Ever spend 5+ minutes on the phone with a customer who stands you up for their appointment?
It’s no surprise that an appointment made by your customer is far more important to you than it is to them. Because of this, it is vital that you “sell the appointment” to your customer by emphasizing the urgency of that appointment.
If you customer is inquiring about a product that is limited or likely or to sell out, let them know that you’d be happy to place the product on hold for them for a short period of time, but cannot guarantee its availability after that time window.
If the product they want is not high in demand or you have plenty to spare, emphasize the value of the product and how happy they will feel to have it in their life. Then, offer them two times to see it, like “morning or afternoon” or “later today or tomorrow”. Don’t leave the time open with a “when are you available?” Narrow down the time then narrow it down again until they have selected a specific time to come in.
Once an appointment is made to visit your shop or see the product, sell the appointment in writing! Say to the customer:
“I have some important information for you to write down. Do you have a pen handy?” Asking “Do you have a pen handy?” as opposed to “Are you ready?” will help create the sense of urgency in what you’re going to say.
When the customer is ready to write, give them your contact information. “When you come in, ask for ____. My number is _______ and your appointment is scheduled for _____ at ______. Do you know where we’re located? (Wait and give directions as needed.) Okay, great. I will also send this information in an email so you have it when you arrive. What is the best email for me to use?” (Asking for the “best” email is a good way to ensure that an email address will be given and will help make sure it is one that they frequently check.)
“Okay and if you see you’re running a little late or a little early, can you give me a call and let me know so I can make sure we’re available/I can let my manager know?” This will help emphasize the importance of their prompt arrival and give value to the appointment they set. “We want to make sure we’re ready when you arrive and I promise to do the same for you if anything changes on my end. Okay?” (Get a commitment from the customer to uphold their appointment.) Okay, great. We look forward to seeing you on/at_____!”
For appointments made more than a few hours away for the same day, call your customer an hour before the appointment to check and provide any updates/changes to your schedule.
If it is likely they will have to wait when they arrive, it is best that they know that beforehand. You could say “I just called to let you know it’s taken me a little longer with my client than expected, but I’m estimating we’ll be done at ___ (15-20 minutes before the customer’s appointment). I know from experience, the time can vary by about 15-20 minutes, so at most I’ll be 5 minutes late.” If they’re on the phone you could end with saying “Is that okay?” and if you’re leaving the message on the machine, you could say “Give me a call if that’s not okay or if you’re running a little bit late, otherwise I look forward to seeing you here shortly. Thank you.”
For customers who made appointments for the next day or later in the week, use a simple Appointment Confirmation script to ensure the customer intends to make their appointment.
Following up with your customer both before and after the appointment is incredibly important. Many dealerships have their reps use an Unsold Script for walk-ins and for appointments that don’t sell to help generate more sales by creating a second chance with returned customers.
Are there other things your company does to create urgency or guarantee success? Let us know in the comments section below.