Sales Managers – Communication Skills

Automotive Communication Skills

Successful automotive sales managers understand the benefits of effective communication skills to help set appointments. These skills are critical on the phone, internet lead emails, and as well as in person.

In physics, opposites attract. In sales, opposites repel. In business, customers buy from people who are most like them.

For automotive sales professionals, this becomes an opportunity to talk less and listen more. Find out as much as possible about the customer’s needs when it comes to their next purchase decision.

That puts particular emphasis on the skills of listening and asking proper questions.
Different ways of asking questions.


Ask for as much information as possible, require you to “filter” what you need; often begin with “what,” “why,” “how,” or “please explain.” Used to gather basic information – short question for a long answer.


Are answered with fewer words, often “yes” or “no.” Use to demonstrate your understanding, draw out quiet or shy customers.


Use to probe for clearer understanding, gauge customer reactions to your presentation, or to prepare the customer for confirming the decision. “You must have a good reason for feeling that way. Please tell me why?”


Usually open-ended, help focus the discussion and direct talkative customers towards an agreement. The question often contains the words you would like the customer to use in his or her answer. “What would you like to accomplish today?”

Appointment Settings

An effective appointment setting should involve an easy-to-follow, logical approach, every time we answer a sales call. Practice the dealership scripts and use them. Don’t be hesitant to give an example of terrible calls that you have heard either.

Before Attempting the Appointment

  • You must be prepared.
  • You must have a definite plan of action.
  • Smile! A smile can actually be heard over the phone.
  • Introduce yourself confidently to the customer.
  • Take good notes and politely ask the customer proper open-ended questions.
  • Let the customer know this is a great day to call, and an even greater day to come to the dealership.
  • Motivate prospects to want to set an appointment. Give them a choice of dates and times.

Things to avoid (Inbound calls)

  • Avoid answering the phone when you are in a hurry.
  • Avoid the urge to get the name and number too quickly.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to get the name and number just so you can hang up and call back to get a busy signal.
  • Don’t discount any lead.
  • Never pre-judge a customer’s ability to purchase.
  • Avoid using industry jargon.

Always be the professional – whether speaking to the customer in person, through email, web site chat or on the phone! What the customer hears on is the only impression they can have of you.

Make sure it is positive and lasting!