Complete and Thorough Auto Repair Shop Invoicing - Part 1

180biz invoice jot leadership video blog Jun 07, 2021
 

Invoicing Part 1 - Curiosity by Rick White, President 180BIZ

One of the areas that I find that’s the second most overlooked area in a typical auto repair shop. Honestly, the first area is your financials, not knowing where you're headed. That is a really dangerous place to be. The second most ignored area is invoicing, your documentation. Over the next four broadcasts or so, I’ll talk to you about what your documentation and how you can improve it to be more successful.

Let's talk about what typically goes on. Someone will call the shop to tell you their check engine light is on.  You write diagnose check engine light. So, then you go into impress mode and cut them off.  You know what they’re going to say and don’t really listen. We do a lot of assuming when we’re in impress mode.  We want to impress them with our abilities, with our knowledge, with our capabilities. Rein that in. Instead of assuming, instead of assuming you know where this conversation is going, I want you to be curious. I want you to understand that your invoice is not trading paper for paper where you're giving them the invoice and they're giving you cash.

That is a part of it, for sure, but your invoice, your documentation is all about storytelling. Think about it. Think of it as once upon a time or in a galaxy far, far away depending upon which way you want to go with that. So, your client is coming in with their problem. And we want to understand what that problem is. We want to understand how it's affecting them. You want to be the questioner, someone that's curious. Think about it this way. You want to get as many clues as you possibly can because your technician only has one chance at diagnosing this thing properly the first time.

Ask as many questions as you possibly can. And will help you to connect with the client. It's also going to differentiate you because you're doing something nobody else is doing. Assumptions kill curiosity. If you think you know what's going on, you're no longer curious. You’re not going to ask any more questions. Stop.  Ask questions. Connect.

Your client or that person calling has 4 expectations.

  1. A perfect product
  2. Caring people. They don't want to be treated like a number.
  3. Done in a timely manner.
  4. A great warranty.

Those are the four expectations that every client has. Now, when it comes to perfect products it’s critical that both you and they are on the same page as to what they think they're buying versus what you believe you're providing.  So, get on the same page with your clients about that. And the way you're going to do that is by asking questions. Once you've understood exactly where they're coming from, what their pain is, what it's doing to them, and what their desired outcome is you can determine whether or not you are either able to or want to help them with that.  And most of the time, the answer is going to be yes, of course, we want to.

Now, take a step back and stop thinking that you know everything. I want you to stop going into impress mode. You may want to puff your chest up thinking you can do this, and you can do that. That pushes people away.  You want to invite them in. You're going to do that by asking questions. You're going to do that by getting on the same page, by understanding what their agenda is, and making it your agenda. Now you are no longer a salesperson. You are someone they go to, you are their car guy or car gal, where you're going to be there for them when they need you. And you're going to develop that relationship. But people are only going to connect when they feel seen, when they feel heard and when they feel appreciated.  People will connect when you stop making it about you and trying to prove that you know what you're talking about and just spend all your time pouring into them and getting to know them. It makes all the difference in the world.

So, to start our invoicing section off, I want you to connect. I want you to be curious, and I want you to understand what their concern is. I want to know how that's affecting them and what fears they have, what issues they have, etc. because that's going to make all the difference in the world. That's where closing sales start is right here.

Thank joining today. God bless, stay safe and go make some money.