Tag Archives: YouTube

The Service Advisor’s “6 Steps to Happy Bank Deposits”

Here is a simple way to make more every month.
It’s called the “6 Steps to Happy Bank Deposits” and it goes like this.

1st, write down what you make per month right now.

Your position in life is determined by what you believe.

Your position in life is determined by what you believe.

2nd, write down what you want to make per month. (Be Realistic) This is a crucial first step because if you don’t make a personal commitment to make a change in how you think about your income then you can’t make the income you desire. 
3rd, determine your Sales per Transaction. If you write an average of 180 Customer Pay Repair Orders per month and you average $45,000.00 dollars a month in Customer Pay Sales, each Repair Order you write is worth $250.00.
4th, decide what amount of increase you would like on each Repair Order. Write it down and be Realistic. Post it where you can see it everyday. Think of it as building a staircase. You can’t jump to the top of the staircase…you have to take each step one at a time. Make a commitment to yourself to increase by a specific dollar amount…say $25.00 on each Repair Order. 
5th, increase your Sales per Transaction by using the Tools (Menu, Multi-point Inspection, Maintenance Recommendations) and Techniques (Feature/Benefit Sales Presentation, Professional Sales Skills) to Communicate Effectively to the Customer the Information they need to Maintain their Vehicle in a Safe and Reliable operating condition.
6th, Deposit New Income from following these steps.

Set Goals, Be Successful!

By Leonard Buchholz


200K in 200 Days

In the past 4 years there have been quite a few Dealers who successfully increased their Fixed Ops Gross Profit by $200K, $300K (one Dealer had a $900,000 dollar increase) by changing how they conducted their daily Service Operations.

They made fundamental changes in Processes and then Coached their personnel to increased Performance.

If they can do it, so can you.


Here is a link to “200K in 200 Days” a resource that describes how Successful Dealers did it!

Get it, Read it, Do it!

By Leonard Buchholz

Are your Advisors “Helpful” or “Professional”?

Helpful…or Professional…which of these sound better?

If you are like a lot of Dealers and General Managers hiring “helpful” people always seems to be the right call. The belief is that you can develop someone into becoming a Professional. While I don’t disagree with this practice, what I find all across the country is the opposite of helpful or Professional.

Because we train all across the country, we have exposure to every make and model of vehicle in every kind of Dealership, whether it is a locally owned single point, multi-line point or large Dealer Group.

And when we train invariably, we get to the point in the training that we ask the Advisor “How do you see yourself as an Advisor” or we might ask “What is your role in working with the Customer?”

And 9 times out of 10 the answer comes wrapped up with a bow in a package labeled “I want to be helpful” or “I want to help the Customer and give the best possible Customer service.” This answer is of course not only the expected answer but the accepted answer. And it has absolutely nothing to do with helping the Customer.

In fact, I submit to you that being “helpful” is exactly what we don’t need in a Dealership.

The reason I say that is because in every single case where I have an Advisor who is trying to be “helpful” to his or her Customers, they have become the exact opposite. They have become “un-helpful” and in most cases a liability.

Let me explain.

Helpful Advisors share 3 common characteristics.

  1. They make decisions for their Customers without asking the Customer what they (the Customer) would like to do.
  2. They make judgments about their Customers based on past experiences and fail to honor the word “Advisor” which is part of their job title.
  3. They are poor Salespeople with poor communication skills and non-existent processes.

Helpful Advisors make decisions for their Customers like not telling them everything that is wrong with their vehicles, instead just telling them what they think the Customer wants to hear.

They do not offer additional services during the write-up process and never present a menu. They have become in effect the same as the person whom we call an “order taker” at your local dry cleaners or fast food restaurant.

Professional Advisors make no decisions for their Customers at all. They Advise them on everything the vehicle needs, recommend additional services they know will be beneficial for the Customer and present a menu at the time of write up. They take the time to explain everything to the Customer so the Customer can decide what they would like to have done on their vehicle.

Helpful Advisors make judgments about their Customers based on the past.

If Mrs. Jones came in 2 years ago and Doubtful Dan tried to make an Additional Service Recommendation and was shot down by Mrs. Jones with the “I can’t afford it today”, Doubtful Dan now assumes that Mrs. Jones can never afford any additional repairs and stops telling her that there are additional services needed in order to maintain a safe and reliable vehicle.

The next time Mrs. Jones comes in for an oil change, Doubtful Dan is surprised to learn she has new brakes and tires.

Doubtful Dan then asks Mrs. Jones “Where did you have the repairs completed?” and Mrs. Jones replies “Right down the street at Bob’s Big Boy Service Center. After the last visit here my grandson stopped by to visit me and said ‘Grandma, you should have your tires checked’ and of course I asked Timmy (my grandson) ‘Why?’ and he said ‘One of your tires has some wear on the edge Grandma.’”

She continues “Well, I just happened to have some free time later that day and popped in at Bob’s and they said ‘Sure we can take a look at it’ and next thing I know they told me that the tires were needing replacement and I said ‘Are you sure, because I just had it in a ABC Motors and they didn’t say anything’ and they showed me the worn tires and wouldn’t you know it, when they took off the tires, the brakes were worn down too.”

In the car business this is known as “Someone just ate your lunch.”

Professional Advisors do not make judgments. They Advise. They take all the recommendations from the repair order, prioritize them from most important to least important and then tell the Customer everything they need to know about maintaining their vehicle. They let the Customer decide.

Lastly, Helpful Advisors are invariably poor Salespeople who do not keep up on their skills and they do not use any Sales Processes because they want to “be natural and not robotic.”

Let me ask you this and you tell me if it sounds crazy.

When was the last time the General Manager stood up in the Sales meeting and said “From this day forward, Salespeople do not need to log their ups. You do not need to touch the desk and you do not need to complete a walkaround and test drive with the Customer. You can do what you feel is natural.”

Crazy….or what?

And every day in the Service Drive we have Helpful Advisors who do the exact same thing. They don’t follow a process, they don’t communicate the benefits of maintaining the vehicle to their Customer and they don’t develop their skill sets.

Professional Advisors use tools like processes, like menus, like Listening Skills, etc. to help them make the Customers service experience the best it can be. They want the Customer to make informed decisions based on the recommendations and vehicle maintenance needs.

So, look around your Service Department. Ask yourself “Are my Service Advisors helpful or Professional?” and decide for yourself which of these is the better choice for your Dealership.

Written by Leonard Buchholz

What is lacking in Fixed Ops?

Don Reed’s “Accountability”

Use the “3T System” to make more money in Fixed Ops.

Making more Money in Fixed Operations is everyone’s goal.

Think not?

Just go tell your Dealer Principal that this month you’ve decided that making money is not important… and see what happens to you, Mr. /Ms. Jobless.

Making money is much easier when you use a system to do it and it is much better than just wishing for more Money. Use the “3T System” to drive more dollars to the bank.

The first T stands for “Tell Everybody” what you want to accomplish this month. It is also called “Create a Compelling Vision” and the more Compelling it is, the more people are drawn to it.

Additionally, it must be specific, memorable and most importantly, reinforced at every opportunity!

It cannot be the same old tired “We need to do better or else!” stuff. They have already heard it before.

If it is, people will just ignore it. Start the month off with a kickoff meeting detailing exactly what it is you must accomplish, what role each person has and how you will be holding people accountable.

Remember, the more specific you are, the better your results!

The second T stands for “Teach me Something New.” Everybody wants to be part of the newest, latest and greatest.

New is fun…New is exciting…New is way better than “old and stale.” Let me give you an example.

When was the last time a you offered to make a sandwich for a guest in your home, and they said to you “Please make mine using old stale bread, month old lunchmeat and could you put some expired mayonnaise on it”?

Not gonna happen. It’s the same way in the Service Department.

People want to feel like they are part of a new challenge and accomplishing new things. Don’t make them a stale old sandwich and expect them to eat it.

Teach them something new about their job, the Customer, the Dealership…anything!

And the last T stands for “Train to Win!”

Bobby Jones said it best when he said “If you fail to get the proper instruction you’ll only get better at making yourself worse.” Train to Win means the best Training by the Best Method yields the Best Results!

Train your personnel using the Best Methods available (like DealerPro VT) and you will consistently improve and reach new Goals!

Looking for a Training Platform accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Is on the edge of the latest and greatest? Is recognized by the NADA? Check out DealerPro VT. Click on the link below to get started!

Automotive Dealer Associations Looking for Speakers

If you are an Automotive Dealer Association President or Manager and you need a Speaker at your next Dealer meeting, we need to connect.

Don Reed has been a Top 10 NADA Convention Speaker 4 years running. He just completed a Dealers Association meeting for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association where he received stellar reviews.

21 of the attendees completed an evaluation with 20 of them rating the Workshop Content as “Excellent” the highest rating possible. And 21 out of 21 rated Dons Presentation and Subject Knowledge as “Excellent” as well. 

You can find a lot of speakers who know something about a Dealership.

It is a lot more difficult to find someone who not only knows the Dealership, they  can tell you how to make it Profitable. Consistently.

Send me an email. lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com or call the home office at 888-553-0100 and let’s get you on the schedule.

Or you can have “something else” at your next Association meeting.

3 Strategies for Failure

There are 3 Strategies for Failure that many Service Managers and Fixed Operations Directors use (with little Success) to facilitate changes in their daily operations and the behaviors of Service Department Personnel.

Yet, these 3 Strategies are the most common response many otherwise capable Managers (and Dealer Principals)  use over and over again with little to no results. This in turn leads to a downward spiral of resentment followed by anger followed by the inevitable angry confrontation which in turn is followed by more resentment followed by more anger…you get the picture.

I’m talking about the 3 W’s.




Wanting Sad Sack Sam the Service Advisor to change his behavior is the first step to resentment, especially when it is not followed by an Action Plan.

As a Leader and Manager  you want Sad Sack to make better Sales presentations. You want additional Gross Profit. You want CSI. You want Service Sales Success.

And if you don’t do anything, expecting Sad Sack to do it on his own merely because you want it, well there is an old saying…”want in one hand and S*&T in the other and see which one fills up first.”

And then this “want” begins to build. Everyday Sad Sack does nothing to improve and continues to perform at the same level, the “want” gets bigger.

Which leads to the next stage, waiting. Which of course, never works.

A want followed by a wait leads to a “WAAAAAAA!”

Sad Sack still has no idea that the Manager wants him to change his behavior and become better in Sales and CSI and is  waiting for him to come to this realization. 

Does this ever happen? Does Sad Sack ever figure out through osmosis or the magic 8-ball that his Sales and CSI need to get better?

And because nothing happens, it leads to the last step in the 3 Strategies for Failure, Wishing. The other two obviously did not work and now the Manager begins to wish there was a change in Sad Sacks behavior and in most cases, feverishly  Hopes something happens. 

Does it happen?


What does work?

Check back next week.

Are you practicing the 3 W’s? Do you want to make a change and you find yourself waiting and wishing something will happen? Send an email to lbuchholz@dealerprotraining.com with “Success” in the subject line and we will build you an Action Plan for Success in 2011.