12 Unforgivable Mistakes Your Repair Shop Sales Reps Are Making!

by Amara Zulfiqar

Not knowing how to operate the repair shop POS software is one thing. That isn’t affecting your sales as much as other mistakes your sales reps are making on a daily basis.

And we’re here to help you fix those tiny slips that are costing you your business. Of course, we’ve just launched RepairDesk 2.0, an improved repair shop software so your check-in and check-out, inventory, customer management experiences, and more become smoother. But we want to help you further to grow your repair business.

So, here’s a list of 12 mistakes I’m pretty sure a lot of your sales reps are making right now and it needs to stop now if you are serious about scaling!

  1. Paying little attention to presentability because they’ve got kick-ass sales techniques

No amount of persuasive powers will compel me to buy anything from a sales representative who looks unkempt. And I’m assuming, you’re no different. 

But let’s put you in your customer’s shoes to really understand the significance of being presentable.

You walk into a shop and are greeted by a sales rep whose hair is a little oily and the wrinkles on his shirt say he probably left for work in a hurry. What kind of an impression do you get of the shop? Sloppy? And probably not too good at their job either, right?

These are small quality signals that you’re unknowingly attaching to your brand. You want to make sure that you are presenting the repair store in the best possible light.

So, ideally, impose a dress code. Make wearing a collared shirt like a polo shirt mandatory. That instantly spruces up the appearance and gives a more professional look. You can even give them polo shirts with your shop’s branding as uniforms to wear.

Moreover, make sure the sales reps don’t wear ripped jeans, or any jeans for that matter. Unless, of course, they’re dark-colored. 

Apart from the appearance of the sales team, their oral hygiene is just as important. You really don’t want to talk to someone whose breath smells bad. Or whose body odor is unpleasant.

Give your staff lockers in the back room where they can keep their deodorants and use them as per need, especially during summers. Also, keep mint candy around the shop so the sales reps can take some after they’ve eaten something or smoked. This will not only help your sales reps keep their breath fresh but can also be something you can offer your customers, improving their customer experience. 

So, it’s a win-win!

  1. Not cleaning the workplace

In addition to the appearance of your sales reps, the cleanliness of your shop is equally important. You want to make sure that the showcases are wiped clean at all times and the workspace counters are in order and presentable.

Glass display cases can carry fingerprints and dust easily. So, make sure they’re always clean. The computer or the repair shop POS software system that you’re working around needs to be clean and clutter-free. That counter is where you’re trying to sell so it shouldn’t be distracting or off-putting.

Each shop has its own cleaning structure. But a sales rep must take ownership of their space and make sure it is presentable at all times.

To ensure all cleaning tasks are done regularly, pre-assign them using these printable templates that we especially made for repair shops. They contain all the basic, everyday chores a repair shop should be doing.

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  1. Not greeting the customers

Merely looking at the customer to acknowledge their presence is not good enough. Smiling when they walk in is not good enough. Letting them search for whatever they want is not good enough.

Instead, greet them with a “Hey, welcome! How’s it going? What can I do for you today?”. This instantly makes the customer feel comfortable and welcomed.

If a second customer walks in while you’re tending to the first one, excuse yourself for 10 seconds and greet the second customer with something like, “Hello, we’ll be right with you next. Thanks for waiting”. That sets the right expectations as soon as the customer walks in. They know there’ll be some waiting time but they’ll be tended to asap.

The 10-second break isn’t rude to the first customer either because they’d understand, provided you didn’t cut them or yourself mid-sentence to welcome the second customer. But you need to be swift in your transitions so your existing and new customers both feel at ease and important.

Another scenario could be that you have a considerably busy day at your repair shop and multiple customers walk in at the same time. There’s a single sales rep at the repair shop POS software counter catering to all. How do you handle a situation like this?

The sales rep should say something like, “Hello everyone! We’ll get to all of you guys next up after we’re done with these customers. Thank you for waiting!” 

Acknowledging all customers is extremely important. They’ll be spending their money at your shop. So, the least you can do is make them feel that you’re there for them and that they’re important.

  1. Not having the ability to gauge time

No one likes to wait in line. Everyone knows that.

So, in situations where you have multiple customers in the shop at the same time, your sales rep needs to be able to gauge their flow. How much time should the sales rep give to the existing customer before they can cater to the next? Because the longer your customers wait, the more aggravated they’ll become.

For instance, your sales rep is dealing with a customer and there are 3 more waiting. You should know not to spend more than 5 minutes with the existing customer and the remaining three. Because by the time you reach your last customer, you will have spent 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that within those 5 minutes with a customer, you should be able to write up the ticket, get the device in, and make some upsells if you can. You have to build a rapport with them, talk to them, compliment them, cram it all within that time frame. So, you need to know when to talk, when not to talk and how fast to go.

It really helps if you are making your sales with our repair shop POS software on RepairDesk ePOS that, with a simple tap, swipe and print, checks out your customer within a minute. You can pre-order the ePOS here.

  1. Overpromising and underdelivering

Another side to gauging time is building expectations on the turnaround time of a repair. If we consider the above example and your sales rep gives a repair time of an hour to each one of the four customers, there are 4 devices to be repaired within an hour and a half. So, when the customer comes back in and the repair isn’t done, it will ruin the relationship. 

Set a realistic timeline. You can do that by staying in sync with the technicians. Ideally, the back of the store and the front of the store need to be in line. Also, as a sales rep, if you’re told that a certain repair will take an hour, take the liberty to quote 2-3 hours to the customer. This way you underpromise and overdeliver.

For example, if an iPhone repair takes 15 to 20 minutes, give your customer a timeline of an hour and a half. This way, the moment the repair is done, and you have a way to contact the customer, tell them the repair is done and they can pick their device up. What this does is, it gives the customer the impression that you’re over-efficient.

You might say that you’ll lose customers to stores that promise 15-20 minutes for the same repair that you’re giving a turnaround time of 1.5 hours. But you can save that sale by telling them that you have multiple devices in because you’re the number 1 repair shop around. 

Also, agree that the repair actually takes 15-20 minutes but you want to ensure a quality repair. So you will not rush the process and make sure everything works and that’s why you want to take your time.

It is quite rare that someone will need a rush service but if they do, and you can afford to push them in front, make an exception. This depends on your volume, the number of phones you’re getting in a day. If you’re getting 10 phones a day, your tech will be available to do the job right away. But if you’re getting 30, 40 or maybe more phones a day, a quick turnaround time could be hard to accomplish.

  1. Telling the customer how expensive something is

A customer calls in requesting screen repair for their Galaxy phone. Everyone knows that Galaxy screens are quite expensive. So, your sales rep says something like this,

“It’s going to cost about like $320. Because it is pretty expensive to fix the screens, like $220. So we charge, you know, $320. It’s really expensive, but that’s how much it is if you want to get it fixed.”

This response is just so bad. You just lost a sale. What they should have said instead is,

“Hey, it’s $320 for the repair. It’s a genuine part (if you have a genuine part or it’s a premium part), and we can get it done for you in about an hour. We also have a warranty.”

So, you explain your super selling points real quick but do not get too complicated. And then, you let the customer decide without tainting their thought process with your opinion.

Another scenario would be when a customer comes in to get their really old phone fixed. You quickly check the repair shop POS software for the repair price and find out that the phone costs $30 while the repair will cost them $125. So, you tell them,

“You know, the phone is only worth like $30. It’s probably just not worth fixing. I’d probably just get another one.” And the customer says that they still want to get it fixed. And you say, “Yeah but it’s just so old.”

Nope, that’s just not how you do it.

You never know who you’re dealing with. And so you’re basically judging and insulting them. Because you don’t know how much money they have. You don’t know the sentimental value they attach to their phone.

So, let the customer decide. Just give them the information, “Phone’s going to be $125. If you’d like us to fix it, we can have the part here the next day (or however long it takes) and it will be fixed for you.” That’s all your sales rep has to do. They don’t have to discourage the customer. And most of all, they need to keep their opinion about how expensive something is to themself.

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  1. Not knowing how to deal with an escalation

The more the number of customers you have, the higher the chances of an escalation. But there’s a difference between having an escalation in an empty room and having one in a room full of people. In the latter scenario, people are watching you. 

It is kind of like a bad review on Yelp. You understand it can hurt your business but it is also important to respond to it. And everyone will be able to see your response.

Similarly, if an escalation happens, your sales rep needs to know exactly how to go about it. One of the ways is to manage it internally. This means that as per the store policy, grant the sales rep a few liberties to de-escalate the situation. For instance, they can offer a free tempered glass or a discount to calm things down. But if the situation continues to escalate, the manager of the shop should be asked to step in.

  1. Not having kickass communication skills

You can teach a sales rep how to repair, you can teach them processes, how to use the register. But as far as raw skills like communication are concerned, you can maybe brush up on them and structure them better, but teaching them is very hard.

So, ideally, to be a sales rep, it helps if their interpersonal skills are naturally good. If it’s someone who doesn’t like to talk to other people or help them out, then this probably isn’t the right job for them.

Now I know that a lot of technicians are introverts (a bit of a stereotype here but oh well). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they cannot be good sales reps. However, it will be much more effort for an introvert to sell and they will very likely lose motivation faster also. Again, they will be able to sell, but they won’t be able to offer an excellent customer experience. So, it helps if your sales rep is an extrovert and then just whets their skills a little. 

So, one mistake your sales rep is making while on a call is not understanding that communication is not what you say, it’s how you say it. And this holds true when dealing with walk-in customers as well. The tone of your voice and your attitude matter. Even when a customer walks in and asks, “can you fix my phone?” or “how soon can you fix my phone” and you reply with “ummm..,” “let me check” or “I don’t know,” the customer will start second-guessing your expertise. Of course, there are times when you don’t know if your shop can fix something and when they’d be able to do it. But a better way to go about it would be:

Okay. We’re really good at what we do. We’ll take a look at it and we’ll do the best we can to get you to where you need to be.”

That’s the exact same thing conveyed as before but in a much better way So, your tone needs to be professional, cordial, and confident at the same time.

Another area where interpersonal skills really help is upselling and cross-selling. So, a customer comes in with a broken screen, while taking in the phone for repair, you should offer to add tempered glass. And the way to go about it would be, “Let’s install a tempered glass so this doesn’t happen again. It’s only $14.99!

Don’t give them the option of maybe, and be confident. Act like you know what you’re talking about and say it when the iron is hot i.e. when they’ve come in with a broken screen.

  1. Not displaying patience

Patience is a key trait that all sales reps must possess. You’re dealing with customers on a daily basis and sometimes, it can get a bit much. So, you need to power through and not find yourself in the midst of a quarrel.

The first thing you need to consider is that whatever the customer is saying (even if they are shouting) isn’t meant to be personal. It may sound like that. But they don’t mean you any harm. They’re just upset because of their attachment with their device rather than any nefarious agenda they have against you. And as a seasoned sales rep, you should know that.

So, always put yourself in the customer’s shoes and deal with them with patience.

  1. Not keeping it simple

A customer comes in to get their device fixed, and here’s how you explain it:

Hey, we can fix your phone. That’s going to be $89 and we’re going to open it up. And then we’re going to change the screen and we’ve got to unplug the battery, but if you don’t unplug the battery, it could actually blow out the backlights. So there’s a risk involved in doing that. And I want you to know that…

Where do you think you went wrong here?

Most sales reps in the repair industry are technicians. And if you are one too, the one mistake that you’re probably making is being too technical with the customer. People come to you and pay for a solution, so they don’t necessarily need a technical explanation unless they ask for it.

Realistically, they just want to know if you can fix their device and how long it is going to take. So, your mistake in the instance above would be giving too much information that the customer does not need or understand. You should be confident in your abilities and just tell them that their device will be fixed within so-and-so time and it’ll cost this much. 

Because let’s be real, the probability of blowing out backlights is extremely low.

  1. Not identifying the customers’ needs

What this means is finding things the customers need but aren’t aware of yet. That significantly improves your sales and gives the customers the feeling that you care about them.

So, you get a customer who wants a tempered glass and a phone case. And you notice that their phone is really big so the phone slides out of their hands. That right there is a need. And, as a sales rep, you need to identify it. And, offer them a pop socket. That would be your third accessory sale.

So, keep looking out for those tiny details. “You know that’s a really large phone, do you have a struggle holding it?” Of course, they’ll say yes, it falls into my hand all the time. And you can offer, “Well, so that wouldn’t happen while you’re texting, let’s put a pop socket on it.

  1. Not following up with the customer

Once a customer has either checked in their phone or has done business with you, always follow up with them. This is especially important if there is a delay in their repair. And our cell phone repair shop software now offer Phone Pro which is add-on that helps you keep all your customer conversation in one place making getting back to your customers easy.

Another thing that you should remember is to keep only one point of contact with the customer. If the sales rep was in contact with them, the technician shouldn’t take over. The less the number of people that touch and hand off the customer, the better the experience will be. 

There are exceptions to this rule. If a situation calls for the technician to step in, they should. But on a day-to-day basis, ideally, the same person should deal with the customer because they’ve built a rapport. And it increases their chance of selling and building trust with the customer.

Some of the above points may seem insignificant, or insignificant ways to think about doing business. But if you’re trying to grow and scale your business, each one of these tips will help. Because eventually, you’d want to grow your customer base and multiply your locations. And it won’t just be people you know who use your services to support your business. So, you need to define your processes and train your sales rep if you’re serious about growing. And when you’re training your sales reps, make sure they don’t make any of the above mistakes.

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