You Shouldn’t Need to Sell Preventative Maintenance

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The average maintenance and repair costs for a three-year-old vehicle is $1186, according to a recent AAA study.  

That number is well-known, and car buyers and owners expect there will be upkeep costs. 

Yet, when writing work orders, it’s often seen as a ‘win’ when a one-line oil change RO gets bumped up to two or three lines of maintenance. Adding preventative maintenance lines to a work order is great and all…but you’re selling it wrong. 

Maintenance Isn’t an Upsell!

Check the owner’s manual on any vehicle and you’ll find a maintenance schedule in its pages. It contains all the information necessary to properly maintain the vehicle. Oil and filter change intervals, tire rotations, transmission fluid changes, differential services – there are no details hidden. 

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Yet, somehow, car maintenance is seen as an upsell by many. On the contrary: if preventative maintenance ISN’T completed, the customer has down-sold the advisor!

Preventative Maintenance is the Standard

Consider preventative maintenance as a benchmark. It’s the acceptable level of job performance. When a customer visits, this is the minimum they should expect. Here’s why: 
•    On previous visits, the advisor has established the importance of the maintenance guide. 
•    The BDC has detailed all the maintenance requirements for the customer’s visit when setting the appointment. Requirements are based on the indisputable maintenance guide alone. 
•    The service advisor presents the required maintenance to the customer as an expectation, not as a suggestion. 

Maintenance should not be something to sell. Rather, it’s a tool to help the customer keep their vehicle operating at its best. When writing the work order, the service advisor should present maintenance that is due… and ONLY the maintenance that is due. 

Customers know there is a cost to maintain their vehicle. It’s your job to show them why it’s important. When that’s done well in a walkaround and RO write-up, maintenance isn’t an upsell but an expectation. 

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