Auto Dealers — What’s in a Voice?

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By Eve Paletta-Weaver

Have you ever called a store try­ing to ask a ques­tion about a spe­cif­ic prod­uct or ser­vice and decid­ed right from that call that you will NEVER work with that com­pa­ny no mat­ter how good a deal they may give you?

When a con­sumer calls your deal­er­ship for the very first time, the per­son who answers the phone is the very first impres­sion of your store.

Lydia Ram­sey, Busi­ness Eti­quette Expert states “Sev­en sec­onds is the aver­age length of time you have to do it, and every­one knows that you won’t have a sec­ond oppor­tu­ni­ty”.  It does not mat­ter if they are at your loca­tion or in an out­sourced BDC; it is all the same and needs to be tak­en seri­ous­ly to win.

It is impor­tant to under­stand the best way to make that ini­tial con­nec­tion.

• To accom­plish this, it is essen­tial to answer the phone with a wel­com­ing smile. Have you ever tried to sound like you are smil­ing with a frown on your face? This is not pos­si­ble. Make sure that you take the ini­tia­tive to thank them for call­ing and choos­ing your store. When you have a sin­cere hap­py approach to your intro it gives a cus­tomer that ini­tial feel­ing of com­fort.

• Next build a com­mon ground with the con­sumer so they feel like they are buy­ing from a con­sul­tant rather than being sold by a sales per­son. Make sure that you use their name — it makes them feel impor­tant. Don’t be over­bear­ing and pushy. Let the con­sumer know how much you care and are there to help. By allow­ing the con­sumer to feel that con­nec­tion from the start they are more like­ly to become a cus­tomer for life rather than a cus­tomer for a moment.

• Answer the ques­tions that you are asked with­out sell­ing a car over the phone. So many times con­sumers have one vehi­cle in mind, and then when they come in to the store they leave with some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. Don’t allow your­self to nar­row down the options over the phone by get­ting into specifics. Use active lis­ten­ing, answer­ing the ques­tions while allow­ing them to know that you do have a few that have sim­i­lar options or price ranges it will help to keep this flex­i­bil­i­ty.

• The goal of the ini­tial phone call is to gath­er infor­ma­tion from the con­sumer and set the appoint­ment — get them in the door. If they screen you out before they vis­it your store, you are effec­tive­ly throw­ing away your mar­ket­ing dol­lars. Once they are on the lot the vehi­cle specifics and your sales process come into play, you can be on your way to the sale.

Eve Palet­ta-Weaver is a Deal­er Rela­tion­ship Man­ag­er for the . and can be reached at [email protected].

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