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Improving One-Line Repair Orders

8 steps to “Spending Quality Time with your customer reviewing the findings of the MPI”

On a recent Friday at the Dealership I was visiting, we had a meeting and discussed some important metrics surrounding increasing sales. The topic of One-line RO’s Over 30K miles was approached. This was a painful reality to comprehend because we had 77% One Line RO’s!!!! In the relentless pursuit of incremental improvement,  I know with increased awareness and focus we can improve those numbers significantly.

The topic we landed on Friday to affect these numbers positively was “Spending Quality Time with your customer reviewing the findings of the MPI”. In other words HURRY UP EXCEPT when we are presenting information to our customers, in that moment we often need to SLOW DOWN and come off as not stressed or rushed!!!!

I wanted to review what that time spent might look like to add the most value to the customers and enhance the possibility of walking away with an additional sale.

Here are steps to do that;

  1. Assumptive approval to do the MPI –

“While we have your car we will also do a courtesy inspection and if our tech brings anything to my attention, I will let you know ok?” If you DO NOT do this than it’s very likely a surprise to hear any additional needs

2. Inspect-the-Car-First -¼ Time Rule –

Within the FIRST 15 minutes (ideally, quick as we can every other time) we are back in front of the customer relaying the results of the Multi Point Vehicle Health Check Up Inspection, good, bad or indifferent and RESETTING THE TIME CLOCK ON YOUR WATCH for completion.

3. Prioritized ESTIMATING –

Set up a Prioritized Estimate every RO based on mileage, history and condition – remember even if the Tech does not recommend something, if you know it’s past due by mileage, OFFER IT!


You can accomplish this if you just have a couple of recommendations on the MPI itself. SOME MPI (VCU) forms have a spot for the prioritization of your customers’ needs.

Organize your estimate in this manor;

  • PRIME CONCERN (Usually just the an oil change/rotation in Quick Service, OR – it’s a repair diagnostic request….This is the item(s) they brought the car in for)
  • NEEDS RIGHT NOW! – These are immediate needs. This is anything RED – OR – if there is NOTHING RED – the NEXT 1 item you suggest they do FIRST.
  • MAINTENANCE  – This is legitimate Preventative or Due or Past Due Maintenance that could Wait if it had to.

4. Use the “RELATED TO” Principal –

This is selling a solution like combining tires AND alignment – not separating it “We will replace your tires and perform a 4 wheel alignment” rather than “and we recommend” an alignment.


This rule states – DO NOT GIVE INDIVIDUAL PRICES, do not break down parts & labor. Get to the bottom, give a GRAND TOTAL price and 1 option, ask what the best choice is for the customer and BE SILENT!

6. Be aware of the surroundings when presenting.

Ideally you want to pull the customer away from a crowd to explain their presentation especially if it entails a significant amount of money.

7. Make sure to use the YING/YANG concept –

Say something GOOD before and AFTER telling someone what they need to spend money on! “Overall your car looks great, you do need to replace the front brakes and perform a brake flush, after that no major services for several thousand miles.” Cars that need NOTHING, make a big deal about it!

8. Leave the Estimate Sheet and the VCU/MPI with the customer mid-session during the review –

ESPECIALLY if they have declined anything so they can study it. Sometimes they will change their mind, and the very least it gives them ample time to review the recommendations for next time.

9. Use the reminder Op Codes/ declined services process –

This reminds the customer but also reminds YOU that you asked for that sale LAST TIME!

10. Remind people of what they missed last time –

Most people do not buy the first time you ask them so you have to ask them every time – This is ADVISING! Ideally do this at write up AND after inspection again in a prioritized way.

Remember the timing of the delivery of this information is critical and although we may not be able to improve that in every situation, it’s important that we do it when we can … .ALSO – related to timing, take time to review the presentation while still keeping it concise.

I hope this helps your efforts!

All the best!

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