Picture this: a customer comes into your shop with a light on their dash. They don’t know what it means, but they want to make sure there isn’t any thing major wrong with their car. You explain that it is their tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light and it is indicating either that they have something wrong with their system or one or more of their tires are simply low on air.
You start the engine and see that the TPMS light blinks for 60-90 seconds before remaining solid, indicating that there is something wrong with the system. You test the TPMS system and you find that one of their TPMS sensor batteries has died. You let the customer know its is going to be around $70 to replace the sensor. The customer asks “What happens if I don’t replace it?”.
This is Your Moment!
Customers can be reluctant to service TPMS for many reasons. They might not have the time, the money or they might not understand the benefits enough to care about whether or not they have a working system. If you put yourself in their shoes, you might have felt the same way before you knew anything about TPMS. There are a few things you can do when talking to a reluctant customer to help them understand the benefits of TPMS and hopefully agree to invest in and maintaining a working TPMS system.
1. Take Time to Understand Their Reservations
If you understand why they are refusing the service, it will immediately tell you if it is worth pressing the issue or not. If it is a cost issue and they just can’t afford the unexpected expense, your hands are tied. Give them a printed handout about TPMS and follow up with them in a few weeks via direct mail, or send an email reminding them that you are able to service their system if their financial situation changes.
If they just can’t seem to justify the investment, this is where you have an opportunity! Explain all of the benefits of a properly functioning TPMS system: safety, better gas mileage, better handling, better braking distance, environmental benefits, etc. The customer purchased their vehicle with a functioning system. The small investment needed to maintain it is worth the benefits.
If it is a time issue, explain that it takes less time to service the system now than to get a flat tire on the side of the road and have someone come pick them up. This is also an opportunity to upsell the other three sensors in the vehicle because if one battery has died, the other three are soon to follow, which will take even more time later.
2. It’s Not About the Sale
A customer’s guard will come down if they feel you are genuinely trying to help them and not simply trying to make the sale. Do they have a busy job? Tell them that TPMS keeps them from having to worry about their tires, all the information they need is displayed for them on their dash. Do they have kids? Tell them about the safety benefits. Find their unique trigger and bring them into the conversation. People buy from people they like and trust. The more you get to know them, the more they will trust your opinion.
3. Stay Positive About TPMS
Nothing will solidify their reluctance faster than you agreeing that having to maintain the system is a giant pain. TPMS is mandated in the U.S., Europe and soon China for a reason: tire safety and maintenance is vitally important – not only to the driver’s safety, but also for the safety of their passengers and others on the road.
It might help to compare it to other safety features on vehicles. If the airbags needed to be maintained, wouldn’t that feel like a priority? What about seatbelts? These are all safety systems put in place that you don’t really care about until you need them. It takes just one accident to take a life, and TPMS is one of many vehicle safety features that can help prevent tire-related accidents.
The rule of thumb here is to relate to the customer. TPMS has enough benefits to pertain to most drivers, you just have to find out which one is the winner. Make the conversation about helping the customer and always stay positive about TPMS as a category.