Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Perfect Day

Have you had a ‘Perfect Day” recently?

You know, where everything just seems to come together.

Customers seem to be in a great mood. Technicians and Parts are not arguing at the back counter. The Owner comes in and smiles at you for no particular reason.

Just a great day.

And then you ask yourself “Why isn’t everyday like today?”

I can tell you what the difference is.

Daily Goals.

When you have Written Daily Achievable Goals your day seems to come together. 

Why? Because we need to have something to work for. It is not enough to just “show up.”

Having Goals  gives you the feeling that something is moving to you and you are moving towards the Goal, and as long as you keep reaching for it, you have Hope, Faith and Strength.  

In every situation when you do not have Written  Achievable  Daily Goals  you just end up with whatever you get, whether”it” is what you wanted or not. 

Making Goals gives you control.

Take Sally Service Advisor. She has been averaging 1.2 Hours Per Repair Order and her CSI is fair. She comes to work on time, feels that she is a contributing member of the Team and overall has a general sense of belonging and accomplishment.

One day, the Dealer Principal announces that from the beginning of next month all Service Advisors need to meet a new HPRO Standard of 1.5 within 90 days and must improve their CSI score by 10 Points. 

Now Sally has a choice.

1. She could complain about how she has been a team player all along, that 1.2 HPRO was good enough before, that Customers will be scared away, that there is no way that the new standards are fair…in other words she fires up the Waaaaambulance…

OR

2. Sally decides to get with the program. She starts upgrading her Sales and Communication Skills by reading (ahem…have you seen the blog at www.dealerproblog.com?) and completing Computer Based Training. She talks to her  Service Manager and asks for additional Training from the factory when it becomes available. She begins to ask her Customers the hard questions like “Mr. Jones, on a scale of 1-10, how was my service to you today?” and if was not a 10, she asked “Specifically, what do I need to do differently for you on your next visit Mr. Jones to earn a 10?” until she has  fine tuned her skill sets and lastly… she begins to set Daily Goals.

Not only for HPRO but also for completed Multi-point Inspections, Additional Service Requests, Appointments Sold and completed CSI Surveys.

She starts with HPRO and sets a date for being at 1.3 in 30 days, 1.4 in 60 days and finally 1.5 in 90 days. She even begins to see herself at 2.0 sometime in the near future.

She decides that she wants to be at 100% Multi-point Inspection completion rate and talks with her team. She tells them that if they can help her with getting an Inspection completed on every car, she can help them with more sold HPRO. Soon, she has complete Inspections on every vehicle.

Sally then tackles her Phone Skills and asks her Service Manager for a word track she can memorize to help her set more appointments. She soon begins to close additional appointments and her ROs per day settles at a comfortable 15 per day. 

Lastly, she decides to be better than the 10 points on CSI survey and through Customer education and asking the right questions, achieves an additional 12 points.

Something else happened to Sally. She started making more money. Her team started flagging more hours. Her production went up making her a valued and respected member of the team.  

Sally became a Superstar. She now has many “Perfect Days.”

Which one of the preceding  scenarios fit you? Complain and do nothing or decide to make a change?

Can you guess how many “Perfect Days” Sally has now? In a row? In a month? What do you think happened to Sally’s HPRO? Her CSI? Her Income?

 Having the “Perfect Day” is a choice. Here’s to you having more Perfect Days. Cheers.

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What does it mean to have Commitment in Fixed Operations?

Commitment is a word being thrown about these days from everyone and anyone, especially if they are asking for yours.

Politicians are currently asking for your vote and to be committed to their party and the party platform.

Governments are asking for your patience as they implement the newest strategy and your commitment to the vision of the “future.” (Whatever that may be)

Financial institutions are asking for a renewed commitment to paying your bills on time.

Couples are looking at each other and asking for a new commitment to the relationship even as they endure tough times.

Commitment, commitment, commitment.

 Everywhere you go these days, people are testing you, probing, waiting for any sign that you are not committed to whatever it is that they think you should be.

In Fixed Operations, commitment is a daily exercise. You have to be committed to the Customer, the Processes, the Advisors, the Technician, the Parts Department, the Sales Department and the Dealer in order to make each and everyday a successful one.

If you are not committed to a vision or a culture or goal then the end result is that you do not have Customers. Take a look around.

Service Advisors not committed to Processes? That means every Customer comes in and gets different experience. Do that enough times and you don’t have any Customers because Customers are People.

And People like Processes, Stability, Uniformity and Steadiness because it gives them a sense of Security. They want to feel like they can count on your Department, the Advisors and the Technicians.  If they know that every time they come into your Service Department they will get exactly the same experience as last time (and they liked it), they will keep coming back. And tell their friends.

Technicians not committed to completing a Multi-point Inspection? That means Customers are coming into your Service Department and leaving with a potentially unsafe vehicle.

Not to mention leaving with unsold Repairs.

Parts Department not committed to the Ordering and Followup Process? That means that not only do you have inventory on the shelf, you have inventory that can be sold immediately on the shelf! Walk back and look at the Special Order Bin. Do you see thousands of dollars of unsold Parts?

If your Fixed Operations is experiencing any of the aforementioned scenarios, perhaps you had better re-examine the Commitment Level in your Dealership.

Simple Answers in Fixed Operations

I think that most of you would agree that the simplest answers are typically the best answers. Generally speaking, if you can do a  simple task or test to confirm your own thinking it will be the right answer 9 times out of 10.

In Fixed Operations, this same premise holds true.

If you have an Advisor you suspect is having difficulty selling, oh I don’t know…maybe its menu sales in the service drive…and you confirm your suspicions with a simple 50 Repair Order Audit of that Advisor, then the conclusion you make based on those repair orders would be A. The Simplest and B. The Most Accurate.

Fixed Operations is like that. If you have an inkling that there is a Technician or Advisor that is having difficulty completing a proper Multi-point Inspection, it will take you all of 50 Repair Orders and an hour or two to find out if what you believe is happening …is  happening!

The Simplest Answer.

In this clip, Don Reed from DealerPro Training Solutions talks about “A Simple Test” for Managers to determine if the Technicians and Advisors are doing a correct Multi-point Inspection on every vehicle.

“Profit Margins Are A Matter Of Discipline”

says Don Reed from DealerPro Training Solutions.

If you are looking for ways to increase your Profit Margins, you probably want to start right where the process begins, with The Manager!

When to make Hard Decisions in a Dealership

Every week I am in a Dealer and have found certain things to be true for those that are successful and those that are not.

In Dealers that are successful, they make the hard decisions.

The gather information, investigate, counsel with whom they need to and decide. Once that decision is made action is taken and the news is passed on to everyone it needs to be and implemented immediately.

In Dealers that are struggling, this process is broken.

More often than not, they make no decision.

They rely on just the bare information from one source. Little consideration given to other information sources. There is no investigation into alternatives, counsel is not sought nor asked for and decisions are delayed.

In fact, hard decisions are delayed sooooo looooonnnggg that they become superfluous and detrimental to the overall health of the Dealership.

In these broken Dealers you can count on most challenges to go unmet and unresolved. This leads to demoralization and a culture of uncaring and overall malaise.

On the other side is the Dealer that faces the challenge.

They decide on a course of action and implement it so that all of the staff know what direction is being taken, who is responsible, what roles need to be filled and who is doing what. They cultivate a culture of accomplishment, teamwork and satisfaction.

In the end, the Dealer that makes the hardest decisions quickly gets the benefit of Action!

Happier Employees, Outstanding Customer Service and Greater Gross Profit!

Send an email to lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com for a Free Report on “How to Increase Your RO Count.” Or you can call 888-553-0100 for a Service Department Profit Evaluation. Action Gets Results!

Top 10 Reasons Why Dealerships Don’t Train With DealerPro

Number 10.

“We’ll do it ourselves.” And most Service Managers and Service and Parts Directors really believe they can. “The Real Truth” is different from the Reality.  Most of the time  they find it hard to devote 30 minutes to a vendor or the factory let alone the hours of training required to make a change in an Advisors behavior.  Lasting change in a Dealerships Operation does not happen without a change in the behavior of the personnel employed there.  We help people change their behavior so they can be Successful.

Number 9.

“It’s too expensive.” We have a saying at DealerPro.  “Never let money stand in the way of training. “ Our Performance Based Training Program is a perfect example. We don’t get paid unless you get an Improvement.  DealerPro assumes all the risk. We even back what we say with a Performance Guarantee Clause in our standard agreement. Try finding another Training organization that does that.  

No, Mr. or Ms. Dealer, it’s too expensive to do nothing. Every day you wait, you are losing Gross Profit. Those days of Lost Opportunity add up to months and then years. When is it too late? Unless your doors are closing, then the answer is Never!  Let us help you achieve your Goals for your Dealership.

Number 8.

“It’s not the right time.” When is it ever the right time?  Everyday there is a new challenge. People quit, the computer system crashes, the parking lot is being repaved…there is no right time. In fact, waiting for the right time is the exact opposite of the right time. It is always the wrong time to wait and it is costing you money Mr. or Ms. Dealer.

Number 7.

“I’m in the middle of hiring new people.” What a perfect time to get them trained properly. What benefit is there to waiting for training? None, there is no benefit. Every successful organization on the planet has a training program for new hires that gets them started on the right foot. You want them to be properly trained don’t you?

Number 6.

“We do things differently around here. Your program won’t work.” In the 11 year history of the company that refrain has been heard thousands of times. And in every state in the country and even internationally, time and time again, we have proven that our system does work without regard to location or region. It works because it’s based on people. And everywhere you and I go, we love to be taken care of by people who are well-trained. Ever go into a restaurant and say “Please send over the waiter in training and oh by the way, I’d like the busboy to cook my steak tonight” …you wouldn’t want that experience and neither do your Customers.

Number 5.

“My people won’t like it.” That may be true. If they are under achieving, they won’t like our program. This program is designed for Dealerships that are looking to improve their bottom line, not stay the same. And when you start making changes and improvements, people who have been comfortable get well…uncomfortable. Why? Because if you want to Succeed, you have to do things differently.

And comfortable people want to stay comfortable, don’t they.

The Truth… if you have some go getters, anyone on your team that has been waiting for a chance to Excel, will embrace this program because it will give them a chance to reach new goals and make a difference. They will support this program because they have been waiting for change.

Number 4.

“We are too busy to do training.” Mr. or Ms. Dealer, this is exactly why you need to do training. If your level of “busy” matched your level of profits, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. There are busy Dealerships and then there are Dealerships that appear to be busy. In the latter, we find that there is a lot of wasted time and opportunity.  Your Customers are coming in and not being handled properly. And that means Lost Profit.  We can help. We will analyze your Dealerships capacity and make sure that it is being maximized while Training the personnel in Service how to properly handle your Customer.  This means Loyal and Returning Customers and higher Gross Profit.

Number 3.

“What if I don’t like the Trainer?” We are a Performance Based company Mr. or Ms. Dealer, and as such, everyone is measured all of the time. If there is a Performance issue, chances are we already know and will be talking with you and your Trainer to identify the problem. If it is a personality issue, we will work with you to resolve those issues. If there is still an unresolved issue, we will make a change that is good for your Dealership and DealerPro.

Number 2.

“I have a friend/consultant/the factory with a similar program and we want to use them.” While we support Training and certainly respect anyone who can provide a program, the differences between DealerPro and the “other guy” is tremendous. Here are a few items to consider.

  1. Will the friend/consultant/the factory return every month for 13 months for one week of training in the service drive? Shoulder to shoulder, Repair Order to Repair Order with the Advisors and Managers?
  2. Do they have any “skin in the game”? In other words, are they fee based or performance based?
  3. Do they have an Automotive Retailer background? Our average Trainer has 20 Years experience as a Service Manager or Service and Parts Director.

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you really need to consider DealerPro as your first choice.

Number 1.

“I’m not really sure about all of this. Isn’t this what I am paying my Service Manager for?” Mr. or Ms. Dealer, we find that most Service Managers and Service and Parts Directors are good at doing lots of things.

 We are the best at one thing, Training Service Personnel.

And because we are really, really good at Training, our Dealers enjoy an average 40% increase in Gross Profit. At the end of the program more than likely, your Service Manager and Service and Parts Director will be able to train on the processes we teach. This means you get to keep the Training and continue enjoying the benefits of Trained Personnel for as long as you like.

Bottom Line, there really is no reason not to start Training. Let us help you get the Profits you deserve and have a Dealership you can really be proud of.

Send an email to lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com or call 888-553-0100 for more information and find out how you can increase your Gross Profit through Training.

What Do We Do At DealerPro Training Solutions?

We are a Performance Based Fixed Operations Training Provider.

In plain english, we Coach and Train Service Advisors, Service Managers, Parts Department Personnel including Counter Personnel, Technicians and Dealer Principals on how to Sell Service. And we do it on a Performance Based Compensation Program. If you don’t improve, you don’t pay.

It’s not all that we do. We coach and train on accountability, processes, techniques, customer service, management, marketing, expense management, profit generation and maximizing the service visit, to name a few.

We can be found at www.dealerprotraining.com, www.fixedopsnews.blogspot.com , YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. We have posted articles at numerous online sites like www.ezinearticles.com. We contribute regularly at www.dealerelite.com, www.autodealerperople.com and www.sellingiron.com.

We can also be reached at 540 Office Center Drive Ste 286 Gahanna, Oh. 43230 or by calling 888-553-0100.

If you are interested in increasing Gross Profit and Service Absorption in your Fixed Operations you need to contact us.

If you are looking for more information go check out some of Don Reeds videos at YouTube under Dealerprofixedops.