A Sales Lesson to be Learned from Your Mechanic

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

We typically don’t think of auto mechanics as brilliant sales people, although an analysis of their sales process provides an invaluable takeaway: discussing quotes and proposals over the phone with your contacts is a crucial factor in converting them from prospects to clients.

Have you ever had a mechanic look at your car, then email a quote and say they’ll followup with you in a week? Of course not! Mechanics will always call to explain their diagnosis, their solution, and the cost. There are two huge benefits for doing this, regardless of whether you fix Saabs or sell SaaS:

  1. It allows you to gauge your customer’s response in real-time.
  2. It dramatically shortens the sales cycle

As prospects advance through the stages of their customer journey, we expect them to become experts of our solutions and services. This assumption, however, is rarely true. Touchpoints don’t magically translate to subject matter mastery for your customers.

Likewise, most people are not experts at repairing their own vehicle, which is why we take our cars to the mechanic. During the discovery phase you are explaining the symptoms of the problem to your mechanic. They then evaluate your issues (i.e., pain points) and develop a solution and a quote.

Even if mechanics aren’t the best salespeople, they are exceedingly good at providing a consultative service. Too expensive? They’ll work to develop a solution to fit your pocketbook. Too time consuming? They’ll shape their repair timeline around your schedule. A great mechanic, like a great salesperson, will do anything to help convert their prospects during this proposal call.

The proposal call should always begin with value. You want to clearly communicate the value of your offering and how your client will benefit. Simply sending an email for them to go over and circulate internally will invariably lead to a cost-driven conclusion instead of a value-driven decision.

Setting up a a time to discuss a proposal also presents the perfect time to flesh out details that didn’t come up during a demo or discovery call. Here you can easily get answers to key questions regarding budget, decision makers, and approval process. The answers to these questions will allow you to close deals faster by dramatically shortening the sales cycle.

So next time you have a quote or proposal to send over, arrange a five minute call for your prospect. Help them see more than just dollars and cents. Show them the value!