Taking an Inbound Call

Inbound calls are some of the hottest opportunities available in automotive sales. Customers took the time to do the research and then took initiative in calling you. They have made a commitment and it’s up to you to turn that into a set appointment. However, handling an inbound call improperly will even kill deals as hot as these.

Even when handled well, there is a lot of missed opportunity to not only set the appointment, but strengthen your deal! During the inbound call, a master sales professional should be able to set the appointment while also building rapport and increasing their show ratio. In this blog, learn the 5 tips needed to become a master at inbound calls in automotive sales!

5 Tips to Master the Inbound Call

Inbound Call Tip #1: Complement the Customer

The start of an inbound call is a great area to start to build rapport and set your deal up to progress smoothly. Remember, you’re not an order-taker – you’re a salesperson! As such, there is no need to lean into potentially negative situations when you can just start each call with a compliment. Begin by letting customers know that they called the right place and made a great choice, deals will continue through the call guide a whole lot easier! Complement buyers on things such as calling your dealership, their vehicle choice, and their timing.

            Example Word Tracks:

“Oh, you’re calling on (XYZ) truck? What a great choice! I’m so glad that you called us. That’s an awesome truck and I’ll be more than happy to check on it for you. We have the best selection of trucks like that anywhere. You definitely called the right place!”

Inbound Call Tip #2: Expand Your Inventory

Buyers call on one vehicle, but buy another all the time. They’re likely not calling in on their dream car, but instead something that meets their needs and fits their budget. In most cases, customers are more flexible than you think! So, improve your chances of setting an appointment and selling a car by always expanding your inventory. When you present additional options to the customer the right way, you will build your customer service and improve your odds at success.

            Example Word Tracks:

“Okay, awesome! You’re calling on (XYZ) car? You called the right place. I’ll be more than happy to check on that vehicle for you. It will not take me long at all. We just got a lot of really nice stuff in like that, so your timing is great. While I’m checking on that, I’ll also check on other vehicles in that range. Are you just looking for vehicles in that price range or just a nice car that has (XYZ) equipment?”

Inbound Call Tip #3: The Trade-In

Vehicle pricing and availability often stand in the way of automotive sales professionals setting appointments on inbound calls. However, it does not have to! “What are you driving now?” is a great way to find opportunity to set the appointment! Engaging customers on their trade allows you to set the appointment just on the appraisal alone. Even with apprehensive buyers, you will be surprised how easily their attitude will change when you switch from selling to them to buying from them!

            Example Word Tracks:

Sales Person: “What are you driving now?”

Customer: “I’m driving a 3-year-old XYZ.”

Sales Person: “Oh, cool! What a neat car. We love those! What are you planning on doing with it?”

Customer: “I’m probably going to trade it in.”

Sales Person: “Fantastic! We need cars like that and when you come into the dealership, we will be very excited to take a look at that.”

Inbound Call Tip #4: Contact Information

Contact information is so much easier to gather on an inbound call when you do it logically! Go for their phone number and email address first before you get their name. Then, be prepared with a good reason to ask for it. When you do this, you will find that customers become a lot more apt to give it to you! Not to mention, whether you have the vehicle or not, once you give them the information it is a lot easier for them to get you off the phone. So, it’s crucial to your success to gather contact information before the customer feels that the call is done.

            Example Word Tracks:

“I’m going to check on that vehicle for you. It’s not going to take me long at all. What’s the best number to call you back on if I need to?”

“Also, what’s your email address? I want to send you some information on this vehicle.”

Inbound Call Tip #5: Set the Appointment

By the end of an inbound call, you should be ready to utilize everything you’ve done earlier to set yourself up for the appointment. Put the buyer on hold if you need a moment, and then use these word tracks and techniques to set the appointment. Remember, if you don’t ask for the appointment you absolutely will not get it! We’re not mind-readers. Since it’s impossible to know what the buyer is actually thinking, you need to ask every single customer for the appointment. Then, aim to improve your show ratio by making it feel real!

            Example Word Tracks:

When you have the appointment:

“When would be a good time for you to come out and take a look and drive? Would this afternoon or evening work?”

Setting the appointment when you don’t have the vehicle:

Sales Person: “You don’t have to buy a vehicle today, do you?”

Customer: “Oh, no. I don’t have to buy it today.”

Sales Person: “Okay, great. The vehicle you called in on is kind of tough to get as you know. I’m looking at the inventory right now, and it looks like we could probably get something for you. What I want you to do is come down to the dealership. Let’s jump on the computer and see what we have coming in. Worst case scenario, we’ll just have to find you one. Can you come in today or tomorrow?”

Make the appointment feel real (improve your show ratio):

Sales Person: “Do you know where the dealership is located?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.”

Sales Person: “Fantastic. My name is (Kyle). Today, I’m wearing a (blue shirt). When you pull in right on the left-hand side, I’m going to be standing in the appraisal area. I’ll be waiting for you at 6:15. If you’re running late or you’re coming a few minutes early, no big deal, but please give me a call.”