automotive phone training

In today’s digital world, many businesses overlook the importance of automotive phone training. Here are some ways that using the phone can still help to grow your revenue.

It’s easy to think that people don’t use the phone very much these days. With texting and social media messages acting as the medium for a lot of sales and customer service conversations, you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s no way phone sales would work – especially auto sales where people want to see the vehicle in person. The thing is, if you think that’s the case, you may want to rethink your sales strategy. Some research indicates that 92% of customer interactions still happen over the phone, and 41.2% of salespeople say that the phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal. So much for a dying strategy.

Yet even when presented with those figures, many dealerships don’t provide automotive phone training for their employees. With metrics and automation making digital interactions more attractive to businesses, training employees to be effective on the phone seems to be an afterthought at some dealerships.

The reality is that phone sales are alive and well, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, where many customers can’t or are hesitant to shop in person. But as any phone salesperson will tell you, sales calls require different techniques and skills to be effective. That’s why it’s essential to regularly include automotive phone training for all salespeople, even seasoned veterans.

5 Valuable automotive phone training tips to help you build a foundation for an ongoing, revenue-enhancing sales strategy

1. Take advantage of call scripts

Most people don’t initially like the idea of reading off a script during a sales call, but research shows that what you say in a sales call can make a big difference in closing the deal. If your team doesn’t use scripts, those words and phrases that turn prospects into customers can be challenging to remember. Besides that, a call script helps a salesperson stay focused and respond to objections without the need to think on their feet—something that can make all the difference between meeting a customer’s needs and losing a sale.

2. Be positive

Since customers are frequently on the defensive when receiving a sales call, it’s important that you remind your team to start each call with meaningful positivity, like referring to a common interest with the customer, mentioning fun weekend plans, or talking about something good that happened in sports or entertainment recently. Doing so will usually get the customer to lower their guard a little, giving your salespeople a chance to make their pitch and hopefully convert to a sale.

3. Stand up

This might sound a little ridiculous, but there’s science behind standing up during sales calls. It not only does wonders for you physically, but standing up can actually boost your confidence, which will come through in your voice. This works best with a hands-free headset so your salespeople can essentially have a phone conversation in much the same way they would have an in-person one. Try it for a month. It may feel silly at first, but when those numbers start picking up, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever sat in a chair to call customers.

4. Be concise

Your sales team could be the nicest, most interesting people on the planet, but your customers have busy lives. They aren’t usually interested in a lot of small talk. When putting your automotive phone training together, stress the importance of getting to the point. Open the call with a short anecdote or positive comment, but then state the reason for the call and briefly explain the benefits of the call for your customer. By some estimates, the first five seconds of the call are essential to earn five minutes of someone’s time. That means really honing that opening phrase into the perfectly crafted piece of sales art.

5. Listen actively

We usually think that we’re listening to people when in conversation, but in reality, many sales reps are already thinking about their next words while a customer is talking. Automotive phone training will teach your team how to listen actively. This practice is so important because it’s impossible solve the customer’s needs without knowing what they need! Encourage your team to listen to them, listen to their objections, and respond accordingly rather than trying to win them over with smooth sales talk that they’ll likely see through.

One caveat to all this: it’s easy to get discouraged with phone sales. Something useful to include in your automotive phone training are these statistics: Sales reps must make six calls to close a sale, and on average, only one in eighteen calls will eventually convert to a sale. The moral of this story is perseverance. Don’t get down if the first, second, and third calls don’t seem to go anywhere. Remember that phone sales require at least as much if not more persistence than other forms of selling. If rejections pile up, help your team remember that it takes time, effort, and creativity to take care of a customer’s needs.  Let success, not rejection, motivate you and your team through automotive phone training that will lead your dealership into the future.

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