In the not too distant past, I used to pat myself on the back if I took a turnover on a phone call at a dealership from a Business Development Representative (BDR) and closed the appointment after a fifteen-minute conversation. Now, I realize that I could have set THREE appointments in that same fifteen minutes.
It is said that there are 3 main reasons why an appointment is a no show:
- They didn’t like you
- They lied to you
- You unknowingly UNSOLD the appointment after you set it.
Let’s look at that more closely.
#1 They didn’t like you. It makes sense, people buy from those they trust (they have to like you to trust you), and we sell appointments.
#2 They lied to you. Maybe they were preoccupied, wanted to get off the phone, and agreed to the appointment only to get off the phone, with no intention of showing up. You can sometimes tell when this is the case, but not always. And last,
#3 You unknowingly UNSOLD the appointment after you set it. How do we do this? We don’t get off the phone after we set the appointment as we should. We keep on talking…do you have any other questions? (wrong! That’s where the objections start….even if there are none prior to the question…they will look for some). Set the appointment, and get off the phone.
Knowing these three things can help you to try and set a more solid appointment. Try. Here are a few additional tips on how to set a solid appointment that SHOWS. After all, in the end, it is ALL ABOUT THE SHOWS.
As a BDC, we set solid appointments that show and ensure a smooth transition to the turnover to the sales department to do what they do best: sell cars. Whether it is an inbound or an outbound phone call, when you establish contact with a potential customer:
- Seal your conversation with a K.I.S.S. Keep it short and sweet. Be relevant. Greet the caller, build rapport with a few fact-finding questions, acknowledge what ad source brought them to you, GO for the appointment.
Now, back up a minute to the start of the conversation, build rapport. Tony Robbins said “Rapport is power. Total responsiveness between people. That connection, that spark that happens in certain relationships. Most people only get rapport with people like themselves. Rapport is created by a feeling of commonality. Most people try to build rapport with words. WRONG. Words are only 7% of your communication skills. What does work is matching and mirroring. That concept came about 35 years ago from a genius named Dr Milton Erickson. He understood an important thing. We have both a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is more powerful. If he could influence someone’s subconscious mind, he could change anything. He watched people and realized that if two people have rapport, they begin to mirror one another. They become like one another”. So we ask a few questions, relate to the customer’s wants and needs, and respond to them. They will respond to us in return. When someone is responding to you, you have rapport. People like people who are like themselves, or how they would like to be. That is huge in itself, if you build rapport, you have the person’s trust, and the start of a great experience for the potential customer. Now, let’s go on to the rest of the tips:
- Don’t answer questions that are not asked. No TMI.
- If an objection is posed, address it, and go back to asking for the appointment. Ask for it early and often throughout your conversation.
- If you do not appoint the call, TURN IT OVER while the person is on the phone. The turnover could be to a BDM or even a fellow BDR. There is great POWER in a live turnover, and here is why:
In general, the three most common objections have to do with credit, inventory, or price. All three can be overcome when we teach our BDC or sales teams our consistent responses, or rebuttals, to each of those objections, based on our company practices. Consistent responses. Taught, practiced, role played, learned responses. Then and only then will you see your team set strong appointments and drive traffic to your showroom.
On occasion, you have a caller (or outbound internet lead) that is skeptical, a non-believer, hesitant to commit to an appointment. Your BDR has followed the process and best practices to a T, and, yet, no appointment. If, after three, four, five minutes maximum the call is not appointed, it is time to turn it over to a “second voice” to close the appointment. The natural reaction would be “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. NO! Try once, twice, three times by answering any questions and going back to close the appointment. If that does not work, turn it over and make it a team effort.
Remember the famous quote from the movie Boiler Room? Jim Young: “And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is going to close? You or him? Now be relentless, that’s it, I’m done.” Well, we are not going to be relentless, we are not selling stock, we are representing our dealerships and delivering the start of great customer experience. But keep in mind that we have what the customer wants. They came to us, we were not making cold calls. So we will present the value of doing business with our dealership by building rapport, responding to our customer’s concerns, and bringing them into the showroom where the sales department will deliver a top-notch purchase experience. But we have to close the appointment to get the whole thing started. So, if three, four, five minutes go by and you are still trying to overcome objections, the person is stuck in that mode, it’s time for a second voice. A voice that is going to also be warm and inviting, offer assistance, and, when the person voices the same one, two objections that you’ve already heard, that voice will respond exactly the same way, with the same answer given by the first BDR. When two or more people say the same thing, it lends credibility to what we are saying. Most times our potential customers are skeptical because they have had bad experiences, or have heard of bad experiences, with other dealers. All we have to do is be transparent and consistent, sharing the same exact information with our callers, to continue to build rapport, educate our callers on the value of doing business with us, and close the appointment. Simple. If you do that, you will set more solid appointments that show.