Closing more calls by quickly relating your value.
If your towing company is inundated with phone calls but closing more calls has become a challenge, it may have something to do with how you relate your value to the callers. Now I’m not suggesting that you go off on a tirade and begin listing all your expenses to try to logically convince someone that your prices are reasonable. No. I advise a much softer approach. What I’m recommending is that you think in terms of what the caller values and properly communicate how the services you provide meet their needs.
As the business owner, when you become immersed in the day-to-day activities of the business, there’s the tendency to forget that many times you’re providing service to people during very trying times in their lives. It’s understandable, of course, since the volume of calls may cause you to become desensitized to the drama of motor vehicle collisions, slide-offs, dead batteries, and all the rest that comes with owning a towing company.
Unfortunately, this desensitization can also lend to an inability to relate fully to your customers’ needs. And this is a problem. Because as the business owner, you’re the leader, and the way you feel and respond to your customers, drivers, and dispatchers, rubs off on everyone. So regardless of how desensitized you’ve become to certain situations, you must treat every caller as if they were a member of your family in need of help. Of course, this is not an easy thing to remember and even harder to continually impress on your team. That is unless you have a mission that you can easily articulate and get buy-in from your people.
Closing more calls requires adherence to your mission.
If the goal is closing more calls, you need to maintain strict adherence to your company’s mission. When we talk about our mission statement, most of us usually think of it as just an ideal. Rather than a tool that guides our every action, our mission may be something that we put on a shelf and say, “One day, I’ll get around to living up to it.” But, when you have a mission that you reference in all aspects of your business, it keeps everyone on the same page. And, if you don’t have a mission, you better get one fast. A mission always makes a group of people much more of a force to be reckoned with. Rather than punching the clock and checking all the boxes, when your team is focused on achieving specific tasks that help them with the mission, they’re much more effective.
Now stick with me here. I’m not talking about a mission as some 500-hundred-word document filled with vague or pointless phrases like highest best quality service, professionalism, consistency, experienced, and trained operators. No, I’m talking about what you do that your customers want, expressed in one or maybe two sentences. What need are you filling?
When a caller reacts to your pricing with a gasp of “That’s too much,”… that doesn’t necessarily mean your rates are too high.
What it really means is either they can’t afford towing service at all, or you didn’t take the right approach to identify your value and communicate it to them in a way they can easily understand. But if your mission is to quickly help people get back to their busy lives when they’re having trouble with their car, and that message is infused into everyone and every aspect of your business, it makes it easier to communicate your value.
Successful tow company owners train their dispatchers to ask questions that convey a desire to gain an understanding of the motorist’s situation. Rather than coldly gathering data they can punch into their towing software, skilled dispatchers can concisely communicate the value your company is able to deliver. And they know exactly how to relate it in a way that motorists realize they’ve called the right place.
Closing more calls requires attention to their needs.
Prior to answering the phone, you need to determine what the caller’s problem is likely to be. Of course, they’re going to need either towing service or roadside assistance. It’s going to be something related to their car, right? And, since they’re having car problems, you can reasonably assume that time is a concern.
Once you answer the phone, you need to be very respectful of the caller’s time and understand that their attention span is limited. So, you need to quickly listen to their problem and adapt your response to fit their needs.
For example, if the caller says, “I think my battery is dead, and I need a jump start because I’m late for work.”
Your response should address the situation and the need like this. “Ok, we have a truck available now. If you give me your address, I’ll radio my driver and get someone to you in a few minutes?” (of course, only say this if it is true)
One of the biggest disconnects I see between motorists and dispatchers is that dispatchers want to get the details of the call out of the way first. But motorists just want help now. Dispatchers want to know the year, make, and model of the vehicle, the vehicle location, the customer’s name and phone number, the drop-off address, and how they’re going to pay. And sometimes they want all this before they even ask what’s wrong with the car. I understand the dispatcher’s goal is to gather the info so they can get a driver on the way afterward. But while the customer is providing all this information, they’re also watching the clock.
When you put more emphasis on saving the caller time before you gather all the details (which can quickly be texted to the driver or added to the call details afterward), the customer will greatly appreciate it. And, many times, they won’t even ask how much.
Once you have dispatched the call, then you need to reassure the customer that the driver will be to them in just a matter of minutes. You want to give them peace of mind knowing that their problem will soon be solved.
Of course, this is just an example, as there are many others. But you can’t think about this as a tactic to “trick” the customer into using your service. You need to adapt the mindset of adhering to your mission and begin thinking in terms of strategies and principles, not tactics. Your entire company should be designed around getting your customers what they want. Their problem solved fast.
Here’s what I do, stated in simple terms, “I help tow company owners get more customers and close more calls, even if they don’t know their way around a computer, are not great at sales, and don’t have the time to learn.”
What do you do?