The Perfect Appointment (PART 2)
All right, let’s dive right in. There’s only two sections today. It’s going to go a little bit quicker than our normal, Undeniable Advantage video webcast because now we’re into the Perfect Appointment already. There are four steps to the Perfect Appointment. By the way, again, it’s called the Perfect Appointment for a reason. Short cutting any of these steps reduces either your show rates or your close rates or both. You want to improve it? Great. Prove you can do it my way first, and then improve it and measure.
Let me be clear what I’m talking about. The four steps are strong appointment setting, appropriate appointment confirmation, pre-appointment preparation, and in-store VIP treatment.
Let’s talk about the first one for just a second, strong appointment setting. You might be thinking, well Steve, how can short cutting strong appointment setting actually reduce close rates. Won’t it just affect show rates? The answer is no. Dealers who set weak appointments, have a lower show rate of course. But, those customers who do show buy at a much lower rate, because one, they didn’t know they had an appointment. Two, the store is generally not ready for an appointment, because it was a weak appointment set. It may show up two hours early, they may show up two hours late. Either way, we can’t do the perfect appointment, unless they show up on time. Let’s all agree that if you want to do the perfect appointment. You need to learn my way first. Get to 80% show. Get to 80% close. Then make adjustments. Then make improvements to make it fit what you are doing.
All right. Step one is strong appointment setting. If you want to set strong appointments, all you gotta do is remember the goal. The only goal when you have someone on the phone is what? That’s right. An appointment that shows. You have one goal when you get someone on the phone and it’s an appointment that shows. Your goal is not to build rapport. Your goal is not to try to build value in the dealership or the vehicle. You have one goal when you get someone on the phone and that’s an appointment that shows. Wherever the conversation goes, you circle it back to your goal, which is an appointment that shows. This takes discipline. Most sales people, most BDC agents don’t have that discipline.
When I try to teach you what is strong appointment setting. It’s actually going to be easier to illustrate what strong appointment setting is by giving you a couple of examples of weak appointment setting. These are the things that we run into over the years on stores that say, “Steve I can’t get to an 80% show, we’re stuck at 50% or 60% show.” The stores always have two phrases in their vocabulary for their BDC’s or their internet sales people. You’ve got to strike these two phrases from your vocabulary when you’re talking to customers over the phone. Those two phrases are: when would you like to come in? Can I answer any more questions for you? See, strong appointment setting requires control of the call. This is not politeness, this is weakness. You lose control of the call when you say, when would you like to come in?
For example, when you say when would you like to come in. You’re saying, hey, we’re never busy. The car’s going to be here forever. There’s no rush. Shop around first. Come on in whenever you’re ready. That’s a weak talk track, and you’re giving all the control of the call to the caller. You need to stay in control of the call, that’s strong appointment setting. Never ever, ever, ever say, when would you like to come in.
Also, when you ask the customer, are there any more questions I can answer for you? Did you have any more questions for us? You’re inviting more questions. See, even when the prospect was completely ready to buy, they’re going to throw up some smoke screen questions because you’ve asked them. Do you have any more questions? They’re going to say, “Yeah, does it have third seats? Right?” See, they’re afraid of you. This is why they’ve called you or why they’ve submitted a lead. They’re afraid to buy a car, but they want to buy a car.
As we know from a great auto trader study. Basically everybody hates the process of buying a car. They’re afraid of you. They hate the process of buying a car. Then your weak speak. Your weak appointment setting by talking to them on the phone and saying, “Are there any more questions I can answer for you?” Has given them an opportunity to just throw up some smoke traits. Listen, take charge and be direct so that you can set more appointments that show right from the beginning.