So, be honest, are your salespeople properly equipped to optimize each and every phone interaction they have with potential customers? If you’re like most businesses, then the answer is a resounding “no”. ‘Winging it’ on sales calls negatively impacts every business but here I’ll reference my area of business specialization, my good friends in the tire/auto service industry.
For tire and auto service businesses that have the same employees selling both face-to-face (in the store) and on the phone, by far the more important area to improve is phone performance. For the reason why that is, see my previously published piece, “Top 3 Reasons Why Phone Skills Training Is Most Important In Sales.”
In case any of this sounds like speculation, it’s well worth noting that it’s highly unlikely anyone has evaluated more sales calls between tire dealer employees and actual potential customers (not mystery shoppers) then my team and I at Sale Away have. We have evaluated over 10,000 calls for my tire/auto service clients over the past 2 years alone.
Evaluating all those tire sales calls, most for market-leading tire dealers, has confirmed that, before training, the vast majority of salespeople are indeed ‘winging it’. They have no real process and simply let the caller guide the conversation, responding with facts and figures and hoping for the order.
If You’re Not In Control, You’re Out Of Control
Salespeople that ‘wing it’ are not managing a call – the caller is – routinely breaking one of my top “Rules of Engagement”; If you’re not in control, you’re out of control!
Typically before training, as an example, a salesperson will respond to a tire inquiry with “what’s the size?” or “what’s the vehicle?” or both. This indifferent first impression often worsens when, not knowing what to say after those initial functional questions, the salesperson then asks “is there something particular you’re looking for?” or similar.
Imagine going to see your doctor for an ailment and he says, “Do you have a specific medicine in mind?” Odds of that happening are about 0% yet odds are remarkably high that the equivalent of this is happening on your employee/customer calls right now.
Without an effective sales process, sales reps default to mere order takers with most sales made by being in the right place at the right time.
Professionals follow a sales process, amateurs ‘wing it’.
To improve customers’ buying experience and, ultimately, results the business, all world-class companies train their employees a proven sales process.
To optimize performance on the phone, a clear sales methodology needs to be established and adhered to by your sales team.
Of course, mastering a sales process takes time and change, especially for those veterans that have been ‘winging it’ for years, is not easy. But, once institutionalized, the performance gains are well worth it.
If you are a tire business owner or manager, then you are leader of your team. It’s your job to make sure your team wins. Being properly prepared to most effectively manage every phone interaction and outperform the competition is a vital part of winning. ‘Winging it’ just won’t cut it.