On Sales Calls, a Phone Professional Is the Right Person for the Job

Get the best results with your phone leads, don't just settle for “pretty good”

If you’ve been thinking about a way to get your team to make more calls, set more appointments, and sell more units every month, you need to understand the difference between a sales associate and a phone professional.



Sales associates applied for a position where they could get the opportunity to utilize their greatest skill: face-to-face presenting and selling. Salespeople thrive on this type of communication. Most say they would have never applied for a position where their skills were needed on the phone.

In contrast, a phone professional’s greatest skill is communicating and connecting with clients by telephone. These employees are motivated and excited to pick up the phone to make call after call, day after day, while building trust and rapport with your customers.

Next, let’s look at the type of sales associate who is pretty good on the phone and actually sets appointments for himself. I’m going to show why this can be counterproductive. Follow along as I paint a picture.

Salesperson Joe starts making calls on Monday. He sets three appointments for Tuesday, and all three of them show. Great job, Joe! Joe spends two hours or more with each customer, and some of them purchase.

You may think this is great news. But what you didn’t know was that Joe has not been on the phone or answering leads because he was busy all day doing what he was originally hired to do.

When Wednesday rolls around, he has to start all over again, only to find out that prospects he had in his pipeline are gone. They are not responding to him, which is making his job harder—and worse yet, they may have gotten a response from another dealership.

This is the roller-coaster effect, and it’s not effective at all. It’s the up-down, up-down, up-down ride that’s enough to make all of us nauseous, especially Joe. Do you see why Joe would much rather spend his time presenting and selling than picking up the phone?

When a phone professional’s only responsibility is to make calls and set appointments for the sales team, you get better results because now you are tapping into each team member’s greatest strength.

By now you may be thinking, “Wow, this makes sense!” You probably want to get people hired and on the phones right away.

Before you put anyone on the phone, however, you need to understand these five best practices:

  1. A failing or subpar salesperson is not the person to put on the phone.
  2. A great phone pro is a self-starter with a specific DNA, which starts with high emotional intelligence and empathy.
  3. With the right tools, you can recruit and secure top-talent phone professionals.
  4. Set up a pay plan that incentivizes the performance of your phone professionals.
  5. Invest in ongoing training and coaching to keep your phone professionals successful.

Remember the most important rule: The right people in the right positions will get you the best results.

Denise Scattergood is one of the most recognized automotive business development experts of our time. She is often referred to as “the shot of espresso that the car business needs!” Denise’s simple, effective, and persuasive communication techniques are highly sought after. She has been a featured keynote speaker at the industry’s biggest events, including the NADA Convention and the Chrysler Dealer Profit Summit. She is the owner of Alert Trainers, a national automotive training company.

Denise Scattergood

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