Upselling can boost profits

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Upselling can boost profits

How effective are your service advisors when it comes to upselling? And we’re not talking about frivolous stuff here; far too often a customer will already have recognised some issues with his or her car, but in the rush of taking it in for a service these things just slip the mind.

It’s essential, therefore, that your service advisors are properly trained to jog the customer’s memory – or to inform them on what’s likely to happen if that little extra isn’t done.

Take cooling system flushing, for example. You know, and the service advisor knows, that the engine cooling system needs to be flushed every couple of years or so. But the customer doesn’t, and it will seem like an unnecessary additional expense unless you explain that all the bits of metal floating around in the engine after a while will turn into an electrolyte and rot the engine, and the cooling system, from the inside. And explain that it’s not an expensive or time-consuming item, but it will save them a lot of money in the long run.

Seem like too much effort for what may be a small add-on? Well, put it this way – how often can you earn an extra $40 or so for maybe 30 seconds of the service advisor’s time and five or 10 minutes more in the workshop?

The best part of upselling by the service advisor is that the hard work has already been done – the customer has already come to your workshop, and he’s standing right in front of you – you don’t have to go out and tempt him in!

Of course, it’s important that the service advisor shouldn’t come across as pushy; instead, the information should be presented as “by the way, have you thought about having your engine cooling system flushed – it could save you a lot of money to get it done now before any damage is done”. And be ready with a price; people want to know straight away.

Another aid to upselling is to group products together and offer them at a special price. So if the customer comes in for an oil change service, offer the engine cooling system flush and new oil and air filters at a special price – and explain that if they have to come back later and have them done, it will cost more. We all know how much Kiwis love a bargain!

If you want to keep it really simple, how’s about telling him a free car wash is thrown in with the service – but if he wants a polish as well, that’s cost an extra $10. Or maybe you can offer a valet at a good price, too.

The most important part about upselling is that you don’t want the customer going away with a bad taste in his mouth if he feels you tried to sell him something he doesn’t need.

Whatever you do, it must be a “win-win” situation so that next time he comes along for a service, he’ll be amenable to any additional benefits you’re offering.

And don’t forget there are lots of on-line experts out there warning consumers what to look out for when they take their car in for a service, so don’t get into the trap of trying to make a quick buck by ripping the customer off, because you’ll soon regret it.

It’s a lot easier to make a bad reputation than to earn a good one!

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