Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog
Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

Phone-Ups that Show-Up

Written By: Alan Ram
Posted on September 20, 2016

Every time I ask a group, whether it be dealers or salespeople, what the goal of a sales call is they tell me it’s to “set an appointment.” No, it’s not! Let me explain with two scenarios.

Scenario A: You take a sales call. Everything goes great: You get their name, you get their number and, yes, the caller sets an appointment. You hear barking in the background, and you start talking to the caller about their dog. Now you’ve got some Golden Doodle-rapport. Unfortunately, that appointment does not show up.

Scenario B: Someone calls, and you get their name and number. That’s no problem—you again use the highly effective technique that I call “asking them for it” that works just about every time. This customer will not set up an appointment no matter how hard you try. They just won’t commit. But, later on, that evening, they come in and buy.

Which would you rather have? (And that’s not a trick question.) Clearly Scenario B, right? But they didn’t have an appointment! So what? The goal of a sales call is not to set an appointment but to have someone actually show up at your dealership!

Show-ups count, not appointments

There’s a big difference between setting up appointments and having people arrive. I’ve had plenty of salespeople come up to me excited at a dealership and tell me that they just used one of my word tracks on a customer on the phone, and it worked great. My question is always, “did the caller show up yet?” If not, nothing has worked “great” yet. Not until they show!

Now, I’m not telling you not to set up appointments, so relax. Of course, you want to set up appointments. But let’s face it, nobody comes into your dealership because you got their name and phone number: “Hey honey, that salesperson at Friendly Kia just got our phone number! Let’s get down there!”

Messaging matters

By the same token, nobody comes into your dealership simply because you set up an appointment. They come in because of everything else you say. What reasons are you giving customers to come to your dealership, other than to see you?

If you can’t answer that question, you need to figure it out!  Most telephone training in the automotive industry is simple:

  1. Get their name.
  2. Get their phone number.
  3. Smile, because a smile can be heard over the phone. (This is true, by the way.)
  4. And then, set up an appointment they probably won’t show up for!

You need to step up your game! To get people to come to the dealership, you must give them solid reasons to show up. The next time someone asks you what your goal on a sales call is, I want you to say: “It’s to get someone to actually show up!”

Ready to train your team? Check out in-person training options through NCM Associates. Also, Alan Ram’s Management by Fire course offers additional tools for your dealership training needs.

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