How to turn car sales cold calling into a profitable and creative lead source
Cold calling has a reputation for being the ultimate anxiety inducer for salespeople. They don’t call it “cold” for nothing—the person who picks up usually has no idea who you are, why you’re calling, or what you want.
This type of atmosphere lends itself to profuse amounts of back sweat, sudden throat dryness, and an inability to form cohesive sentences. You typically have no more than five seconds to gain their interest, and less than a minute to establish trust. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
There’s been a lot of debate as to whether or not car sales cold calling is even very effective, but here’s the thing: if your sales manager wants you to make calls when it’s slow in the showroom, you better make sure you’re making them if you want to keep your job.
One thing you don’t need to be, though? Scared. Once you get past the fear of an awkward conversation, you may even find yourself looking forward to car sales cold calling—especially when you realize you’re making more sales.
Don’t be afraid! Get comfortable with car sales cold calling
Other than saying a quick prayer to the big guy upstairs, there are a few methods auto salespeople use when they’re trying to get comfortable with car sales cold calling.
1. Get into a routine
Do you only make cold calls when you have absolutely nothing else to do? You may just be nervous about cold calling because you don’t do it often enough. Instead of waiting for a time in your schedule to open up, create time. Tell yourself that during the last hour of your shift every day, you will just sit at your desk and make cold calls. Or, if carving out one uninterrupted hour doesn’t fit in with the hustle and bustle of your dealership, reframe the plan; pledge to make five cold calls every day.
2. What’s your motivation?
Car sales cold calling can be difficult for some salespeople because they get so caught up in their fears that they forget why they’re calling in the first place. Before you make those dreaded calls, read a few motivational quotes or watch some motivational videos. Sometimes, being your own cheerleader is all you need to find that courage.
3. Figure out what’s holding you back
Though most salespeople aren’t big fans of cold calling, their reasons can all be different. Are you afraid the person will hang up on you? Are you stuck on what you should say? Identify the exact fears you have—beyond “I don’t like cold calling”—so you can move forward with addressing them appropriately.
4. Realize that rejection usually isn’t personal
No one likes to be rejected, but you should never take it personally. The person may have been busy when you called, they could be dealing with a personal issue you’re not aware of, or maybe they’re having a bad day. You can’t know these things ahead of time—you can only remember that we’re all human and sometimes, the timing is just wrong.
5. Do some research
Depending on who you’re cold calling and why, try to do five minutes of research ahead of time if you can. Google makes it easy to do a search on a prospect to at least learn the basics about their age range, family status, and income level. If you’re lucky, you may find some details on education or hobbies. This information can help you determine how you speak to the prospect and what you say to them. It will also give you a brief glimpse into who they are so the cold call doesn’t feel quite so cold.
6. Keep a gratitude journal
You’ve probably heard about people keeping gratitude journals to become more positive and change the way they view their daily lives. Why not try the same approach to conquer your cold calling fears? Instead of looking at cold calling in such a negative light, try to change the way you think. After each call, think about one thing that went well that you’re thankful for. Sometimes, you may be able to say you’re thankful for the sale you made—other times, you may have to stretch a little and express gratitude that someone picked up the phone.
7. Fake it ‘til you make it
You know you’re afraid of car sales cold calling, but there’s no reason why you need to let prospects in on your secret. Be clear and confident in your speech (no matter how much your knees are trembling under your desk) and eventually, that confidence will become your reality.
You love what you do, and you’re good at it—so don’t let something silly like a fear of cold calling hold you back. Try any or all of the seven tips above, and you’ll undoubtedly realize your fear has vanished in no time.