6 tips to close more driving school sales

  • November 21st, 2018
  • in Leads, Sales
  • By Steve Jones
6 tips to close more driving school sales

Did you know you can close more driving school sales by using these 6 tips to train your staff? Closing sales is perhaps the one area that most driving schools struggle with every day. However, I like to look at the task of closing as an opportunity, not a dreaded burden.

Like all other businesses, driving schools depend on sales. Without them, you won’t succeed. The key is to find qualified leads and then to CLOSE them. With my 6 tips, you can train your staff to close more driving school sales easily, effectively and successfully.

How to close more driving school sales:
Step #1 – Develop your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

USP Drive Scout

How will your staff close more driving school sales if they don’t know what sets your school apart from the competition? The Entrepreneur.com dictionary defines USP as…

The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.

So, what exactly does that mean? How will your USP help you close more driving school sales? It should reflect what your driving school is all about. Reflect on what you do best and make it your USP to rise above your competition.

How to write your USP

According to marketing guru Neil Patel, it’s impossible to be all things to all people. For example, driving schools often want to offer the very best programs at the cheapest prices. Another scenario is that they offer everything under the sun – from teen driver’s education to DUI classes, defensive driving, permit prep, on-site road tests and more.

Mr. Patel says this is a mistake because…

When you attempt to be known for everything, you don’t become known for anything.

If your specialty is driver’s education, then focus on that. What does your driving school offer that others do not?

Share your USP script with your driving school staff

After you write your USP, it’s time to share the script with your staff. You want them to quickly and easily respond to the frequently asked question, “Why should I pick your driving school?” Be sure to put a lot of thought into it when coming up with your scripted answer.

A sample USP could be…

We specialize in teaching teens how to drive with a modern high-energy program that engages students. They learn lifelong good driving skills in a fun environment. And you can take the road test with us, instead of at the DMV. 94% of our students pass it on their very first try. Plus, we are the only driving school that’s endorsed by AAA.

All of the above points answered the question, “Why are you better?” A scripted USP will definitely result in better responses to close more driving school sales. The script is especially helpful for new hires who may not yet be familiar with your own driving school.

How to close more driving school sales:
Step #2 – Overcome objections and sharpen closing techniques

Overcoming objections Drive Scout

When potential customers call or walk into your driving school, many ask the same questions and pose the same objections. That’s why it’s important to write down the most frequently asked questions and come up with scripted answers for your office staff.

For example, we often heard from parents…

I want my child to get more driving experience with us before taking the driver’s ed class from you.

Anyone in the driving school industry knows this is not the best option. Why? Because if a student drives with mom or dad before taking driver’s ed, they can (and usually do) develop bad driving habits.

We responded to this objection by answering…

Starting off with the proper training and learning the foundation of how to drive the right way is the best path. Your child will learn good driving habits from us and be safer on the road.

Write your list of objections and standard answers to close more driving school sales. The above is just one example of a sales objection. There are many others.

Examples of sales objections

Objection: It’s too expensive.
Standard answer: With a $150 tax credit and insurance savings, it almost pays for itself.

Objection: Can’t my child just take the cheaper online course?
Standard answer: Teens learn best when study time is both productive and enjoyable. Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end is not enjoyable and can even be frustrating. The lessons learned in class will stick with teens when they actively participate in driver’s ed.

Objection: We don’t have time for a 30-hour class.
Standard answer: State law requires that 16-year-olds complete a 30-hour class before they get their license. We offer different class times on weekends or during school breaks to accommodate almost every busy schedule.

Objection: I can teach my child how to drive myself.
Standard answer: Chances are you may have developed some bad habits over the years. You don’t want to pass them on to your inexperienced driver. Plus, the laws have changed since you got your license. And don’t forget – we have an extra brake in case it’s needed!

How to measure success

Once you have a list of frequently asked questions and standard answers to overcome the objections, your staff will be more comfortable. In addition, they will be more confident to speak to potential customers on the phone or in person. What’s the end result? They will be well-versed on how to close more driving school sales. More sales means a healthier bottom line.

How to close more driving school sales:
Step #3 – Create and use email templates

Close more driving school sales with email marketing

I addressed the importance of lead management in a previous blog post. One super easy and effective way to generate leads is to end all phone calls (that do not result in a sale) is by saying…

Great! I’ll send you some more information about our driving school. What’s the best email address to send it to?

Nine out of ten people will give you their email right away.

Do NOT say…

  • Is it OK to send you an email?
  • Do you mind if I send you an email?

When you ask the above questions, you’re giving your potential customer an opportunity to say no.

Develop an email template to follow up on phone calls

Why recreate the wheel every time you want to send an email as a phone call follow-up? That’s a waste of time and money. Instead, develop email templates to close more driving school sales.

After a phone conversation, pull up your email template and customize it for that particular caller. Also, be sure to include an active link to your website. This makes it easier for the potential customer to make an online purchase or call you back with more questions they might have. I definitely recommend using email templates to follow-up with callers and to close more driving school sales.

How to close more driving school sales:
Step #4 – Train your staff to look for group opportunities

Opportunity Drive Scout

If your driving school offers driver’s education in a classroom setting, then I highly recommend a group discount program. My driving schools offered them. They were a great tool to close more driving school sales.

The reason that our group discount program was such a success is because it was a win-win situation for us AND parents. Most teens like to take the driver’s ed class with friends. That’s where our group discount program came into play. One parent organized it and invited other parents. According to the size of the group, my driving school offered a discount for everyone in the group. The bigger the group, the higher the discount.

How your staff can recognize a group discount opportunity

We trained our staff to successfully “fish for” group discount opportunities. They were trained to keep an open ear. If a parent mentioned their child’s sports team or practice conflict, my team member would mention the advantages of getting a group together. Every parent loves to save money and it helped fill our classes.

After they were trained to listen for group discount opportunities, it was easy to initiate conversations about the money-saving features of the program. In the long run, our group discount program definitely helped our staff to close more driving school sales.

How to close more driving school sales:
Step #5 – Establish a lead management system for phone calls and walk-ins

Close more driving school sales Drive Scout

Driving school leads are potential customers, but they may not be ready to purchase your services. Does your driving school nurture these leads, or do they fall by the wayside? If you don’t have a solid plan to nurture your leads, you’re leaving money on the table.

As posted by Wordstream, the definition of lead nurturing is…

The catch-all term given to whatever systems a business has in place to move a prospect down their conversion funnel, turning a prospect into a paying customer.

Most driving schools close only 3-4 out of every 10 phone calls or walk-ins. That’s why it’s critically important to capture valuable lead information early in the phone call or conversation.

Once you capture new leads, what’s next?

While you may be very successful in generating new driving school leads, they’re worthless if you are unable to convert a portion of them into paying customers.

All-in-one software like Drive Scout can help you manage your leads and close more driving school sales. The built-in “Manage Leads” feature works like a charm.

When a customer calls in or walks through the door, our driving school clients are able to easily and quickly pull up a lead form right in Drive Scout. With a little training, your office staff can capture information within a few short seconds.

When incoming calls slow down, your staff can reach out to these leads to convert them into paying customers. All leads can be categorized as open, archived, closed or all. This lead management system makes it easy to streamline the lead conversion process and close more driving school sales.

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How to close more driving school sales:
Step #6 – Run sales contests

Motivation road sign Drive Scout

Even if you have a small office staff of 1-2 people, be sure to run periodic sales contests. Your staff may be well-trained to close more driving school sales. However, are they truly motivated to put their training into action?

That’s when a well-run sales contest can boost morale and enthusiasm. As posted by HubSpot

Keeping your team members engaged, uplifted, and inspired is often far trickier than teaching them what to say on a phone call.

Keys to successful sales contests

  • KISS (keep it simple, stupid) – Your driving school staff shouldn’t have any trouble understanding the rules of the contest. I personally recommend running a team contest, as opposed to an individual contest. I’ve had success with outbound call contests. We challenged our team members to make 500 outbound phone calls in one month. I liked running quarterly sales contests and always had success with them.
  • Involve your staff in the planning process – When you let your staff help come up with a new sales contest, they are more invested in its success. That will help you close more driving school sales in that particular month.
  • Provide weekly updates – Few people stay committed to a competition if they don’t know where they stand. Your sales contest must provide weekly (or daily) updates to keep employees motivated.
  • Don’t make false promises – Make sure your driving school can afford the prize. When in doubt – be conservative.
  • Award prizes right after the contest – You set a deadline for the contest, so be sure to set a deadline to hand out the prizes. No one wants to work hard and be rewarded three months later. Plus, team members might not be as inclined to close more driving school sales during the next contest.

In review:

If you would like to close more driving school sales, be sure to do the following.

  1. Develop your USP
  2. Overcome objectives and sharpen closing techniques
  3. Create and use email templates
  4. Train your staff to look for group opportunities
  5. Establish a lead management system for phone calls and walk-ins
  6. Run sales contests

About the Author: Steve Jones, CEO at Drive Scout

In 2009, I opened my first driving school with a $15,000 loan, used office equipment and my Honda Accord from college. Within three years, we hit one million in sales and were growing rapidly. After being unable to find a customized software solution to help us scale, I partnered with a brilliant engineer and built Drive Scout. Soon thereafter, I stepped down as CEO and started working full time on Drive Scout. I created this blog to share my experiences (both good and bad) to hopefully help your company become more profitable and easier to manage. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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