Service advisors would naturally assume that the car is the most important thing to the customer. Given their point of view, it is. But for a customer, a car is just a commodity. It is just one of the many things and accessories that he needs for a convenient life. A car can be as important as his smartphone, his computer, or his refrigerator.
To get his attention, focus on what’s important to him, not to you. And there are certainly more important things in life than a car. He can buy a car, more beautiful car, less expensive cars, or exactly the same car from other dealerships. He can have it serviced by other advisors because after all, a car is but a commodity. Talk about the things that are significant to him, things that can never be replaced or reproduced.
Take clues from the car. Do you see a carryon bag in the compartment? Ask where he is planning to spend the weekend. Do you see a soccer ball in the back seat? Ask who plays with it. You can also take clues from your client. How is he dressed? A well-dressed person could be headed to meeting somebody important. Is he dressed for a picnic, a hike, or a corporate meeting? A simple, “Wow, where you heading today?” could get their attention.
Aside from breaking the ice and catching their attention, one way to instantly connect with your clients is to get them talking. Encourage them to talk, not just about their car and its troubles, but about themselves. Talking about their car will create an urgent and negative energy as they are dealing with a problem. Try to start a conversation that will steer them away from this atmosphere. Give them an opening that will lead to happy thoughts. And the way to do that is to ask questions that will make them forget about their business of coming into your driveway.
Your behavior and the way you talk should also mirror your enthusiasm. Words are meaningless if the customer don’t see it in your actions. Smile sincerely, offer your hand for a handshake, and lift your voice with eagerness. Your perky and infectious manner will effectively transfer to the client.
By giving your attention to the things that really matter to your client, you also reinvent your value to your clients. Once you established your connection down to the personal level, you are already somebody irreplaceable, somebody he cannot find from other dealerships and other driveways. The service you can provide in the dealership can be had from other providers. But he can never find the friendship and the real relationship that you are offering. That’s the only thing that makes you unique from the rest of advisors.
Encourage your customers and give them excuse to talk about things that make happy. A happy customer is a better customer. He will be more than willing to listen to you, accept your suggestions, and trust you. You will instantly make a personal connection with him that he won’t have with other service advisors. This is the kind of connection that makes returning customers. This is how you will build a growing clientele.