Shops know this situation well: A customer walks in, says they need a new water pump and asks for a price. When they hear how much they have to pay, they start complaining.
They argue and try haggling. The guy down the street is offering the part for less, they say, and their labour rate is cheaper, too.
Rick White, founder and president of 180Biz, simply tells these customers that he can’t afford to buy cheap parts and hire cheap workers. Because that cheap part put on by a low-skilled technician means the customer will be spending more money to do the same work all over again.
But these types of customers don’t reason with logic. They’re insistent that you come down to your competitor’s level. So that leaves White wondering one thing: Why are they in your shop in the first place?
“How many of you advisors hate that?” he asked attendees of his session, Trust is the Real Currency at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo 2023. “How many of you feel helpless and you just want to choke the ever-loving life out of them?”
But what he wants service advisors to remember is that they hold more power than they think. They came to your shop to get what you have. They’re interested in you.
“They wouldn’t come in and then just walk away, right?” he asked.
Tom Amero, a certified elite trainer at training company Elite, advised shops and their advisors to hold firm on price. You’re offering better products and services than your competitor. Don’t devalue that by slashing the price.
“You can compete in the world of Walmart and you can just be the cheapest … That could be the shop that you work for,” he said during a different session at the same event. “Or you can be the shop that competes with value. You guys can present good value and you can build relationships with people and take care of people and give exceptional service.”
Remember, he pointed out, your shop charges the price it does because of the way it does business, from premium parts to technician training to tools used in the shop.
“All these different things your shop is investing in the service that it provides these customers,” Amero said. “Bring value to every conversation that you have.”