Upselling is convincing a customer to switch from rail vodka to Grey Goose, from a single item order to a value meal, from a ... you get the idea. More sales and profit is the name of the upsell game and auto repair shops are no exception.
Rules? There are no rules. In fact, instead of expecting that someone coming in to get a flat fixed will spend $10 on the patch kit, imagine if he left a couple hundred dollars in your register -- $100 for the new tire, $5 for the tire gauge, a tire rotation, and not to mention fuzzy dice! The idea is to present your customers with things they find useful, as well as making the entire process easy, helpful, and fun for them.Paint the Town
Or at least, the car! If you’re located in an auto dealership, one way to upsell is to include paint as part of a new buyer’s package. No one wants to think about dings and dents, but when drivers get them, they’ll be happy to have that paint at hand. Make sure the small bottle is labeled with their make, model, color and, of course, your shop’s phone number, for when they need to buy more.
Check your wallet – how many “buy X, get Y free” frequent buyer cards do you have in there? Sure, some places are going mobile with their tracking of your coffees, sandwiches, and pizza slices now, but these old school freebie baiters are still thriving. And if you start selling them at your shop, you may find more customers coming through your doors. You’ve actually got two options. You can sell a card with a package (“Buy this punch card for $100, get five oil changes for the price of four!”) or you can simply implement a punch process (“Get a punch each time you come in for an oil change, the last one’s free!”) The idea of working towards getting something free may help retain money-savvy customers.
Score a Goal
Is your shop in a town that roots, roots, roots for the home team? Chances are, lots of your customers are sports fanatics. Why not offer some aftermarket products such as license plate frames, antenna balls, leather mats, seat covers, and more – all emblazoned with the local team logos? You can even score points with drivers who root for far-flung teams by offering to special order their merchandise.
The idea of buy aheads may not count as extra money on your books, but they’re a way of securing funds, in advance, that may have gone to your competitors. You should plot your buy ahead strategy for each type of customer. If you’re affiliated with a dealership, present new car buyers with a buy ahead package that consists of pre-payment for oil changes, 30,000 mile tune-ups, and new tires. Check existing customers’ maintenance histories and offer packages for them too. With a program such as multiple check in place, you can even offer your customers the option to pay for large buy ahead packages with up to four checks over a month’s time.
It’s That Time of the Year
If you pay attention to the calendar, you’ll realize there’s always something happening throughout the year. If you’re really smart, you can take advantage of those times to upsell in the shop. Located near a high school or college? Around mid-term, start selling an interior and exterior detailing package, ideal for those prom and college formal-goers. As you get ready for the holiday rush, stock up on those giant bows people place on top of new car presents. When else might people be buying cars as gifts? Graduation, so plan to stock up right before May. Even if your shop isn’t associated with a dealership, you can carry these type of fun, impulse items.
Ready to make the customer experience even better? “Sell” them on a great experience waiting for their cars or parts, right in your waiting room. We’ve created a free eBook filled with ideas on how to win the waiting room game. You’ll learn what electronics to stock up on, what snacks people will want to feast on, and when you should encourage people to actually step out of the waiting room. Download the free eBook here!