Tips to Build a Rocking Estimate

“Nothing happens until something is sold”.  The age old advice that I am sure all of you have heard a few times more then you would have liked.  The truth is however, that this advice is “spot on” as my Irish cousins would say.

If you have to sell something to make money, then its probably pretty important that your people selling your products and services:

1) Know how to “build” an estimate

2) Can have an informative conversation with your customers about your services.

3) Can Sell.

Now that we have that out of the way lets talk a little about your selling tools.  I call them critical tools to success:

1) An inspection form.

2) An estimate from.

3) Standards in which you base your recommendations on.

Inspection Form:

Inspection forms come in all shapes and sizes and colors.  A good inspection form allows you to document vehicle system failures as well as indicate areas that should be addressed to prolong the life of the vehicle.  I prefer this Inspection Form.

Estimate Form:

Again whether you use a POS system to put together your estimate, or a pad and paper; your estimates should address vehicle recommendations in this order.

1) Address the initial concerns of our customer as well as any system failure as defined by the vehicle’s    Manufacturer.

2) Any scheduled maintenance due as indicated by the vehicles manufacturer.

3) Any improved performance services as defined by an independent recognized third party.  I recommend ad hearing to MAP guidelines.

Here is a good example of an estimate sheet.

Recommendation Standards:

As I indicated previously, I strongly recommend that you join MAP and strictly follow their guidelines.  There is significant value in your ability to recommend services based on a trusted and recognized authority.  MAP is that organization.  For instance:  Try to find a recommendation for  a power-steering flush that isn’t coming from a chemical company.  MAP states every 50K for a power-steering flush.  MAP also recommends fuel system services at 12K intervals and brake systems to be flushed every time the brakes are relined or two years.   Anything that does not fall under MAP guidelines, Manufacturer’s Scheduled Maintenance, or can be condemned as a system failure should be recommended to your customers as “improved Performance”.

We will discuss selling “improved performance” services in a later post.

Good Selling!

About Patrick Murphy

I have spent the past eighteen years producing, coaching and mentoring retail teams. The past six have been in support of Independents across Western US. Although, I have worked most of my career in automotive retail, It hasn’t and never will be about “cars and trucks.” What it has been about is the challenge and satisfaction of helping people with all types of backgrounds to realize their potential.
I am very proud that many of my former teammates have gone on to do some pretty terrific things with their life. Several are currently running their own groups and a few have even opened their own businesses.
My assignments with Bridgestone Firestone and TBC Corporation has offered me the opportunity to work in and become familiar with many markets across the country. From my hometown of Philadelphia, to Boston, Arizona, Dallas, New Mexico, Florida and Southern California. Each market has presented its own unique set of challenges, but at the end of the day, it always came down to three things: people, process and execution.