As our industry continues to evolve, there are a number of changes you need to consider. Cars are being built better, so they are lasting longer, and with service intervals constantly being extended, you will see your customers less often. Additionally, as the competition continues to heat up, your advisors will need to be razor sharp from that first call through car delivery. So here are some tips that can help you be more successful when it comes to driving up your sales and customer satisfaction.
1. With first-time callers just a mouse click away from contacting another shop, you will need to ensure that your advisors are at the top of their game when it comes to selling themselves, and your company, to the caller. Remember, customers have to feel comfortable with your advisor before they will be open to recommendations. You should sit down with your entire crew and create a list of the top 5 reasons people should choose your shop. Rather than listing the same features your competitors would list (equipment, warranties etc.), your list should include items such as your culture of never putting money ahead of people, the fact that you’re AAA approved, you’ve been serving the community for over XX years, have 5-star ratings on review sites, etc.
2. With vehicles lasting longer, your advisors need to be really good at selling maintenance. Most advisors make a fatal mistake by focusing on the parts and labor rather than the benefits of the service. Instead of trying to sell the sparkplugs and filters that your customers don’t want to buy, your advisors should be telling your customers how the maintenance will help squeeze every mile out of every gallon of gasoline, protect their vehicle manufacturer’s warranty, maximize the resale value of their vehicle, etc.
At Elite we have every student that goes through our sales training meet with their coworkers to create a “benefit list” for their more popular services, and review that list prior to presenting the sale. The results have been outstanding, so I would strongly encourage you to do the same.
3. When customers need a major repair like a replacement engine or transmission, make sure your advisors don’t jump to the conclusion that the vehicle is not worth fixing. For example, if a customer needs $5,000 worth of work to put their vehicle back into good shape, in many cases it may very well be a really great investment for the customer. As we all know, when someone buys a used vehicle they are buying two things: a lot of unknowns, and someone else’s problems. On the other hand, if they invest in their own vehicle they’ll know exactly what they have, those repairs will be warrantied, and they won’t have to go through the exercise of selling their vehicle and buying a replacement. You should have an in-depth conversation with your entire staff about major repairs, and how in many cases they are the perfect solution for your customers. You should then discuss how you can help your customers cost justify the investment. For example, if a customer in need of a major $3,000 repair were to keep their vehicle for just 3 years, the investment would be less than $100 a month. There is no way they would be able to purchase a replacement vehicle for anywhere near that low of an amount. Your advisors need to help your customers through the math, because not only is it their job, but they have an ethical responsibility to help your customers make really good decisions.
4. Never stop the self-improvement process. You should have your advisors record their sales presentations in a way that meets with all applicable laws, then once a week you should review some of those recordings. This will give you the opportunity to congratulate them on most of their sales, and have a conversation on what could have been done differently on the ones that were lost.
If you do the things that I have recommended, and if you never put money ahead of people, then you have my promise: Your sales, and your customer satisfaction, will go straight up.
For additional help increasing your shop’s sales and CSI scores, learn more about Elite’s industry acclaimed Masters Service Advisor Training Course.