Sales Secrets

At the time of writing this blog 3/29/14 we are in the middle of a massive sale on our service writer training course. I figure there is no better time than to share some great tips to help you sell more right away.

There are several key steps to effectively and profitably selling service. I want to talk about five of them this week.

FIRST… What is the problem? Ask the customer what’s wrong and LISTEN! They will tell you what the problem is. They may even think they know the answer. LISTEN! Reassure them that you’ll consider their solution. Everything starts with effective diagnosis and communication of that diagnosis. I know, it sounds simple and basic but it is amazing how many times this simple step gets missed or shortcut and the whole sales process fails because of it. To effectively sell service you’ve got to have a complete understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. You get this by having effective communication with the customer and the technician working on the car.

Notice I said effective communication, not a conversation. One of the most effective ways to communicate is to WRITE IT DOWN. I want a written description of WEEKLY REPORT the problem on every job. From there I will usually have a conversation to make sure I understand the whole issue, but a written description is the place to start. In our shop, Kathy was very insistent about everything being written down. If a technician walked into the service office and started telling a story she would hand him the work order and say, “Please write it down.” Her focus on this saved us tons of heartache/headache and made us hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SECOND…  What is the priority? If your technicians are doing a thorough inspection of each vehicle rarely will you have a car with just one problem. So, you’ve got to determine the priority of repairs. Which repair is most important? The most important repair is the one the customer came in for. ALWAYS address this first. If the customer came in complaining about their air conditioning and you notice the water pump is leaking, sell the a/c job FIRST. Then you can go back and talk to them about the water pump. In other words, once you’ve dealt with their initial complaint then ask yourself which remaining repair, if left undone, would most likely result in the vehicle breaking down? This is very important. If you don’t deal with the complaint they came in for first, no matter how urgent another repair appears to be, you will lose credibility and create suspicion. Their initial
complaint must always be your top priority.

THIRD… What is the sense of urgency? How important is it to the customer to have their car repaired. Some people like to wait until they are broken down by the side of the road before they choose to fix anything. You’ve got to determine what their sense of urgency is and if they are not urgent you’ve got to show them the negative consequences of delaying the repair. For instance if they have a rotor that is too thin, you need to explain to them what happens when the rotor shatters and jams the caliper. If they have a tire that is out of alignment and wearing thin you need to explain to them what happens when it blows out at 80 mph on the freeway. If they have an oil leak, you need to explain to them what happens when the engine runs out of oil. All of these things will help promote a sense of urgency. Don’t forget to document your conversation by making a note in their file and also on their copy. This will prevent tons of heartache/headache in the future.

FOURTH… Who is the decision maker? Who gets to decide whether or not the repair gets done? Is it the person dropping the car off? Is it that person plus someone else? Is there a parent, spouse or friend involved in the decision? This is vital to know. You MUST have the phone number of the person who can make the final decision. You do not want somebody else translating for you. There are two questions you can ask that will clear up this issue 99 percent of the time. “In addition to you, who’s involved in the decision-making process when it comes to your auto repairs?” or “How do you go about making the decision to fix your car?” The answer to either one of these questions will usually tell you if you are talking to the right person.

FIFTH… What is their pain? One of my favorite sayings by Zig Ziglar, “People don’t buy drills, they buy holes.” You’ve got to determine why the person is in front of you. Now, the answer seems obvious, their car is broken, but I want you to look farther than that. When their car is not working most people are in PAIN. The reason they are in pain is because THEIR LIFE IS INTERRUPTED. It’s not the fact that their car is broken that disturbs them, it is the fact that they can’t get to work, or they can’t go on vacation, or they can’t go grocery shopping, or they can’t take their dog to the vet etc… The key to successfully selling service is to find out what each customer’s pain is. Find out what this broken car is preventing them from doing and remind them that fixing it will allow them to do it again. For instance, “Mr. Jones, you told me that you are anxious to leave on your vacation, well the
good news is that all you need is a new water pump. It will ONLY be $653.44 installed and you’ll be able to leave for vacation by 4PM this afternoon. Any questions before I get started?” nswering these five questions will help you create your Sales Proposal. I know Sales Proposal sounds like something that should be in a three ring binder and come with a PowerPoint presentation, but as you can see from the example above that’s not true.
The best Sales Proposals have three characteristics.

1. They are brief. The best Sales Proposals are short and to the point. Before I start explaining the repair, I always ask the customer a simple question; “How much information do you want about the repair that you need? Do you want the complete technical explanation, or the Reader’s Digest version?” Most people do not want to be bothered with the technical; they just want to know how much it is going to cost to make their pain go away. Notice in the example above with Mr. Jones, the whole Sales Proposal was three sentences long.
2. They create momentum. Notice the three sentences build quickly to the inevitable conclusion of doing the repair. I start by reminding him of his goal, going on vacation. I build momentum by giving him some good news (all you need is a new water pump). Then I continue to build momentum by pointing out that he’ll be able to leave by 4PM.

3. They show the destination. I purposefully restate the fact that he’ll be able to “…leave for vacation by 4PM”. Notice I didn’t say, “Pick the car up” or “Come and get it”. I very deliberately said, “…leave for vacation by 4PM. This is the “close”. This is where the sale is made. This is the destination. Also notice that I didn’t ask him if he wanted to do the repair. I used the “assumptive close”. This means, that I don’t ask the customer to do business with me, I ASSUME that they are going to do business with me unless they tell me otherwise. This one technique will boost your closing ratio on jobs at least 20%. If you are asking customers to do business with you, STOP!!! Retrain yourself to assume that they are going to do business with you.

Not to throw in a corny sales pitch but this stuff is just the tip of whats covered in the service writer training course. If you are thinking about purchasing this program don’t miss out on this sale.

To learn more about our sale going on, this weekend only, click this link here


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