Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 10
TRANSCRIPT: The second step to the perfect appointment is, of course, appropriate appointment confirmation and your managers need to manage the appointment confirmations that are happening in the dealership. So, even though they are the ones who are supposed to be making the confirmation calls, if you have a general manager who is at the dealership all the time, he needs to manage the appointment confirmation and make sure that it is appropriate.
How is it appropriate? Well, number one, the goal is an appointment that shows. If we remember the goal is to have an appointment that shows, then we know exactly when and how to make the confirmation calls and what they should sound like. There are a few things we look for. We want to make sure they are making the confirmation calls, we want to listen to the talk track they are using, we want to see what they are doing with no-shows, we want to see what they are doing with past due appointment statuses.
So, in confirming the calls, are the confirmation calls assigned to a manager? That’s the first thing to ask. Are they actually assigned in the CRM? You cannot depend on your managers to just make the calls because they see an appointment coming up. It needs to be assigned. It needs to be a task that pops up in their daily tasks in the CRM. So, are these calls assigned to a manager? If they’re not, you need to talk to your CRM company and have these calls assigned to a manager.
Are the managers actually making the calls? Remember, we want to listen to them make a few calls, because we can tell very quickly if they’re really making the calls. Now, if you have CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), and it’s great CTI (meaning you can record the calls and attach them to the customer record), you can tell if they’re really making the confirmation calls, right?
Finally, are they properly logging the confirmation calls? What do I mean by that? Well, we don’t want to spam the customer, right? Our goal is an appointment that shows and, so, we’re going to get ‘voice mail’ a lot when we make these confirmation calls. Our goal is not to call the customer again and again until we get ahold of them. In fact, let’s say we have an appointment today at 2:45, and it’s now 10:45 and we’re going to try to confirm this appointment for four hours out and I get voice mail. I’m going to leave a good, solid voice mail that reaches all of my goals, right? One that will make the customer feel guilty if they no-show. But, then, that’s the last confirmation call I’m going to make. I’m not going to continue to bother them.
They need to feel like a VIP. They can’t feel like they’re being sold and, so, my confirmation call is simply going to be the same talk track, just in voice mail format. So, “Mrs. Jones, Steve Stauning, calling from Century Toyota. I understand you are going to be in today at 2:45. I’m so excited to meet you. Please make sure you stop by and say ‘Hi’ when you get in. Now, I understand that you are coming in to test drive the 2014 Toyota Camry, and you’re going to do that with Bob. I don’t know if Bob told you but we are going to have that Camry clean, gassed up and parked out front, ready to go so when you arrive for your test drive, Mrs. Jones, you’ll be in and out within five minutes. Now, Mrs. Jones, if anything happens to that Camry we’re going to call you well in advance of your appointment to let you know so you don’t waste a trip down here. All we would ask is for the same courtesy. So, again, we’re going to see you at 2:45. I look forward to meeting you. My name is Steve Stauning. I’m the sales manager here at Century Toyota. I look forward to seeing you then”. That’s it. That’s our voice mail. It still helps us reach those goals. If she doesn’t think she has an appointment, she may not call back but she knows we’re doing all this stuff to get ready. Our goal is to make her show but we also have this secondary goal that if she isn’t going to come in she will call us and let us know why she can’t. See, when she does that it gives us a chance to reschedule the appointment. It also gives us a chance, perhaps, to save the deal. Maybe, we didn’t have a very strong connection in the first place and this is the manager’s chance.
So, we’re going to leave that voice mail. We’re going to mark that call as a properly confirmed appointment, but we’re going to properly log in the notes, “did not speak to prospect. Left confirmation voice mail” and the time we left it. That’s what is going to be in the notes.
The talk track is so important, right? You want to make sure your team is always using the talk track because they have to make sure the customers feel guilty if they no-show. No- shows, by the way, need to be investigated at the scheduled appointment time. Remember, we cannot wait, so, if I’m managing appropriate appointment confirmation, and I’m standing at the desk and I’m watching my sales managers, and it’s 12:15 and there is a 12:15 appointment scheduled and I don’t see that 12:15 appointment here, I’m going to ask my managers “Are you properly investigating no-shows? Shouldn’t we be doing something with this prospect at this moment?” I want to make sure that they are doing it.
Finally, I want to make sure all past due appointments, every past due appointment in my dealership, has some status attached to it and they are past due at the scheduled appointment time. So, a 12:15 appointment, by 12:16, should have some note, “Tried to reach customer, could not. Customer on the way”, whatever it is, I want the salesperson who set that appointment to put some status to that past due appointment because I want to be able to look in that appointment log and know what’s going on in my dealership all day long.