Alan Ram’s newest article “What’s Your Goal?”

Alan Ram’s newest article “What’s Your Goal?”

If I asked you what the goal of a sales call is, what would you say? Think about it for a minute. Every time I ask a group this question, whether they are Dealers or salespeople, I tend to get the same answer. Dealers and salespeople alike will tell me that the goal of a sales call is to set an appointment.

No, it’s not. Let’s talk about why that is.

Appointment vs. Sale

 Think about these two different scenarios: In Scenario A, a salesperson takes an inbound call and everything seemingly goes great. The salesperson gets the name and number of the customer, and even manages to set an appointment. Unfortunately, that customer never shows up for the appointment.

 In Scenario B, a sales call comes in and, again, the salesperson gets the name and number of the customer. However, this customer will not commit to setting up an appointment, no matter how hard the salesperson tries. The call ends with no appointment set, and then, later that evening, the customer comes in and buys.

 Which scenario would you rather have? The answer is obvious; you would rather have the one that ends with the sale, right? But, in that scenario, the salesperson didn’t have an appointment. So what?

Phone-Ups That Show Up

 This just goes to show that the goal of a sales call is not to simply set an appointment, but to have someone actually show up at your dealership. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the customer did or did not set an appointment, as long as the end result is him or her walking onto your showroom floor and buying. There’s a big difference between simply setting appointments and having someone actually walk through your front door.

 Now, am I telling you not to set up appointments? Of course not! You still want to set up appointments. However, the end goal of a sales call should not be to set an appointment, but to ensure that you have done everything possible to make sure the customer shows up at your dealership.

 You cannot judge how well a sales call went simply by whether or not a customer agreed to set an appointment. Maybe the customer wanted to end the conversation and never even planned on coming into your dealership, you don’t know. The only way to judge whether you are any good on the phones, and if your appointments are any good, is if the customer actually ends up on the showroom floor.

It’s All About You

 Customers don’t come into your dealership because you got their name and phone number. By the same token, no one comes into your dealership simply because you set an appointment. They come in because of everything else you say. In other words, they come in because of your messaging. What reasons are you giving customers to come to your dealership? More importantly, what reasons are you giving customers to come see you? If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to figure it out.

 Most telephone training in the automotive industry simply consists of telling sales staff something along the lines of, “get their name, get their phone number, a smile can be heard over the phone, and set up an appointment they probably won’t show up for.” To get customers to actually show up, it’s up to you as a salesperson to give them reasons to want to. Make the customer want to come see YOU. It’s time for you to step up your game. It’s not about setting up weak appointments, it’s about phone-ups that show up. Next time someone asks you what your goal on a sales call is, you say that it’s to get someone to actually show up at your dealership, not simply to set an appointment.

 Don’t settle for appointments that never show. If you did, in fact, come to work to sell cars today, you need to know how to handle inbound sales calls and bring customers into your dealership. If you want to learn how we can help you do this better, faster, and smarter, call us at (866) 996-4665 or by email at