Automotive experts generally distinguish car salesmen from service advisors. Both might sell products and services, but service advisors carry a different image than your traditional salesman. Advisors report inspection results and educate customers about their vehicles, which happens to lead to sales, whereas salesmen simply sell vehicles. Right?
While industry professionals might make this distinction, customers probably don’t. And while advisors and salesmen might have different jobs, service advisors can still learn a lot from other sales professionals and their techniques.
A big part of selling is what words salesmen choose to use with customers. Specific words and phrases can persuade motorists to approve necessary services or persuade them to walk out the door, so your service advisors need to know what words drive customers away.
Sales Words to Avoid
Have you ever heard an advisors use phrases along the lines of, “We hope this will fix the problem,” or “Hopefully this will work.” Your customers need you to be a credible source of auto expertise and information.
Your service advisors have to stand 100% behind the services and recommendations they prescribe. “Hope” leaves too much to chance. Replace this word with words like “will” and “know.”
No one likes when a service provider sounds patronizing or condescending. With this in mind, in certain contexts, the word “obviously” can turn motorists off. The word gives the impression that they should already know this information or should understand it without further instruction. Avoid the word “obviously” unless it’s obviously necessary.
If your service advisors are trying to represent value to your motorists, they can do so without using words like “cheap.” Cheap might mean inexpensive, but it also means low-quality and cut-rate. Words like “value” or “deal” are preferable.
The phrase “Let me give you some advice,” stirs defensiveness in many people. Motorists trust you to be the expert and they do want your advice, but using the exact phrase often sounds arrogant. Motorists want you to be their partner and leader, not their boss.
Replace the “advice” phrase with phrases like “In my experience,” or “We have seen these results.”
Motorists often feel reluctant to sign on the dotted line for service recommendations. Some repairs are a huge financial investment for them and anything that looks like a contract seems intimidating. When your advisors ask for motorists’ approval, they should ask for just that: their approval. Phrases like, “We’ll just need your approval on this,” empower the motorist more effectively than phrases like, “Sign here.”
If you want a thriving service shops, you need advisors that double as sales experts. Train your staff on what words to avoid when they speak to customers and see your recommendation approvals increase as a result.