There's A Goldmine Right In Your Store!

On July 28th, I published a post about the Service department and building a relationship with Sales, Service, Parts and why. Now, I want to take that article a step further.

The goldmine right inside the average dealership is the service department. It is so in many ways, but I am going to focus on the commercial truck department in this article. In the most recent article, Don't Get Paid To Sell Service? Think Again!, I pointed out that at a lot of dealerships the sales and service departments are at odds. Having been in dealerships for 25 years myself, worked as a mechanic for two years, and watching them for almost 40 years total, I can understand how some of that animosity comes about. I don't condone it at all, but I see how it happens. I say right now: Get over it! Service is a gold mine to sales and sales is a gold mine to service. The sooner that is believed, the faster the profits will roll in. So, you dealers who might read this, I recommend you take charge of that vision and promote it effectively throughout your organization. It all starts and ends with you.

Back to commercial trucks. I know of no surer or faster way to build a great commercial truck department from scratch (or from the ashes) than to get excited about service and get service excited about commercial truck sales. You do this by feeding each other what the other needs to be healthy. Service needs vehicles to work on, and sales needs prospects to sell vehicles to.

Continuing the topic from the last many posts about finding good people, hiring them, managing their activities, getting them involved in the service department is critical as well.

When a dealership commits to building a strong and effective commercial truck operation, prospecting has to be one very strong position to hold onto. You must have an effective prospecting system and management plan. In the prospecting, you will be driving business to the service department before you generate sales. Not everyone is ready to make a change in a vehicle, but everybody needs service very regularly and businesses need that even more often. Service will be the key opportunity to begin building a relationship with most of your prospecting contacts. That is a good thing! Get excited about it. I tell you this: the service department should be thrilled and if they aren't, we need to have a sit down. This is a key reason the dealer needs to see this vision, so that everyone is on the same page and remembering whose business we are building. Cash is cash. If it is coming in the back door or the front door, its still cash to the dealer.

Commercial prospectors should be excited about these opportunities because they will lead to many sales much more quickly than any way I have found. So, even though there is no direct commission on service sales, the money is building up in the bank nonetheless in future sales. These relationships when taken care of will turn into many repeat and referral sales as well. Everyone likes a great service department.

Work with service and the specific service advisors that are set up to take care of the commercial customers. Keep feeding service even when it looks like that is all you are doing. Have faith: I guarantee this works! Next: Service, pay attention! Commercial sales is driving a huge amount of business into your shop! Take great care of those clients and take good care of the commercial department who is helping you greatly. Be thankful. Point out to commercial sales when you see sales opportunities. This door swings both ways. Make it effective for both parties.

Develop the relationship to a high degree in service and commercial sales. This will be the best time and energy spent of anything I can recommend. Get excited about the gold mines right in your store!

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