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Both automotive management and sales staff struggle with vendors, prospects and/or clients that fall out of communication after a dynamic conversation. Usually after three attempts, the manager and/or salesperson will give up without success. Hence, the Three Strikes, You Are Out Rule.
Automotive sales training needs to consider a twist on that play…three strikes and you are in!!!! Normally, we see a strike as a negative. With a change in point of view, a strike becomes an opportunity to lay down a pathway to building a relationship with a vendor, prospect or client. So the next time you call on a prospect and/or client and get their voice mail, try striking out three times as described below.
Strike One-The Fast Ball:
Leave a voice mail but without any specific details, but add that you will be emailing the details for your call to them shortly. Just before you close the message, let them know you will be reaching out to an additional person in their organization/group/family. Make sure this third party is relevant to the conversation, has current contact information on file and your can identify them by name. Making this step creates a sense of urgency for your message. For example, a voice message would be, “Hello Joe, this is Susan with the Speedy Family of Dealerships. I am leaving you a message about the leasing opportunities that I spoke with you about last week. You don’t need to write anything down, as I will be emailing you the details shortly. I will also send Charles the same information so that you two can discuss this matter further. If you have any questions, you can call me at (909) 555-3312 or reply to my email. I am looking forward to being of assistance to you and Charles.”
Strike Two-The Curve Ball:
Reach out as you vowed to the additional party that you identified by name in your voice mail. When leaving a voice mail for this third person, follow the format you did for the original party with an abbreviated message and a follow up detailed email. Also let the third party know that you left the same message for the original party, identifying the original party by name. Taking this step reinforces the urgency of your original voice message. For instance, this voice mail might sound like, “Hello Charles, this is Susan with the Speedy Family of Dealerships. I just left a message for Joe regarding leasing opportunities. I thought you might like to be a part of this conversation as well. You don’t need to write anything down. I will be emailing you and Joe the details shortly, so that you two can discuss this matter further. If you have any questions, you can call me at (909) 555-3312 or reply to my email. I am looking forward to being of assistance to you and Joe.”
Strike Three-The Change Up:
Immediately follow up your voice messages with an email as you promised. When sending an email, you should send the message to both parties at the same time which adds a level of accountability if both names appear in the “To:” field. Start the email with a notice that you left a voice mail recently and this email details the subject of the voice mail. Provide the details that you wish you could have left on their voice-mail, including contact information. Sending this email allows you to go into greater detail than is acceptable or even obtainable for your audience via voice mail. Keep the tone of this email business personal and not something that looks like a mass email. Sample email copy would be:” Dear Joe and George, I left a voice mail for you both recently regarding leasing opportunities. Here are the details of this opportunity for your review and discussion. (Provide details) I appreciate your time and consideration on this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me or send me an email. Otherwise, I will be calling you both later this week. My contact information is listed below.”
Calling and calling and calling is wearing on all parties involved, but when you strike out three times in this manner, you are creating urgency, accountability and a relationship between all parties involved. When you bring in the human factor to what is otherwise an impersonal act, you are fostering relationships and relationship building is part of developing business.
Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is also the current Ms. Florida Forestry Queen, promoting her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.
Copyright © 2014, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.