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How to Set Appointments Over the Phone or Email How to Set Appointments Over the Phone or Email

Boosting Your Appointment Show Ratio

One of the most important things for Internet dealers to remember is that when they first connect with their Internet prospect, their goal is not to close the sale over the phone or by email; it's to set the appointment. E-business trainer and consultant, Jennifer Suzuki of e-Dealer Solutions, covers the essentials of setting an appointment that will actually show up.

Ring...Ring...Ring... "Hello?" 'YES!' You say to yourself, 'He's alive! A real prospect! All my other outgoing calls today ended in a voicemail.'

In my experience, most Internet Managers seem to make "common sense sales calls." What I mean is, when a lead is received from a person looking for a Ford Fusion, a call is made and the conversation immediately goes into equipment and asking for an appointment.

So why isn't this strategy ideal? Because it prioritizes the prospect's goals before yours.

  • Their goals: PRICE and AVAILABILITY
  • Your goal: Setting an APPOINTMENT THAT SHOWS!

Buyers only show for an appointment if they feel they can trust you. Therefore, you have to earn that trust. This process is not to be confused with talking about how great you and your Internet department are. Prospects will show up for their appointments because they connected with you through your phone conversation or email. This trust must be developed quickly. Try to do so by asking questions that highlight your trustworthiness and likeability.

To increase your appointments in the door, master processes like these:

  1. Relationship Ask open ended questions that build rapport.
    • "Am I calling you at home or work?"
    • "Where do you work?"
    • "What do you do?"
    • "I noticed on your request you live in ___ City, is that where you are originally from?"
    • "Where are you from?"… "I'm not from here either, I'm from _" Or, "I'm from here too …"
  2. Commitment Relate to them by giving an example of something you researched online and purchased. Explain how it saved you time and money, and how it is exactly the way your department operates. Share with them how working with you will be a positive experience. Show them how comfortable it will be to work with you. "Do you research everything online before you make big purchases? That's smart, I do too."
  3. Appointment Let your prospects see you doing preliminary work prior to pursuing an appointment time. Here are a few tips:
    • Invite your prospective buyer in for an exclusive appointment to visit the Internet department.
    • Offer them a choice of two dates and times. Providing appointment times at a quarter of the hour, for example: 10:15 or 11:45 a.m. This implies that you have a tight schedule and suggests the importance for your prospect to arrive at that specific time. Many customers arrive late or simply do not show when scheduling a more typical 1:00 or 2:30 appointment time. It's all about perception.
    • Confirm your prospect's email address ahead of time.
    • Explain that you will email a confirmation for their appointment along with your contact information.
    • Offer Internet based maps and directions.
    • Obtain their cell phone number.
    • Give them a visual of you preparing for their appointment 30 minutes before they arrive. Explain that you will have one or two vehicles selected that you'll have cleaned, with full tanks of gas, and pulled up front for their arrival.
    • Explain that you will be calling them on their cell phone to ensure they are on schedule because you'll have the A/C cranked just minutes before they arrive!
  4. Execution Use the processes above to develop your appointment. Adapt these skills to fit your most comfortable style of communicating.
    • Relationship – Build a trusting relationship
    • Commitment – Review vehicle, trade-in, & financing information
    • Appointment – Review contact information, location, date & time
    • Execute

Use this process and think each new call through. Practice it and pay special attention to your delivery. Perfect it and you are sure to have more appointments walking into your dealership.

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Scott Pechstein

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