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Is it just me that the customers are becoming more frustrating.....Yesterday we had a vehicle in for a warranty repair. During the repair the battery went dead and we had to put a replacement in to fnish testing. Customer declined replacing the battery and of course when he came to pick it up it had to be jumped off. This morning he came back and wanted us to test the battery again because he didn't have any problems this morning. He then tells me he just wanted to check before he went to Sam's to purchase a battery himself. I have to admit I wanted to tell him we've checked it twice, jumped you off once, and had to put a spare in just so we could work on your car-have sam's check it if that's who you're buying the battery from.

 

Another frustration here lately and I know it just comes with the territory is courtesy inspections. We ask before we do them, spend 30 minutes to an hour checking them out and then they don't want to buy anything. How do we can handle this? I don't want to be wasting time checking cars out if they don't have any interest in fixing them.

 

Here's an example of our courtesy inspection: http://autoinsight.info/inspection.aspx?inspectionid=744ea18a-99f5-4d62-ad67-077fb3c7e346&t=classic&sb=def

Edited by spencersauto
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This is something we've dealt with and continue to deal with. A lot of factors come into play. Marketing is one, and how you market will affect what kind of customers you attract. Second is your multi-point. In the near future, we are going to stop identifying 'oil sending units leaking' and going to start find 'oil leaks' and asking for a $49.95 UV dye oil leak inspection. We've got tired of building 7 separate estimates just to have a customer decline them all. Same with coolant leaks. If they're not willing to spend $50 to know what is leaking, we're not gonna waste our time getting prices for parts and labor. 

I'd also look into some sales training. A service advisor who can build value in the presentation may convert more customers into doing repairs. A lot of things to look at, but hopefully some of these will help get you started in the right direction. 

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10 minutes ago, mmotley said:

On a side note, how are you having technicians look up spark plug schedules? We've been trying to find a quick and easy way to look that up, but outside of looking through Identifix, we don't see many other options. 

We use mitchell. They have a maintenance schedule that is pretty simple to use. I just type in spark plugs and it shows the schedule.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It sounds like you may have a closing rate problem. I agree either you market to the wrong customer or need Sales training.  I close over 95% of sales this year. 

Your reviews look good, you might change your responses a bit to the negative ones to remove even the slightest hint of customer blaming.

Pre qualifying your customerrs really helps too, Some customers need to be handled a little different if you can see they might be spending the milk and eggs money on an inspection or diagnosis.

Edited by Hands On
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27 minutes ago, mmotley said:

Close 95%?!?! If that's true, I'll pay you whatever you want to come train my advisor. 

Sorry, but either your techs aren't doing a thorough inspection, or your advisor is fudging numbers. What is your ARO? 

I am my advisor. I am sure If I hired an advisor numbers would go down during the learning curve. I assumed OP was selling his own RO's.  Through my marketing and customer pre qualification I keep my shop filled with the right customers and close them properly.

 

I orked at Circuiit City before they closed as a salesman in the video department. One night at sales meeting the manager said we needed to sell the Monstar Cable power strip at $250 a pop. Everyone at meeting frowned, who will buy $250 power strip. I sold 2 that night. It is about psychology and sales techniques. 

 

I know you an Eskimo but do you really want the same ice you used to build your house in your 12yo scotch. My ice is purified and infused with minerals that will boost your health and keep your scotch tasting authentic.

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I am by no means calling you a liar. However, I have researched a lot of advisor training courses from different companies and NOBODY claims 95%, 80%, or even 75%. I know of one company that claimed 70% to be the target, but I never got any proof from them that it was actually attainable on a consistent basis. Personally, I feel if an advisor closes 50% or more for the year, they are doing very well. Much higher than 60%, I'd be looking at the techs to make sure they are doing a thorough inspection.

Would you mind sharing how you calculated your 95% closing ratio? Would also like to know your ARO.

Edited by mmotley
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Hi Mmotley. I do not have a program that I enter things into to track this metric, though I would like to have one. I used to work with a consulting firm and they had software that would track all of these things and I really loved it, but the cost was just too much for a shop of my size, and after time I found the counselors repeating the same mantras over and over with little results.  That being said I did learn quite a lot from them and good thorough inspections was one of the tips I took away from that.

I hope I can attach these two pictures. One shows the list of dates, these are the estimates I wrote that did not turn into R.O.'s. Everything else I looked at I sold. There might be as many as you see here that also did not buy 100% of the ticket, so maybe 8 people total in the month of November that did not buy 100% of the ticket, and 4 total that did not buy anything.  I also am attaching my sales report for November. This will show you my total car count and average R.O.  I was down in November, a combination of customers that have been with me for 6 years and just need nothing, as well as reduced car count, and an employee that was not producing who is no longer with us.  I suck at the percentages, so you can do the math and tell me how far off I was.

For those of you that look at average R.O. do you take into account the lost sales or lost cars in that number. Since I had 4 cars at 0 dollars that technically should drive my average r.o. even lower.

20171211_095946.jpg

20171211_095922.jpg

Edited by Hands On
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So with an ARO of $465, that might explain why you have a 95% closing ratio. Typically, your technicians should be finding around $700-$1,200 worth of needed maintenance and repairs per repair order. Given that number, you're closer to 66% if they are only finding $700 per repair order of work needed. 66% is great, but I'd really be looking to make sure all potential work is being recommended (this includes spark plugs, fluids, wipers, bulbs, etc.). If they are capturing all that, your closing ratio would be closer to 39% (using the $1,200 figure). Not great, but not bad either. If you truly had a closing ratio of 95%, that means a tech could turn in a multipoint with $1,000 of recommended work and you'd sell $950 (eh, you missed the wiper blades, not bad!).

Closing ratio is only part of the equation though. An ARO of $465 is not bad at all, in fact, probably better than average (I think average for the nation is around $350). A high closing ratio can point to sloppy inspections, a low closing ratio can point to recommending too much work. Closing ratio typically falls on the advisor though.  

I used to track closing ratio, but totaling each tickets potential $ amount, then comparing to actual ticket $ amount and doing the math was too time consuming for my operation. I've since decided to focus more on ARO and HPRO instead. 

@spencersauto, One thing we are trying is when a new customer comes in, is asking them a few qualifying questions. Asking them what their plans with the vehicle is (keep it, trade it in, etc). Based on their response, you can respond with a few loaded questions to make the sale later on easier. 

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7 minutes ago, mmotley said:

@spencersauto Typically, your technicians should be finding around $700-$1,200 worth of needed maintenance and repairs per repair order.

Typically, on older vehicles that have not been into your shop recently, your technicians should be finding around $700-$1,200 worth of needed maintenance and repairs per repair order.

 

Corrected that sentence for you.  They will not find this inspecting a car that we did $700 to $1,200 on only 3 months ago.  They will not find it on the 2016 models we have coming in. and also, a dealer I do work for drives my average R.O down, as if it needs more then 1k in work, he just gets rid of the car and I get an R.O with only an inspection fee.   Other wise my techs turn in $1,200 to $2,000 tickets quite a bit and I sell them all the time. I am not trying to be a braggart, I am just saying it can be done. I am in the right market, appeal to the correct customers, pre-qualify from time to time, and only sell things that we can prove have value.

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All I'm saying is, if you're truly closing 95%, you need to talk with Elite, RLO, ATI, Jeremy O'Neal, or any of the other big names, cause they are all pitching expensive sales courses and none of them are even saying 95% is possible. I have a feeling you could also get a 6 figure salary with benefits from many shop owners on here if you could guarantee that ratio. 

"only sale things that we can prove have vaule" - I think this is how you're getting 95%. You're selling things you know you can sell. Get an MPI, write it up for all the maintenance and repairs it needs, then see where you're closing ratio falls.

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Very Happy for the 95% closing! That's awesome. We all hear that number and think it's impossible. It isn't impossible. Some days it feels that way. Other days everything goes right. I've found explaining things simply and in terms of their benefit makes closing any RO sale easy. There are always decliners and tire kickers. But getting that 'right' customer to come in to our shop in a competitive market is the real challenge. 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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