Selling Service via the Telephone

Nicole Marcellino

Selling work over the phone is something that has been done since service centers opened, and this goes for independent centers as well as dealerships. Most advisors love it when they can sell work over the phone as it gives them the upper hand. There is nothing better than when an advisor actually has a minute to breathe and works through a quote, put the numbers together, and presents a well-organized “package” to their customer who isn’t tapping their foot in the waiting room.  This scenario is one where fewer mistakes are made and the advisor is more confident in themselves when they present their case. Waiters, we all know are important to the workflow for the day, however selling a large job over the phone also gives the customer the opportunity to think things over, if need be, without someone hovering over their shoulder. There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to manage your workflow and a waiting customer will not make up their mind to move forward or wrap it up for the day.  Most customers who utilize mom and pop shops are accustomed to leaving their vehicle for the day and don’t blink twice when their mechanic calls them to discuss the details of their vehicle. 

There’s always going to be a drop-off customer out there that wants to see what the technician is talking about before making the decision to repair or not. This will prolong the repair process but can be necessary to sell a job. Remote selling is something that when done properly gives the dealership the opportunity to land large jobs and thus greater profit.

Should selling work over the phone continue as a regular practice in today’s environment? Yes! Should it be the only form of selling work to a customer who is not in the dealership though?

To that question, I say “No.” There are a variety of scenarios where a simple text message or a detailed email will suit the customer and the advisor best. It’s up to the advisor to determine which form of selling their work will suit the customer best.  While selling service over the phone is a classic, some jobs like a quick oil change or state inspection can be recommended and approved quickly in a text and everyone moves on with their day. 

A dealership would be smart to have systems in place that allow an advisor to have multiple forms of communication open to reach their customers in the most efficient way possible. Whether that be selling over the phone, via text, or via email, each form of selling holds weight and should be available to the ever-evolving customer. Allowing multiple formats of selling allows the customer to again feel as if their needs are being placed first when it comes to how they prefer to communicate. At the end of the day, perception is reality and if the perception of the customer is that the dealership went above and beyond to accommodate them, then we have done our job.


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