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Everyone is always looking for the easy answer; the tricks and tips that are going to make your job just that much easier. There are many out there to choose from, and some are very effective. Others, not so much.

Here are the top four techniques that most technicians miss in their presentations that will instantly give you a better closing ratio as well as a higher ticket average.

1. Learn and Understand the Difference Between Wants and Needs

Many sales techniques and trainers over the years have espoused the idea that if you satisfy your customer’s wants, needs and desires, then you will dramatically increase your chances of making the sale.

While that may sound correct, I take exception to that statement for a couple reasons. First, wants and desires are synonyms, so that leaves wants and needs. The problem with trying to satisfy someone’s wants and needs is they are not the same thing. In fact, they are diametrically opposed to each other. What most people want in their life is usually not what they need.What do most of us need to do in our lives? Well, a typical, if somewhat generic, list could include:

·       Get adequate exercise and eat healthy

·       Not abuse drugs or alcohol

·       Respect others around us

·       Drive with care and courtesy and within posted speed limits

·       Keep insurance on our vehicles

·       Be true to our loved ones

·       Live with integrity, don’t rob, steal or cheat others

That might be a list of what we need in our lives, but as a society, what is it that we want to do? Again, a generic list might include:

·         Fail to exercise and eat too much of the wrong kinds of food

·         Drugs and alcohol; their misuse is obviously quite prevalent

·         Rudeness to others for no reason is common all around us every day

·         Many typical drivers are aggressive, disrespectful and pay no attention to posted speed limits

·         Far too many uninsured vehicles are on our roads every day

·         Broken marriages, adultery and illicit affairs are the norm for many in our society today

·         It is nearly impossible to live a day in life without someone, somewhere attempting to lie, steal or cheat you out of something that’s yours — face-to-face, behind your back or over the internet.

I am not condemning anyone or making a statement about anyone’s lifestyle and personal choices, one way or another, with that comparison. I’m just using it to illustrate the startling difference between what people need to do and what they want to do.

Establish The Need

To help make your presentation more successful, begin with establishing whether or not your customer’s car actually needs the particular service in question. How is this done? Use the manufacturer’s recommendations as the basis for your recommendations. For example, let’s say we are talking to the customer about their transmission and the possible need for them to have it serviced. The example car has 85,000 miles on it. The factory recommends changing the fluid in the transmission once every 50,000 miles. Ask your customer how long it has been since they had the ATF changed, if you don’t have access to their service records. If they give you any answer indicating it has been longer than 50,000 miles — or never — then you simply tell them, “Well, you need to get your transmission fluid changed.”

It’s very simple, no big deal and is probably never going to convince the customer to actually get the service done, unfortunately.

However, it is a start; the beginning of satisfying the double-edged sword of establishing the need and then the want.

Establish The Want

When you can get your customer to truly desire the service by establishing the want from within them, you are on your way.

Want is powerful, seductive and sometimes even irresistible. When you can get your customer to develop a deep-rooted sense of want for whatever service you are recommending, you have jumped a hurdle that many, many technicians struggle to overcome. If we want something deeply, bad enough and with all-consuming passion, then we almost can’t stop thinking about it. Now I’m not saying you are going to get that kind of a reaction out of your transmission service presentation, but you get the idea.

Once you have developed the desire, the sense of want within your customer for the service or item you are recommending, the customer is no longer your opponent — someone who is possibly defensive about the things you are recommending. No, for once they have stopped being your opponent; the influence of want now makes them your comrade, your partner and your teammate in trying to determine just how the both of you can work together to satisfy the hunger of the want that you have planted within them.

Once you have successfully established the need to your customer for any particular service and then deftly established within them the want, the desire to get that service, your work is nearly done. The customer will then, most likely, guide themselves through to your closing situation. 

Of course, there are other considerations your customer must mull over before deciding to follow your recommendation and get the service done. Namely, that is the price.

2. Be Proud of Your Price

Customers take their cue, make a judgment and formulate a decision on the value of something, based in part on how they perceive you and value the service you are recommending to them.

When you tell them the price of something, always tell them with the matter-of-fact attitude that let’s them know it is a fair price and it is in fact the price, not just a fishing attempt to see if they respond well to it. You must convey to your customer, through attitude and confidence, the price you quoted is of course a good and fair price for the service being offered. Tell them proudly and without hesitation. They have trusted you this far by taking your recommendations and having faith in your honesty and integrity. They’ve also let you continue with your presentation, so why ruin it now with a wishy-washy weak-kneed response to the question of price?

If you believe it is worth the price, then so will the customer. Conversely, if you do not believe it is worth what you are asking, then the customer will also never believe it is worth the price you are asking. In this case, of course, you will not make the sale.

3. Ask for The Sale

Otherwise known as the close, asking for the sale is simply what it sounds like; asking the customer if they would like to get the service you are recommending today. Notice I say asking. A proper close must always be a question, never a statement.

A direct question said directly to your customer demands a direct answer. In this situation the answer will be either, “yes” or “no”. A statement demands no answer, so your customer will then be under no obligation to say anything to you in return — yes, no or anything else. For this reason alone, a proper close can never be a statement.

A proper close might be, “I can get started on that right away if you like. Would you like to get that done while you are here?” That will elicit a response, “yes” or “no.”

An improper close would be, “So if you would like to get that done today, I could start on it right away.” That is not a question, so no response is indicated or required. This will almost never result in making the sale. Yet many, many ineffectual technicians continue to use this day-in and day-out with poor results.

Master the proper close, and you will dramatically increase your success with your customers.

4. Learn to Stop Talking

Many unsuccessful technicians will get a customer who decides they want to get a service done. Then the technician will go on to lose the sale by talking so much the customer changes their mind. It sounds so simple most would believe it doesn’t need to be said, but reality is different. Once the customer has agreed to whatever extra part or service you are recommending, stop talking about it and go do the service.

They want it. You know this because they agreed to get it, so stop trying to sell it to them. Now is the time to get it done. You must recognize this.

Many technicians blindly keep talking, sometimes right over the customer’s attempts to tell you that they want to purchase the service, and this results in the customer changing their mind. You never know exactly what it is, what one little thing it is that tips the scales in your favor and convinces the customer to go ahead and follow your recommendation. Likewise, you never know what one little thing, word or phrase may make the customer change their mind and not get a service done either. So don’t take the chance. When they say, “Yes, I’d like that done today,” just say, “Yes ma’am, I’ll get right on that!” and get it done.

Practice these techniques, and you too will “Make It Happen!”

See ya’ next month!  

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