Monthly Archives: September 2011

Smothered by the Rut Blanket

What would a Professional Service Advisor do?

Professional Service Advisors are prepared for the day ahead of them and don’t get caught in the “why bother because everyday is the same” rut.

Now, why is this so important? I mean, c’mon, isn’t every day just the same?

Open the door, reset the alarm, start the coffee, turn on the computers, check for night drops, check your email,  flip through the stack of carry-overs, etc, etc, etc.

Sounds like the “same ol’, same ol’” to me. No change required.  No need to do anything different.  You can live your life like a sheeple.  Lots of companies need sheeples.

If that is the kind of career and the kind of earnings you want, then go for it.  It is easy to be easy.  You can let your whole life creep along this way, no problem.

What you have to realize is that it is not the daily routine that gets you; it’s the thinking behind the daily routine. If the day before you looks like and feels just like yesterday, then it must be the same.

And that’s when the rut gets you.  Ruts do not grab you suddenly from behind like a mugger on a city street.  It is not a full front assault. Because if getting into a rut was like that, we would all take precautions and avoid it.

No, getting into a rut or “stinkin’ thinkin'” is more like being smothered by a soft layer of blankets, one blanket at a time.  When you get that first blanket, it’s all warm and cozy (just like your daily routine) and  it feels good.  Who wouldn’t feel secure in a snugly little blanket?

Then the next blanket gets piled on and you feel even more warm and cozy,  just like Grandmas house at night in the winter after a cup of hot chocolate.  Doesn’t that sound nice?

And every day another soft blanket gets piled on and before you know it, you are being crushed by a pile of blankets a thousand feet tall.  You can’t breathe, you can’t move, in fact, you can’t even get out from under that pile of blankets. It’s so freaking heavy it squeezes the life out of you like hot cheeze wiz. Gruesomely gooey.

Blankets don’t seem so  warm and cozy now, do they? Ruts are like that.  Softly smothering you while wrapping you up with a false sense of security. And nothing rips through that blanket like a bucket of cold water than the Dealership getting sold, or the manager getting fired.  Where is your blanket now Linus?

Earl Nightingale said “A rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out.”

We all want our days to have some routine and normalcy.  It is what makes the world go around.  What we don’t  want to do is assume that everyday will be the same as the last one and start assuming that our Professional life and career growth stops merely because we have figured out a way to stay “warm and cozy.”

Professional Service Advisors get prepared for their day and their careers because they know that every Customer is different and it is better to be prepared to Take Action that to have Action Taken.  And they take that into their Professional life as well.  They don’t stand around and wait for the manager to say “Hey, have you completed training this year?”  They are constantly taking the time to become better at their profession and better prepared than their competition.

Here is another way to think about it.  If this does not describe you, then it’s the Advisor standing next to you getting prepared.  Your immediate competition.

Here are 10 ways you can get ready for your day, your career and your Professional life.  Get out of your rut.

  1. Read more. Read anything that contributes to your abilities, your skill sets and education. You own those 3 free and clear. Making them better pays dividends to you 10 times what you put into it.
  2. Practice your skill sets frequently. Role play, write a new greeting, new script, anything that will stimulate your mind and get you thinking about how you can do something better or different for your Customer. This will lead to a sense of satisfaction and just as important, more income.
  3. Start a focus group in your workplace with other Advisors. You don’t need permission from anyone, JUST DO IT! Believe it or not, there are other Advisors in your store that have issues just like you. Waiting for someone to help is not going to get it done. Pick a subject that needs attention in your Service Drive, get the other Advisors together and get started on taking care of it.
  4. Mentor someone at work. Teaching them the right way to do things will keep you on the right track, stimulate new thinking and may, just maybe, lead you to a new way of doing business.
  5. Join a Professional Organization or Association. This will let you connect with others in the car biz while allowing  you to gain knowledge and skills. Google it.
  6. Join Toastmasters. If you are a true Service Professional and have not taken advantage of learning how to speak on your feet (for nearly nothing by the way) how Professional can you be?
  7. Take a class. Writing, Speaking, Computer etc… Get new knowledge!
  8. Teach a class at work. Teaching and Mentoring is the new “old school.” Skills and knowledge are being lost in the workplace faster than can be replaced. Someone has to lead the way, why not you?
  9. Write down what you have to do the next day before you leave that day, go through all of your carry-overs, go through all of your appointments and make notes so you are prepared to talk to your Customer, check with Parts and make sure the VOR Parts got ordered (can you see where this is going?) etc.
  10. GET HUNGRY! GET PASSIONATE! People love doing business with people who are HUNGRY and PASSIONATE about what they do. ( I use Caps to show you how PASSIONATE I am about the Service Business) There is absolutely no better experience than dealing with a Professional who wants to do a better job because they are HUNGRY and PASSIONATE about their Profession.

Preparing for the day ahead is not just about the very next day. It’s about being ready for every day, about changing your life and getting out of it what you want.

Professionals get prepared.