Issue Date: Service Advisor July 15, 2009, Posted On: 7/15/2009
Service advisors can cross-sell cars too As a service advisor have you ever been met a customer outside of the service department? Actually you probably have such incidents everyday.
These are cross-selling opportunities, where a customer has a need that can be fulfilled by the dealership, whether sales, F&I, parts or the body shop. Let’s go beyond the easy stuff. If a customer asks, “I wonder where I could buy a new vehicle?” you can point them to the new car showroom and an eager salesperson. Instead let’s talk about active cross-selling and looking for opportunities.
Most service people seem reluctant to bring up such things as extended service contracts and the like. Maybe you feel you have enough on your plate just trying to sell service and treat customers right. But that is the beauty of professional cross-selling – it is an outgrowth of great customer service!
As we know, selling is about fulfilling customers’ desires, meeting their needs, and solving their problems. When it is done right there is this nice meeting of sales and service into a single mode of doing what’s in the best interest of the customer. It serves the customers’ interests when you suggest a product that will help them save time, hassle or expense. That is the heart of cross-selling.
It takes a little finesse. To help you walk that line here’s the path to cross-selling service customers:
1. Be on the lookout for cross-selling opportunities. We already mentioned the easiest one – upselling an extended service contract. The cross-sell can be as simple as handing a brochure to the customer or placing a small sticker on the customer’s invoice that remarks “you’re warranty will soon expire.” The way you can make such a suggestion more powerful is you know the customer’s buying habits and desires. You know if the customer takes good care of his vehicle and plans to keep it for years to come and who might appreciate the extra security of a service contract.
2. Pay attention. Sometimes customers can lead us right into a cross-sell opportunity. A customer could tell you that they just ordered a new boat for the summer. You might suggest bigger mirrors for the trailer, wiring connectors and other items that might make the new purchase easier. Again, the key here would be to offer the customer a valuable suggestion for getting the most from their vehicle and, in this case, their new boat.
3. Create your own opportunities. It’s a hard world and sometimes you have to create your own breaks. Let’s say your dealership is trying to sell a particular model this month to reach some grand sales incentive. A customer with an older version of the same model is in for service. Without being too insulting you might mention the deals going on up front. Try something like, “You know with all the specials, rebates, incentives and deals they have going up front I think payments on this model might be lower today than they were when you bought this one. Have you driven the new model yet?”
Those are just three ways to discover additional chances to serve your customers. The worst thing that can happen is that your customers just say “no.” But even so, you’ve demonstrated a clear interest in helping them and that is sure to breed customer loyalty.