Car Audio: How to Bring People in the Store…The Phone

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The phone is money calling you.

Del Ellis at KnowledgeFestAt 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.


Some basics:

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!

Source: CEoutlook

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  1. I really disagree that simply asking your prospective clients where they heard about your company is a bad idea. It is a great way to begin a dialogue with someone who wanders into your location, or calls you on the phone. Of all the advertising mediums that brick and mortars employ, it is nearly impossible to pin point where someone heard of your company with any accuracy. Our company has been very successful, and it is partly because we never enter into a relationship with someone based on the belief that they will lie to us about something as trivial as where they first heard of us.

    A long term client relationship will be built on a trust that is formed over time. Anything that you can work into the first time meeting will serve as an ice breaker, and open the lines of communication.I have had Del Ellis into my store personally for days at a time, and I can tell you that the impact that his perspective will leave on both your business and your overall outlook towards relationship building is a life altering endeavor. I believe so much in what he brings to the table, that he is booked for twice yearly trainings in my store for the foreseeable future.

    The mechanics of interacting with prospective clients are ever changing, and there are many ways to adapt to the market and how you approach people in general. It sounds to me that the system you employ Alex, is focused more on an online sales perspective, rather than out that is centered around driving traffic from the phone directly into your store. I could be way off base, and I don’t mean to pass judgement, but business moves very quickly, and if I had to take real time measurements of a call tracking system versus an online information inquiry to discern who I was talking to, I would be doing it very wrong in respect to the nerve center of working with a small business, which is 100% focused around building a relationship based on trust, from both parties.

    1. Micah,

      I think you might have misunderstood what I was attempting to convey which I’m sure was my fault for not making my points in a clearer way.

      First, I didn’t mean to disparage nor discredit Del in any way. Though I have no personal experience with him, I’m sure he has very helpful techniques that many have and many others will benefit from.

      Second, the reporting I was mentioning is simply an automated correlational analysis of call logs and server logs. It ties together the searches that delivered someone to the site with the call that was produced within close proximity. This is all done by the machine so that the human can simply review the results at his/her leisure. Clearly this method would not work for 100% of the situations with your example of a walk-in being tops on the list. The article mentions a situation where the shop has a caller on the line and simply asks the question outright and is then encouraged to also put the person on hold and write information down. I was merely suggesting that this is a very manual way to do what a machine can greatly facilitate. I also don’t personally believe that putting customers on hold is great customer service so the fewer things you can have your shop personnel trying to do at one the better.

      Also, I didn’t mean to imply that you should assume your customer is dishonest in any way. We have thousands of data points to draw from across numerous industries and what I was attempting to share was the findings from our analysis of the data. What we found is that a simple question about where a customer found you can produce shockingly high levels of false answers. This finding was nearly unbelievable for us, but the data doesn’t lie. When we have a recording of a call between a client and his customer and the customer states that he found our client via some other source, we can be 100% certain that the answer is completely false. I suspect that 90% of people who answer falsely are just confused or mistaken, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not an accurate answer.

      What I was cautioning about is the blind use of that potentially error ridden data in business decisions. For example, if you put an ad in the newspaper and you are getting a falsely inflated reporting of its efficacy, you will probably spend more money on a form of advertising that wasn’t actually working.

      Again, I apologize for causing confusion. I only wanted to share our surprising findings because while it is counter-intuitive it’s also 100% data-driven.

  2. “Ask him how he heard about your store.”

    Be careful with this. I have observed that customers will either lie about this or they simply don’t know. Countless times we’ve listened to call recordings from our clients where this question is posed and the answer given was that the customer found the store on one of our competitor’s sites. Since the recording came through our dedicated phone number, it’s clear that the claim is false which means that store owner thinks that advertising X produced the call when really it was advertising Y.

    I highly recommend using a more reliable way to glean this information. Call tracking numbers are a cheap and easy way to do this. If you utilize a combination of a call tracking number and website log data you can tie a call to a visitor with a fairly high level of accuracy simply based on the time stamps. This is some thing we’ve been doing for our clients for years now and as such has become a valuable tool.

    Additionally, call tracking numbers like the ones we provide typically also provide call recording. This will allow you to not have to write down all the info from the conversation because we all know that it just won’t happen reliably, especially in a busy shop. Additionally, if you’re the owner, you can listen to how well/poorly the calls are handled by reviewing the recordings.

    Overall the information recommended by Del Ellis is good, but I caution the strict adherence to the points about jotting down info and asking the customer where s/he heard about you. The data we’ve collected over the years simply doesn’t show these to be reliable methods.

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