A Buzzword a Day Won’t Keep Bad Phone Skills at Bay

Nicole Marcellino

“It’s just another trainer,” says the GM when reviewing the email the Dealer Principal sent him. There’s no doubt that a lot of today’s “training” is irrelevant and ineffective in assisting dealers and their needs. Sending a self-proclaimed “guru” in to speak to your Sales Managers, Sales Consultants, and BD Agents for the day is not only ineffective, but it’s also not training. It’s often a buzzword palooza that winds up leaving your Sales Consultants and BD Agents with snippets they don’t have the tools or resources to implement. Or, worse yet, it’s a “never has been,” and they just talk about themselves for 3 hours… 

A buzzword a day won’t keep bad phone skills at bay! Practical training is more than learning tips and tricks or sliding in “buzzwords.” At the end of the day, words are just that – words, and how you use those words makes the difference. Learning how to effectively answer an inbound phone call using a proper technique will lead to setting more appointments that show and buy. 

It’s also learning how to appropriately respond to a web lead. And no, it’s not about telling the customer, “Sent from my iPhone,” so they “think” you’re responding to leads after hours. *do people still think that works in 2022? It’s about answering the customers’ questions and providing the next steps. That are the steps to the appointment. As a customer, if you ask a specific question, such as “what kind of APR do you have available on this car?” – you expect an answer. So, if your response is “are you available now to talk?” that’s not only not answering their question, but it’s also not offering the customer the next steps. And it’s insulting.  

Here’s a quality response, void of buzzwords, that answers their question and provides the next steps so we can effectively assist them.

[customer name], 

Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business here at [dealer]. Great news! We have that vehicle available and offer a wide range of financing options to best meet your needs. Regarding APR – it depends on factors based on your credit report.

What time works best for you to come in today to test drive the [car] and discuss financing options with our Finance Manager? I have a 2:15 PM or 2:45 PM available. Does either of those times work for you?

In the meantime, here is what customers have to say about us (reviews) – we look forward to working with you!

Best Regards, 

[BD Agent]

If the customer does have a phone number available, we should call them first unless they specifically stated only to email them. Otherwise, you would make the call, leave them a voicemail, and follow up with an email. 

Bottom line: working with your Sales Consultants and BD Agents on how to effectively answer inbound calls and respond to internet leads is training. And there’s nothing more effective than ongoing training! Equipping your BD Agents and Sales Consultants with proper phone and lead handling techniques is necessary regardless of how hot the market is. 

Are you ready to ditch buzzwords? 

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