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2019-02-13 Converting a Sales Call to a Customer

Converting a Sales Call to a Customer

By Maggie Pugesek, C&M Coaching

Handling sales calls may seem like a simple task. You pick up the phone, answer some questions, maybe set an appointment… easy right? Honestly, while we don’t have to overcomplicate things, there is a bit more to it than that. If we want to convert the caller to a customer, we should always follow a process. Simply saying whatever comes to mind will not produce the results you are looking for.

Establish Your Goals

The first step to having a successful sales call is figuring out exactly what you plan to have accomplished when you hang up. Not only do we want to establish a relationship with the customer, but we want to control the call, obtain their information and hang up with a locked-in appointment time.  Make yourself a check list to ensure you complete these goals in each phone call.

Build Rapport

This is the most challenging part of the call. Rapport Building is all about establishing trust between yourself and the customer. Most calls begin with a question about financing or a vehicle. Refrain from answering all their questions up front or you will lose your leverage to obtain their contact information. Acknowledge their question but take control of the call. For Example: “Great question, I would be happy to check!”.

Most customers need financing so transition the call away from their question by discussing financing instead. Begin with asking the customer a few questions to ensure you can help them. Most stores have the same minimum requirements and can use these to build the customers confidence in our ability to assist. Think about your minimum requirements and turn each of them into an individual question. For example: “Do you have a source of reliable income? Great! Can you prove your residency? Excellent, now do you also have a valid drivers license? Perfect!”. After each question is a positive response making the customer feel one step closer to a vehicle while creating a sense of excitement.

After you have asked these questions make a move for their contact info. You should be able to roll right into “what is the best number to reach you on, home or cell? And the correct spelling of your last name is? Thanks, and your first name?”. You have now accomplished your first 3 goals!

Sell the Appointment

Clearly, we want to get the customer in the door, so we need to ask for an appointment. There is a right way and a wrong way to ask.  Stay away from weak phrasing or open-ended questions which give the customer too much control. Instead, use choice-based questions. We also want to offer appointments that are same day if possible as this increases the chances the customer will show up. The best way to ask for an appointment is: “When are you available to come in, right now or later today?”. Gradually narrow it down from here to AM or PM and finally offer two time options. For example: “I have this morning or this afternoon?” let the customer respond, then offer your times “I have 2:15 or 3:45 open?”.

Wrapping Up

After you have your time set, I do suggest also having the customer write down your name, so they know who to ask for. You will also want to list off what they should bring which ensures they are prepared on the day of their appointment.

A lot of sales people struggle with phone calls or try to avoid it altogether. It doesn’t have to be complicated if you establish your goals early on and dedicate yourself to learning and following a process. Be yourself and bring energy to the call, but don’t answer every question over the phone and let the customer control the call. Handling a phone call is not the same as selling in person so take care not to treat it like it is. Good luck converting your sales calls into customers!



Maggie has trained thousands of people how to execute the right processes and handle calls effectively. She is an expert at call training, customer psychology and internet processes. As an owner of C&M Coaching, she has developed word tracks, and processes that help dealerships and their teams succeed.  You may reach Maggie at .