L.A. Williams III,Vice PresidentDealer Synergy
When you call a dealership in America, the typical response usually falls into one of two categories: "Yes, we have the car. When would you like to come in and look at it?" Or, if inventory is low, you'll hear, "No, sorry, we don't have it," and that's the end of the conversation. Car salespeople often believe they are doing an excellent job because, 1) they are being honest with the customer, and 2) they are not wasting any time. However, a more authentic reason they give these responses is that they may not be equipped with a more extensive repertoire.
Unlocking the Art of Phone Sales: Insights from "TheBlindPhoneMaster"
At Digital Dealer Las Vegas, some of the best dealers will join together to discuss their most effective phone processes and strategies. But before we dive into that, I'd like to share my perspective as "TheBlindPhoneMaster." I have been blind for over 39 years, which has made me attuned to audio cues. Additionally, I serve as the VP of a company that has handled thousands of calls for dealerships across the country and internationally.
The Professional's Approach: Asking the Right Questions
Let's start with my definition of a professional: someone who gets paid to solve problems. Every professional knows that problem-solving begins with questions. Imagine going to a doctor and asking for a specific medicine, and then the doctor prescribes it without asking questions. Such an approach would be considered malpractice. Similarly, if you sought legal advice and your lawyer asked no questions, they wouldn't be your lawyer for long. Every professional, including your local restaurant, begins by asking questions, and the exceptional ones ask the right questions at the right time. To become a successful sales professional, it's crucial to learn effective questioning methodology.
The Musical Connection: Timing and Tone Matter
Aside from teaching car salespeople how to ask the best questions, I'm also a jazz musician, a passion I've pursued since I was 13. The difference between an average player and a truly skilled musician lies in knowing the right notes to play and when to play them. Timing determines whether a note works or doesn't. These musical skills have served me well in mastering phone sales. Most car salespeople underestimate the importance of every detail, including how loudly or softly you speak, your voice inflection, and the pace at which you deliver information. I believe in processes more than scripts, but there are moments where certain phrases should be said exactly as they are taught. For instance, when inquiring about a trade-in, after gathering basic information (Year, Make, Model, Mileage), a professional will ask with the right upward inflection: "Anything else I should know about it?"
Texting in 2023: Rules and Strategies
In 2023, no discussion about phone sales is complete without addressing texting. What, when, why, and how you text all matter. Here are some quick rules to follow when texting:
But why should you text? It's not primarily to set an appointment. While it's possible to schedule appointments via text, communication science suggests it's not the most effective method.
Understanding the Power of Face-to-Face Communication
Here's an interesting exercise for your team: According to the science of communication, 55% of communication is visual perception and body language, 38% is tone and inflection, and only 7% is text and the words used. Try marking out and numbering 60 inches on the ground, with seven as the starting point. Most people can broad jump from seven to 38 inches, a total of 31 inches. However, they'll struggle to reach 55 inches without first landing near 38 inches. This is akin to asking a customer to show up in person without making the pitstop of a phone call. Think about how difficult and inappropriate it would be to ask for a date with your dream partner via text or, worse, break up with someone through a text message. Tyler Perry once said in his movie, "Why Did I Get Married," "You wanna piss a woman off, send her a text." That's because text messages lack emotional value. Don't strip away the emotion from your valuable prospects, especially when they may be making the second-largest purchase of their lives.
Join Us at Digital Dealer Las Vegas 2023
All of these topics and more will be covered in my Phone Sales Mastermind at Digital Dealer Las Vegas. We won't just connect these ideas like Scrabble tiles. Instead, we'll play a higher-level game called "Upwards" and elevate every everyone's game to phone sales mastery!
LA Williams III is Vice President of Dealer Synergy.