled at working from a cold calling script is an important priority for one-on-one coaching sessions. Whichever types of phone skills and elements of cold calling technique matter most to your dealership’s team, those abilities can become the focus of ongoing coaching.
Who makes the phone calls: Sales rep or BDC staff?
Sometimes, there’s little time for sales team members to make or take phone calls alongside their other duties. In these cases, you can set up a BDC, either by specifically delegating employees or by contracting an off-site virtual BDC to handle the phones.
A BDC can manage everything from outbound cold calling to phone answering and inbound leads processing — how you use the team is up to you. The key to making a BDC work well is integrating the team smoothly with your normal sales channels, ensuring sales professionals see the BDC as an ally rather than a competitor for customer sales.
Regardless of whoever is responsible for the cold calls in your dealership, you should give those employees the tools they need to thrive. You can start by downloading our free car sales phone scripts to guide their calls.