Increasing Sales and Gross Profits is all in the Plan.

“Your plan for achieving 100% Service Absorption should focus on what you are going to do differently to increase sales and gross profits. It’s not just about advertising and marketing, it’s about processes” says Don Reed, CEO of DealerPro Training Solutions.

Increasing Sales is the one of the core functions of the Management Team (read Service Manager). And quite frankly, is one area that most Service Managers have difficulty doing.


It’s not that they are incompetent or incapable, it’s that they have so many other duties piled on to them, that the time they allocate to increasing Sales is never enough or is sandwiched between everything else that happens in a Dealership every day. From light bulbs out in the showroom to sprinklers not working to counseling the Service Advisor who has “personal issues” there never seems to be time to do it properly.

If that describes you, you need a plan.  And all plans are built on measurements. 

1st step, measure how your Advisors are performing.

What do we measure?

Every Service Manager looks at different things because that’s how they learned. You might be a SM that focuses more on Profit Margins and your buddy down the street might look at HPRO. (Hours per Repair Order)

When you are looking to increase Sales though, your view must be very narrow and specific. The focus needs to be on how many ROs did the Advisor write and how many hours did the Advisor produce on those ROs. In other words, how effective is the Advisor in making Sales with the ROs he/she wrote?

If your Advisor wrote 11 ROs and sold 9 hours on those ROs, that would be something that would get your attention as a Service Manager. And, yes, there are ALWAYS extenuating circumstances…. “This Customer never buys anything” or “All I had was LOFs today” or “I don’t know what happened, I just had on off day.”

If you are the SM, you gotta dig into what is going on with your Advisor (and ignore the excuses) because if you don’t know WHY they are not Selling you sure as heck won’t be able to Coach them to Sell more. That’s why it is so important to measure, and when trying to diagnose why Sales are not happening, to measure the Advisors effectiveness by comparing Hours sold per RO vs how many ROs did the Advisor write.

Now that you have dug into the numbers, you can see what Processes are not being followed. Finding out what is wrong is only half the battle.

2nd step, install a Process that the Advisor can follow and will follow (even when the SM is not there).

 Here are 5 Common Reasons Advisors have difficulty Selling more.

  1. The Advisor does not do a pre-write history check and is unaware of previous recommendations.
  2. The Advisor does not conduct a walk-a-round of the vehicle during the writeup.
  3. The Advisor does not present a menu to the Customer offering maintenance and services.
  4. The Advisor does not make recommendations to the Customer based on observations, the Customers description of concerns or from the vehicles prior history.
  5. The Advisor is uncomfortable (in some cases incapable) of making a Sales presentation to the Customer.

These 5 are responsible for more Lost Sales than any other reason in most Dealerships.  Did you see any Processes not being followed in the above common reasons Advisors do not Sell?

So, now that you have measured AND you know WHY they are not selling, you can make a plan to address those discrepancies. Before you start, there is one question that you must answer first.  

How effective is the Service Manager in teaching the Advisor to Sell?

If the SM cannot teach or coach the Advisor to sell, then part of the Action Plan will be to bring in someone who can.

There is no shame in admitting this if you are the SM. There is shame in allowing poor performance and low Sales through not admitting that you need to have some help in that area. Not every SM has the ability to Coach or Teach someone to Sell. They may have expertise and ability in a completely different area that makes them a strong Manager and it’s this reason they are the Manager.

Different people have different strengths. You need to know what yours are. If you are not good at Coaching or Teaching Sales, then don’t. “If you fail to get the proper kind of instruction, no matter how much you practice, you’re going to get better at making yourself worse.” Bobby Jones,  Golfer

Basically, if you need help, get help.  

Once you have a plan, you need to set aside a specific amount of time everyday for Training and Followup.

What do you Train on?

Processes, processes and more processes. It needs to be an automatic thought for the Advisor and not one he/she needs to think about.

Do you see the difference? If they have to think about it, it will not get done.

If they automatically do the Process and there are no questions, no “This Customers does not need a walk-a-round ’cause they were in last week”, no do it differently this writeup from the last writeup, and your Advisors have received the proper instruction and coaching, then you will have an increase in Sales.

Why? As Don Reed, CEO of DealerPro Training Solutions likes to say “Processes lead to Consistency. Consistency leads to Results.”

Looking to become more Consistent in your Fixed Operations? Looking for more Results? Send an email to and let us do a Profit Potential Analysis on your Dealership to see where and how you can increase Sales.


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