Creative Sales Calls

January 14, 2009 / John Paul Strong / 0 Comments /

Toyota Dealer Advertising

Toyota dealer who I was with today had his BDC manager in his office while we were having an advertising meeting. The manager was giving every reason in the book as to why his lead conversion numbers sucked. He cited the biggest reason is the growing number of customers that “do not return phone calls.” He said, “We call and call, and call again, but nobody will call us back.” I thought to myself, “That’s because your phone messages are weaker than well water.”

We live in a world where a customer watches shows like “American Idol” & “Family Guy” which dominate their dayparts in most markets. What you need to do is get creative to get these customers on the phone. Go out on the edge, leave an almost crazy sounding message and that probably will incite a call back – or at least they will think you are the most excited sales person they have ever seen. 

Be hyper and enthusiastic – don’t just call and say, “Mrs. Smith, this is John Paul calling from Strong Automotive, to follow up on…”  



Try this

“Mrs. Smith, I have located the perfect black Camry, with all the accessories you had on your wish list, as well as the trim options and interior color you requested. This car just arrived. It’s shiny and has that new car smell. Please let me know when you would like to see it (then give name and number).” 

or a more serious approach…

“Mrs. Smith, buying a new car is a decision you will only make a few times in your life and I want to give you all the information that you need to so you can make the best informed decision.”

Whatever you do – get your salespeople away from leaving the same redundant messages over and over. Just think about the fit that my Toyota dealer pitched when he had to listen to excuse after excuse from his BDC Manager… Now get to work, monitor phone calls and spend some time listening to how your people are communicating.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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