Service Manager: Very few service managers truly understand the art and skill involved in professional selling. This is a problem since one of the most important components to their department is the service advisor team – or as I like to refer to them, the sales team. How can you effectively manage a sales team if you don’t truly understand the process of selling or have never sold to customers yourself?
One of the biggest secrets to being a successful sales manager is being able to actually deliver a sales presentation at least as good as your best salesperson. As a manager of salespeople, you yourself must be able to do all of the things you want and need your team to do. You need to be able to greet customers, ask diagnostic questions, walk around a vehicle, point things out, make a professional presentation, ask for the sale, handle objections and all of the other things a professional salesperson knows how to do. The best way to get a sales team to listen to you and take your instruction is to show them that you can do everything you are asking them to do to the letter.
Technicians: Technicians must fully inspect every single vehicle every time. It’s easy to see why sometimes they don’t. If you take the time to fully inspect the vehicle, fill out your multi-point inspection sheet, present the multi-point inspection sheet to your service advisor and they, in turn, can’t sell what you so painstakingly found, why waste the time? I wouldn’t.
Technicians hold all of the cards in this scenario. The need for highly skilled and motivated technicians is at an all-time high. If you are in a shop that does not allow you to work in the most efficient and profitable manner possible, I would shop my talents. Of course, I recommend that you first talk with management about your concerns, but if your concerns in this area are not addressed within 90 days, they never will be. Trust me, if you cannot get the work done efficiently and in a profitable manner for your service advisors, they are not going to stick around. Your profession is not a game. Maximize your opportunity and position yourself to work with like-minded professionals and inspect every vehicle every time. You have the right to be successful too, and in my opinion, it is not fair for you to be held back by those who can’t do their jobs.
Service Advisors: Service advisors should take more personal responsibility for their careers instead of waiting for the dealer, the general manager, their manager, their co-workers or the factory to supply all the solutions, training and opportunity. As a professional salesperson you cannot wait. You have to invest in yourself, your career and your future. Sign yourself up for all of the free sales information you can on the Internet. Invest in books, magazines, webinars, videos, workshops and seminars. Be open minded. The information you seek out does not have to be specific to the auto industry. Some of the best tips, practices and advice I have ever received have been from sources outside my immediate industry. As a professional salesperson you should set aside between 2 to 5 percent of your annual income to invest in your education and self-improvement. Over time that investment will reward you at least 10 fold. The salesperson that rarely reads will experience a bad economy more often and deeper then the salesperson that does read.
Of course the picture I have painted here is not a reflection of all people who hold these positions, but it sadly does reflect the majority. As you can see, the underlying theme here is taking responsibility, stepping outside your comfort zone and taking steps that are often times uncomfortable but best for your career. If you wish to maximize your opportunity you have to prepare yourself to maximize your opportunity. The sooner you start the better. Start today because you will run out of tomorrows.