IT’S IN THE PRESENTATION! Professionally overcoming the customer supplied parts problem

By Bill Forrester

Identifying the challenge often leads to a solution – why do customers do it?

The usual answer is because they believe that they are being frugal, practical and often have the mindset that all parts are the same.  The challenge is, how do you change that mindset while keeping it all positive?

As this challenge continues to escalate, shop owners rely on articles they have read, instructors of past, consultants in the field or maybe even their own insurance agent informing them of the risk and liability it poses to their business.  The quick response is either 1) “If I install your parts, I’ll have to charge you additional labor and there will be no guarantee” or 2) “I don’t install customer provided parts.” Either answer puts the business in a bad position.

What if there was a different approach?  What if the burden of choice was taken from your shoulders and placed on the consumer with some positive influence?

Imagine quoting your next front brake service like this (pricing purely fictitious):

Mr/Mrs Smith, I have two options for you on your required brake service, the first one is us doing the work but you would have to locate, compare and ensure that the parts are correct, and unfortunately, there is no warranty from our facility on this, but here is the breakdown:



Mr/Mrs Smith, I procure the proper parts for your vehicle through my professional network that I use, my team of professionals installs the parts made to your vehicles specifications, meaning that they will meet or exceed the necessary stopping distances required by your vehicle manufacturer – I’m not sure if you knew this, but not all brakes will meet this expectation, AND we warrant all of the work for ____________ miles or ____ months, whichever comes first – AND, because it makes the process smoother for my technicians, I will also discount my labor to you.  So, if we go this route the price would be:

The only thing you might have to do now is put new labor rate signs up to comply with your local laws, and to train your writers!