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Start with a daily worksheet to be completed the night before meeting with customers.  Look at scheduled repair orders for the next day.  Make note of the check-in times, the reason for the visit, the mileage, and identify the customer. Then, make predictions based on these factors.  You are going to want to go over this information with your manager.  If you don’t have a manager who is motivated enough to take time out of their day to do this worksheet with you at the end of each day, no problem.  Just do it yourself.  By completing this exercise, you will identify what it is you need to do to become the absolute best at what you do.

Managers- You really need to take the time to do this with your advisors.  At first, you are going to need about 30 minutes with each service advisor.  Once you get good at it, it will only take you 10-15 minutes.  It is unquestionably worth investing the time necessary to complete this end-of-day task.

  1. Look at the pre-written repair orders and make predictions. It allows you to forecast the kind of day you are going to have.
  2. Provides one-on-one time with your staff. This is invaluable toward establishing employee retention.
  3. Allows you to identify and train your staff in areas where they struggle.
  4. Helps you to hold your staff accountable.

Service Advisors-  If you don’t have a manager who is willing to do this with you, do it by yourself.  It will show you what you did right and what you did wrong.

  1. Gives you time to prepare for the type of customer you are going to see- time to formulate effective responses to objections posed by difficult customers.
  2. Time to check inventory and to see that needed parts are in stock.
  3. Time to develop strategies to maximize opportunity. For example, a car coming in for an oil change that has 200,000 miles on it, might be a prime candidate for additional service.
  4. Time to forecast your results.

WORK SHEET:PART I – Top (What you intend to achieve on this particular day)

  1. Number of customers
  2. Customer paid hours per repair order. What is possible to be sold based on mileage, condition of the vehicle, etc.
  3. Effective labor rate
  4. Your prediction for total dollars sold

PART II – Bottom (Monthly averages per date)

  1. Number of customers
  2. Customer paid hours
  3. Effective labor rate
  4. Total dollars sold

I M P O R T A N T:At the end of the day, look at how your predictions compare to what actually happened.  This comparison will show you your strengths and weaknesses.

  1. You will begin to see patterns.  Some will show where you consistently do well and some will show where you are consistently weak.  Your goal is to be the best you can be with every customer.
  2. Allows you to identify training needs.
  3. Gives you the opportunity to role play, if you are weak in a particular area. Do it until you get it down perfectly.
  4. Reinforces your strengths.
  5. Shows you exactly where you are with regard to your financial goals.
  6. Shows you how effective you are as a sales advisor or a manager.

So many times, people are identified as the best, but they are not.  This exercise gives you quantifiable results that can clearly demonstrate if you are reaching your full potential. It’s okay to find out that you might not be as good as you thought you were.  Pull the curtain back.  Identify your weaknesses and fix them so that you can become the absolute best you can be, while always striving to be better.

Jeff Cowan

Jeff Cowan has been helping automotive dealerships & service centers Succeed for over 35 years.

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