Eliminating Fixed-Ops Obstacles

On today’s episode of the Weekly Tune-Up, Becky Nixon talks about the #1 selling obstacle in fixed-ops that service advisors face when talking to customers about purchasing additional products and services.


Video Transcription

Hello, and welcome to the CBT News Weekly Tune-Up program.  I am your host Becky Nixon and I am also the Director of fixed Ops Training for David Lewis and Associates with over 30 years of experience working in Dealership Fixed Operations and Management.

Today I am going to talk about the #1 Selling Obstacle Service Advisors face in the lane when talking to customers about purchasing additional products and services to protect and maintain the value and dependability of their vehicle.

Whether we are talking safety, reliability or vehicle performance, research shows that Consumers today want to know the condition of the vehicle they are driving, day in and day out.  The fact that Consumers spent well over 200 billion dollars on vehicle repairs and maintenance last year confirms that research, and it makes sense that this would be the case with people keeping their vehicles longer and driving them further today than ever before.

Knowing this fact, why is it that service advisors around the country are not completely confident in their upsell presentations to customers?

First, let’s look at the many faces of fear and how it can limit someone from achieving the success they really desire to achieve.

How often do we see superstar athletes crumble under pressure in championship games?  I often wonder if, at that very moment, their focus turned from what it takes to win, to how do we keep from losing?

“My jump shot isn’t working. I’d better pass the ball.”  or  “How do I win this race, when the others are taller and faster”. That never stopped me by the way, everyone is taller than me!

Listen, before you know it, that athlete has let fear creep into their head and their confidence suddenly disappears.

The dictionary definition of fear, when used as a verb, is: “To consider or anticipate something unpleasant. To feel apprehensive or uneasy about something.”

This, however, is not something that happens only to superstar athletes.  The same thing happens with our advisors in service lanes every day. This may just be due to the percentage of customers they are handling, their different personalities and vehicle needs and how many times they hear: “No, I will wait and take care of that during my next oil change visit”.

The average service advisor receives rejection at some level over 50% of their day.  In some cases, it is fierce rejection, while in others it may come in a kinder form.  But receiving rejection day in and day out can cause advisors to start anticipating something unpleasant as being a normal reaction from their customers.  When that happens, the next step in human nature is to avoid that unpleasantry all together.

My mind wanders to a past boyfriend, but I digress.

I will be back in a moment with more on this topic so stay with me.  But first, a short break to share some exciting information that can help take your Fixed Operations success to the next level.

Service advisors that struggle with some level of fear in their presentations of needed repairs or maintenance will often discount more than others.  They fail to fully present the multi-point inspections and often steer away from certain types of customers.

I fully understand how that can happen.   As a young advisor not that long ago, I struggled with older male customers that would come in and bark orders such as: “Don’t you try to sell me anything today young lady, cause I’m not buying”.

How often did I miss the opportunity to help that Customer drive away in a more reliable vehicle, just because, after such an exchange, I struggled to find the confidence necessary to move forward with my recommendations?

By the way, I am not that young girl anymore, so I wouldn’t suggest barking lest the horns show up on the top of my head.

Seriously though, if you think these things cannot happen, and the similar results you are seeing from advisors in your service department are just a coincidence, you might want to think twice about that.

Every day, as I visit dealers and speak with Service Directors, I am reminded of how many service advisors struggle to educate Customers on the maintenance that is needed to keep today’s very complicated vehicles on the road. These limitations are often fear based and are not good for the advisor, the dealership or for the customers.  The good news though is they can be turned around through proper training and the implementation of consistent structured steps.

Service Managers, you need to train your advisors on the importance of maintenance. Tell them why tire rotations should never be declined, and what the true benefits of alignments and factory recommended fluid services really are.  When the customer is informed of these things they are more likely to want the additional protective measures for their vehicle investment.

Dealers, GM’s, Directors and Managers need to realize that service advisors need sales training just as much as any sales person does.  We find ourselves hiring outside of our industry today to find good candidates for this position.  This is even more the reason for training our service advisors in effective selling methods.

Legendary tennis great Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence; an important key to self-confidence is preparation”.

Confidence comes from learning how to perform the task properly and to successfully complete the task every time.  By learning and mastering structured sales steps to follow with every customer, your advisors will find themselves succeeding more often.  The results of their success will make them even more eager to succeed with their customers, and the benefits the customers experience will make them more open to the information the service advisors have to offer.

Well, that is all the time we have for today’s show.  I hope you are motivated to take action and implement some of these ideas that will be meaningful to your customers and help you glean more revenues.  Eliminating these common fear obstacles can greatly affect an advisor’s production levels in a positive way.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments you may have at bnixon@davidlewis.com    If you have any specific training needs for yourself or for any of your Fixed Operations personnel, make sure you mention that in your email and we will get right with you to help you get what you need to move to the next level.

So, until next time, have a great week.