Service-to-Sales Tools Your Dealership Needs

Data tools to sell cars out of your dealership service drive

Service-to-Sales Tools Your Dealership Needs

October 15, 2019

Sales in the service drive are tricky. We know.

Every day, customers come pouring through your service lane. One of just two requirements for having an “up”(grade) conversation is automatically met.

☒ They’re at your dealership.
☐ They’re interested in a new car.

It’s that second one that complicates the whole thing. But what if you did know who was most likely to be interested in getting a new car? The impenetrable service-to-sales code would finally be cracked.

You could strut into your waiting area all Oprah-style, pointing to those customers and shouting, “You get a car! And you get a car! And you … I know you’re not interested, but we’re so glad you’re here!”

Data tools are the closest thing you’ve got to mind-reading – right now. Luckily, they’re pretty darn good, and improving all the time. While not 100% accurate in predicting who’s going to purchase a new car today, they can tell you who is most likely to.

Ever hear of the fence-sitter theory? The idea is to go after the people who are sitting on the fence (even if they don’t know it) when looking for buyers. They’re your best bet.

So, apply that to your service lane. Stop throwing your resources at people who aren’t at all interested in trading in their car. This could also help save you future business. Most people aren’t fans of being sold to when they’re not even shopping.

To ensure that you’ve got the right sales-in-service tool for your dealership, here are the five things it needs to do for you.

1. It makes opportunities out of your data.

There’s a big difference between capitalizing on the possibility of a sale and pressuring customers with a sale.

Take a previously sold customer who’s in service. We’ll call him SUV Dan. He’s had his vehicle for five years and is in for its first costly repair. The right tool would help you formulate personalized offers for SUV Dan, since you would know that he’s been

  • browsing your coolest new SUVs online
  • shopping the same rides at a competitor’s lot
  • visiting your service department because he loves your dealership
    (which you know because he’s been …
  • showering your dealership with glowing reviews

Then let’s factor some targeted OEM incentives into the deal.

Armed with all those data points, think SUV Dan would be interested in becoming Brand New SUV Dan at a similar payment? You bet.

2. It cuts out the middleman, or in this case, the auctioneer.

Used car inventory issues are a hassle these days. The prices keep going up. The right used cars are tough to find. And worse, you can’t control prices at auctions, not to mention the other associated costs such as delivery, commissions, etc.

Your used car manager can find those cars and the right buyers for that inventory in your service lane. You just need the right solution. These vehicles also sell quicker. Pretty solid win-win.

3. It helps you have conversations that aren’t awkward.

Firstly, leverage technology to easily connect every member of your team. So that your receptionist, service advisor, sales associate … whoever can leverage the power of using your customer’s name. This simple practice takes the customer experience from a transaction to human interaction.

For the sale, “We want your car” is a good way to start. But you need a tool that provides actual scripts to help move every conversation along. Or maybe NOT having a conversation is the way to go. Look for technologies that allow you to print out a proposal. Leave the offer on the passenger’s seat or hand it to them with their RO. Give customers the space to go home and think about it rather than force the engagement.

4. It minimizes the guesswork.

OK, so you’ve got all that good info on your customers telling you the deal they’re most likely to want and how to approach them. Now what? Running around trying to guess who should do what and when is not a good approach.

Will Tire-Rotation Tom even be talked to? Who will initiate that engagement? Tools that include a task manager streamline every process, from start to finish. So your dealership looks, and runs, like the well-oiled engine we know it is.

5. It sets you up for future customer experiences.

All these aspects go a long way in providing a knock-out customer experience. But it’s all for naught if you can’t easily log and track all contact with your customers. How will you know if Jeep-Loving Julie got a printed proposal for an upgrade? Your system should have that data. If tough-to-sell Joe tells you, “I’ll never buy a car in the service drive,” take note so you don’t misstep the next time he’s in service.

Equally as important as unique customer experiences are amazing employee experiences. Today, that means leveraging intelligent software to make their job easier and allowing them to use these tools from their phone. It means setting them up to succeed and giving them every advantage to do so.

Use a comprehensive solution to take the mystery out of your service-lane sales and identify exactly who your ups are and how to talk to them.

Know how and when to approach which customer with which deal, and you’ll see your sales soar.

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