Sell the Reply, the Call, the Visit and the Car!
More appointments and More Sales with the right sequence
by David Kain
Communication Tactics are the Art of selling an appointment and in turn selling a car. However, there are critical first steps before you can achieve these outcomes. The following communications sequence will allow you to achieve exceptional results. I have learned that all effective Lead Handling Processes (the Science) must be coupled with effective Communications Tactics (the Art). We recommend that you follow this flow…Sell the Reply, Sell the Call, Sell the Visit and then Sell the Car.
Selling the Reply!
To achieve a high “connection rate” (where you are interacting with your prospective customers by email, phone, text or chat) you will need to Sell a Reply to your communications attempts. This sometimes is as simple as luring them to reply to a quality voicemail if you are unable to catch them by phone on your first attempt. We’ve seen effective methods to sell a reply via voicemail and one that seems to work very well is a simple “I have just checked on the vehicle you asked about and have gathered all the information you asked about including the price, equipment, incentives, etc. and have it right next to me so when we are able to talk by phone I can provide it right away.” The key is to leave a voicemail that gets a reply call back.
In an email you can use even more simple elements. Please don’t ever send an email that doesn’t contain a question mark. The human mind needs the stimulant to acknowledge the need to respond. They may ignore it but a well crafted question works great to sell a reply. Something as basic as “what kind of vehicle do you drive now?” or “Have you ever owned a (your brand)?” sometimes is all it takes to engage the customer. The more genuine the better. A phrase that I like that works well is ” “would you like me to send you a quick video of the vehicle?” Show them how much you are willing to help and you’d be surprised at how well that works.
Selling the Call!
In studies we have conducted we seldom see a vehicle sold to an Internet prospect without first having a phone conversation. We have learned that your email, phone messages and texts need to sell the benefit of a telephone call. This may sound difficult but if you approach it in the best interest of the customer they seem to be fine with a quick call. Watch how you phrase it and you’ll be impressed how often they are open to a call. Try approaching it with a simple…”I have the information you asked about and can go over it in just a couple of minutes by phone, is there a convenient time for a quick call today?”
Selling the Visit!
Consumer behavior studies continue to emphasize that a visit to a dealership is not at the top of the list for a lot of car shoppers. If you look at your own website you’ll see that we almost stress that they don’t need to visit the store to buy. The dealership is where all the magic happens and you will want to develop a few lines you can emphasize to your customer regarding the value of a visit to the dealership. A study released by JD Power suggest that online shoppers visit only 1.3 dealerships in person prior to making a purchase. That means that after they visit the 18.2 sources of information (according to Google) there are a lot of reasoned decisions by customers to not go to a dealership. A test drive is not the have all end all it used to be to inspire a visit either.
We like when you can truly make the visit a wonderful event and be able to describe it as such…”We have a special internet buying process that makes it really easy for our online customers. I will have the vehicle you asked about pulled up and ready to present and let you take it for a fun test drive. You can bring your own music so you can listen to the stereo, open the sunroof and let some air in, put it through the paces you would in a normal daily drive. Then if you decide it’s the vehicle you’d like to buy we can provide you with your special Internet price, top value for your current vehicle and payments that fit your budget. If you like what we provide you can take it home with you or you can just take the information home and decide on your own time. How does that sound to you?”
The key is to allow them to be in control while motivating them with a well put together process. This is much more effective than the old “We got your request, when can you come in for a test drive?” Surprisingly this still works with a lot of customers but we prefer a more inspired customer when they arrive and if we set it up right, they normally buy on the first visit.
Selling the Car!
What’s great about doing all the steps right is how easy it is to sell the vehicle when they arrive. I am not a big proponent of pre-selling the vehicle before they arrive because so many buyers change their mind. I would rather the buyer come in with a vehicle in mind but for you to have flexibility to show them others if the first choice doesn’t work. It is important to realize you have to set the stage for a proper visit. I like appointment boards because it proves to the customer they are special, I especially like the vehicle pulled up front with a placard or mirror dangler with their name on it that they can see when they arrive. Sales Managers who are aware of the appointment can also do a “fly by” and say hi with knowledge of the customer such as “David tells me you have owned 5 Toyotas” or “I hear you have a nice Fusion to trade-in”.
Anything you can do to make the customer feel like they have arrived at the right place makes the sell that much easier.
Sell the Reply – the Call – the Visit – the Car!
Follow this sequence and I can assure you that you will sell more appointments and more cars.
If we can ever be of service please let us know.