Service Advisors are (sales) People Too!
Dealership's upper management most often come up through the sales side of the business. It isn't surprising then that sometime we see a lack of appreciation, understanding, and attention to the service advisor role. In terms of customer contact and gross profit produced, service advisors far exceed the typical vehicle salesperson. Yet we sometimes fail to lead and coach service advisors as "salespeople".
Listen in at the service counter and you may hear a lot of technical terms and names for services being suggested to customers. You might just hear order-taking. Often there is very little interviewing and presenting solutions in terms of the needs they solve. You may be surprised to hear that the hundreds of possible service department jobs only satisfy 5 basic needs of the customer. They are:
• Save me money
• Prevent inconvenience
• Protect my investment/future value
• Increase my driving pleasure
• Keep me safe
When we speak in these simple and personal terms the customer is better able to internalize the benefit and agree to the service. Speak in those terms and sell more needed services!
• Nobody wants to buy a brake job but everybody wants to keep their family safe
• Nobody wants to buy a cabin air filter but everybody wants to protect their health and avoid allergens
• Nobody wants to buy a transmission service but everybody wants to avoid a breakdown on their vacation trip
• Nobody wants to buy a timing belt but everybody wants to avoid engine damage and a costly future repair
• Nobody wants to buy a major maintenance service but everybody wants a responsive vehicle that's more fun to drive
How does this change the pattern of communication with our customer? Well don't just say: "You're due for a timing belt change. Can we go ahead and replace that?"
Instead ask: "Mrs. Smith may I make a suggestion that could prevent inconvenience and avoid expensive engine damage?" Yes. "We see that your timing belt is near the end of its life. That part drives internal
engine components and it's failure can be a big problem. I would recommend that we take care of that for you today - ok?"
When we communicate this way we are speaking in terms of what the service does for them. It is much harder for the customer to procrastinate or say no to the needed service when we personalize the benefit in this way.
Not enough time to communicate that way? Well that's a whole other issue that is mostly self inflicted and entirely fixable.
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