Why you want customers to tell you NO in the Service Drive


Something you’ve probably noticed in your Service Drive; Customers almost never come out and say, “Please upsell me.” What’s more, your clients don’t even know they need what you are about to present most of the time. Asking someone to buy from you “in so many words” can be a petrifying experience, especially for someone who is fairly new to the Service Drive.

One common cause of “closing fear” is a perception issue. Service Advisors are afraid of being seen as aggressive, greedy or just plain pushy. Many Service Advisors don’t like being sold themselves and fear their prospects will have a similar attitude. Also, Advisors may just undervalue their own service. They may feel like their services or the total customer price is too much for them so it must be too much for their customer.

Fear of RejectionNO

Service Advisors often don’t ask for the sale because they’re afraid of getting a “NO”’ back. Fear of rejection is a major stumbling block for any salesperson, and it’s something that you’ll have to overcome if you want to succeed in service sales. Getting turned down is an inevitable part of sales. The important thing to remember is that when a prospect declines to buy from you, it’s not a personal rejection. In fact, the more times you hear “NO,” the greater chance you have of getting to that YES! On the contrary, if you DON’T get those “NOs” then you may never get to a YES because it’s just a game of odds.

Learning how to hear NO!

Remember you are simply an ADVISOR and in that vein, your job is to ADVISE clients of their needs and it’s OK if people say “NO.” Your job is simply to deliver the information in an informative and concise way. If you’ve done a good job with your presentation, prioritized your client’s needs and preempted any objections you saw that may be in your path, the close will follow naturally and will seem like the next logical step. It’s really not necessary to be pushy or aggressive to be successful selling service. But let’s face it; even if you have a great closing rate on upselling, let’s stretch it to 30 to 40 percent, that means 60 to 70 percent of the time you are getting some form of “NO!”

Keep in mind that “NO” may just mean “NOT NOW.” Persistence in offering the right services at the correct time will ensure you are eventually closing the sale that you were rejected on today. Make sure you are asking at these intervals and consider the following details.

Two Main Selling SituationsNO

1. At Write Up

  • SLOW your customer down for just a few moments. Grab their mileage and do a quick walk around, then check their history and “put them into” the best maintenance bundle for their current needs. Here’s what that might sound like, “Actually you are due for the XXX Service interval which includes A, B and C, the investment is only $XXX can we get that done while you are here today?” No big deal JUST ASK!!!!
  • Offer the MOST IMPORTANT single service if the entire bundle is rejected. “OK, a lot of my customers will wait on the B & C but my best advise is to definitely get the “A” out of the way first, that investment is only $XXX can we get that completed today?”
  • ALWAYS mention previously declined services and ask to add to today’s Repair Order.
  • Get an assumptive approval to perform the Vehicle Inspection whatever the customer’s response is. “OK we will do a Multipoint Vehicle Inspection and if your technician brings anything to my attention I’ll make you aware, OK?”

Keep in mind your customer may have reasons they are NOT wanting to commit to the maintenance at Write Up or they may have been caught off guard and not realized what was due or past due. By mentioning “the very idea that maintenance is due” at Write Up, you educate and get them familiar with the need. This allows the client time to justify the investment and determine if there are any more pressing issues that come back from the Vehicle Inspection Process.

2. Post Vehicle Inspection Report is completed.

  • This is your second chance to ask for Maintenance rejected at Write Up and anything else that was revealed during the Vehicle Inspection Process
    • i. Break down the previously offered maintenance bundle and isolate the MOST IMPORTANT ITEM and then the rest to give options.
  • Prioritize your customers needs based on 3 categories.
    • i. Everything related to why they brought the vehicle in – This could be a repair necessary OR just a maintenance needed like an oil change or a recall
    • ii. Everything they NEED RIGHT NOW! This is Safety or Performance IN THE RED items. If there are NO SAFETY items needed it’s THE ONE
      ITEM you would DO NEXT IF they can’t do the whole job.
    • iii. Maintenance That could wait if it had to.

The best way to feel more comfortable with these closing techniques is by practicing them. Managers; get into the drive-in peak times and observe the write-up process happening in real life. Coach and counsel and escalate non-compliance accordingly. Get your Advisors to “Pitch You” once a day and help them improve their techniques. The most prevalent reason people don’t buy is they were not asked enough times. Don’t make this the reason YOU are held back!