TIP: Give away the inspection you sell, then sell the inspection you give away

Are you sharing basic maintenance tips with your customers? You should be. Especially if any of these tips helps your customer to keep their vehicle out of your shop. Yes, really. This builds trust with you, as it communicates you genuinely care for their well-being (and understand their wallet is not bottomless).

If you have a web site or a blog, don’t just put these tips there. That’s just a “fire-and-forget” solution. But rather, print these up on nice paper, and leave a copy on the driver’s seat of vehicles with completed repair orders. Or better yet, hand them out personally. Build a dialog and speak with your customers; let them get to know you as a person, not just a repair shop “mechanic”. But there’s more: handing this list to a customer could help you get paid for what you might give away for free.

Here are some of the many tips you can pass along:

  • Change the oil and filter about every 3,000 to 4,000 miles—consult your owner’s manual.
  • Check all fluids frequently, including brakes, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent, battery, and antifreeze. Fresh fluids and proper levels enhance the safety and performance of your vehicle.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires at least once a month. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. (Did you know that under-inflated tires can result in fewer miles per gallon?) [and here’s a bonus tip: suppose you built-in the cost of an inexpensive tire pressure gauge and gave one to the customer along with these tips when they pick-up their vehicle – right at the point you describe this very tip?]
  • Keep your engine tuned up. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
    Have the chassis lubricated frequently to help extend the life of the moving components of the suspension system.
  • Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. Unless you have a “maintenance-free” battery, check the battery fluid and fill if it is too low.
  • Check the lighting system frequently, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and taillights.
  • Check windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year or sooner if streaking begins.
  • Inspect engine belts regularly for cracks and missing sections. Worn belts will affect engine performance.
  • Check the air filtration system frequently (at least every other oil change) to ensure that it isn’t clogged or damaged, ensuring your vehicle will perform at its peak condition.

Of course, your service advisor sells this inspection when the vehicle comes into the shop. Right? If not, give us a call at 800.755.0988 and we can discuss why you aren’t and explain how you can learn to do this and so many other things to improve your bottom-line profitability.

The simple fact is most of your customers will never go through and actually perform this inspection. It’s a lot of “technical” work. Knowing this maintenance will help with their vehicle’s performance and maintenance means they will be more open to paying for it. A simple list like this is easier to read and carries more impact than the technical-looking forms you present to them.

This is more than just showing your customer a list and saying “we do these.” Rather, it’s handing a list to them and saying “you need to do these.” Then, when you explain that your expert professional technician can accomplish this quickly along with that oil service or tune-up for only X dollars more, that customer is more likely to agree and more open to paying for that inspection service.

Written by RLO Training