Phone Skills Pay the Bills

Phone Skills Pay the Bills

How many times have we heard this: “The customer is on the way and it’s a done deal!”

The salesperson washes the car and pulls it up front. He/she throws a Sold Sign on the dashboard and waits, and waits and waits…. 

The customer never shows.

The Sales Manager calls the customer only to be told the customer went to the wrong dealership and decided to purchase there, or something to that effect. The point here is that it could have easily been avoided. And yes, I believe it happens, not all “buyers are liars.” In fact, I can say that over my 18 years in retail I’ve found most aren’t! 

The salesperson does the “Walk of Shame” and parks the car back on the lot, defeated and the rest of his/her day is ruined. 

With proper phone training, this disastrous occurrence can be eliminated! 

It doesn’t matter if your ad budget is $20,000 a month or $200,000. If your team isn’t properly trained on the phones, and kept up to date in an ongoing manner, you really are wasting your money! I’ve found this to be true the hard way and so did my owner. 

Salespeople and BDC representatives need thorough training on every aspect of the call both in theory and situationally. From the greeting, to qualifying, to setting the appointment and giving directions to the dealership to ending the call properly. No steps can be skipped. One miscue can lead the customer to another dealer. 

As a GM for the last 8 years, I understand finding time for anything is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Between Facebook, twitter, tic tok, Instagram, snapchat and personal calls, texts and emails, I’m sure we can agree it’s completely possible to sneak 20 minutes a week plus 20 minutes a month in for something that will make customers happy, salesmen a lot more money and the store entirely more competitive. Right?  

The benefits to outsourcing phone training are many and focusing specifically on the phones vs. a “catch all” training is definitely the way to go. I liken this to the medical profession or the legal profession, everyone has their specialties. There’re “doctors” and there are “lawyers” but when you have something very specific you see a specialist. The phones are very specific and thus you need a firm that specializes in them. 

Managers focus on selling cars, scheduling, the sales floor, etc. The job of training does fall on them but for skill specific items it’s just not realistic to expect. How much can one person realistically do?

Stores that pay out exorbitant spiffs to drive the impossible behaviors that oftentimes didn’t occur for 90 – 120 days should take a hard look at proper training as well. Throwing money at a problem vs. investing properly in the solution is a huge difference and one that will pay massive dividends for a long time!  

June 26, 2020, originally posted on Dealer Elite 

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