As new car inventory across the country expands, so too has the number of calls placed to dealerships. The increase in volume has made it challenging for employees to keep up, resulting in cut corners and low conversion rates. With the number of unanswered or mishandled voicemails growing by the day, managers must ask themselves how much money they can afford to leave on the table. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Mike Hoyser, vice president of training at Phone Ninjas, to discuss how his team of coaches and assistants help maximize dealership profits and strengthen skillsets in sales and BDC teams.
One of the biggest challenges facing dealers in the new automotive marketplace is the uneven authority shared between clients and representatives. During a phone conversation, the customer’s objective is to gather information about the vehicle, such as pricing, availability and driving history. Salespersons feel obligated to let the caller control the discussion, which ultimately leaves them little time to pitch an in-person meeting. Hoyser explains that this dynamic is disastrous for businesses trying to maximize the efficiency of their sales operations. “What happens is we stay on [the client’s] agenda and they control what happens on the phone call,” he remarks.
Phone Ninjas gives power back to dealers and their BDC or sales teams through in-depth training and quality support. “I think what makes us different,” states Hoyser, “is a lot of times…phone-training companies out there are using transcription, alerting methods, all these types of things…what Phone Ninjas does is we bring back the human side.” When dealers join the program, sales representatives gain access to coaches who teach proven tactics that create more leads and convert more callers into customers. This helps dealers realize more profits from their business development initiatives and keeps them from leaving money on the table due to missed or poorly-handled calls.
Working with Phone Ninjas has other benefits. Dealers who choose to join the program typically do so with a 20% appointment-setting rate. “Our average customers are right about 60%,” reports Hoyser, “within 90 days you’re gonna see that.” Long-term partners, on the other hand, see rates as high as 80%. By working with the company’s coaches, sales teams not only improve their effectiveness but also learn to abandon bad habits. For Hoyser, this is the most rewarding part of the job. “When I do go out to a store that has a lot of tenured salespeople, and they come up to me afterward and say, ‘You what, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I did pick up a lot of different things, and you know what I need to polish up on this’…I kind of really like that.”
Another crucial advantage that comes from Phone Ninjas is consistency. Hoyser notes that he has spoken with many successful dealers during his career. “One of the things that does come up is they’re very disciplined…because disciplined people are very good about not cutting corners,” he states. “If they have a process, they cover the full process…” Since the company works so closely with the BDC or sales team, representatives have more accountability and oversight to make sure they stay in control of the conversation and handle each call with the same level of care.
The last benefit to be gained from a Phone Ninjas partnership is the speed with which dealerships can get their operations up and running. Hoyser notes that it only takes a week for most sales or BDC teams to gain certification and learn how to use Phone Ninja’s tools. This means that representatives can start improving their skills as fast as possible. “Let’s get back to selling and not just telling,” remarks Hoyser.