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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

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Top Reasons Your Up-Selling Isn't Working

With Fixed-Op’s carrying the weight financially for dealers it is essential that your service advisors upsell product in the service lane. That is everything from additional services to selling accessories such as windshield wipers, and cabin filters. However, this does not seem to be the case where many service advisors have become order takers versus taking the time to both understand the customer's needs and suggest additional services; knowing that our customers are not going to ask to purchase other services. That said, here are the top reasons your upselling is not effective and how to change your tactics! 


Appointments With Pre-Selected Services. Customers can easily go online and schedule their appointment for a specific service.  

Appointments can assist us on the dealer level when it comes to being able to plan accordingly. That is ensuring that we have enough advisors to handle the traffic. As well as taking the time to make sure that your advisors are not overbooked, which can cause significant delays;  meaning the oil change that was supposed to be 45 minutes turns into a 2-hour ordeal, which can affect the customer's experience. Not to mention, an upset customer is less likely to agree to additional services. That and providing a rental to every customer - especially for a customer who is only getting an oil change - is not always cost effective. So how do we handle this issue? 

A busy shop can be a great thing! However, as mentioned above, if the appointments are not orchestrated it can become a disaster. To avoid this issue, and make sure your team is upselling your customer it is best to call the appointment beforehand. In doing so, your advisor can build rapport (especially for repeat customers), and upsell before their arrival. For example, if the customer has serviced with you previously, you can quickly look up their history; reviewing their profile to see if they have declined services in the past.  Looking to see what their objections were, which will allow you to serve the customer better. This way upon their arrival they are on the same page regarding what to expect. Moreover, if there were to be changes or additional items needed they might be more obliged to agree and have the work performed. However, none of this can happen if we do not take the time to call the customer before their arrival. 

Coupons Do Not Always Work. Offer Services that Compliment their Needs. 

There are those who tout a coupons success, but in the automotive industry, coupons do not always work, and dealers do not always have to drop the price on a service to get traffic. If you were to review oil change coupons - reading the fine print - many of the retailers who do oil changes can be more expensive. Not to mention, they rarely have OEM certified technicians. Another issue with many of today's coupons is that it pushes the customer into the service on the coupon. Wherein, if the customer were to use the coupon for the said service that is all that is on their mind and of course, the service is at a discounted rate. So if they were to be then offered a service at full retail, they are much less likely to want the additional add-ons. Think about it for a moment, you go into a store with a 20% off coupon for “one item,” and the cashier offers you an “add-on,” but for full retail - don’t you pass it up? The same is said for the customer standing in the service lane. That said, it is more important for the dealer to have a strong online presence and offer their services and amenities as opposed to merely providing a coupon. 
 
What if the Customer Says No? How to Overcome the Objection. 

The customer saying “no” is the most common objection and in many cases, the dealer will follow-up with an email to the customer with a coupon for their declined service. However, before it gets to this step, it is best to figure out and address why the customer said no in the first place. For example, if one of the declined services was for tires, the customer could easily think that the place down the street is the way to go, not even thinking about the fact that your dealer sells tires. That said, you can offer the customer a price match guarantee. Not to mention, we know that today's buyer is all about time. So if we can save them time and assist them, it is a win-win situation. However, this cannot happen if we do not ask. 

The other thing to note with regards to declined services is that if we keep sending the same message with the same coupons, then we cannot expect anything to change. Instead, we have to take a step back and look to see if the declined service is typical - a trend at the dealer in which case more training is needed - or if it is a one-off situation. In either case, it is best to build a rapport with the customer understanding his/her needs so you can better assist the customer. Knowing that people buy from people, and this cannot happen if we take “no” for an answer without having taken the time to build the much-needed rapport with the customer. 

 Bottom Line: The customer is not always going to agree to your recommendation, but if you can offer them a sensible solution then the customer will be more obliged to accept. Think about this for a moment; if the customer comes into the dealership for their oil change and in the back of their mind knows they need to stop at the local store to pick up windshield wipers because they believe the dealer is more expensive, then they will not even ask you for them. So if you were to offer the customer that their windshield wipers need to be replaced, and you have them as low as “x” then you could be saving them time. The customer will undoubtedly be appreciative that you have saved them time. Something that they were not expecting. So don’t be afraid to ask. 

Do you start the upsell process before your customer arrives? If so, have you found success with it? 


 

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