How to Improve Your Sales Team’s Phone Skills Fast

In the last 25 years, little has changed in the quality of phone skills for the average dealership team member. There are still a lot of dealers who operate with an in-person mentality, but the internet has caused a massive dropoff in showroom walk-in business. It used to be that foot traffic generated up to 70% of your leads, but today it’s right around 30%.

It’s hard to believe the phone could still be relevant in the internet age, but it’s true. Changing consumer habits are prioritizing indirect contact like phones over in-person experiences, and how you use that to generate leads and close deals is more important than ever. And with increasing competition from online dealers, the personalized value phones offer is a key differentiator. You need to ensure your team’s phone skills are unified, up-to-date, and on point.

But what’s the best way to do this? Owners and GMs are busy as heck managing all the facets of a profitable dealership. Training and script writing take loads of time you might not have. Fortunately, there are dedicated active coaching agencies that specialize in cutting-edge phone skills training. They offer dealers a complete package of experience-backed training for your sales team, and they are the best way to fix sagging sales numbers and get your team on point. 

A Track Record of Success in the Automotive Industry

Sure, selling is selling, but only up to a point. With all the sector-specific idiosyncrasies of automotive sales, your best option is to look for specialists who have plenty of hands-on experience in the field and know the score. 

Your dealership is not the place for generalized sales training agencies to figure out what differentiates our industry from selling tools or sweaters. It will take them a long time to dial in their training regime—and you’ll be the one footing the bill. 

That’s why it’s critical to find a training partner staffed by real industry professionals who already know the business. Because they’ve been in the trenches themselves, they understand exactly what works and can spot the holes in your team’s phone skills instantly. 

Hire Coaches, not Lecturers

One-off hotel ballroom phone skills training sessions are not the answer, nor are weekend retreats, video or online lectures, pamphlets, or workbooks. Real learning takes time and effort, so you want coaches who not only teach the material but also follow up regularly. That way, your team will get the fastest and most useful analysis and input about where and how to make changes. 

Active coaching is the only way to rapidly and reliably improve. While a great teacher can show, a coach goes further to integrate those skills so they become second nature. They will also work with your associates individually over time and develop a relationship that adds value to the experience. 

Of course, you know your team members best, but it may surprise you to hear that people learn better from folks who are not their boss! While you’re a master at selling and phone skills yourself, you may not be the best person to coach your team because you’re their supervisor. 

Finally, you’ll want coaches to use a system that works as efficiently and practically as possible—those monthly sales goals can’t take a back seat to training. Look for active coaching agencies that invest in your team not just initially but at regular intervals over time. Sessions can be as short as 15 minutes, but the key is repeated weekly or monthly contact to ensure new phone skills settle in. 

The Best Write Phone Scripts Just for You

Lazy agencies often have dusty filing cabinets full of generic scripts they’ll throw at anyone with a buck. They may or may not apply to your dealership’s needs, and that means you’ll have to waste time and money tweaking them as you go along. 

One of the great rules of successful phone scripts is to have professionals write them just for your team, leaving room for individual employees to customize the language to suit their personal speech patterns.

Those generic, mass-market scripts will never separate your dealership from the pack—especially if they’re basically the same as your competition. You simply cannot afford to have a dealership that blends in, especially in the digital age.

Follow-Up Mystery Shops Are Key

The best coaching in the world is severely limited if nobody’s analyzing the game tape. When you’re looking to correct mistakes quickly and up your phone skills training fast, you’re going to need to invest in a training agency that uses mystery shops.

For ages, the automotive industry relied on customer comment cards, anonymous receipts or online surveys, and a thousand other simple feedback tools. The big problem is they rarely produce actionable data; the lists of numbers they deliver are just too abstract and rarely provide instant insight into what’s helping or hurting your performance. 

Mystery shops are better because they directly measure the customer experience in real-time and evaluate the skills your employees are actually deploying—not what they can remember when prompted. This gives coaches an instant baseline understanding of how and why sales are performing the way they are and direct feedback to make a difference today. 

Phone Ninjas Can Help Your Team’s Phone Skills

Phone Ninjas is dedicated to making your team excel on the phone from day one, and it’s backed by our deep automotive sales expertise from over a half-century of combined experience. Phone Ninjas has seen and heard it all, so we’re perfectly positioned to get your team coached up to all-star levels of performance fast.

It won’t happen overnight, but we train your team members more efficiently than other one-and-done agencies, coaching them over time through individual sessions using scripts we write just for your dealership. 

If you think Phone Ninjas can help propel your team’s phone skills to new heights, please contact us for a demonstration and two free mystery shops!

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