Please Don't Make Me Sell: Feelings

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In this column, we continue the Please Don’t Make Me Sell series. The goal of this series is to provide your frontline people, who do the service reviews, with tools and tactics to use when presenting to your guests. Selling doesn’t have to be hard and stressful. When done right, it can increase sales and build customer satisfaction.

With apologies to the artist who first made the title song popular, this month, we’ll look at the most important reason customers buy — emotions. If you google “why people buy,” you’ll get a traditional listing of the various reasons. You already know most of these: pricing, service speed, online reviews, convenience, word of mouth and loyalty rewards are just a few. I’ll explore these deeper in the future.

Underlying all of these is a fundamental pair of feelings, fear and pleasure. Fear is a very strong motivator in the automotive service business. These include loss of money from either operating or repair costs, security of no breakdown and safety from something more serious. They can fear being stupid, or looking so, for making a bad decision or no decision at all.

Pleasure is important, too. Enhanced or restored performance makes some people happy. They can feel smart for taking care of their baby.

Now, these emotions don’t all have to revolve around your menu of products and services or even your basic proposition of preventive maintenance. You can elicit many from all that goes into the experiences they get elsewhere during the visit.

It all starts with the menu. Do they have a problem? Did they come in knowing something was wrong? This sale is the simplest.

Are they in the dark? You know how to educate them.

If they have no problem now, refer to the maintenance schedule in their owners manual or your shop recommendations for services, but don’t forget enhanced options because they may want to upgrade.

What emotions are in play? Pride, vanity, jealously, security, self-confidence, love, affection and admiration are the main ones. Once you learn ways to tap into their most important emotions, you can sell more.

A word of warning: don’t think for them or feel for them. You don’t think like them or feel the same.

Want me to come train? Just let me know. Your customers come in begrudging their visit. Make sure they leave feeling smart, loved and happy. 


DAVID PRANGE is currently assistant to the chairman at Next Generation Mfg. He can be reached at 630.699.6813 or:


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Please Don't Make Me Sell: The Pitch Part II

Please Don't Make Me Sell: Back Scratching, The Art of Reciprocity

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