Service and Sales Peace and Prosperity

After 25 years in the car business and working with dealerships for 11 more, I have seen a lot of the typical service department versus the sales department wars. I've experienced it in dealerships that I worked for as well. I used to blame service for killing future sales and complain about them and their attitudes and generally, I participated and even encouraged the wars by doing these things. I said I wanted one thing and then did another. I thought I was a builder but truly, I was just another destroyer. A blamer. A whiner.

Then I got involved in building a commercial truck department. . . and all of a sudden it hit me: if we work closely together (sales and service working together?) we could help each other build our own little empires. Wow. What a turning point.

What changed? I stopped thinking about warranty issues and started thinking about maintenance issues. I stopped thinking about unhappy customers and started thinking about helping businesses be more efficient. I stopped thinking of myself and started thinking about my prospects, customers and yes, even my own dealership! It all made sense as it had never done before.

So, what did I do? I sat down with the service manager and laid out a plan of how we could help each other grow our own little businesses which grows the whole dealership business. I made a pact with him to drive business to the service department which in the long run would create trust with the customer and would create sales as a result.

I have to tell you that it was one of the greatest things I did because one of the best ways to build a client base in commercial sales is to provide maintenance and repair services in a timely and reasonable way, thereby building a relationship and trust. In commercial trucks more than any other sale in the dealership is the most solid repeat and referral business going. . . if you can build the relationship and trust. Since a business is making money with their vehicle and when it is down, they are losing money, it is critical to get it back online as quickly as humanly possible. Service actually then becomes a foundation for a strong and growing commercial truck operation. Seriously.

One of the best ways to prospect is to invite prospects into the service department. You would find a lot that are not ready to buy, but everyone needs service and a business needs it more regularly. Become a service department salesperson. Promote the service department. Learn what the specials are. Learn everything you can learn to help drive businesses into the service department. At the same time, the service department should be pointing out opportunities for a sale when a vehicle is in need of excessive repair or other similar circumstances. Go so far as to hand out flyer's, business cards of service writers and so on. You will benefit in a grand way. I am absolutely sure of it.

Sales and Service Peace and Prosperity! You can make it happen.

No comments: