Therefore, when you make a recommendation that a client declines, then you have an obligation to follow-up on those declined services.

Wait, who wants to follow-up on declined services? I don’t have time and they’ve already said no once, so, what, you want me to be a punching bag? Well said, but way wrong, and here’s why:

1. Obviously the customer needs the service or you wouldn’t have recommended it.

2. It’s your obligation to make every effort to ensure that your customers’ vehicles are safe, reliable, operating to manufacturer’s specifications, achieve maximum fuel economy, and are not susceptible to unexpected and costly breakdowns (Granny Rule #2).

3. You’ve already got time and effort invested in this customer and this service so why would you throw away that investment?

4. As for the time concern, these 10 -15 minutes a day should be some of the most valuable minutes of your day.

So, you agree to give it a try. Here’s how to do so with a very basic system (feel free to use Outlook or any other system):

1. Get six file folders.

2. Mark them Monday – Saturday.

3. Whenever you have a declined service, make a copy of the RO.

4. Determine when you should follow-up with the customer based on the nature of the declined service and write the date on the RO. a.Safety concerns may be in 2 – 3 days.

b. Tires may be in one week or so, and so on….

5. Drop the RO in the appropriate day.

6. Every day look at what ROs are in that folder and call the customer, then either refile for the next follow-up or discard as the customer has just set an appointment.

Now, as for what to say when you call the customer: “Hello Mr. Smith, Steve Jones from Hometown Motors here. Do you have a minute to talk about your C300? Great! As you’ll remember, your technician recommended that you have your front brakes replaced and I was calling to see if you were ready to have that service performed?” Then, go from there. Build value, overcome objections, close the sale, set the appointment, etc.

Many times the customer will thank you for the call. If they indicate that they are not quite ready, ask if they would mind if you followed-up with them in a week or so?

Customers normally will appreciate your concern for them and their vehicle, plus they appreciate that you want and value their business.

Trust me, follow this simple process and your sales will go up, your customers will value your concerns, and you will further your relationships.

Quite the trifecta for 10 – 15 minutes a day.


 Brett Coker
 Coker Automotive Consultants
 Phone: (205) 337-2542

Coker Automotive Consultants is a proud fixed-ops content and in-dealership training partner of The Mar-Kee Group. To learn more, visit