3 Common Objections From Auto Shop Customers (and how to overcome them)

Help your customers make more informed buying decisions and increase your ARO with these sales tips.

As somebody who’s been in sales for the better part of his professional career, I know how many challenges there are to getting somebody to say “yes”.

The number of objections can be staggering, but understanding how to navigate a conversation can be the difference between getting the sale and feeling completely lost.

In its most basic function, sales is very simple: thousands of people purchase things they need (or want) every single day; your job in sales is to make sure your buyer knows why they need the thing you sell. That’s it.

So let’s talk about three common sales objections you likely hear from customers in your auto shop on a daily basis, and how to overcome them.


1.“I don’t want to be sold something I don’t need.”

You are the expert in your field. You work on cars, you know what they need, and you know the value of replacing certain items at certain mileages. Your customers, on the other hand, are likely not experts. They very well may have no clue what a serpentine belt is or what it does (and therefore why they need it replaced).

The natural inclination of somebody who is being offered something they don’t understand is to decline. If you think about it, you’ve probably done this in the last month. A confused customer will not purchase whatever you’re offering.

So, you have to take the guesswork out of it. Spend an extra 2 minutes explaining what it is, what it does and why it’s important and your chances go through the roof.

Remember, “explain it to me like I’m a kindergartner” – Michael Scott


2.”I don’t understand why you want me to change the cabin air filter.”

This goes back to point #1. Those of us who are experts in an industry know a lot of terms and phrases that our customers don’t understand at the same level.

Your job is to get the person you’re trying to sell to understand why they need the solution you bring. The only way to do that is by talking to them in their language at their level of understanding.

If Cassidy drives a muscle car she’s built from the ground up, she probably has a good idea why spark plugs are really important. But, not everybody is Cassidy and not everybody knows why spark plugs matter. Sell in their language, at their level, and it’ll become easier.


3. “Please don’t be so pushy.”

A key to sales success is knowing when to move on — and when to push just a little harder. If you know they need a service or product that will help their vehicle drive smoother and last longer, you have the opportunity to educate and help them understand.

People don’t want to be pressured into buying something on the spot. It’s not a good buyer’s journey and it’s not a good reflection on your company, brand nor location. If you’re sensing sensitivity to “pushiness”, step back and use the conversation to establish trust, educate, and build confidence in your expertise.



So what do you do? 

1. Consider recommending services instead or selling services.

Those who go to your shops typically think you are the expert. They’ll value your recommendations especially if you explain why they are important. Be clear, get to the point and help them see that importance.

2. Don’t speak the expert’s language.

Don’t complicate things. People buy when they understand what they’re purchasing and why they’re purchasing it. Use language that will resonate with them (this will change from customer to customer). Complicated language will diminish sales opportunities.

3. Educate your customers.

When being asked to make a purchase decision, the consumer needs to understand ‘why‘. As consumers, when we don’t understand why we’re being asked to do something or why you want us to purchase something, we nearly always decline. We are far more willing to take the plunge when we understand why we need to do something.

4. Automate it.

If you can educate the customer before they come in, your chances of getting them to agree increase exponentially. This “pre-education” is a massive opportunity and you accomplish it through content.

Content, like email, text messages, mailers, web pages, educate your customers before they come into your bays. And a better educated customer leads to a faster, more profitable sale.

Using an automation software can make all the difference. Shops using Cinch for this purpose, for example, have seen increased ticket/repair order amounts across the board.

Why? Their customers are far more educated about the services they need before they even enter the shop!

An educated, qualified customer is far easier to sell than a customer who doesn’t trust you, doesn’t know why your services are important, and doesn’t understand the value of what you’re trying to sell.

In a sentence, my advice to you is this:

Educate your customers and you’ll sell more.

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