Final count for U.S. auto sales for the month of October -5.9% and YTD -0.3%
As some of the industry experts have pointed to a potential softening of new vehicle sales over the next 18 – 24 months, it is more important than ever to focus on the backbone of the dealership. Taking it a step further, narrow your sights on the most critical position within the store, your service sales advisor. What have you done to this moment to help your current service sales advisor succeed?
Lets take a look at how you can help set the stage for success.
Training – In person or online, it all helps re-focus your service advisor.
In person - When I was a service manager we used to meet for a quick 10 minute warm up before we opened the doors. Of course we were not able to dig deep into the intricate nuances of how to write service but I would be able to set the tone for the day. I likened this to a basketball team warming up before a game, layups and free-throws and then a few instructions on the game-plan.
Online training - help your advisor learn and give them an environment where they can simply focus on the training. There were many times when I would send a service advisor off the drive for a couple of hours during the day to complete a couple of online modules, more often than not the reluctant advisor comes back with something new to discuss and talk about.
Streamline your appointment booking process and allow others to maximize the schedule. Do you want a quick 20% increase? Proper shop loading and production will give you an immediate shot in the arm. Tired of Saturdays being the FREE lunch day? Implement an in-house or outside vendor based BDC. This will take away any personal agendas from the service advisors and allow you to effectively load your shop and control the workflow coming in.
Environment – I may be a little nostalgic here but I talk about this often during trainings and with other team members. When I started writing service in the early nineties I joined a team that worked really hard but they played even harder. There were six of us that had each other’s back, we cohesively attacked the day and sub sequentially the evening as well. If one advisor was off the other team member stepped right up and took over. We had fun and most everyone looked forward to coming to work. As I look back and as I have tried to duplicate that type of environment I realized that the focus was always on the goal and the steps that were being made to achieve the goal. Obviously during meetings we would address some of the items that needed improvement but overall the end line is all that mattered and the small little infractions along the way were part of the game. Do not focus on the negative.