Here is a test. Ask someone to assist you. Have them close their eyes and begin your sales pitch or something you would say to a customer and look right at them as if their eyes were open. Next repeat the same sentences, but look out the window and try to see what is going on across the street. When you are done, ask your assistant which time you were talking to them. If you did your job, it will be the first time.
Seems pretty simple, but how many times do you carry on conversations with people while distracted and you have to ask someone to repeat themselves or worse, someone on the phone goes “don’t you agree?” and you have no idea what they’re talking about…pretty uncomfortable. It may happen at times when we are face to face with people, but it is very easy to slip into this behavior when on the phones.
Why I stress this is that so many dealerships phone skills are unfocused. I have seen employees reading the newspaper or focused on someone else while giving information to a customer. Most times it happens when the employee feels very confident in what they are saying or feel they have said this “pitch” hundreds of times. The problem is how it sounds on the other end, to the customer is unfocused, not personal, too fast, and a host of other things that put off the customer.
When I work with teams and the topics of phone skills come up, I ask them if they would do what they were just doing if the person was sitting right in front of them Every time they respond “No.”
One of the best tips to fix their distracted sound on the phones is to have them focus on one point or an area right in front of them and speak as if they are sitting in front of them, you would be surprised at the increase in your results.
Another tip, which may seem odd, but have a mirror near the desks of the people who spend their day on the phone. Tell them to check their expressions occasionally, because we don’t realize how just having a smile translate over the phone.
Now the final piece to making sure this is happening is to follow up. Spot-check the people on the phones as you walk by. What is their posture when they are speaking, where are they focused. Secondly, mystery shop them if you think they would know your voice have someone you trust call in and see what they think or better yet, invest in call recording. This way you can sit with your team and review calls. Having them hear themselves doing what you want them to do is better than you just telling them.
Many dealerships invest a lot of time and money in training for their sales team, but working with your BDC/internet team, service advisors and receptionists on their phone skills will make a huge difference in getting customers in the door and retaining the ones you already have.
So, the next time you listen to a call from anyone, listen to hear if they are focused on you or can you tell if they are doing something else.
Glenn Pasch is the COO of PCG Digital Marketing. For more information, please call 732-672-2356, email [email protected].
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