The latest report from Marchex focused on how car dealerships handle inbound calls to identify conversation and behavior tips salespeople can use to be more effective. These phone call dos and don'ts can help your store optimize phone traffic in order to better drive visits and, ultimately, sales.

Dealership Phone Call Performance Study

The most recent Marchex report looked at how effective salespeople were in getting inbound dealership callers to set an appointment to either look at or test drive a vehicle. In doing so, they were able to identify how to better guide callers into becoming customers.

The report found that the top-performing salespeople:

  • Dealership Phone Call Tips to Increase Visits and SalesUsed active listening techniques 179% more often than the bottom performers.
  • Asked for the caller's name 163% more often, and provided their direct contact information 40% more often.
  • Asked callers about their needs 57% more often.
  • Discussed features on a caller's car of choice and their benefits 19% more often.
  • Practiced politeness by saying "please" and "thank you" 99% of the time. The bottom-performing sales people only used the magic words 89% of the time.
  • Had fun in the form of laughing on over 50% of calls.

Marchex defined top performers as the top 25% of salespeople, and bottom performers as the bottom 25%. The report was the third installment in a three-part study from the call analytics company, and was based on 6,200 sales conversations at US auto dealerships.

Car Dealership Phone Call Tips

When you consider that today's car buyers are more informed, spend more time researching online, and visit fewer dealerships, your store can't afford to lose opportunities due to ineffective phone calls. These over-the-phone impressions can literally be the difference between callers visiting your showroom and moving on to another store.

These tips can help take your dealership's phone calls to the next level:

  • Answer quickly with smooth transfers – With incoming calls, do whatever you can to answer the phone quickly, and transfer the caller to the proper person in the sales department without putting them on hold for a long time. Slow or nonexistent answers and long wait times on hold are very off-putting and don’t make a good first impression.
  • Be polite and offer to help – Make a great impression by being warm, don’t be afraid to have some fun and insert some laughter, and say "please" and "thank you" with regularity. The Marchex report also pointed out that asking for the caller's name early on and using it often helped to build rapport. Underneath it all, you need to be asking how you can help them while actively showing that you want to.
  • Ask a lot of questions – Top performers in the study asked more questions than bottom performers. Learn more about the prospect’s vehicle preferences and where they're at in the funnel by asking them about their needs. You can then talk about the features in models they like to further appeal to their interests.
  • Use active listening techniques – As you ask these questions, you have to be actively listening to build a meaningful connection. Some of the best active listening techniques the study pointed out were repeating what a caller said to clarify the information, and using that info to provide better feedback and recommendations. Doing this allows the process to move along smoothly, and can lead to increased visits and sales.
  • Get them to set an appointment – At the end of the day, you're trying to get these callers to come into the store. This means part of the phone call should include an appointment request. Booking a firm date and time over the phone, along with a follow-up confirmation, is going to result in more shows than a vague agreement to come in. In addition, don't forget to give them direct contact information and ask for theirs.
  • Log them into the CRM – Finally, cap off the call by making sure to log all information into your CRM system. This helps your store track these prospects, and build on the information learned from them later on. Also, it allows you to better follow up if needed, or if they fail to show up.

Call Center and BDC Services for Dealers

Your dealership could also turn to the experts at Auto Credit Express to handle first contact. In addition to the award-winning leads we can provide, our BDC call center services can contact consumers so you can focus on selling cars.

We specialize in lightning-quick response times, and getting leads to take action and visit your store. Our diligent call cycle is there to make sure nobody slips through the cracks, as it's our goal to set appointments, follow up, and reschedule if things go wrong.

Plus, our call center representatives verify income, employment, residence, and trade-in information, as well as list the stips your F&I department needs, so you're in a better position to succeed when they visit.

If you're looking to increase contacts, appointments, and shows, Auto Credit Express is here to help. Call us at 888-535-2277 to learn more today, or you can fill out the contact form on our website and we'll reach out to you.