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by CallRevu

5 Must-Have Goals for Car Dealership Phone Calls

Automotive salespeople are often taught that the goal of every phone call is to make an appointment. But the right to ask for an appointment must be earned. Salespeople must learn how to make a positive first impression and build rapport to earn that right.

A printed checklist posted within sight of every phone in the sales department is a great way to remind salespeople how to approach every phone call. Your checklist might differ from another dealership’s, but these goals should help your team get started on its own list.

1) Make a positive first impression

First impressions are critical to creating a relaxed and productive conversation. Car shoppers might have to call or get transferred around several times before reaching their intended target. Therefore, the salesperson needs to orient the caller.

Sample greeting: Thank you for calling ABC Motors; you’ve reached the sales department. My name is John; what information can I get for you?”

Right away, the “thank you” lets the customer know that their call is appreciated. In addition, the customer knows they will receive something: information. This paves the way for building trust.

Pro Tip: Before answering the phone, take a deep breath and smile. Believe it or not, customers can “hear” the sound of your smile, and your positivity will be infectious.

2) Establish trust and explore needs

Transparency is critical to establishing trust. Give the customer the information they want, but don’t let the conversation end there.

Explore the customer’s needs by asking qualifying questions: what type of vehicle they want and what features are important to them. Let the customer know you may have additional inventory options that align with their needs. 

Next, ask the customer what they are currently driving to open the door for a possible trade-in opportunity. However, avoid the word “trade,” as that word can have negative connotations for the consumer. Instead, say something like, “That sounds like a vehicle we would like to have in our inventory.”

Pro Tip: Keep the focus away from what your dealership doesn’t have and keep it on what your dealership does have. 

3) Collect contact information

Many customers who call to ask about inventory availability are reluctant to give contact information. To get something, your salespeople must give something.

Here are a few ideas. 

To get an email address, offer to email:

  • A personalized video of their vehicle of interest
  • Links to additional inventory that align with the caller’s needs
  • A list of items to bring in for the test drive and/or purchase process
  • Directions on how to use the trade-in or financing tools on your website
  • Vehicle History

To get a phone number, offer to text or call:

  • Let them know when their vehicle of interest is in stock
  • Accurate pricing and monthly payment information or a trade-in quote
  • Videos of vehicles that meet their criteria
  • How to start a remote purchase process
  • Appointment confirmation

Pro Tip: Never ask a customer, “Can I get your contact information to enter you into the system?” Nobody wants to be entered into a system.

4) Identify next steps

Before ending the conversation, ask permission to follow up with the customer and identify when you will do that. Keep your promise!

If the customer makes an appointment to come in, confirm the day and time and send a confirmation text right after the call. Send another text or call the day before the appointment.

5) Create a positive, lasting impression

Briefly summarize the main points discussed on the phone and establish communication preferences. Thank the customer and mean it. Today’s car shoppers can purchase a vehicle from any dealership, but they chose your dealership, so demonstrate gratitude.

How your sales team interacts with customers is key to building trust and rapport. Creating a checklist for your salespeople is a great way to ensure they deliver a consistent and optimal customer experience over the phone.