September 2008

29Sep, 2008

10 Things Your Employees Are Thinking About


How often are you using training to refocus your employees on what’s important? I suggest a 15 meeting at the beginning of every shift. Get your team mentally focused on the important stuff right at the beginning of the day.

This is what they are thinking about

1. Kids
2. Husband/Wife
3. Who Jenny at the front desk slept with.
4. The up coming weekend
5. Fantasy Football
6. Ebay
7. The election
8. The economy
9. Argument with a friend
10. How long till they get off work
11. They deserve more money

What are you thinking about? “I hope Gross and CSI”

Just shows how important it is to train and refocus your employee’s everyday

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15Sep, 2008

The most important 15 minutes of the day


I have had clients on several occasions tell me they wish that their sales meetings had as much energy and focus as our daily shift meetings in service. It’s not that easy for the managers to keep the meetings fresh. I think it’s my Secret Service Society number one challenge to keep the advisors engaged. We find the better the games and meetings, the harder they are to top or duplicate. The advisors do get somewhat jaded after 90 days. I am constantly blown away by what some of the managers come up with.

15 minutes that can up your sales, C.S.I. , communication, productivity, and morale. It is a simple thing to implement. It’s a shift meeting 15 minutes before you open service or, as your sales dept opens everyday. If your service department opens at 7:00am, the meeting starts at 6:45.

Would you start your day off without a plan? Well your employees might be. They might be wandering in late and unnoticed.

Employees need to be trained and reminded of what they need to be doing and what’s important everyday.

Set the mood for the day with an upbeat music.
Start the meeting with music playing a bit louder than you can talk above. It sets an up mood and automatically lifts the mood and tempo of the morning.

Suggested music (ITunes I-mixes)

Hand out numbers, talk about important issues, number of appointments that day, sales tools, games for the day…Games for who has the most tires sold by 2pm or how many advisors can sell the most alignments or do the best walk around.

Who should attend?

Service Advisors/Sales staff/Finance Staff
Service BDC Manager

Guest speakers

Other Department Managers

It’s important to keep meetings up and positive. Make the focus selling and customer service.
I would never address issues or poor performance in the meeting. I would avoid any negative coaching. I would do coaching one on one. For example: If an advisor is bad at paper work and is missing signatures on ro’s. I would pull him in and coach him one on one. I would not make the whole team listen to me talk about missing signatures. You can loose the enthusiasm and attention of the top performers. You get more impact one on one.

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5Sep, 2008

10 Traits of Outstanding Service Advisors

10 Traits of Outstanding Service Advisors


1. Make a great first impression with customers. A first impression is made in the first 40 seconds of a contact. If the customer is a woman, you probably have only 30 seconds. The following suggestions will help you establish that all-important first impression.

2. Begin immediately to establish rapport with the customer. Compliment the car, something they are wearing, maybe just their smile. You can always find something to say about a person or car that is sincere. And it doesn’t have to be clever or wise. Look for that something the moment you approach the car.

3. Start the day with a plan. When you begin your day with clear and precise goals you will always be more productive. Establish goals for daily sales and specific items such as alignments.

4. Smile…smile…smile. A smile is always the best way to start a relationship. It makes you look friendly and willing to help. It also helps relax the customer who will then be more open to your suggestions. No matter what sort of day you’re having, always approach a new customer with a smile.

5. Put yourself on the customer’s side. Express concern for their problem. It can be something as simple as, “I’m so sorry you where stuck and had to ride in a tow truck. That happened to me once and I know it’s not much fun. So let’s see what we can do to get you back on the road.” Just be genuine and sincere.

6. Dress neatly. You are representing the entire service department. If you look clean and neat, customers will get the impression that the entire department is neat, clean and efficient. This will help assure them that they made the right decision to bring their car to you.

7. Build value into your services. Say things such as, “We’ve got the latest diagnostic tools so we can locate your problem quickly.” Or, “I’ll have Bill look at the car. He’s been certified by the factory and is particularly skilled at locating transmission problems.” Never miss an opportunity to brag a little about the quality of your service. But keep it sincere and low key. When you build value, you build confidence.

8. Ask open-end questions. Rather that ask questions that can be answered yes or no, get the customer talking. Often they’ll say something that will give you a better clue as to what the real problem is.

9. Be a good listener. Not only will you learn more about the problem but may pick up clues that will lead to other work that needs to be done. Plus, showing the customer that you are really listening will increase their confidence in your willingness to help them.

10. Follow-up and follow-up again. If you suggest to a customer that the work will be done at a certain time, follow-up. If you discover that there is a delay, have the customer immediately contacted with that information. Customers can be very forgiving about delays when promptly notified. Plus, you’ll earn a reputation for really being on top of things.

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Digging for Profits By Chris Collins - Dealer Service Training Specialist

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