Having a successful sales team is pivotal for any auto repair shop looking to increase profits in 2015. More shops are opening which means more competition so looking for ways to attract new customers is an ongoing task.
With social media and email marketing becoming more and more important to target potential clients, we've overlooked one clear sales method that has been used for decades, phone calls.
While answering the phone might seem like a simple task, many shops lack the simple phone skills that can prove to be effective. Shop owners are oblivious to what goes on during phone conversations but keep in mind that one negative conversation on the phone can cost you a client which means no referrals and less growth. Think about that.
Keep the following tips in mind when talking to your staff about how a successful phone call should sound like.
There is nothing more disconcerting than talking to someone on the phone that sounds either annoyed or bored and this is something we get too much of in the auto repair industry. As customers first and business owners second we know how we should be treated. Not as royalty but with respect. If you have staff members that sound unenthused over the phone, how much enthusiasm do you think the person on the other line will have?
Treat Everyone the Same Way
When you call a person’s home, regardless of who picks up the phone when you call, treat them the same way as you would the person you're looking for. It’s not right to be rude or at least not as polite with the person that picks up the phone just because he/she is not the person you’re looking to do business with.
Be Descriptive and use Examples
Since you can’t use images to show people your products and or services, your job is to use your imagination. Remember, the person on the other line can’t see you so the more descriptive you are, the better for the other person.
A little office or shop background noise is common but there’s nothing worse than not being able to hear someone because of the noise on your end. No dogs barking, no curse words or no obnoxious sounds.
This one many people hold as a myth but you’ll be surprised at how much more energy you have when you’re standing up or walking around while on the phone as opposed to sitting down. Think of your adolescent years walking around the house when talking on the phone to your crush. I for one used to drive my mom crazy walking from room to room until i finally found a room where i’d stick to and a bed to lie in and talk.
“You hang up. No, you”
To extend on the adolescence metaphor, it is important to note that you shouldn’t be the first person to hang up the phone. Always wait for the person on the other line to disconnect first. Reason being, you never know when the other person is looking to share one more piece of information with you. Another important tip we’ll jot down here is make sure the other person has in fact hung up before you start talking. Don’t ruin a perfectly good phone conversation by joking around with a co-worker thinking the other person hung up.
You may be on your computer and you might have people talking to you or windows popping up while you’re on the phone. You must not become unfocused. Allowing yourself to become distracted may easily cause you to miss a key point.
Use Open-ended Questions
Questions that require more than a simple yes or no can be important because they can help you get a sense of what the client really wants whilst helping you determine what kind of customer they are (see 4 types of customers your repair shop will come across).
Stable Telephone Line
One of the worst kind of phone calls you can have is the one where the person can barely hear a word of what you’re saying. Make sure your phone has great coverage because it is this kind of quality that determines your business.
Make sure at the end of every phone call your customer remembers to whom they spoke, what shop you’re calling from and how to get back to you in case they need to.
Talk with your Hands
Have you ever found yourself in a serious debate or talking about something you’re really passionate about? If so, you probably found yourself moving your hands to and fro. Our body expressions speak louder than actual words so even though you’re on the phone, talk with your hands as it conveys more energy.
It’s impossible to say which calls will ultimately lead to sales but just know that with one phone call you can know more about that particular person than through an email.