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Stan Sher

Stan Sher President

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Relating Bar Rescue (Spike TV) to the Automotive Business

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As I watch new episodes of "Bar Rescue" on Spike I am amazed at some of the things that I have learned about the food and beverage industry.  I have been watching this show with a very open mind to understand what I can do to improve my business practices.  What I have found was that this show has business practices that even automotive professionals and managers need to consider taking a look at.  Let's take a look at what I am talking about.

 

1. "Drinks should always be 1 oz of liquor to 3 oz of mix.  The perfect oz is a 90 degree angle for 3.5 seconds."  This is one of the quotes that Jon has been using.  He talks about this in order to teach bar owners how to save money to increase ROI.  I find that when looking at the automotive sales process dealers have similar issues with untrained or unexperienced sales consultants letting the customer leave without giving management an opportunity to do a proper TO.  In fact I remember being a new sales person and this happened to me.  My manager had said to me, "congratulations, you just cost the dealership $600" with a hint that every missed opportunity costs the dealership $600.  Just like in the scenario of saving money and maximizing opportunities for a bar the proper process and training in the showroom will save the business money invested.

 

2. "When customers order drinks like vodka and cranberry, always suggest premium liquor with that.  About 25% of the time you will sell a more expensive brand and that's 25% more cash in your pocket".  This quote can apply to many parts of the sales process including selling add-on accessories, working with a trade in, or even selling products in the finance department.  As a sales professional it is simple to improve profits, get a customer more excited, and provide more value to them by just simply offering to take a look at some more options.  The service department does this be offering to take care of something on the current vehicle sooner then later.  This is a method of up selling.

 

3. "Redesigning the menu can immediately increase your profit.  Proven techniques by like boxing and shadowing your dishes can increase sales by 10% overnight and it encourages people to go for more expensive items which is the name of the game."  We have all been taught to offer our customers choices and that is a huge part of why finance managers design a menu to sell from.  While selling the most expensive package on the menu will improve the gross profit of a deal it will also offer the customer more added value.  The same added value that will keep them coming back to your dealership for service, future vehicles, and even offer you referrals.  This is the art of letting the customer up sell themselves.

 

4. In some episodes of the show, Jon Taffer says that "statistically guests will stay 52 minutes longer when they have a mean" when he stresses the importance of offering a food menu.  As a bar consultant and expert he teaches bar owners how to make profits using these technique to up sell guests.  The automotive business is constantly growing by up selling.  When it comes to sales think about that customer that purchased a vehicle to own for a long period of time but did not buy an extended warranty. Also, when offering to take a look at accessories and showing customers the nice things they can do to make their vehicle look and drive nicer we are up selling.  In service, advisors are always up selling when technicians notice that something will have to be replaced soon by offering the guest to get it done now instead of waiting.  Obviously, the business office is in charge of signing up guests and also offering them more value while up selling them in order to improve the gross profit of the deal.  What about vendors selling to dealers?  A dealer signs up with a vendor for a product and starts to use it successfully but to keep up with competition the company creates a new package to present to the dealership.  This is also an up sell.  

 

Alright, so 3/4 of the Jon Taffer quotes that I related to that automotive industry involve up selling and improving profits while the first statement involve process management.  The bottom line is that every industry practices up selling and there is nothing wrong with it.  A business will grow and maintain success through proper process, marketing, and sales techniques no matter what industry it serves. 

 

I would like to welcome comments and opinions to this discussion.

Bryan Armstrong
Good analogies here Stan and some valid reminders that increasing value and service increases profits and retention. Above all we must ASK ! As I was told when I was young, "a closed mouth won't get fed".
Stan Sher
Thank you.

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