Appointment-Driven Communications – Part 13
TRANSCRIPT: I hope you’ve noticed that throughout this training I talk about 5:15, 5:45, which one works better for you? Notice that I never say, “Would you like to come in at 5:00?”, or, “I’ve got a 5:30”. See, appointment times matter. People are more likely to show up at the 15 or the 45, then they are at the top or bottom of the hour, because it’s a more firm appointment. Think about this: who’s more likely to show, someone who says, “I’m going to be there around 5:00”, or someone who says, “I can be there at 5:15. When we can set appointments on the 15 or the 45, we have a much better chance of the customer showing on time or even keeping that appointment. So, we’re going to make all appointments for 15 or 45 after the hour; no more top of the hour or bottom of the hour appointments.
We already addressed “What time do you close?” earlier in this training session, but I want to address it again because it is an important aspect of the appointment culture. It is an important talk track to have because, as I said earlier, appointment times matter. Just as 15 and 45 matter, so does the hour we tell them they can come in. Our chances of selling a car are greatly reduced if we let someone roll in 15 or 30 minutes before we close.
So, our answer, for our dealership, will always be the same. Let’s say we close at 9:00 tonight and someone asks what time we close. Our answer is always going to be the same, “We close at 9:00, however, our last appointment is at 7:15. Now, I have a 6:45 and a 7:15, which of these works better for you?” So, I want you to write down your last appointment for a normal day, and if you are open later on Saturday, I want you to write down when your last appointment for Saturday is and be prepared to give that answer every time someone calls.
Let’s talk about some essential ‘whats’. The ‘what’ to say if you truly want an appointment culture. Remembering your goal will help you remember this first group of essential ‘whats’, because they are all tied to your goal and your goal is what? An appointment that shows. That’s your goal when you have someone on the phone. One of my favorite essential ‘whats’ is one we’ve said several times today already, and it is,” …I have two test drives open on that Camry today. I have one at 5:15 and one at 5:45. Which one works better for you?” See, that essential ‘what’ is “I have two (fill in the blank) today, one at (blank) and one at (blank).””I’ve got two appraisals open today, right? I’ve got two times open with my appraiser. I’ve got a 12:45 and a 1:15. Which one works better for you?”
By the way, let’s stop for a second. I want you to understand why I decide what time to say I have something open. I’m going to base that, one, on my schedule. If I’m setting appointments for myself and I got an appointment in fifteen minutes, I don’t want someone coming in on top of that appointment, because my appointments are going to show. Beyond that, let’s say I have an open day right now. It’s 10:05 in the morning and I’m talking to Mrs. Jones. She wants to test drive a 2013 Toyota Camry she saw on autotrader. I’m going to tell her I’ve got two openings to test drive that Camry this morning. ”I’ve got an 11:15 and an 11:45, which one works better for you?” Now, what if she’s at work? What if you can hear people in the background, and you know she’s at work? That’s not my concern. My goal is not to find out if she’s at work or not. My goal is not to sound silly and ask which works best, morning or afternoon. When I do that, by the way, I lose control of the call. I need to keep control of this call and I need to just give her the times that I have available. “Now, I have two test drives open this morning on that Camry. I’ve got an 11:15 and an 11:45. Which one works better for you?” If she’s at work and can’t get off she’ll say something like, “Oh, I’m at work. I don’t get off until 4:30.” “Well, you’re in luck, Mrs. Jones, I have a 4:45 and a 5:15. Which one of those works better for you?” See, I’m going to try to pin point the time right then.
The second ‘what’, we’ve already talked about, as well. That would be “It would be irresponsible for a dealer to give you that information over the phone”. This is an essential ‘what’ that you need to put into your talk tracks, that you’ll use. A lot of times, that is our problem. We give them so much information, they don’t have to come see us. We give them enough information to sell the other guy’s car on the phone.
Another essential “what” that is sometimes difficult for a salesperson to say is this. ”My manager would be happy to answer that question for you when you arrive for your (fill in the blank).” “Now, I have two of those priority test drives open today. I have a 5:15 and a 5:45. Which one works better for you?” Sometimes we want to be so helpful, and, we never want to say something like “My manager would be happy to answer that question for you”, because, we feel like we lose control. Well, no, you lose control when you give all of your information out. So, let’s be humble. Let’s say that we don’t have all the answers. Let’s act like we don’t have all the answers, because, we need to get that customer in for a VIP test drive. We need to have them do the perfect appointment, because it’s a better experience for them. It really is.
The final essential ‘what’ that ties around your goal is one that appointment coordinators or BDC reps use all the time, and they should. It is simply this, if the customer asks a question about a vehicle that you can’t answer, you say, “I apologize, I’m not a salesperson, I’m the appointment coordinator, however, I have two appointments open today with a product specialist. I’ve got a 12:15 and a 12:45. Which one works better for you?” So, again, “I’m not the salesperson”, or “I’m not the product specialist”, or ”I’m not the manager. I’m the appointment coordinator, however…” That’s an essential ‘what’.
There are some other helpful ‘whats’ out there that are tied more to the customer WIIFM, right? The Whats In It For Me for the customer. If you’ll remember the customers WIIFM, what’s important to them, then you can remember these helpful ‘whats’, as well.
So, let’s say, we’re talking to someone, we want to buy their Tundra. They are interested, but, they say, “I’ve never made an appointment at a car dealership. I’ve bought ten cars in my life and I’ve never had an appointment.” “That’s great, but, Bob, all of our appraisals are done by appointment only. All of our (blank) are done by appointment only.” When you tell someone that we do these only by appointment, that helps them. It really does. So you say, “Well, I appreciate that, Bob, however, all of our test drives, all of our appraisals are done by appointment only. I have two appointments open today with my appraiser, I have a 12:15 and a 12:45. Which one works best for you?”
Another helpful ‘what’ if someone says they don’t want to set an appointment, we need to tell them “We’re not a typical dealer; we value your time”. That’s a WIIFM for the customer, right? Their time is important to them. You can follow up with, “By scheduling an appointment with us, we can make sure that Camry is cleaned, gassed and parked out front and ready to go, so that when you arrive for your test drive, you’ll be in and out in five minutes. Now, I have two test drives open on that Camry today. I have a 12:15 and a 12:45. Which one works better for you?”
See, when we tell someone that we’re not a typical dealer, and the second essential ‘what’ on that, “by scheduling and keeping your appointment with us”, we tell them what’s in it for them, they can begin to see how this is great for them. We can even change it around. So, Bob says, “I’ve bought ten cars in my life. I’ve never scheduled an appointment before and I’m not going to start now.” “You know, Bob, I can appreciate that, but all of our appraisals are done by appointment only. Now, we’re not a typical dealer. We value your time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend five hours on a Saturday on a car deal. Our customers have found that when they schedule and keep an appointment with us, they are sometimes in and out in ninety minutes with a car deal completely done. Now, I have two appraisals open today. I’ve got a 5:15 and a 5:45. Which one of those works better for you?” See, how I put those three essential ‘whats’ together to respond to his objection that he doesn’t want to set an appointment.
How about this. Another essential ‘what’ that touches the customers WIIFM. Customer says, “I’m not coming in until you tell me what you’re going to give me for my trade.” We simply need to say, “We’re very excited to give you a price on your 2008 Ford Taurus. We can’t get those at auction, however, only a trained appraiser knows what your Taurus is worth, and, it would be irresponsible for a dealer to give you that information over the phone. Now I have two appointments open with my appraiser. I have a 4:45 and a 5:15. Which one of these works better for you?”
The final essential ‘what’ that touches the customer WIIFM, is this: “The incentives expire soon”. If someone is interested in a Camry and they want to take their time, we need to say, “No problem, Mr. Jones, I just want to make sure you understand the incentives on the Camry expire soon. I have two appointments open today and we can go over those. I have a 5:15 and a 5:45. Which one works better for you?” Those are essential ‘whats’ that touch the customer WIIFM.
Next we talk about the ‘how’. Even though the ‘why’ was easy and the ‘what’ was easy, the ‘how’ is the hard part.