Gathering Caller Information in the “Smart Phone Era”
Today Society is built around instant gratification. Time is too valuable a commodity to waste.
People, including our customers, want what they want now! And in many cases they really care very little about what we want. They want answers. We want information and an appointment. Over the years the path of least resistance has gouged a canyon right down the middle of our phone handling skills.
The easiest way to get information is to promise answers --- "No, problem! Let me check on that and I’ll call you right back! What’s your number?" --- Heard that before? Said that before? Trained that before? Many have, and many will…. But is it the best way?
This super highway of least resistance began as a gravel covered road some 40+ years ago, and has been used and abused ever since. Think about the technology that has sprung up over that time span. Things like, Caller ID, Cell Phones, The Internet --- and the Mac-Daddy of them all --- The Smart Phone!!
The technology of today has rendered the polished ways of the past ineffective and inefficient. Yes you can still get a callers' information a good percentage of the time the “Old Fashioned Way” – but can you afford the cost that comes with taking this path in light of today’s ever advancing technology?
Up for a challenge?? Pull out your Cell Phone (I know you have one) -- Hop on the internet with your browser (I’m nearly certain you have that) -- Pull up the Used Car search tool of your choice and search for a Camry / Accord / Malibu (Just for kicks make it 4-5 years old with under 100k miles) -- within 10 miles of wherever you are now.
In about 90 seconds I found 11 Malibu's under $12,000 within a 10 mile radius of me -- Every single one having a clickable phone number link to DIAL THE DEALER DIRECTLY!!
If I call your dealership, and you tell me you’re going to call me back with info on that Malibu, I’ll give you my phone numer … but as soon as we hang up I’m calling the next guy. If he engages me in enough conversation as he GIVES ME THE ANSWERS I WANT WHILE I’M ON THE LINE WITH HIM – your phone call is going to my Voice Mail. If he ticks me off I might call you back, but if not he or she’s getting my number AND MY BUSINESS!
As for your technique of calling me back with the car details; I'm pleased if you did and amazed at your lack of salesmanship if you didn't. Either way, what do you have to show for your call handling skills? If you left the Malibu details in a voice mail then shame on you… If you didn’t…. don’t hold your breath. I don’t know if or when I’m calling you back. My time is just too valuable to waste listening to your message when it's easier to find info online, click a number, and set an appointment to see that car.
We need to realize the importance of not simply gathering the caller’s name and phone number, but tying that gathering of information into a conversation that the caller draws VALUE from as well! Making the caller WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN --- not for basic information, but because they value the service and respect you provided them.
The car is the car, they can find that anywhere—but you are unique, the service you deliver needs to emphasize that!--- SET YOURSELF APART!
The Moral of the Story - Today’s society demands your attention, pleads for your service, and rewards your professionalism. Provide them the answers your Callers want in a strategic way, obtaining the information you need for follow-up along the way, and WOW them with an experience that is definitely “above and beyond the ordinary”!
Try it … see what happens … you might just be surprised what you see when you travel the road less traveled!!