Service Absorption Rule #2

“Maintain your hours per C/P Repair Order (RO) at a minimum of 2.5” says Don Reed, CEO of DealerPro Training Solutions.

If you are currently at the national average of 1.5, then this might seem a bit of a stretch.

Actually, anything is a stretch when it’s as big as an elephant. And we know how to eat an elephant, right… bite at a time.

So, let’s break “How do we get to 2.5 HPRO” into bite sized pieces.

The pursuit of HPRO requires well trained personnel. This means everyone. 

 Who gets Training and what kind of Training?

Any person that has customer contact (read everyone in the Dealership).

Sales Training would also be on the ‘Must Do”  list along with Phone Sales Training, Proper Greeting Training, (believe it or not) Courtesy Training, a forgotten bit of Training called ” Our Policies and Procedures” Training and maybe some “Goal Setting and Planning” Training, to name a few areas for consideration.

First, if I were to survey all of you and ask if Phone Training would be an important part of the training curriculum at your dealership, I suspect most of you would say “Yes.”  And based on that answer you would think that a business that relies so heavily on the phone would have Phone Sales or Phone Skills Training on a regular basis.


All you have to do is call your Dealership. In just a minute or two  you can determine if Phone Skills are up to standards where you are.

Call your parts department and ask about a special order part. Call the service department and ask to speak to the owner. See how long you are on hold. Call the receptionist and ask to speak to the detailers. Call and ask for a shuttle driver to come a pick you up. Call and try to schedule an appointment for service.

Was it easy? Was it professional? Did the person on the other end of the line make you feel like doing business with the Dealership?

The point is, it’s not only the day to day calls it’s also the unusual, the “you called parts and you really want sales” call that tells the tale. And if you do not have your normal phone traffic handled properly, what do you think your Customer is experiencing when they call into the Dealership? 

Second, conduct regular Sales Training.

Who needs Sales Training? Sales Training is for anyone who could have contact with the customer. Does this sound familiar?

Everyone in the dealership is a Salesperson. The greeter who sells friendliness, the parts counter person who sells a part, the service advisor who sells the labor….everyone is a Salesperson and yet why is it only the people in the Sales Department get sales training? 

Lastly, maintaining 2.5 HPRO is a direct result of what you measure. You can conduct phone skills and sales skills training, and if you never spend a second listening or critiquing to those whom you have just trained, you have wasted your time.

What we measure determines what we focus on. And we measure progress not only by tracking results, we also continually ask questions about what we are tracking.

 If we consistently ask our advisors “You wrote 12 CP ROs yesterday and only booked 8 hours. Can you tell me what happened?” after awhile, they will be prepared to answer that question before you even ask it, which means they are focusing on…you guessed it…Labor Hours per RO.

Try it. Start asking your advisors about something specific for a week and see what happens.  Pick HPRO or “How many appointments for tomorrow did you make?” or “How many multi-point inspections had recommendations today?” or “I noticed Technician Bill had 3 good inspections. How did the sales for those inspections go?”

Asking good questions is part of measuring for results.

Keep this in mind. Maintaining 2.5 HPRO is a lot more difficult than attaining 2.5 HPRO. Once you get there, you will need to monitor Training needs and Measure for Results on a consistent basis.

 Just take it one bite at a time and before you know it, you will have 100% Service Absorption.

If you want to find out how you stack up, send an email to and schedule a Profit Potential Analysis.  You don’t know what you are missing until you inspect what you are expecting.


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