Quantcast
Jump to content


    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.
Sign in to follow this  
Joe Marconi

Article: Sell the Benefit

Recommended Posts

A few years back, my service advisor, Tony, was trying to sell a customer a new battery. Let’s call this customer Ed Jones. Here’s how the conversation unfolded; “Mr. Jones, my technician completed our 21-point inspection on your vehicle and everything checks out fine. However, I do want to discuss the battery. Your battery was tested with our Midtronics digital battery diagnostic tool, which is a very accurate piece of equipment. Your battery is rated at 575 cold cranking amps, and your battery tested at 300.  Would you like me to replace the battery today?” Ed Jones looked at Tony, and three seconds later said, “Thank you for the information. Let me think about it.”

I know Ed very well. The car we were servicing that day was his daughter’s car, who was home from college for the Christmas holiday. Ed’s daughter is in her first year at Plattsburgh University in upstate New York, which is about a five hour drive and near the Canadian border.  

I could see the frustration on Tony’s face, so I gave him a little advice; “Tony, ask Mr. Jones who drives the car. After he answers you, ask him what the car is used for. Listen to his answers and then use that information to sell safety and peace of mind, not a battery.”

Five minutes later, Tony reported back to me excited and amazed; “Joe, great advice!  He authorized the battery! I guess you knew he would buy the battery with the right questions?” I replied, “You were trying to sell Ed Jones a battery by pointing out the technical process we use to determine the health of the battery. What you need to do is reach the customer on an emotional level. The questions I recommended you ask made him realize that it’s the welfare of his daughter he was really buying, not a battery.” 

Now, let’s clarify something. Tony didn’t say anything wrong with his sales presentation. But he got the process backwards. He was leading with logic. If you’re trying to sell something by using logic alone, you are going to struggle. People make buying decisions based on emotions. To make a sale, you need to connect with the part of the brain where emotions reside, and then back it up with logic.   

Bombarding the customer first with facts and features tends to confuse the brain as it tries to make sense out what you are saying. That can be difficult because the technical information is usually not fully understood by the customer and the confusion usually results in the customer saying, “No.”  

Let’s review the conversation when Tony asked the right questions; “Mr. Jones, who drives this car?” Ed replied, “My Daughter.” Tony continued, “And what does she use the car for?”  Ed replied, “She uses it to go college at Plattsburgh. She’s home for the holidays and goes back to school on Monday.” At that point, Tony realized why I urged him to ask those questions, and continued with, “So, your daughter drives this car back to college, and leaves on Monday. She goes to Plattsburgh, which is near the Canadian border.  Mr. Jones, it’s wintertime and that’s a long, lonely drive. Her battery tested weak and may fail without warning. For peace of mind and your daughter’s safety, wouldn’t it be in her best interest to replace the battery before she leaves?” Ed now makes the emotional decision, “Yes.” 

Here’s the bottom line. First, know your customer. Build rapport during the write up process and find out all the details of why the car was brought in for service. Second, tone down the technical side of what you do. That’s not to say it’s not important. But, before you give the technical facts, reach your client on an emotional level. Ask questions to find out as much as you can about the customer, and then direct the conversation to the reasons why what you are trying to sell will benefit the well-being of the customer and/or the customer’s family.  

Remember, decisions are easier to make when it has meaning to them or a family member. In Ed’s case, not replacing the battery would have been unsettling to him. Tony’s recommendation to replace the battery is perceived as the right decision because it promotes the safety and well-being of his daughter.

Humans are driven by feelings and make emotional decisions, then justify it with logic. Next time you are trying to sell anything to a customer, ask yourself, “Why should the customer buy what I am trying to sell?” The answer may surprise you. 

This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2019

ratchet and wrench logo.PNG


View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      According to Zip Recruiter, tech pay on average is about $41,000 per year.  Is this an issue?   I know many of you pay more than average, but do you think that we need to increase tech pay in order to attract more people to the auto repair industry.   One other thing to consider, the shop and shop owner needs to be profitable and make the money first in order to pay anyone a decent wage.
      Your thoughts?  
    • By FROGFINDER
      Anybody offering vehicle pick up and drop off service at customers home or workplace? How is it going? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      We all survive by and need healthy car counts. That's a given. But all too often I see auto repair shops with "steady" but not "growing" car counts, but with new customers coming in each week.
      So, the question is, "If a shop has steady car counts and has new customers each week, then why are car counts not growing?"  
      This is a topic that's complicated for a post but here are a few things to consider:
      Is your marketing attracting the right customer that matches your key profile customer? If not, the wrong customer may be a one-timer and that does not help your car count.  Or, if you are promoting too much discounting, you may be attracting the wrong customer, and that's not a long-term strategy either.  Are you making every effort to WOW all new customers and create an amazing experience that gives the new customer a compelling reason to return? All too often we are too transactional and don't spend enough time establishing relationships.  Make every effort to spend time with each customer and ESPECIALLY with first time customers. Its the relationship not salesmanship that builds a company! Are you booking your customer’s next vehicle appointment?  Please don’t tell me this does not work. It does!  Hairdressers do it, doctors do it, dentists do it, nail salons do it. My chimney cleaning service company evens books the next chimney cleaning!  If you are not booking your customer’s next visit, trust me, someone else will. I hope this makes sense. What are your thoughts? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      The other day, a customer asked my service advisor, if he would price match a set of tires.  This customer got an online quote from the internet; a local TIre Store know for discouting tires. 
      My rule, I don't price match. My prices are competive and fair. 
      Would you price match just to get the job, and sacrifice profit?   Remember, no one really knows the true cost of any service or repair until the car is in the shop.  So, internet quotes are not set in stone.   
    • By flacvabeach
      Virginia's Governor in his 2020 budget proposal has included elimination of the state's vehicle safety inspection program.  In addition, a state legislator has introduced a bill doing the same.  I serve on the board of the Virginia Automotive Association, a group of over 200 independent shops who have banded together to lobby in the interests of our industry. VAA has ponied up a a $25000 increase in the lobbying budget to fight the move.   As a shop owner, I have mixed emotions on the subject, but if I were gambling I would bet that the program will go away.   On one hand, it's kind of nice that the state's motorists are forced to bring their cars to a shop once a year, giving us an opportunity to make them life-long customers. Also, it has created a cadre of technicians in the state who have been vetted and background checked by the state police.   On the other hand, there are a litany of negatives inluding  customer resentment, anger when their vehicle fails, uneven management by the state police who oversee the program due to limited resources.  Some shops are "by the book" while others are "sticker mills" who will pass anything.  Unfortunately, VAA and others have been unable to produce hard statistics that show that the program .makes a difference in highway safety.  The big studies I have found blame driver error for the majority of accidents.  What is ironic is that just this year VAA won a long battle to get the inspection fee raised from 16 to 20 dollars.   The legislature convenes in January to enact laws that will take effect in June.
      I would like to hear how other Virginia shop owners feel and I would like to hear from other states that have witnessed termination of these programs.
      Mark Anderton
       


  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By CAR_AutoReports
      We allow visitors to read the first post of each topic. To read this post, please login or register for a membership. 
    • By CAR_AutoReports
      How I went from an average credit card transaction of $360 in November of 2013 to $805 in October of 2019...
      Everyone wants change to be easy.
      Everyone wants to kill it in their craft.
      How many of you are ready to put in the work? Take an inside look at the lessons we learned while transforming our business over the last 7 years. We're going to discover how we evaluated Joman in 2013 and how we designed CAR to streamline service, period.
      I sat in several classes at AAPEX where I felt like everyone was talking about the things we spent the last 7 years building, so now I'm going to tell you how we did it and why our platform is the integral internal process that can replicate this machine anywhere on the planet where service is performed.
      If Amazon were a store, how could it possibly look or operate.
      Walk in, what level would you like to go on? Tech? Oh you just need an 'iPhone cable 6ft'? Got you, here's the one we recommend, along with a few others on the shelf. Want to see which is best rated? Lowest price? Manufacturer? How fast can you get it? Let me see this one; check some reviews, some comments... Ok, here's the one I need and it'll be at my house tomorrow? Awesome, thanks! Oh what's that, you need 2... your cord in your car looks the same? No worries! Still want it tomorrow? See you then! Now, with that frame of reference... look at your own business.
      What you must remember is that even though you are not Amazon, customers have been conditioned to have a frictionless approach to transactions. That's why your largest competitor is yourself and your ability to adapt to this evolved phase of business consistency... that you are also a part of.
      When a customer walks in your door, what do they see?
      Must Have | HARD: Smile, let everything go that may be happening in life and get ready to deal with someone else's problem. Must Have: Counter/Desk clean and organized? Must Have: Computer ready to go? Unless you use CAR, then you can just take out your phone or the tablet we provide to every employee. Almost Must Have: A clean waiting room with available chairs? If not available for good reasons, that's a plus here. Like, there are other customers filling their space. Almost Must Have: Do you look like a disaster? *PS I did for years, still do sometimes. We all have off days.* Nice To Have:Water bottles handy? Maybe a coffee machine, if you have the space. The Hardest Goal: How clean is your shop? The internet doesn't need a smile or a clean office/shop, the internet is a place where business is done based on price or features and sometimes... both. You're in the business of service, competing against everyone from the other local guy to the large marketing firms with endless budgets. And it's evolving, faster than you've ever imagined.
      If you're standing still, you're going to lose out on a great opportunity to evolve as a business and as a person, and possibly make the most money ever by providing good and honest service.
      Phase 1 is to get you to think about your position in the market place. Compare yourself to the impossible, because doing so will open your mind to potential solutions to frictions that exist in your business today, by just thinking about them.
      When Jeff Bezos evolved Amazon, he wasn't trying to provide the lowest price on products. He was and is trying to fulfill what his customers want, cheaper pricing on goods and near instant delivery. He's delivered on both. Your customers expectations are different, and if your service level is built on trust, price becomes much less of a barrier.
      Tune in next week, where we continue this series of... How to evolve my auto repair business. I had a really great title for this series, but it was stolen and trademarked.

      View full article
    • By Joe Marconi
      We allow visitors to read the first post of each topic. To read this post, please login or register for a membership. 
  • By Joe Marconi, in Selling Automotive Repair,

    By Joe Marconi, in Automotive Management,

    By Joe Marconi, in Automotive Management,

  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...