Another month, another record. The recovery of the Retail Automotive Industry continues to pace our countries economic recovery. But, let’s all remember that economies are cyclical, and what goes up must come down. So, unlike the last downturn we experienced most Franchise owners, Independent and Groups alike have quite a different profile when it comes to preparedness of market fluctuation. Service lane sales, in no short order, is definitely a strong force in fueling the industry’s engine. But, as in all things sales, improvement is just a moment of self-awareness away.
So, where’s YOUR value proposition? Better yet, do you show value in your proposition? I get the opportunity to speak to GM’s, platform managers, and franchise owners alike each day. I get a unique perspective of what process and procedures are implemented in many service lane sales processes. My static question is always; “are you selling, or presenting value?” I promise you there is a difference. So what is the difference? Follow me.
Most dealers across the country, have a “service lane” rotation for sales associates. It’s the “dreaded” early morning sales walk. “Hi, I’m ____- from ABC Toyota. Would you _____ if I could ______? The would you, if I could, sales pitch. I hear from GM’s every day that say they have that pitch perfected. My answer every time is that it’s still a pitch. A pitch to a customer with which no implied permission has been granted. They came for oil change, and got a pitch while they waited. Where’s the value?
One of the things I preach about is that working smarter in the service lane will always yield greater sales results AND profitability. When you add value, it becomes a value proposition, not a pitch. If the customer sees the value, win-win. If they don’t, you haven’t wasted their time, or yours.
So where does this mythical “value” come from? It comes from pre-screening that customer before you ever think of approaching them. It comes from presenting an offer they can take advantage of right now, with you knowing they have the credit worthiness to take advantage. It comes from not ostracizing that customer that you spend three hours with, only to realize they couldn’t buy our coffee it you were selling it.
Streamlining your sales in the service lane is truly one pre-screen away from real profitability. Remember this isn’t Popeye, and Wimpy can’t gladly pay you for that car on Tuesday if he can drive it today. Service lanes are profit centers, and if treated as such, can be the driving profit force of any dealership. Part of that is focusing an equal amount of thought into your process. Value sells, not pitches.
So tell your sales associate to tuck in that chain, button up that shirt, and get ready to present value. Your profit is riding on it.