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Andy Church

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"Missed Shots in your Service Department"

How many times have you heard: “How many (fill in the blank) did we sell this month?

We’re always pushing our service advisors to sell every possible opportunity they can find, be it from a walk around, factory maintenance, or what the technician finds.

We need to examine one specific word: “find”.  In this context, “find” is a verb, indicating some form of action. In our industry, action is an essential element of everyday life, and at ASE, we translate that into the simple word “do”.

For this discussion, and to start your thinking process in the right direction, ask yourself this one question: In terms of finding immediate service sales opportunities, who, in your dealership, is responsible for performing the action we call “find”?

  • Service Advisors find work every day through walk arounds and visual inspections at vehicle drop off.
  • Technicians find work through diagnosis and in-depth vehicle examinations.
  • Service Managers find opportunities in terms of new revenue generation ideas, efficiency improvements, and expense controls.

Problem is…human nature only compels us to look for things that are of interest to us which might prove beneficial to our work skills or paycheck…and sometimes, work needed on a customer’s vehicle is simply overlooked because it is not advantageous to the Technician to do it, or for the Advisor to sell it, or for the Manager to ensure said work is being “found”.

Sure, you may have a “21-point inspection sheet”…if a vehicle comes in needing work (a necessary job which is excessively complicated and/or time consumptive), what’s the likelihood that item will make its way onto the inspection sheet, and then be sold? Moreover, what auditing tools do you have in place to ensure this process happens with every customer every time?

I’ll provide a simple example…your battery vendor probably has a tester which they will provide you basically free of charge which provides a complete battery test in thirty seconds, provides a printed battery health report as a customer sales tool, and also keeps track of total battery tests performed per week/month, and by whom. Obtain this device, and require 100% battery testing in your shop. Match your monthly car count against battery test count and determine how many opportunities were missed.

You will be astounded how many “shots” you are missing!

People like to do what comes easily to them…unfortunately, not all opportunities in vehicle repair offer this luxury. All professionals are compelled to “do the right thing” which may not be the easiest, or most interesting act of our day. However, we discipline ourselves to ensure our area responsibility is covered, and we demonstrate an awareness to ensure repeat business and profit. This awareness must become a “culture” within your shop to ensure 100 per cent of the “shots”…good and bad…easy and complicated, are taken.

What can you do today to ensure your team takes 100% of its “shots”? by Rob Palumbo

Jim Bell
Great post Andy. I feel that a lot of service advisors forget that they are actually sales people and sometimes miss the mark on asking for the sale. They may bring it up with the customer, but forget to ask for the sale. They may take the customer's advise and just write the RO for the oil change and forget to try to upsell the tire rotation, fluid change, or test the battery. Great talking points for the service departments.
Andy Church
Thanks Jim, Couldn't agree more. I five minute "huddle" each morning to remind everyone of the 5 Steps of selling and even do some role play, will do wonders for your close ratio!
Tommy Bay
This is a great reminder at a higher level as well. We would all be wise to always be looking for and open to the opportunities that are presented to every one of us every day and then act or "DO", as Andy said. We can benefit from "finding" good relationships and new customers along with sales opportunities.

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