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International Automotive Technicians Network
Why you should have a dedicated Service Advisor!
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 9/18/2012 124 Replies

After several post about using a Tech as a Service Advisor I thought I would share my thoughts. Without derailing the other thread.

Is a tech the best at selling repair work? My answer is most of the time NO! Why you ask? First to give you some back ground I have more time as a Salesman than I do as a tech, so I know sales. I think I am a better salesman than I am a Tech.

Techs are by nature are technically orientated people, in sales too much info is almost always a bad thing, it confuses the customer, most do not care what a MAF does or really why they need one, all they care about is how much and will it fix my issue. Adding to much info just makes the customer question you more and the more you talk the less they listen, in sales after the presentation the first one to talk looses!

Going to a customer with a broke car and telling them it will be $XXXX.xx is never an easy thing, people can smell fear, and most techs are not sales people and lose their confidence real quick when having to ask a lot of money from someone, especially if it will impact their paycheck. You lose your confidence the customer can tell, and will have a larger issue approving the work just because you did not show confidence at close.

If a tech already has a full day scheduled and finds more needed work will he really try to up sell? Will they call to get approval to keep the car another day etc? Or blow it off in their mind thinking they will not buy it anyway so why bother.

Anyone can sell to a customer with a broke car that came in on a hook, they have a broke car and will have to spend more money to get it out of your shop so unless the truly cannot afford the repair 95% of the time they will approve it, but if it is not broke can a tech up sell a timing belt job or some other needed but not required service? Will they sell a repair or service that they hate doing; I doubt it most of the time!

Time, let's say the Tech/SA has work lined up and is trying to sell a job, he has other work he could be doing, but a customer needs some time spent with them aka going over options on what work has to be done and what work can be put off etc. The tech/SA will not spend the needed time to close that sale just because he has work to do, so that customer did not get the need time to close the complete sale yes you may get the current concern, but if they spend some time they could get a lot more of the work, a dedicated SA will spend the time to get the complete sale without worrying about needing to turn wrenches.

Pricing out tickets, most techs are programmed to think about hours billed, you know that whole flat rape deal, not per ticket average parts, margins etc. The higher the ticket goes the less they will think about parts margins, the more the shop looses, the more they want that 10 hour job, the lower the parts prices go so they think they will get those hours. Can a tech be great at sales yes, but I would bet they would be even better as a dedicated SA over being a SA/Tech. Sales is a talent not something you can easily learn, People have to like you and you have to be able to communicate to them the way they want to get the sale.

The best Service Advisors have confidence in what they are selling, never think about if the customer can or will buy, just present what needs to be done ASAP and what should be done and let the customer decide what they can afford and what they want done. Sales are also about comfort, a good salesman can tell how he or she can talk to a customer, and some customers need a little time to think about it others need a nudge to approve the work. Some you have to be blunt to get the sale they could care less about the, who what or how just when will it be done and maybe how much!

A true salesperson will know all this after talking with a customer within a couple of minutes how to sell to them, someone that does it part time or with little to no talent will not and could lose a sale just on the presentation of the RO.

I am sure everyone has heard the expression he or she could sell Ice to an Eskimo or sand to an Arab not very PC but very true of a real Salesperson, we talk a lot about wallet flushes here on iATN, but the fact is you have to be really good to sell those, ethics not required. Think about it you have a customer come in for a LOF and your SA turns around and tries to sell them 500 buck worth of flushes and gets it, do you think someone without talent at sales could do that? But think about this take that same SA and give them the recommendation that that same car needs a Timing belt and water pump do you not think they would have it sold easier than a bunch of wallet flushes?

A dedicated Sales person will sell more and make the shop a lot more money than a tech/SA ever could.

Michael from Georgia

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