When is the last time your dealership had a progressive training solution?
Is your dealership handling phone calls just like the “guy” down the street?
For generations automotive professionals have been provided automotive phone training with traditional ways of handling phone calls. These traditional methods result in sales people handling objections the using the same terminology. Imagine spending $10,000 on a campaign (mailer, email blast, newspaper, special finance, etc.) and it fails because the call handlers (BDC, Sales People) in the dealership are not properly prepared. In fact they get thrown in to handle the calls but since they are not trained and the campaign is not discussed they continue to practice telling the customer that “price is the easiest part of my job” or “we deal with over 20 different banks so we can get you approved”. If they are at least properly trained to ask for the appointment they say, “when can you come in, now or later today?”
Now a customer calls in on a mail piece and has common sense questions about how much money down is needed to get this advertised lease price it just so happens that untrained or traditionally trained sales professionals try to avoid the question instead of just telling the customer what it is. If the customer in return asks about what it would be with $0 down typically there it becomes an objection that cannot be handled because traditional training teaches automotive professionals to avoid price. Some of the most successful dealerships respect and understand the fact that consumers can get information and pricing everywhere which means that they empower their people to give proper information while engaging the prospect in order to generate the appointment. Consumers will gladly do business with straightforward dealers that make the car shopping process simpler. When it is said, “if we give information they will just call someone else” it is true statement but the fact is they will still call someone else and shop. The dealer that wins will sometimes be the one who offers the best deal and sometimes the dealer that handles objections better or gives proper information will win the opportunity.
The bottom line is that it is all about building trust through transparency. It is interesting to see how many people in dealerships always say how “we have over 400 cars stock so price is never an issue” or “we are the biggest selling dealer in the area and we did not get there by being the most expensive”. The best way to really understand this common problem is to spend one hour mystery shopping various dealers across one market and see how many of them are making the same mistakes or even saying similar things. After analyzing many phone calls all over the country we at Dealer eTraining believe that call handlers need to have numerous ways to overcome objections and be trained in understanding what the customer is looking for. The most important aspect of being prepared for a campaign or any situation is communication and training.
Think about it when making a huge investment in something the natural thing is to prepare for the outcome that it brings. So why are we sending mailers and running newspaper ads without preparing our people to handle those calls? Why do BDC reps come into work on a Friday morning, take a phone up and have no clue what the customer is talking about? What if that campaign is unsuccessful and the one mishandled call was the only opportunity that came in through the phone? I encourage all dealers and general managers to improve communication and training efforts in the dealership so that profit leaks can be better monitored.
Great post! Your details are very helpful. Thanks for your work.