Remember to emphasize value and reliability when selling automotive repairs to hesitant motorists — including your existing customers.
Selling maintenance and repairs may be a fairly straightforward process, but there are times when it tests the mettle of every tire dealer and service shop operator.
Some sources have stressed that the task has become more challenging due to the overall complexity of modern vehicles as well as the increasing costs of doing business in the auto repair arena.
What is more, bosses have told me that new service sales prospects are not the only challenge. Regular customers, they reported, often expect much more detailed explanations of costly repairs than they did in the past.
Understandably, service sales personnel boast about customers who trust their technicians so much that they authorize repairs without delay. These car owners expect only a comprehensive bill when the work is finished.
These nonchalant repair requests are relatively rare events today, sources said. They believe it's yet another barometer of how customers' attitudes differ from those of bygone days.
With these points in mind, avoid the potential trap of arguing solely about price.
For one thing, price is only one — albeit unavoidable — part of every service transaction.
For another thing, some motorists define every repair or maintenance job strictly by the dollars and cents involved in it. People who are hyper price-conscious are — and always have been — a thorn in the side of conscientious service professionals.
But dollars and cents easily may obscure the larger issues of value and reliability. The lowest price has never ensured that the repair would be reliable or a good value for the dollars spent.
Every service sales professional should be wary of becoming mired in the quicksand of price arguments. For instance, politely but persistently stress value and reliability into these discussions with hesitant motorists.
Technical topics confound some car owners — this is an age-old issue — but patiently describing value-added measures on a particular job may swing the sale in your favor.
For example, a salesperson may state that he or she cannot speak for competitors' repair methods and attention to details.
Then explain how years of experience on these repairs jobs have taught the techs to include steps A, B and C to the procedure. Adding these steps has stopped costly comebacks due to conditions X, Y and Z.
Preventing these potential comebacks does more than save the car owner money. It boosts peace of mind by minimizing the risk of another breakdown.
Many times I have heard savvy sales people caution a penny-pinching motorist about making false comparisons.
For example, a discount auto repair outfit up the road really isn't performing the same repair if its techs do not include those value-added steps A, B and C.
When another shop does perform these proven steps during the job, then a motorist cannot legitimately make an apples-to-apples comparison. Rather, the true value of your shop's repair is substantially greater than the competitor's.
Never underestimate the potential emotional impact of good value and superior reliability on a hesitant motorist. For example, the person may have been stung in the past by a deceptively low price coupled with a less-thorough repair.
Sometimes you literally can watch a prospect's facial expression change when you describe the possibility of a comeback — not to mention an unexpected breakdown.
This car owner may not readily admit it, but he or she already has suffered that indignity. The experience may be aggravating as well as unsafe.
Clearly these are unusually stressful times for many motorists. Don't think of emphasizing good value and reliability as scare tactics.
Instead, realize that focusing on these factors is nothing more than addressing customers' concerns and expectations.
Simply put, vehicle owners do not want or need any additional grief these days.