Car Dealer Phone Ups: The 5 Types You Handle Today (PART 1)
TRANSCRIPT: Hi, this is Steve Stauning with another “Steve Stauning’s Short & Sweet Video Training Lesson”. Today’s lesson: The five types of sales calls that car dealers find themselves in today, and why your BDC is probably your best option.
Now, it’s important to understand that with today’s connected customer, there are only a few types of phone calls that your team is even going to find themselves in. Gone are the days when a customer calls up and says, “I need somethin’ good on gas and under $8000. Whatcha got on the lot?”
See, everybody is connected today. Everybody is online. Everybody knows your inventory. Today’s consumer, whether they are millennial or a baby boomer has already done their research. They’ve looked at more than 20 different sources of information during their 19 hours of research before they ever picked up the phone and called your team.
Today’s connected customer has completed their needs analysis. They’ve completed their product selection. They’ve completed their feature presentation all by themselves. Now they just need someone to sell them a car, but what they don’t need on the phone is a salesman.
I’m still a little surprised today, when I encounter a dealer who lets his or her floor sales team answer inbound calls. There are only a couple of reasons that they do this: 1) they’ve listened to some misguided ‘old school’ phone trainer, or 2) they give the inbound calls to the floor team so they will have “something to do”, regardless of the fact that they cannot answer the phones properly.
The fact is most callers to your dealership only want to schedule a test drive. They really do. They want to know if the vehicle is there, they want to schedule a test drive because they want to buy the car. See, most floor salespeople go into full-on salesman overdrive on the phone, and their closing percentages are about 1/5th of what a disciplined BDC can provide.
Because the customer on the phone already knows everything about your inventory, they really are just trying to find an easy way to buy. They don’t want to be sold and they don’t want to answer a lot of irrelevant questions, right? They just want to get through this hassle called ‘car buying’ with as few bruises as possible. Your only goal when you have a prospect on the phone is an appointment that shows. That’s your only goal, and all call types are better handled by a BDC.
There are five call types we are going to discuss in this training today that you are going to see. These are the five types that you are going to see primarily: they are: 1) negotiating, 2) selling, 3) inquiring, 4) validating, and 5) scheduling. We’ll go through all five of these.
On the negotiating sales call, it’s important to understand one thing. When you find yourself on the phone negotiating with someone who wants to negotiate the entire deal before they come in; he’s never coming in. See, he’s using you as leverage against his local dealer. Heck, he may be calling you from his local dealer’s showroom. It’s important to know that. The only way to get this customer in the door is: A) be willing to lose more money than your competitor, or, B) call his bluff.
Understand this – if you’re priced to market, this guy isn’t going to buy from you anyway. See, he just wants to see if there’s another three hundred dollars he can squeeze out of your competitor. If you are showing MSRP online and you try to give him all the info now, you are actually going to close him less than 7% of the time. Our studies show that sending the completed deal to someone who is not in the dealership, results in a sale only 6.2% of the time. That’s pitiful.
So, we’ve got to learn to bury the dead. This guy is not going to buy from you unless you are so low that you lose more money than you can really afford to lose. Then he’s going to crush you on CSI and he’s never going to service with you. See, he doesn’t even live in your market. So, stop negotiating over the phone. Give your best price. Yes, that’s fine. Give your best price, but when he wants trade, when he wants interest rate, and when he wants the rest of the out-the-door data, it’s time to call his bluff.
It’s time to say, “Mr. Jones, I can guarantee you the very best deal on that new Taurus and here’s how – at Steve’s Ford, we will NEVER be beat on price. What I need you to do is get your best written offer locally. Then I need you to call me back and schedule an appointment. If you’ll bring me a valid written offer that we cannot meet or beat, on an in-stock unit, we’re gonna fill your tank with gas and we’re gonna give you a $100 gift card to Olive Garden. How’s that sound?”
See, what can he say? The proof that he was never going to come in happens right after you give him that speech. Right after you say, “How’s that sound?”, the proof that he was never going to come in happens when he STILL tries to get some sort of written offer from you after you’ve called his bluff. He only wants the number so that he can use that at your competition. Move on.