Monthly Archives: February 2011

Today is number 56. There are 309 days left in this year.

It’s the end of February. Are you happy with the results you achieved this month? Is your year on track to be better than last year? Are you concerned or content? Lets review 3 possible answers and see which one fits you.

For you the month of February in the Service Department was Great! You hit the Goals you set for HPRO, EFL and Profit Margins! Your CSI has never been better! Overall, you could not have done any more. Congrats!  And, March looks like it is going to take off as well! Your overall strategy is to keep that ball rollin’ baby!

Ok, maybe your February was not as good. Maybe you got close to your Goals, HPRO was near the bar you set, and EFL was just a few dollars under what you felt you needed to get to and maybe your Margins were just under standards. Basically, you are not overly concerned, you felt you got everything you could and March is just around the corner and hey, you couldn’t possibly have two so so months in a row, right? It’s got to get better, doesn’t it?

Perhaps you are the Dealer with the worst month ever. Your HPRO is barely above the minimum you need to keep the doors open, your EFL and Profit Margins are just north of “this really sucks”, and your CSI is about as good as the last Customer who said “I wouldn’t come back here if this was the last place on earth.”

3 completely different results requiring 3 completely different Action Plans.

If you are Dealer number 1, your biggest challenge is finding a new set of Goals that are just out of reach for your Team to go after. Maybe you want to focus in HPRO and set a .2 increase as a new benchmark. Or, you want to increase CSI and are doing it by installing a new process to complete a write-up in the service drive. Whatever it is, you will need to make it harder to reach. “Maintaining Success is more  difficult than achieving Success.”

If you are Dealer number 3, it’s all upside for you! Hey, you know you already need a change, Right! Personnel, attitude, training, processes…everything! It’s got to be changed because you cannot hit Profitability Goals and achieve the level of Success with what you have in place right now! Congratulations, this is an exciting and fantastic time to be in your Dealership!

But, if you are number 2, you are in a lot of trouble my friend. Why? Because I left one little “C” word out in the very beginning.

Complacency.

It’s the evil that all Leaders fear more than anything. When you become complacent, you start to die!

If your Management and Leadership strategy sounds like this “Oh, it was just a slow month, and the weather was terrible, and we had some people sick, and the Customers…oh man…the Customers were just mean, nobody wanted to buy anything. They just wanted oil changes. Yep, next month will be better. Don’t worry, because we are not changing anything! All we need to do is just hang on until things get better” then I want you to immediately take out a sheet of paper and write down 3 NEW GOALS for March.

Whatever your HPRO was for February, add .5 to it, whatever your EFL was for February, add $5.00 to it, whatever your Profit Margins for February add 5%.

YOU NEED A JOLT! AN ELECTRIC SHOCK STRAIGHT TO THE HEART OF YOUR DEALERSHIP!

As soon as you have them written down, make a copy for everyone in the Fixed Operations Department, hold a meeting, TODAY!, pass them out and tell them “Failure is not an option!”

Because if you don’t, at the end of March, you will be saying ““Oh, it was just a slow month, and the weather was terrible, and we had some people sick, and the Customers…oh man…the Customers were just mean, nobody wanted to buy anything. They just wanted oil changes. Yep, next month will be better. Don’t worry, because we are not changing anything! All we need to do is just hang on until things get better” and you will be on the road to an entire year of wasted opportunity!

By the way, just to let you know, we are experts here at DealerPro in delivering the shock to jump-start your Dealerships Fixed Operations.

Top Ten Excuses (Or Why We Didn’t Get It Done In 2011)

The Top Ten Excuses and Myths of Dealership Training Programs

Number 10.

“We’ll do it ourselves.” The Truth is very different than the Reality.  Most of the time Managers find it hard to devote 5 minutes to a vendor or the factory Rep let alone the hours of training required to make a change in an Advisors behavior.  

Number 9.

“It’s too expensive.” We have a saying at DealerPro… “Never let money stand in the way of training.” 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 of money flowing out of your Service Department. Let us help you achieve your Goals for 2011.

Number 8.

“It’s not the right time.” When is it ever the right time?  Every day there are new challenges. 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 and started off on the right foot don’t you?

Number 6.

“We do things differently around here. Your program won’t work.” In the 11 year history of DealerPro that refrain has been heard hundreds if not thousands of times. We have proven that our system does work without regard to location or region. It works because it’s based on people and processes.

Number 5.

“My people won’t like it.” That may be true. If they are underachieving, they won’t like our program or any other program. When you start making changes people who have been comfortable get…uncomfortable. Why? If you want to succeed, you have to do things differently.

And comfortable people just want to stay comfortable, don’t they?

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 opportunity. 

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.  

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 3-5 days of training in the service drive?
  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 Retail 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 the best our Dealers enjoy an average 35-40% increase in Gross Profit.

Bottom Line, there really is no reason not to start Training.

 

 Let us help you get the Profits you deserve from your Fixed Operations.

Call us at 888-553-0100 or email us at lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com to get started making more.  

The 3 MMMs of Change

Ok. You are practicing the 3 Ws of Leadership and not getting it done.

Wanting.

Waiting.

Wishing.

Most definitely the 3 Worst strategies in Leadership when it comes to changing behavior.

If you want to make changes in behavior you need to turn your W into a M. 

Measure

Monitor

Manage

The single most important element to effecting change is to Measure what it is you are trying to change. If you are trying to change a Service Advisors bad Sales presentation, you can’t go up to them and say “You suck and you need to get better” and expect to get a new and improved Service Advisor.

However, if you approach the same Advisor and you say “Hey there Sam, I have been measuring (key word here) your performance over the past week and I noticed that you presented 21 ASRs (Additional Service Requests) and you closed 3 of them. I have an idea here that will help you make more Sales” you might get a different response and begin to make a change in their behavior.

When you Measure what you are expecting (a take on the “You must Inspect what you Expect) you not only understand what needs to change, you also have a tool to gauge how much change is needed and you can determine when you have achieved a marked level of improvement.

This is when you begin to Monitor their efforts. Monitoring is exactly what it sounds like. You will observe, inspect and counsel based on the Measurements you have taken from the previous days/weeks/months. Monitoring is checking up.

And when people feel like there is someone checking up on them and their performance they perform better.

Which brings us to Manage. We don’t Manage people, we Lead people. We Manage things.

And the number one thing you will want to Manage is the results the personnel are achieving followed by the Actions they are taking to achieve those results or the lack thereof.

This is why daily Monitoring is so important. When you are checking up every day on what you are expecting you can easily see what Actions are being taken by your personnel.

It’s these Actions that need to be Managed.

Don’t like the results from Menu presentations, check what Actions the Advisors are taking in the Service Drive during the Writeup process. Not happy with the Gross Profit Margins, take a look at how many Discount Actions are taking place.

Most times it is not one single Action that requires adjustment. Almost always you will find several small Action steps that add up to one big Negative Result.

Take Discounts from the above statement. Many times Discounts can be traced back to a particular cause, like poor Sales Training for example.

Maybe the reason Silly Sam the Advisor gives so many Discounts is because he has never been Trained how to make a proper Sales presentation. And maybe he has never been Trained on the proper way to prepare an estimate. And maybe he has never been Trained on the proper way to prioritize his time.

Sam then takes several small Action steps. Because he does not not prioritize his time, he rarely has enough time to prepare for making a proper ASR so he throws together an estimate as he is dialing the phone and begins to mentally Discount the estimate so that he can make the Sale. Small Action steps that add up to one big Negative Result.

So, his answer to making more Sales is to give more Discounts. Basically, he has been performing in a manner he believes is the correct way to make a Sales presentation. He is in a situation called “Un-Managed Actions”.

Manage the Results you wish to Achieve. 

Use the 3 Ms for making a change for the better in your Service Department.

Looking for help in making a change in your Fixed Operations? Want to find out if your Fixed Operations “measures up?” Send an email to lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com with the words “Blog Scorecard” in the subject line and I’ll send you a Scorecard you can use to Measure the 4 Essentials to 100% Service Absorption.