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Always remember to ask for the sale

Liz KeenerRecently my car required an oil change. Since I bought my pre-owned car from a dealership that carries a different brand than my car’s OEM, I couldn’t go to the selling dealership for the oil change.

So the search began. I only made a few phone calls before tasking my husband with taking the car in. But those phone calls I made surprised me. When I called, no one tried to book an appointment.

I called, asked how much the oil change for my specific make and model would cost. I was given a price, and then I said I might call back, and I hung up. No appointment was made. This dealership lost not only an oil change customer that week, but a potential service customer (and maybe even a trade-up customer in the future).

Because I bought my car at a dealership that doesn’t carry the same brand as my car is, I’ll likely need a dealership to help me with future needs not covered by my extended warranty. So it would make sense that if I can find a dealer to give me a top-quality oil change, that I’ll gladly return to the same dealership for other service needs.

When I called this particular dealership, the price of the oil change was reasonable, but of course, I was still shopping around, as many customers do. Instead of simply letting me hang up the phone, the woman answering the phone should have said, “Your oil change will cost $39.95 (or whatever the price was), what time this week should I schedule you in for?” or “Your oil change will cost $39.95. I have an opening at 8 a.m. tomorrow; does that work for you?” If she would’ve, I would have agreed to setting an appointment.

Instead I hung up. My husband brought my car somewhere else, and I’m still in search of that dealership that will turn into my regular service stop.

It’s not a big change to add those lines to your phone script (hopefully you have one), and it’s not even a high-pressure sale. It’s a question. It’s a commitment to your customer that you’re prepared to take care of her. With that one question, you just might make a customer for life.

Liz Keener is the managing editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She produces the magazine’s annual Market Data Book and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine and its ancillary products. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis, Power 50 dealership honors program and dealer education.

Contact: lkeener@powersportsbusiness.com
Website: www.powersportsbusiness.com

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