In-Person, Internet, or Phone Opportunities, Which Would You Choose?

There are three types of new customer opportunities: in-person, over the internet, and over the phone. If you could only choose one of these opportunity types to receive, which would you choose? Most salespeople would want to have the “in-person” customer, I mean it makes sense, the customer is right in front of you and can make decision to buy right then and there. You can’t buy a car through the phone or the internet, so the “in-person” must be the right choice.

However, as much sense as this might make, if I were given this choice, I would choose to take the phone opportunity. Why, you ask? I would challenge that in most cases the customer that is calling in, is closer to making a buying decision than even the customer that is actually in front of you. Most customers who are calling into the dealership usually HAVE ALREADY MADE A DECISION TO BUY if the information they are calling about resolves their concern. For example, if they are calling to see if a certain vehicle is in stock, if the answer is ‘yes,’ then they are going to come in and buy it.

I learned the importance of the incoming phone call early in my new car sales career. The dealership that I was selling at would page “available sales line one,” and all of the salespeople would rush to the phone. One day this familiar page went over the intercom system and I reached for the phone to answer it, when all of a sudden, the top salesperson at the store came running for the phone. As I was about to pick it up, he dove for the phone. Snatched it right from under me as he flipped over, landed on his back on the desk. He then slide across the desk, landed on the floor and proceeded to take the phone call from the floor, on his back. He effectively set the appointment, the customer arrived, and he sold them the car. From that moment forward, I knew that I needed to learn to master the phones if I wanted to be successful.


Here are six tips to ensure you get the most out of every incoming phone call:
  1. Understand that there is money on the end of every incoming phone call – So many salespeople shy away from answering phone calls and when I ask why, I always hear, “people are only calling for parts and service.” They don’t realize that people who use your parts and service department will buy from you. They don’t understand that if you answer ten phone calls and nine of them are for parts and service, that means one is for sales and that is one more sales opportunity they would have if they did not answer any incoming calls. The reality is that most salespeople do not believe that every time a customer calls your dealership, they are trying to spend money there. Because they lack this belief, they never learn how to turn these calls into money. If you plan to become successful in car sales this belief is a must!
  2. Use an incoming phone call process with every opportunity – Most salespeople learn a sales process for customers that come on the lot, they even learn one for how to handle an internet lead, however when it comes to a phone call, they just wing it. They believe if they answer the customers questions and then ask for an appointment that is all they need to do. This is exactly why phone appointments don’t show up. An incoming phone call opportunity deserves and requires a dedicated process that is repeatable and used with 100% of the opportunities.  
  3. Use questions to control the conversation – Questions should be used to control all conversations, however, when it comes to phone calls salespeople stop using questions to learn more about the customer and to take them through the process to the appointment. As soon as the customer is not in-front of them, salespeople begin to take short-cuts and skip this vital part of the process.
  4. Tonality is the key to getting your point across – The tone you use during your conversation with your customer can be as important as the words you say. There are three main types of tonality: question, statement, and command. Salespeople must learn when and how to use these different tonalities to ensure you get your points across to the customer.
  5. Be flexible when it comes to providing your customer with solutions – Especially, during current times (COVID-19 pandemic) customers may be looking for different solutions to accomplish their goals. For example, the customer may want to test drive the vehicle, however they are not comfortable in coming into the dealership. In this case you need to be flexible in where you set the appointment. Too many salespeople will only try to set the appointment at the dealership, and they will miss out on the sale because they were not flexible enough to offer the customer a solution that works for the customer.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice – As with anything that you do, you should do it well. And that means not only practicing but practicing perfect techniques. Also, you should not be practicing with your dealership’s customers. You should be using scripts to role-play with other salespeople, practice them in the mirror and use the DITLN Practice Simulations.

Knowing how important these incoming calls are, I am very excited to announce that DO IT TODAY Learning Network has launched a new on-demand course, Incoming Sales Calls – Road to the Appointment. This course will help you learn how to master the incoming sales call and turn more calls into sales!



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