If a customer takes a liking to both the car they are looking at buying and the salesperson that’s helping them, it may be a good idea to introduce them to the service department. On today’s episode of Straight Talk, David of David Lewis and Associates talks about introducing your customer to the service department.
Hello and welcome to another edition of Straight Talk. I am David Lewis, your host for the program and I want to thank you for joining me today. This is a show where you will get straight answers for many of the challenges you will experience working in a retail automotive dealership sales department.
Today’s informed customers often come to your dealership with high expectations and the more prepared you are to deliver a professional and inspiring presentation, the more likely you will be to earn their business and sell them a car.
One of the most valuable yet least utilized tools a car salesperson has in their sales presentation is the Service walk step. Yet too often most will skip this step if they feel certain the customer has taken mental ownership of the vehicle and is ready to make the deal. They may view the service walk as an unnecessary waste of time and jump right into the process of negotiating with the customer in order to close the deal.
Since the top 3 priorities, most buyers have when purchasing a car are the vehicle, the salesperson and the dealership, at this point in the process the salesperson has only covered 2 of those 3 priorities with the customer. If the dealership really plays a big part in the customers’ mind about where they will buy their new car, skipping over the service walk can be considered a potential act of sales suicide.
The fact of the matter is, if the customer is really excited about the vehicle and they have been inspired by the way the salesperson has treated them, a well-done service walk can be the step that seals the deal in the customer’s mind and gives a salesperson their greatest advantage for selling the car.
Introducing the customer to a service advisor or manager in the beginning of this step is critical. This does not need to be anything elaborate or overly drawn out, but it is a very important part of the process of promoting your dealership to the customer as one that offers great support to their buyers after the sale.
All that is needed is for the salesperson to introduce the customer to the service advisor or manager by name in this manner:
“Bob, this is Mr. and Mrs. Smith and they are looking at a 2018 Honda Accord.”
The service advisor only needs to talk for a minute or so where he or she will congratulate them, tell them a little about the service department, including the hours of operation , how to make an appointment, where to pull up with they arrive, the process that follows once they arrive, information about the service lounge, and loaner cars or rental. Plus maybe a few seconds on the importance of regular routine maintenance.
It should be a strong presentation but last, no longer than a few minutes at the most.
At the end of the their short presentation you want the service advisor or manager to say to the Customer, “I wish you the best of luck with your car”, to which the customer will usually say: “Thank you!”
This may seem like an unnecessary interruption for a salesperson, but it can have a dramatic effect on reinforcing the customers confidence that they have come to the right place to buy a vehicle. Making this effort and doing it with enthusiasm will say to the customer they can expect to be well taken care of whenever they need maintenance or service of any kind.
This is a powerful tool for the salesperson and those who skip it or treat it lightly do so at the potential risk of weakening their sales presentation. A new car dealership is a team and every department in that team has something to offer to the other departments.
For the sales department that includes the power of a dealerships service and fixed operations departments to give the customer another good reason to buy a car from their dealership.
So let take a short break and when I return I am going to talk about how this truly benefits the customer.
Welcome back. We all know that today’s car owners keep their cars longer and drive them further than ever before. This means the maintenance and service that is done in their vehicle plays a key part in their ability to get the most out of their vehicle investment.
In fact, for many customers, this is the most important thing they are looking for in the dealership when it comes to making their decision about what vehicle they will buy and where they will make their purchase.
By developing good relationships with the service department, a salesperson can depend upon them to add strength to their sales presentation when they come to them to introduce the customer during the service walk.
This is something that makes a lot of sense when you think about it, but for some salespeople, it slows them down when they feel like they are on a roll in the customers ready to buy.
Do not let that happen to you! Skipping the service walk is a bad decision.
Every salesperson should have a good relationship with those who work in fixed operations. Not only because they are part of the same dealership team, but because you both have something to offer each other when it comes to helping your customers.
Just as a customer coming to buy a vehicle would usually feel more comfortable if they had someone to ask for by name when they came to the dealership, so it is with the service department when it’s time to make their regular maintenance visits or if they need special service. Having someone they know by name makes it easier and more comfortable to go to have your car worked on when it’s necessary to do so.
If they have a chance to meet the service manager or an advisor during the service walk, they should be given their card so they will know who to ask for the next time they call in for an appointment or come in for a service or maintenance need.
This also makes it easier for the service department as well. The more familiar and friendly they become with customers the more likely those customers will be to return there whenever they have a service need and to refer friends and family as well.
If you are new to this business you may have already noticed that the more senior salespeople always introduce new customers to a service advisor or manager when they sell a car. They know the value of the service walk step and they depend on their friends in service to help them seal the deal by taking a few moments to speak to their customers.
They also make regularly visit to the service department to see if any of their customers are there in an effort to maintain a good relationship and to remind them that they are always available to serve them whenever they have an opportunity to do so.
The real professionals understand the value the service department brings to them as salespeople and some will find ways to show their appreciation by dropping off a few dozen donuts or a couple of pizzas every now and then, or helping them in different ways when the service department is over-run and could use some help and customers.
Never underestimate the value the service walk can add to the job you do as a car salesperson. The quality of the Service Department usually plays a big part in the mind of a potential buyer and therefore it should be very important to you as a salesperson.
The Service Walk is positioned in the Structured Sales Process at the end of your presentation for good reason. If the customer likes the car you are showing them and they like you as a salesperson, taking them through an introduction to the service department and giving them a chance to meet an advisor or manager in the process can only add to the value of doing business with you and with your dealership.
. . . . . Well, that is it for today’s program. And as always if you would like a complimentary copy of my books just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ship them out to you immediately.