The phone call from a potential car buyer remains the primary goal of the bulk of marketing efforts made by a car dealership, but the nature of a sales call has changed significantly. Today, car sales calls are more about convincing a buyer to visit the dealership rather than making the entire sale over the phone. Closing the deal still means setting an appointment that the prospective buyer actually keeps, and there are five common ways sales people fail to cinch the appointment.
Haggling the Entire Deal
In decades past, buyers used to spend an hour or more on the phone with a dealership representative to go over every detail of a car. Now that this is best accomplished with the help of dozens of different websites and useful apps, a caller who is inquiring about every detail of a car and attempting to haggle a deal over the phone is likely after something else instead.
These calls tend to be designed to get your sales people to agree to deals they otherwise wouldn't make in person because the buyer sounds eager to make a deal. However, they're usually just making sure they can't get a lower price right before signing a contract with someone else. These buyers should be encouraged to come in instead of making a deal over the phone to see if they're really interested or just trying to talk another dealer into matching the price you give over the phone.
Making a Hard Sell
When you've got what sounds like an interested buyer on the phone, it's tempting to launch into your hardest sales pitch to try and reel them in as quickly as possible. However, this approach no longer works over the phone and scares away buyers instead of drawing them in. Anyone calling in to your dealership already has a lot of research completed, so repeating information they already know about your dealership, deals, or stock will only make them feel pressured. A low pressure approach that focuses directly on setting the appointment is far better, even if the caller just claims to want some general information.
Letting Off the Pressure
Watch out that your sales team doesn't completely let off the pressure to come in when taking phone calls just because they've been told to relax the hard sell technique. Instead of focusing on sales tactics like getting them to imagine themselves in specific vehicles, tell them to put the pressure on getting an appointment for as soon as possible so that your limited stock isn't sold out. There should still be an element of pressure, such as a time limit or a special deal that expires, involved in the call so that the buyer doesn't just feel compelled to drop in whenever they feel like and potentially never stop by.
Spending Too Long
Incoming sales calls should be kept to a minimum of time since 84% of them fail to generate a sale. Of course, the 16% that do produce sales do deserve plenty of attention, but they tend to be short as well since motivated buyers are looking for an appointment rather than a lengthy sales discussion. Set a time limit and encourage your sales team to keep their pitch focused on funneling towards appointment setting rather than spending so much time on pleasantries.
Failing in Flexibility
Finally, a great sales person who knows how to set an appointment in the first sentence can still fail to close if they're not flexible enough. Many sales people are very limited in how much time they'll set aside for appointments. If you can't accommodate the needs of the buyer they're going to go somewhere else. Encourage your sales team to keep their schedule as flexible as possible and take appointments at times they'd usually devote for other tasks and you'll see sales rise steadily.
For more tips, enlist the help of car sales phone training services.