The phone is money calling you.
At KnowledgeFest 2012 last week, sales trainer Del Ellis presented steps to handling the phone:
On what ring do you answer the phone? The third, if you answer on the first, the customer thinks you are not busy.
Write down everything in the conversation. You review it and when the customer comes in, you can say, “You have the 2012 Tahoe and you were concerned about X.”
Ask him how he heard about your store.
If the customer asks a question for any type of information put him on hold. But only for 17 seconds or less. It gives you time to think and helps you control the conversation.
But before you put him on hold, get his phone number.
Ellis will call someone back in a bit if he hung up because he didn’t like a price. It gives the caller time to cool down. Ellis might say something like, “Look I own my store. What I will do is give you a good price but I won’t give you a cheap one just to get you in the store.” He invites them into the store.
You must build a rapport with a person to get the sale. And the only way to do that is by asking questions. You need to ask and you need to listen.
If you build a rapport with someone over the phone, and they like you, they will want to meet you.
If the caller asks if you carry a product that you don’t have in stock, ask why he wants to know; what he likes about that product. Then you explain you have something better.
Try not to quote prices on the phone but invite someone in for a free consultation. Never use the word “appointment.” People think of a dentist’s appointment.
If you do quote a price and the person objects, Ellis might ask “By the way, what is your favorite restaurant? What do you like about that restaurant? Is it the least expensive? But you go there anyway?” Then you sell your installation expertise. Another Ellis counter to a price objection is to ask what kind of car the person owns. Then ask is it worth the extra $100 or X dollar amount to spend to make sure your car is worked on properly and you don’t have to come back to have it redone.
Answer the phone with a smile on your face (it makes a difference) and thank the person for calling. Then ask how you can help him.
Tell them what your name and politely ask, “May I ask your name?”
One more tip:
Never give directions to your store that will take the customer by a competitive store!