The Primary Concern


I find it interesting that many dealerships blast a client with high-pressure sales tactics on maintenance items before they even diagnose the primary concern. If a customer brings their car in for a squeaking noise in the brakes, and they are offered $856 of other maintenance that is needed in the advisors mind before discussing their primary concern, this advisor is heading for trouble

Many times technicians and advisors recommend services based on the latest program that compensates them financially for selling it to customers. Everyone that knows me understands I’m not against selling in any form or fashion. I don’t believe, however, that high-pressure tactics are professional, or necessary in developing long-term customer satisfaction and retention. 

My view is that it’s our obligation to inform the customer of everything that is needed to keep their car in peak performance. The customer needs treated in a consistent fashion so that they understand their needs and their options. Advisors working on their feature benefit presentations are considered essential and should be role-played with other staff in the dealership on a weekly basis

A survey several years ago by JD Power and Associates stated that 37% of individuals making an appointment would approve recommended maintenance items at that time. That number jumped to 46% if these items were recommended on the service drive. Even better result was noticed with items recommended during the status call up to 56% of the time are authorized. Charlie Polston stated that something was missing on this very important JD power survey. He said when you don’t ask the percentage is zero! 

A sincere effort needs to be enforced that the customers understand all of that needs of the car especially including the primary concern. More important than quoting the primary concern estimate for the car first is that our staff makes it their “primary concern” to focus on the customer. No smoke or mirrors just quality customer care.

Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Margin Plus
Cell: (419) 282-1351
Fixed Performance complete fixed operations coaching consulting