Phone Sales Strategies for Pitch-Perfect Wins

Phone Sales Strategies for Pitch-Perfect Wins

Discover how preparation, knowledge of your inventory’s value and a tailored call guide can transform your sales approach. Master the pitch-perfect phone sales strategy that respects the customer’s time and maximizes your dealership’s potential.

The traditional perception of a car salesperson has not been flattering. Even today, the negative perception lingers. Many car shoppers fear they will encounter aggressive tactics, a focus on closing deals and a disregard for the customer experience.

But the industry continues to change, and it’s for the better. Customers demand it, and the accessibility of information has reshaped the dynamics of how they engage.

On average, car shoppers research five dealerships but only call two. That means the first inbound call might be the only chance you’ll have to capture that sale. Knowing this, what are the best tactics for keeping a car shopper engaged?

The Art of Conversation

Let’s avoid the phrase “sales pitch.” Today’s car shoppers are generally well-informed before making their first phone call to a dealership. Customers don’t want a salesperson who tries to sell them a vehicle.

The days of traditional salespeople waiting for ups and aggressively trying to push available inventory onto customers are over. What the current market demands are sales professionals capable of having skilled phone conversations that lead customers down funnel.

I know of a salesperson who made nearly $400,000 selling vehicles last year. He is not a traditional salesperson. He understands the art of conversation. The first thing he does, most often over the phone, is to explore what the customer wants and why. He always highlights the dealership’s value and the value of a new vehicle purchase.

This salesperson makes customers feel like they are the ones who are in control while skillfully maneuvering them to complete part of the shopping process over the phone. The feedback he consistently receives from customers is that they were happy with the shopping experience and loved their new cars. Why? Because he sold them the value of the product, the dealership and himself.

Preparation Is Key

Preparation is necessary to be a skilled conversationalist. As a salesperson, you can’t expect to answer calls randomly and hit a home run every time. However, if you prepare, you can significantly increase your batting average. Here’s how to slay your next professional sales conversation.

Know the benefits. For every make/model on your lot, research the benefits. Know how to sell the value of every vehicle. To most consumers, price does not matter nearly as much as value.

Additionally, know the value proposition for your dealership. Why buy from you versus the dealership down the road? If you can’t explain your value proposition, you risk losing that lead to someone who can explain theirs.

Know FAQs. If your sales team doesn’t have a list of frequently asked questions, create one. Include questions and several suggested answers. Every salesperson can expect difficult questions from demanding customers and should know how to answer these questions without sounding defensive or abrupt.

Use a call guide. This is a bullet-point type of list that reminds salespeople of all the key points to mention during a conversation. From the greeting through the discovery phase and gathering customer data, using a call guide instead of a script keeps the conversation going and helps it flow smoothly.

Respect the customer’s time. A traditional salesperson views each customer as a potential transaction and tries to extract the maximum amount they can from each customer. A sales professional respects the customer’s time because time is money. When customers know that their time is valued, they are suddenly willing to spend more with you.

One example of demonstrating respect for a customer’s time is encouraging them to complete as much of the purchase process online before coming into the dealership.

Earn, Ask, Receive (EAR). Most consumers are only willing to make an appointment once they are close to a decision. A salesperson must earn the right to ask for that appointment. You earn by answering a customer’s questions to their satisfaction. You can ask for the appointment once you have earned their trust.

Traditional sales tactics like placing customers on hold or telling them you’ll call them back after talking to your manager are outdated. Today’s customers are too smart for that, and by the time you call them back, they may have moved on to the next dealership.

When we talk about scripts and sales pitches, we’re really talking about the art of conversation. Art seems like a spontaneous and creative endeavor, yet the best artists are highly prepared with the right tools and knowledge of their subject matter. To succeed, salespeople must know the value of what they’re selling and be prepared to exceed a customer’s expectations on that first phone call. 

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