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5 Tips to Build Your Confident Sales Approach

We have all met Service Advisors who just seem to be natural at sales. Some people have simply “got it” when it comes to sales skills, inspiring admiration and envy among those of us who witness their polished methods of selling.

These Advisors have a certain confidence that comes across, especially when closing a sale. For the seasoned professional Service Advisor, the close is never overly robotic, nor is it pushy. The expert knows that the close is the heart of the sale. Without this last essential step a sale really is not a sale.

The close is so important that worrying over its success can cause you to blow it. So you want to arm yourself with enough confidence that you navigate the approval of your legitimately needed additional service requests as smoothly and worry-free as possible.

Let’s take a close look at closing the sale with the expertise of a confident Service Advisor.

Service Advisor Sales Tip #1: Ask for the sale!

The number one sales tip for closing may seem obvious, but it is something that often goes overlooked. You have to ask for the sale. Your prospective customer expects you to ask. Moreover, customers sometimes play hard to get, leading them to offer many objections.

Many times, your prospects know that you offer the services they need, and they only object so vigorously to have their instincts confirmed. They expect you to offer things they may not believe they need. If you succeed in overcoming their objections but fail to ask for the sale, you will leave them hanging. Give the people what they want! Remember to have a plan “B” ready to fire and offer PAYMENT OPTIONS.

Tip #2: Create a sense of urgency

While being careful not come off over eager, you should still create a sense of urgency in closing the sale. You can do this with a little help from words like “NEED.” “The important things YOU NEED to take care of today are….” You can also use words and phrases like “Immediately,” “Right now.” “Required.” “Now” and “Safety”. Make sure to be assumptive to create urgency “Let’s go ahead and take care of your immediate needs today so you are safe and your car is reliable.”

Also, don’t shy away from creating a deadline., especially if it creates an unsafe condition of potential damage and loss of performance. “The good news is you haven’t damaged your rotors YET but if we don’t take care of this NOW your repair cost will triple.”

Tip #3: Don’t be overly aggressive

No one likes a forceful Service Advisor. What is too aggressive? Repeating yourself is one example; another is assuming too much. We have all been there. You must temple your enthusiasm to not to turn your customer OFF. Make sure you are presenting the customers’ needs in order of priority starting with the Prime Concern (and related to prime needs) FIRST! Organize your presentation using the Prioritized Presentation Method. This method includes addressing the prime concern (why the bought it); say what is positive about the car’s condition, inform what serves are needed now and all related services, say what services are coming up and when and then state the grand total price and offer options and payment plans.

Sales Tip #4: Ask open-ended questions

There are “yes and no” questions, and there are open-ended questions. You want to avoid the “no” option as best you can, within reason, such as: “Have your had your transmission fluid changed? The difficulty with this approach is; the Advisor is “shot down” before he or she has a chance to make a presentation or overcome an objection.

Here is a better question:

“It will take about one more hour to get you going, have I answered all of your questions?” OR “We And, even if you don’t get this sale, they will remember your attention to service for next time.

Sales Tip #5: Timing is everything

The Inspect it First Inspection rule says to inspect it first and review the results with the service Advisor ASAP.   Example: LOF and Tire Rotation takes one hour to complete, the technician should have the inspection completed and back up to you with in the first 15 minutes for the most effective presentation to the customer.

A HUGE mistake is often made, by reviewing the inspection’s findings after the vehicle is completed and parked outside, or when the customer arrives to pick up it up. At this point, the customer has already “mentally left” the dealership and is not willing to wait around for some additional time to have services completed.  Typically what happens i is the customer takes your recommendations and has them performed somewhere else at their convenience. But it was you and your technicians who actually made the sale happen!!!

On the other hand, if you let the customer know what items need attention early in the service visit, your chances for approval increase dramatically. Performing the inspection and making recommendations within the The Inspect it First Inspection rule is a much better situation for the customer.

The customer’s vehicle is STILL in the shop.

It seems like only a small investment in time to have the additional work completed.

It leads the customer to the “might as well take care of it whiles it’s there” conclusion.

If there is a known outcome (i.e. Lube Oil & Filter/Tire Rotation and no prime items or items to diagnose), the inspection should be done in the first 10-15 minutes that the vehicle is in the technician’s stall, and the results of the inspection returned to the Advisor.

If there are prime items or items to diagnose, the inspection should be completed IMMEDIATELY following the diagnosis of the prime items. The results of the diagnosis and inspection must be returned to the Advisor as early as possible, allowing the Advisor to make one effective and timely call to the customer.

Are you ready to close your next sale with confidence?

Did I mention “confidence,” yet? There is a reason to bring it up again. Confidence is something your prospective customers will notice. They won’t believe in your service if you don’t. The confidence you exude during closing the sale will reassure your customer that they are in good hands. That confidence may be just the thing to firm up the deal, and win you the business. Strive for the best and you may just hit it!

John Fairchild
John Fairchild
John has more than 35 years of experience in fixed-operations management and consulting, and trains fixed-ops staff to improve performance and customer service. He started working in auto repair and parts at age 15 and over time held numerous positions at dealerships, including general manager. Visit the website

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