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I'm prepping for a big strategy meeting with a dealer group. So I decide to verify my hunch that there is big opportunity in training the call handlers for better Appointment Set, CSI, Retention and all that good stuff. I decide to listen to a bunch of calls from some of the top performing dealerships in the country, to help identify the skill differences and training opportunities.
Then it hit me......How could I have missed this for so long??
The "Top Performers" were in many cases no more skilled than the average and below average call handlers in setting appointments. But, the callers were far better trained in these stores!
The best of the best in appointment conversion are converting callers who ask them if they can come in today! How hard is that??
In every case the majority of the calls were about a compelling message they had seen, heard, received in the mail or found on-line.The questions became about the message.... "How can I lease a car for $6 a day?", "You will give me price, payment and trade appraisal on the phone?", "Do I really get free service and oil changes for 36 months?", "How can you lower my payments on a new car?", "I really don't have to come there?, You will give me all the details on the phone?". In these dealerships the percentage of "Do you have", "What's your best price" and all the other questions designed to rule out the dealer are in the minority.
Average in-bound sales call appointment sets are under 25%, and these top performers are setting 65%+.
2 Actual Dealer's August 2011 Results- Message or Phone Skills??
The success rate of the top performers in the market seems to be directly related to the message the caller is reacting to, along with the training the call handlers have in keeping the excitement level high about the message.
So could the formula be:
1) Skilled BDC/Trained Call Handlers intimate with the message
2) Consistent, Compelling Message
3) "In market" audience
4) In PMA audience
= 70% Inbound Call to Appointment??
Obviously, we need to stay focused on the skills of the handler...but maybe its time to consider the power of training the caller?