The Perfect Appointment (PART 3)
Okay, so the first goal of an appointment that shows was that that’s our only goal. The only goal once we get someone on the phone is one that shows. The second rule of strong appointment setting is to only set your appointments for today or tomorrow only. Your goal is an appointment that shows. Go ahead, today’s Wednesday. We’ll record this on Wednesday.
Go ahead and set a Saturday appointment on a Wednesday. You’re going to cut your show rates in half versus setting appointments for Wednesday or Thursday today. If today is Wednesday. My goal when I’m talking to someone on the phone is an appointment that shows. Today or tomorrow. Wednesday or Thursday. I’m not trying to set appointments for Saturday. Saturday’s take care of themselves. If you are setting appointments for Saturday on Wednesday. You have a lower than average show rate. You’re never going to get to a 80% show rate, because that’s weak. You’ve got to be strong in all of these things that we do.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Steve, they can’t come in until Saturday, right? Okay, listen in the case of internet appointments. This is where somebody’s contacted us. Not where we’ve tried to get to them through owner marketing or be back. Internet appointments, these are people who said I want to buy. They sent us an order, they sent us a lead, or they made a call. Those are called orders in the internet department. They’ve submitted an order to buy a car. In the case of those, I will allow appointments for more than 48 hours away, but only as a last resort. If today is Wednesday, and I’ve tried for Wednesday and I’ve tried for Thursday. I can’t get them to come in tonight after work. I can’t get them to come in during their lunch hour. They’re out of town. Whatever. Then I’ll allow a Saturday appointment, only if there’s no other way I can get them here before Saturday.
However, I’m telling you right now that usually when you see Saturday appointments set from a Wednesday, or a Thursday, or a Tuesday, or a Monday, these are 100% the result of a weak appointment word track. A failure on the part of your BDC agent or your internet sales person to create any kind of urgency in the prospect.
Now, weak appointment tracks that include when would you like to come in? They choose the weekend. Right? This is America when people ask us when we want to buy something big, we say the weekend. We think Saturdays. We think Sundays.
Another weak appointment talk track includes when you say, “What works best, mornings or afternoons?” When you ask them something silly like that, and I know a lot of the OEM’s will teach you to ask, “What works best, morning or afternoon?” You’re telling them there’s no urgency, there’s no rush. Car’s going to be here forever. Take your time.
When you ask them nonappointment questions like, “Is it just minivans are you looking for, or are you also looking for midsize SUV’s?” See, when you try to qualify them over the phone by asking those silly road to the sale questions, those are all weak appointment talk tracks that guarantee you a low appointment show rate.
Let’s talk about some samples. Strong talk tracks. Let’s do the inbound call. It’s important to understand, 70% of the people who call us are asking about availability. They’re ready to buy. We know they’ve done hours and hours. Google says more than 19 hours of research online. They’ve looked at more than 24 sources of information. They did not call us and ask if it’s in stock, because they’re taking a poll. They want to buy the car.
So it’s important that you create some urgency. Someone calls, we pick up the phone. We answer the phone in our dealership. The customer says, “Hey, I … I’m looking at this 2010 Honda Odyssey you’ve got on AutoTrader. Is it still in stock?” My answer is, and the way to create some urgency is, “I saw that vehicle this morning, but at the price we have it listed at it’s not going to make it through the weekend. Now, we do have two test drives open on that minivan this afternoon. We’ve got a 12:45 and a 1:15. Which one works better for you?”
See, we’ve created some urgency two ways. First we said, “At the price we have it listed at it’s not going to make it through the weekend.” Then we said that we have two test drives open on that vehicle this afternoon. We’ve got a 12:45 and a 1:15. Which one works better for you.
See the customer now has been taken off of Saturday, because we tried to get them in today. We created that urgency, right? About saying it’s not going to make it through the weekend. Then we created urgency by giving them the impression that people were lined up to test drive that vehicle. You’ve got to create that urgency, or you’re never going to get an appointment that shows.