In a session with a client last week, something I had been trying to teach everyone for a long time suddenly became brilliantly clear to both of us…and it’s going to mean a HUGE difference for his shop this year.
I call it the “first quarter” of the sales “game” concept. It’s the difference between a $15.00 oil change and a $350.00 average ticket!
The idea is this: when a person comes in for a quick service like an oil change, it’s important that we understand that we are dealing with an entirely different customer than the one who comes in on a tow hook, or who is seeking a diagnosis for whatever sound, smell, noise, or light that’s flashing on their dash.
The customer with the broken car KNOWS that he’s in for a process, perhaps even days. On the contrary, the oil change customer (think “fast-lube”) has an entire agenda already planned out for their day, and leaving their wheels with you for the rest of it just isn’t in the plans. So when there is a serious issue with the vehicle — be it a raw fuel link onto the exhaust or 3 broken wheel studs on the driver’s front — if you want the opportunity to capture that work at YOUR shop, there are a few things I’ve learned, (and that we teach) that you may like to adopt.
Here are the first two things to ALWAYS do (stay tuned for the rest...I'll post them later!)...
1. Tell the customer that you are going to perform a complete inspection on the vehicle when you first sign them in.
It’s a courtesy, but it’s non-negotiable. If they try to refuse, simply advise them that you aren’t trying to “sell” them anything, but that due to the fact that the car is in your bay, you have certain responsibilities…one of which is to do your best to inform the customer of any and all needs (especially of a safety nature) and that your “regular customer” actually want and expect this valuable service, so it is policy.
(Remember that letting them dictate that you do not do the inspection could open you up to legal liability if they then leave your shop and something falls off the vehicle and they have an accident or incur some expense!)
2. Be SURE that you begin asking questions about the HISTORY of the vehicle, and WHICH services have been performed as far as the PM goes!
This is to open their minds to the sale and remind them that owning a car is much more than knowing where to put gasoline and where their keys are!
Stay tuned for the other things to always to do to increase the size of every oil change ticket...I'll post them soon!