Auto Service World
News   June 16, 2022   by Adam Malik

Don’t be afraid to sell to the customer

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When calling the customer to let them know about the cost to repair their vehicle, do you sound scared and unsure, and essentially ask if it’s OK with them that the job will cost so much money?

Stop that, said Clint White, a service advisor coach and shop consultant with CWI. The customer has brought their vehicle to you to find out what’s wrong with it — and fix it. When you call them to give them the answers, don’t act like you’re breaking bad news to them. Sell the job.

If you sound unsure on the phone, you’re not just potentially missing out on sales, you’re devaluing the work your shop does and what the industry is about, White said during his session Delivery: Reselling the Value of the Repair at the recent Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo in Kansas City.

He used the example of going to a restaurant. You go there with the expectation of spending money — the server doesn’t act wishy-washy over what you’re ordering.

Remember, the customer drove by a number of different shops and chose you. “[They] drove their car into a facility that has cars in it with repair bays and hoist and technicians and tools and service advisors — they’re pretty clear on the fact that you fix cars there. [They] handed you the keys [and] walked away. And yet we call them and we do the, ‘Do you wanna?’” he said with a high-pitched tone at the end.

It’s simple: Be professional and assume the sale. There’s no need to be aggressive or rude.

“They know their car needs work,” White said. “Speak with confidence and assume it.”

He gave an example of how to speak to a client. Pay attention to the wording.

“We say, ‘Your total investment is $1,238. Based upon our current workload and parts availability for your car, I anticipate having it done by Friday. Do you need a ride back or do you have your transportation arranged?’”

Note how the statement ended. It was with a question. Not a statement turned into a question. That’s by design.

“The last question they hear we say is the first one they have to respond to it in their mind,” White said. “They want to say $1,238 is a lot [of money] but they can’t say anything to that because psychology of sales says [to respond with] ‘I have a ride.’”

And remember, this strategy isn’t to line the pockets of the shop owner. “The ultimate result is that their vehicle is safe and reliable for as long as they have decided to own it,” White said.

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