Nobody likes a spoiler. Between the final season of Game of Thrones and the premiere of Avengers: Endgame dominating the media, it is hard to avoid hearing all that happens. An untimely announcement of what’s to come takes all the excitement out of one’s experience. Yet, when it comes to setting and confirming appointments, giving your prospect a spoiler alert can go a long way toward gaining an audience.
Sales techniques for years have attempted to teach people to withhold information from prospects in advance of an appointment. Between deflecting or being vague, we have attempted to skirt subjects. When setting and confirming appointments, we make it about the time, date, and person. Yet, we never make it about what to expect.
Consumers are using their screens to research in advance of a purchase and take the mystery out of what will occur during their visit to your store. They don’t want to pick the wrong vehicle, pay too much for it, choose the wrong dealership to do business with, or end up working with a bad salesperson. So they take to the Interwebs to prepare themselves for their visit. Why would we want to be vague when our potential customers want spoilers?
Here are two ways to improve the customer experience by giving a spoiler alert.
Tip #1 when setting and confirming appointments:
Spell out the what, why, and how; not just the what and when. Most confirmation emails, texts and calls consist of “we look forward to seeing you at this date at this location”. Consider sharing with them your sales process. Your “road to the sale” or “path to purchase” in writing can set expectations and prepare them for what is ahead. Ask if that is suitable and hope for a response. This way you can build your process around their wants and needs, rather than your own.
At DealerKnows, we have entire templates built to explain the customer’s in-store experience to prospects so they can be comfortable with their purchase process. If you can ensure your customers will not encounter any surprises because you let them know what is already going to happen, their time in store will play out exactly as you hope.
Tip #2 when setting and confirming appointments:
In automotive, consumers show up with their trade-ins, and inevitably dealers want to pay a fair price for their trade the same way we expect they pay a fair price for ours. Finding ways to make these prospects understand a realistic value of their vehicle (whether it be through devaluing their trade, or just being honest about its condition) in imperative. One great way to do this when setting and confirming appointments on the phone is by setting the stage for their arrival.
Let the prospect know that you’ll have their vehicle of interest washed and gassed, parked up front ready to test drive when they arrive to save them time. Then politely ask they pull their current vehicle up right next to the new vehicle. Tell them this will let you know when they arrive to speed things up. Psychologically, when you compare a consumer’s current vehicle side-by-side a new vehicle, it puts in context just how much better the new vehicle is (and how much less impressive theirs is in comparison). This strategy can save time, manage expectations, increase trade position, and put their mind at ease all in one act.
Spoilers can ruin someone’s day. That is why so many articles, blogs and videos make the respectable decision to warn others by prefacing with the phrase “Spoiler Alert”. (Something my good friend and chief spoiler, Eric Miltsch, never does). Want to improve the showroom experience, customer satisfaction and profit at your store, though? They don’t be afraid to be a spoiler when setting and confirming appointments. Bruce Willis is a ghost.