Survey Finds This Sales Technique Leads to Success

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Listening is so important to sales, and there’s actually research that backs up its incredible value to salespeople. In particular, “active listening” has a significant impact on successful outcomes. This is especially true in the auto industry, when many shoppers may not even want to deal with the in-person shopping process. “Gone are the days of walking lots and kicking tires,” writes MarketingDaily’s Tanya Gazdik. “Most shopping happens online. Enticing a customer to take the final step and show up in person at a dealership has become increasingly difficult.”

The Importance of Inbound Calls

The phone call, for auto salespeople, is now the moment of truth, the point where a sale can take off or fizzle. Because shoppers are first contacting the dealership much later in the buying process, it’s important you don’t miss this opportunity.

Gazdik refers to a recent study of auto salespeople, conducted by Marchex. The study analyzed 6,200 sales conversations from U.S. auto dealerships. The results revealed key behaviors that successful auto salespeople use in calls. Active listening stood out as a very important behavior: Top performers (defined as the top 25% of salespeople) relied on active-listening techniques, such as repeating and clarifying what they heard. They consistently requested information during conversations, which they listened to and then used to create a connection. Specifically, they:

  • requested callers’ names 163% more often than bottom performers
  • provided their direct contact information to callers 40% more often than bottom performers
  • asked callers about their needs 57% more often than lower-performing salespeople
  • asked questions that actively engaged callers about their preferences, such as: “Did you need third-row seating?” and “Are you wanting leather seats?”

The most important thing, though, is that the salespeople truly listened to the callers’ responses. Then, they thoughtfully used those responses to “help guide sales conversations and provide the caller with more comprehensive information,” as Gazkid explains. “Dealers who take proactive steps to optimize inbound phone calls know the conversation is key.”

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.
August 7, 2019 B-to-C, Sales Tips Tags: ,