Appointments - How to take the phone calls
Now that you have advertised you should soon start to get some calls as soon as your ad hits the media.
It’s not just a matter of making a time to see the car.
This is a turning point and where you start to locate your buyer.
A lot of the time I can tell that the person is going to buy my car even before he comes to see it.
You can look at this step as pre-selling. If you do a good job here you will have buyers who are warmed to your car before they arrive.
Which leads me to the purpose of the appointment stage.
Purpose: The purpose of the appointment step is to pre-sell the customer on the car and yourself
Secondary Purpose: To make a time for him to see the car.
What do I mean by pre-sell? I mean giving the buyer his chance to pick you out of the bunch as someone he wants to deal with.
You only need to be slightly more friendly, on the ball and helpful to win him over. You can bet that the average person selling a car is completely unprepared.
I know because I have bought cars from them. If they are not rude they are certainly off-putting. You have to drag the information out of them even if they have a perfectly good vehicle for sale.
The little bit of thought you put into your presentation is time well spent.
Here is an example of one of my calls
My purpose is only to get the person to come and see my car.
I want him to be qualified – which means that my car is something he may want – not necessarily that he has enough money. If someone wants something – they usually find the money.
I don’t want to say anything on the phone that will reduce or minimize my final selling price.
I want to know his needs and wants and communicate to him that my car will satisfy them. If you can manage to do this you have virtually secured an offer (when he comes to see it. )
Here it is:
Me: Hi, Graeme speaking.
Inquirer (Bob): Hi, I’m calling about the Ford. Do you still have it?
Me: Hi Bob. Yes, I do. I’ve only just advertised it. I’ve been getting a lot of calls. It’s a 98 Ford Falcon Auto. It’s done 40000 miles. The body is perfect. It’s got no rust and 12 months registration. Does that sound like what you are looking for?
Bob: It could be.
Me: Ok. Is there a particular reason you are looking for a Ford Falcon?
Bob: Well, yes. It’s big enough for my family. Plus I’ve heard parts are cheap.
Me: Ok. Yes, I’ve heard that parts are cheap, though I haven’t needed any, luckily enough. And there is plenty of room for my kids.
Bob: Sounds all right. When can I take a look at it?
Me: Gee, well – it will have to be 5pm or 7pm because I need to go out for a bit. Which one suits you best?
Me: Ok, Bob see you then. I’m at (my address). Do you know how to get there?
Bob: Yes, I know it.
Me: Ok Bob, see you then.
You have acted politely, identified yourself and also found out why he wants your particular car. You have also made a time and by choosing the time to suit you, you demonstrate that you are NOT desperate to sell it but that it is just a routine thing you are doing while getting on with your life. I have not discussed price at all. I definitely did not bring it up myself. I closed the conversation in a friendly manner but with an expectation that I would see him at a certain time. That is a complete job and the purpose has been achieved.
It is important to sound completely natural – so if you have to make a choice between sounding natural and including one of these techniques, choose being natural every time.
The buyers mind set when he telephones
I will tell you what is going through the buyer’s mind when he calls you. And this should give you an insight into how to act. You should never reveal that you know what is going on in his head because it ruins the whole game and the buyer doesn’t like it. Just act like a real person but keep in mind what is going on at this stage.
The buyer has found your car and has some slight hope that this might be the car that he is looking for. The hope is only very slight. What you are going to do is increase that hope until he asks to come and see your car.
Let him ask; and he will if you do this properly.
He is going to telephone you and ask you some questions. He is mainly not listening to the answers to these questions.
He is listening to you and your tone of voice. He is feeling your voice and getting an impression of the car through the way you communicate to him. He is looking for chinks or glitches that show whether you are:
- Honest / Dishonest
- Open / Cagey
- Responsible / Irresponsible
- Look after your possessions / Treat them badly
- Are desperate to sell / Merely doing a transaction because you have something better.
He will also be listening to the information you give him but this is of secondary importance. If he likes the way you conduct yourself AND he likes your answers then you have almost certainly found a buyer.
Buyers have a sixth sense
Buyers have a sixth sense – a BS meter – a funny feeling – what ever you want to call it. I have no trouble at all selling cars. I don’t really even consider that I sell them. I just people to buy it by doing everything right. Their sixth sense can work for you if you are giving them good value. They won’t get into a lot of detail and will just buy your car. This is beautiful when it happens. If you are trying to rip them off it can definitely work against you.
Create a positive impression from the first phone call
Now if you do this well – you will create such an impression in the mind of the buyer – that he will come and buy your car even though there is a newer one at a lower price. He won’t trust that lower priced car – he will trust your car and he may be right – you will never know.
Be interested in the buyer not his money - When you get a telephone call be interested and open. It is not the time to start acting cagily or even think about negotiating. Your purpose is just to get the person to come and see the car.
Say your name – this makes you more real.
Don’t wait for the person to drag the information out of you. Volunteer all the basic information about the vehicle. If you can’t remember it, have it on a piece of paper. Don’t talk about price. This shows him that you are open and not cagey. If he has to pump you for the basic info on your car it looks like you are hiding something.
If he has any more questions I answer them. The buyer usually appreciates it. The information may already be in your advertisement buy by going over it again you are confirming in his mind that it is real. He may have been looking at other cars and it will also remind him of your car.
He will appreciate your helpfulness.
Don’t sound desperate for him to see your car – ham it up the other way.
He will usually ask to make a time to see it. Do not act too keenly for him to come. I often tell the buyer something like after 7:30 pm, which is my dinnertime. Or it will have to be after 5pm because someone is coming to look at it at 4pm. This makes it seem more desirable and will increase the persons perception of the value. People rightly or wrongly follow the pack to some degree.
Never Discuss Price
Avoid discussing price over the phone. Buyers will sometimes ask you what is your lowest price. Never answer this question. Don’t be afraid to waste the buyer rather than state a price before he has seen the car. Instead turn it around and start asking him about himself and his needs. Is he looking for this type of car?
How has he been going in his search? You will find that he starts communicating to you information so you can understand what problems he is trying to solve by purchasing your car. By asking him open questions his interest may come up and he will want to see your car.
What if his main focus is money and he never talks about anything else?
Once you understand his problem then let him know that your car has this feature that is the answer to his problem – don’t over sell it – just let him know. He will usually want to come and see your car. If his problem is money then he is not someone you want to see your car – he will only be focused on money.
Graeme Sprigge is the webmaster of SellMyCarForCash. Com, a website dedicated to enlightening you on how to get the most for your car in a private sale. The site is is constantly expanding and includes more great articles, some of which are available for reprinting in your ezine. There is a lack of unbiased information on the net in this are so this site aims to fill the gap.
For more cool articles, cool car selling tips, car finance tips visit http://www.sellmycarforcash.com
Copyright 2005 Graeme Sprigge. Please feel free to pass this article on to your friends, or use it in your ezine or newsletter. It's a shareware article.