By Bob Cooper
During tough economic times you need to make the most of every opportunity that you have at your disposal to generate more sales. Follow these five tips to convert more first-time callers into happy customers.
1. While your competitors are trying to sell their first-time callers on the repair, you need to take a different approach, and sell them on you. If the caller doesn’t believe you’re the right person to help them, then regardless of whether or not they believe the repairs need to be done, they’ll go somewhere else.
How do you sell a first-time caller on you? It’s not that difficult. The first thing you’ll need to do is assure you have the right attitude, because that alone will put a smile on your face, and customers prefer to be engaged with people that enjoy helping people. When you pick up the phone you’ll need to immediately provide your name to begin the rapport building process, you’ll need to ask a lot of questions, you’ll need to be a great listener, and you’ll need to make a point of being courteous at all times. Remember, the reason they’re calling you is because another shop has failed with them in the past. This is why they’re anxious, and it’s why selling the customer on you needs to be your first priority.
2. There’s no doubt about it; people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. One way of providing a first-time caller with options is by giving them a choice in appointment times. When people are offered choices they feel as though they are in control, and that’s when it becomes much easier for them to say “yes.” So rather than asking a caller; “Would you like to bring your vehicle in at 9:00?,” you should ask, “Would you like to bring your vehicle in at 9:00, or would 11:00 be better for you?” Whenever possible, you should provide your customers with options when your are giving your service & repair recommendations as well (Service A, or Service B with a premium warranty, for example).
3. Don’t be offended when a caller asks you for a price. Far too many service advisors think that these callers are nothing more than price shoppers, when in the majority of cases, this assumption is far from the truth. The reason most customers will ask for a price is to get the conversation started. Since they don’t know what questions they should be asking, they feel that if they ask for a price, most sales people will start talking. When someone asks you for a price you need to be understanding, compassionate and professional.
4. When you’re providing a price on any repair or service, it’s a cardinal rule that you always need to build interest and value first. For example, if a caller asks how much an oil service will cost, rather than just giving them a price, you should say something like, “Well, an oil service on your Camry, which includes ____, ____, ____ and ___ is only $____, and I can have that service done for you today. As a matter of fact, I can squeeze you in now, or would 2:00 p.m. be better for you?” Remember; always build interest and value before you give a price.
5. Now here’s one of the best kept secrets that we teach all of our service advisor training students: simply put, you can never put money ahead of people. If you sell from your heart, and if you apply these tips I’ve shared with you, then your sales, your CSI scores and your profits will all go straight up.
For the last 20 years, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite Worldwide, Inc. offering automotive professionals sales, marketing and employee management solutions. To learn more about how Elite can help you build your auto repair business, visit www.EliteWorldwideStore.com.