Lesson #1
The Opening

This may seem very elementary to you but it is a great place to start, and you may be wondering why even bother with it? “I know how to answer a phone I’ve been doing it my whole life.” Well, from many years of automotive training experience, we at Marcom Technologies know that to this day, there are still sales and service people who answer the Phone incorrectly.

In every workshop that Marcom teaches around the country we ask the students early on to answer one simple question. Please think about a single word that a typical consumer would use to best describe the typical car salesperson. What are the answers you think we get? Are they good or nice? 99% are not. We get words like slimy, thieves, Lier’s, etc. We like to say when you die, and someone is giving your eulogy are these the words you want someone to use to describe you? Or on your tombstone here lies _________ he was a slimy, liar salesperson. Of course, we do not want that and not for one second do I believe that we in the auto industry are that way, but the customer still believes it.

For you service people out there, we ask this question, does the typical consumer believe we charge more or less for service then the independent? Unequivocally the answer is more, which in itself shows a level of distrust.

Here is the good news, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. We have an opportunity in the very beginning of the call to either support their belief or do a 180 and change their perception.

When we answer the phone “Sales”, “Used Cars” or “Service”, we are strengthening the customers poor perception of our industry. What would you be thinking if you heard that from someone on the other line?

So, what do you have to do early in the call to be different to dispel that stigma that we are tagged with?

Marcom’s belief is no scripts, when someone answers the phone it should be who they are and not something written down on a piece of paper. With that said, there are some basic criteria to follow that will assist you in dispelling that stigma we have in the customers mind and helps you gain leverage.

Introduce yourself in a professional manner, provide the dealership name and offer of assistance

Thanks for calling ABC Motors this is Chuck, how can I help you?
Thanks for calling ABC Motors this is Chuck in service, how can I help you?

Show enthusiasm/excitement – Smile’s and frowns can be heard on the phone, while everyone’s personality is different it’s critical to show some energy when answering a call.

In conclusion, don’t overlook the importance of this step, there are many ways to begin the call so I urge you to be yourself on what comes natural but follow the above criteria. Starting the call off the right way is critical to begin dispelling the customers pre-conceived notions they have of us and will help you drive more sales and service.

Chuck McGraw has been in the retail automotive industry for over 30-years, presently serving as the President and CEO of Marcom Inc. Marcom was the first to pioneer recording-based sales training in the late 80s, and over the past 3-decades, developed proprietary methodologies that increase dealership performance. Marcom leverages a blend of technology and human interaction to drive performance with behavioral changes that increase sales and service dollars.