When I’m on one of my daily training calls with service advisors I run into this common sales mistake at least once a day.
It’s especially a problem with those who have really high integrity. They never want to sell something to someone who doesn’t need it. They always want to make sure the value to the customer is high. But that very same moral prevents them from selling something the customer wants.
Let me explain how you could be making this common sales mistake
So I was on a training call with this advisor and we were going over all of the maintenance items this customer’s vehicle needed. Between the oil change, coolant flush, transmission service, shocks and more, the bill was going to be a little over $3000.
The vehicle in question was an older VW Jetta. Its current value on the market was about $2500. It doesn’t take much to question the value. The advisor looked at this and said “So you want me to try and sell this customer on spending $3000 on her $2500 vehicle? The maintenance doesn’t increase the value of the car, it’s a waste of money. Why wouldn’t I be honest and tell her she’s better off buying something newer at this point?”
On the surface, he’s not wrong, is he? I mean, he just wants to not look like a fool or not take advantage of the customer. I can’t fault him for this common sales mistake.
But with much hesitation and convincing we got him to present the quote as we taught him. Stay away from the value of the car, and focus on the value the services provide. Safety, peace of mind, and longevity of the vehicle.
With no arm twisting, no pressure, and no convincing, she bought them all!
Back in our training after the customer left, the advisor shook his head.
“I’d never do that if this was my car. I still don’t feel right about letting her buy all of this.”
That’s when the shop owner piped in.
“You’re right, and you should always take that into consideration, but you always need to understand the full context of the customer’s situation.”
You see, there was something very important the advisor neglected to do that led to this common sales mistake.
Ask the important questions that frame the sales proposition.
In this case, one important question would have told this advisor she would have bought everything and he had nothing to worry about.
“What are your plans for this vehicle?”
One simple question would have changed this sales conversation entirely and told the advisor it was ok to sell all of it.
What the advisor didn’t know what that the Jetta was bought by her dad when she was in college. Unfortunately, her dad passed away last year and that vehicle has a lot of sentimental value to her. She wants to hold onto it for as long as possible. The value of the vehicle compared to the cost of the maintenance wasn’t even a consideration for her. Her perception of value was if she spent the money, would it make the vehicle safe and reliable and last much longer?
In summary, the common sales mistake many people make is putting your value ahead of the customers. What you perceive as value is not the same as what your customer perceives.
Don’t let your opinion get in the way of the customer buying more of your products or services.
This is usually avoided by simply asking a few questions right at the beginning to understand the value your customer is looking for from you. Once you know that value, you have a better idea of how much or how little the customer is willing to buy.