Common Selling Errors  (continued)
In order to eliminate these common mistakes we must first be able to
recognize them and implement the proper solution into the sales process.
    Pricing without Confidence – If you have a standard price for a specific
    service/repair and have no confidence in the price, it will certainly be hard to sell
    value to the customer. Prices are generally & typically structured by a zone average
    of sales.
    Example: Johnny’s quick lube – offers a LOF & Tire rotation for $29.95. Your
    service department offers the service for $36.95. The advisor knows the cost
    difference. However, did he explain the value difference offered at your facility? (Such as a thorough and free
    multi-point inspection, a thorough walk around inspection, and a certified franchise specific trained technicians to
    perform the services as described in the owners manual).
    Speaking Bad about your Competition – The one thing people detest the most
    about companies is their ability to speak wonderful things about how much better they are
    at servicing cars than any one else in the world. It puts a bad tasted in the mouth of any
    customer who believes that every company deserves to be treated fairly & with respect. What
    make’s a company successful is the people & a solid foundation of trustworthy and credible
    people. Good & Moral Business Practices dictate your competition and nothing else.
Copyright © 2008 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Bernardi has held such positions as; Dealer,
General Manager, Director of Operations, District
Operations Manager, Parts & Service Director, Service
Director, Service Manager, Service Advisor and is
President of AutoPro Training Solutions, a National Fixed
Operations Training Company which guarantees
increased GP or their training fee is free.
Jim Bernardi
President/CEO  AutoPro Training Solutions
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Final Note: If you expect different results in Fixed Operations as a whole, you either have to do things differently or do
different things.  My suggestions for many dealers are to do things differently and expect dramatic results.
    Guessing During the Sales Process – Imagine an advisor asked by a customer regarding
    maintenance: Example: “Do I really need to have my tires rotated today?” And the advisor stating, “I guess so” or
    “Probably”. It simply leaves a bad feeling abut the customer’s choice in doing business
    with your service department or another more convenient, competent,
    reputable Service Department.
    Acting Desperate for the Sale – Since it is our customers who
    dictate which Service facility they have do their maintenance, it is our
    obligation to sell only services/repairs on a mileage, needed, and on a
    required basis. Acting as if a particular service sold will win the advisor
    an all expense paid trip on a vacation paradise is a complete misrepresentation of the dealer’s intentions or
    his/her goals.
    Over Selling - Too often in a sales presentation, an Advisor/Salesperson will push a service/product on a
    customer even after a customer has declined the request. The most valuable selling tool is the value and the
    product obtained from using such a service/product; building once again a perceived benefit to your customer
    from making such a purchase today.
    The Know-It-All – Even if you know your product & your services, that doesn’
    t mean that you are the foremost expert on the subject. This type of thinking is
    hazardous to the entire dealership & your team as a whole. Be willing to take
    suggestions from others & be open for any criticism that may involve a subject
    that concerns your opinions. Don’t have an It’s all about me attitude. It is about the
    Over Promising - Unfortunately this is a common business practice. Too often in the day to day operations
    we make intentional promises that we know for certain cannot happen. In order to avoid this pitfall the best
    practice is: To under promise & over deliver. Imagine advising your customer a late afternoon completion time, but
    having the vehicle ready for pick up in early afternoon. Everybody designs their schedule around circumstances.
    Don’t think for a minute that your customer won’t be pleased to have an earlier time of delivery. When this practice
    becomes a process, your customer begins to have confidence in your ability to deliver on your word. Credibility is
    Vanishing After the Sale – It takes a solid sales presentation to make a small impression on your
    customer, which could lead to a huge difference. Don’t take a lot of time selling a particular service then having
    your customer wait in the customer’s lounge only to find out you left early for the day because your kid got his kite
    stuck in a tree; this make a customer upset. Instead, if for some reason you will be absent for any length of time
    explain to your customer you will be away when the vehicle is completed. However, you have given specific
    instructions to both your service manager and an advisor/colleague, and that one of them will make certain that
    everything is handled in an appropriate & timely fashion.
    Premature Closes – This is a common mistake in service departments. A customer drops off a vehicle for
    service with an advisor’s intentional call back informing them of needed service/repairs, only to make the mistake
    of adding every item recommended by a technician separately and making several calls to a customer. If a call is
    made to a service customer for an up sell opportunity it is a must that the vehicle was thoroughly inspected and
    that the quoted price to have the said service/repairs done is a one time call. Customers feel uneasy when a sale
    has been agreed upon, then only an hour or so later the advisor recommends additional services with an increase
    in estimate. Be prepared & don’t use premature closes in the sales process.
Without a long term game plan to
eliminate these errors you can
expect to have the exact same
outcome in your next financial