Over the past decade, we have trained thousands of service advisors all over North America. Many of you have noticed a major change in customers’ buying habits, and I wanted you to listen to a great suggestion to help you at the counter. This month, our senior team leader to our coaches and instructors, George Zeeks, has several suggestions to help your customers invest in their vehicles.
We all know that the aftermarket auto shop scene has changed yet again. The way you present your recommendations is different now than it was in 2007 or even 2011, and many of the sales staff out there haven’t caught up with the change yet. Top shops have a major reason that they are top shops. They stopped trying to sell their customers and now they have conversations with them. Way too often I see “salespeople” who are great at “selling” the customer. In fact, they are so great at overcoming objections that they shortcut the sales process just to get to the end so they can start doing what they are great at. The issue is that they don’t even realize that they are creating their own problems. If you think you might, just might, have this problem, then you do. Read on and let’s explore the top causes behind the failure to sell.
The Short Sell
I understand what it’s like at the counter when the world is crazy busy. Been there, done that. The temptation to hurry through the presentation can be overwhelming, but the idea that you’re really doing the customers a favor by giving “fast” customer service is the beginning of the end.
Customers deserve a complete explanation of what is going on with their car. The biggest problem comes when you don’t fully explain what you are talking about. Let’s face it, car repair and maintenance isn’t cheap and it’s not going to get any cheaper. Your customers want and deserve a complete, clear description of the things that they need. I cringe when I hear a service advisor recite a laundry list of the things that are needed on a car, with no explanation, and then quote the price. It’s no wonder that people start asking a ton of questions or ask “What can I put off until later?” and the always favorite “I need to think about it.”
Of course they do; you have failed to do the most basic part of your job, which is to tell them what they need in a way they can understand. The “salesperson” now goes into full “sales” mode and begins to launch into a litany of all the reasons why the customer has to have the repairs done right now. This is their idea of overcoming the objection; but they fail to realize that by not doing their job right the first time, they have created the quagmire that they are stuck in.