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Want to drive more upsells in the service lane? Find out how.

Everyone needs their car maintained and serviced, making fixed ops one of the most heavily visited departments for your auto customers. So, how are you upselling in today’s market? Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back David Lewis, President and CEO of David Lewis and Associates, and the host of CBT’s show, Straight Talk, to talk to us about upselling customer pay revenue.

The first thing variable dealers need to ask themselves is—If we sell cars the way we sell service, how many cars would we sell a month? Lewis believes that most of these dealers would say not many. He goes on the explain that, over the last 40 years, the industry has invested so much time and energy into teaching people how to make great product presentations. However, this is not typically done in the service lane, but it should be.

In fact, your service advisors have many more opportunities to sell to customers than salespeople have. So, why doesn’t the service lane upsell more? Lewis says it’s because of lousy presentations and talking at a high level over the customers’ heads. What David Lewis and Associates teaches service department staff is what he calls ‘show and tell.’ Don’t tell the customer everything wrong with their car; they won’t understand. Instead, show them. Take this time to also educate the customer about their repairs in layman’s terms. 

“We tell our dealers, give your customers the right to say ‘no.’ Let them say ‘no’ but with the best possible information,” Lewis explains.  

Are some repairs easy sells? Sure, but Lewis encourages dealers to make the presentation to the customer regardless. Giving them more education builds a relationship of trust.

You might be asking yourself—what about the customers that drop their cars off? Lewis says that service teams should be sending pictures, videos, and other media to make that presentation to the off-site customer. You don’t need special equipment to execute this, adds Lewis. When the customer comes back for pick up or gets the vehicle delivered to them, take that opportunity to engage with them one more time.

Each year, more and more service customers leave the dealership after their warranties expire for another independent shop down the street. Dealers can put a stop to this if they are willing to train their service teams to treat customers properly.

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CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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