Tag Archives: increase sales

Chris Collins, business performance, business tools, double your sales, sales, marketing, business advice, salons

HOW HAIR SALONS CAN DOUBLE THEIR SALES

 

I’m a little obsessed with helping businesses find new streams of revenue, in case you haven’t noticed… I’ve thought a lot about hair salons specifically, and it all comes down to a system.

The first piece they get wrong in most hair salons is scheduling. Usually, there’s some receptionist who’s handling all the appointments. That person is usually the anti-appointment administration. The “we’re busy”, “we’re booked”, person. God forbid, they get a walk-in…

I’ve been sitting in a salon and there’s people standing around and somebody walks in and the receptionist turns them away. C’mon, you can’t take those people for granted! Part of growing your clientele is having a plan to drive traffic, getting the phones answered, and getting bookings on the calendar.

The receptionists should be incentivized on how many appointments show up and are booked. Maybe pay them a little bit less hourly and then incentivize them on how many appointments come through. That person should be commission-invested in the booking of the schedule. If it directly affects their pocket book, I guarantee you’ll see different results.

Create a system for the person booking appointments and teach them that you want to book early and stack them up. No more, “When do you want to come in?” If a stylist comes in, they should have their five appointments stacked up and then they’re done. You don’t want them having two-hour gaps. It’s bad for morale. Book clients early and book them consistently.

Next, salons rarely do any sort of marketing. I’ve never been to a salon where they collect my email and market to me, but this is an industry made for fun marketing. Before and after pictures are like gold in those situations—the system is built for dramatic before and after pictures. Particularly with a business where clients need to be reminded how good they can look with highlights, or that they might want different looks for different seasons. This also opens the door to market products. Shoot easy little videos with a cellphone and send out emails once or twice a month to your list to remind them.

Getting your hair cut or styled is also perfect for social media—especially if it comes out well. I see people posting about how they got their hair colored or cut, yet I never see them tagging the hairdresser or the salon. If the hairdresser or stylist was the person who took the picture and shared it, they could cross promote, and make sure the salon is tagged.

The next thing is, where’s the presentation of what you could take with you? We’re all using products in our hair, but most of the time you have to beg for them to tell you what to use. They’re the experts. They need to present. Most of the time, the hairdressers get a percentage of what is sold, but there has to be some sort of mandatory forced presentation every time where you come in. Tell the clients what you used in their hair, or what shampoo you recommend. You could have some sort of needs analysis during the process where you ask them if they have damage, or tell them they have damage. Ask if they struggle with dry hair or greasy hair and then come back at the end with suggestions for them. Then, if they buy, next time they come in ask how they liked the products, and refill the supply, or adjust as necessary. You could double or triple your sales on products just by doing a needs analysis alone, pointing out the things that are wrong with the scalp, the hair, that sort of thing. Use your expertise to create a custom plan for your clients, and make sure they have everything they need.

Let’s wrap this up. To double your sales in a hair salon make sure that the person answering the phone is vested in making appointments and in those appointments showing up. Prioritize efficient management of the appointment schedule. Identify ways to drive new traffic with things like Groupon. Have an email CRM where you’re collecting emails and you’re sending out before and after pictures so you’re marketing, and creating a bigger story for your clients. Then send out reminders and present products every time. Use the time that you have with the client to recommend color, pedicures, nails, anything you can sell on top of whatever the client came in for.

Hair salons are built on creating a good experience, and if these business-boosting suggestions are executed properly, you’re only enhancing that good experience. The good news about boosting sales in a hair salon is it’s a win-win for everyone. 

To hear our full profit plan for hair salons, listen to the full episode our new podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed, on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlayYouTube or chriscollinsunleashed.com.

Think I’m onto something? Disagree entirely? Reach out to me on Twitter at @bulldogcollins. I’d love to know what you think.

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THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A BOSS AND A LEADER

Being a leader, as well as a boss, is critical to getting your employees to perform at their best. Not sure about that? According to Gallup polls:

  •   Poor leaders in the workplace are the number one reason people quit their jobs.
  •   Poor management can cost a team 50% less productivity than well managed teams.
  •   Poor management can cost a company to make 44% less profits.
  •   75% of employees say dealing with direct supervisors is the most stressful part of work.
  •   Gallop estimates that $960 bil – $1.2 trillion is lost a year due to poor management.

A lot of people think of the Meryl Streep character from The Devil Wears Prada as the token stereo type idea of a boss, right? She’s the real to-the-point, perfectionist, do it or you’re fired type.

There’s a flip-side to that. There’s also the boss that’s what I like to call, the “keeper of the keys,” or the “Charlie Brown”. They can unlock the door every day. They’re reliable, but they’re not a leader. They’re not making the numbers go anywhere. They’re not propelling the business forward. I have a theory on the difference between any manager or boss, and a leader. There’s one thing that happens that changes everything, that most bosses or managers never actually do. They can go far in their career, but they’ll never transcend. They’ll never really know what their full potential is, or how they can add a ton of value to other people’s lives.

The difference between the two is raising your hand and saying, “I’m going to be the leader”.

Something happens in your psyche when you raise your hand and you say, “I’m going be the leader”. At that point, you accept all responsibility. The biggest difference between a boss and a leader is the responsibility part, the owning it. Owning the result until the end. The outcome is yours.

I think the way it was described to me early on in my career by one of my mentors was saying that managers manage things, leaders lead people. You can’t manage people—you can try, but once you get out past a hundred or so employees, it’s really hard because you can’t see them all. You can manage inventory, you can manage resources, you cannot manage people. You’re better off leading them so that they follow you willingly instead of standing on top of them.

When you accept full responsibility, you focus on the results more than the feelings. A lot of times, managers are led by feelings, not results. It’s tricky because it’s easier to create feelings around your comfort zone than it is to create feelings around the actual result. Raising your hand and saying, “Hey, I accept this. I’m going to lead us out of this valley,” is a magical thing in a lot of ways. It is at that point you’re committing to the result.

When you raise your hand, you’re committing to improving all the time. As the leader, you’re saying, “I’m constantly going to get better.”

Jim Collins said, “We found, instead, that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And then they figured out where to drive it.”

Meaning, you really have to understand that there are people out there who just aren’t meant for what you’re trying to do. Don’t spend all your time trying to convince them. Go find people that want to change the world and be a part of what you want to do. If you spend all your time trying to convince somebody who doesn’t believe, it will demotivate you and may ultimately stop you. More than anything, you have to have a sense of who you’re letting on your team.

To break it down, the real difference between a boss and a leader is raising your hand and owning every result that happens—it’s when every customer interaction, every misfire, every bullseye, is on you. The good and the bad. You’re going to manage to the middle. You’re going to be stoic. You’re not going to get too excited or too depressed about anything because you’re constantly moving forward. By raising your hand, you’re saying that you want to be the leader who gets better, who constantly improves. The one who is managing by the results, not by the feelings, and you’re humble enough to tell your team that you’re not perfect, and by doing everything together as a team, you’re stronger and better.

What do you think? Do you think leaders are born or make the choice to be leaders? Have you ever raised your hand? Let us know!

 

Listen to the full episode our new podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed, on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlayYouTube or chriscollinsunleashed.com.

Think I’m onto something? Disagree entirely? Reach out to me on Twitter at @bulldogcollins. I’d love to know what you think.

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WOMEN IN THE SERVICE DRIVE

The Auto Service Drive is male-dominated, and the car industry hasn’t made enough of an effort to understand female customers or recruit more female salespeople and advisors. We know this, but this is what you don’t know…

Personally, I employed tons of women in the service drive. Want to know why? Some of the best advisors I ever had were women. They’re good at the job. Having women around also helps keep the locker talk down.

WOMEN ARE ALSO TERRIFIC, LOYAL CUSTOMERS AND MAKE, OR INFLUENCE 85% OF ALL PURCHASING DECISIONS, INCLUDING TRADITIONAL MALE ONES LIKE…AUTOMOBILES.

 

But, yes, there are differences when dealing with female customers, AND there are different challenges for women when they work in an industry that is male-dominated. So this week we had Lindsey Glass on the show to talk about her experience as a female customer in the service drive.

Whatever you think about female customers—it doesn’t matter what you think. It’s how we make customer’s feel that’s important, so you have to pay attention because it’s a big deal. Perception is reality.

IF YOU’RE A SERVICE ADVISOR OR SERVICE MANAGER, AND YOUR FEMALE CUSTOMERS PERCEIVE YOU’RE INDIFFERENT, THAN THAT’S GOING TO AFFECT YOUR RESULTS AND YOUR CSI REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THAT WAS YOUR INTENTION.

 

Female consumers think differently, and often want the process to be explained. In my experience, women want to know what to expect and want you to take time with them and frame the experience. Here’s my trade secret for when I handled female customers…

I’d walk up with a big smile on my face, find a way to compliment them, ask them what they were doing that day, etc. If I saw a car seat or kids stuff, I’d ask about their kids. I really appreciated my females customers because they’d give praise when we did a good job and were loyal.

FEMALE CUSTOMERS ARE ALSO WAY MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO A MAINTENANCE PLAN. IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO SHOW THEM WHAT’S AVAILABLE AND EXPLAIN HOW IT ALL WORKS, THEY ARE YOURS FOREVER.

 

To wrap up, let me reiterate, female customers, are loyal and spend money. And, there’s a TON of opportunity for women who want to work in the service drive, so I’ll be writing a follow-up article on how to set yourself up for success if you’re a woman in the Automotive Industry.

Read this article for more Advanced Sales Techniques.

INSPIRATION IS NOT OPTIONAL: MOTIVATE YOUR SERVICE TECHNICIANS!

Business problems are easy, people problems are hard. I didn’t invent that phrase. It’s been said many times by many people, and it holds true for every business. Don’t pretend this doesn’t apply to you and your drive. I’ve said it before and I will say it again:

The most important people in your business and least cared about, are your service technicians.

Your service technicians are the only ones in the company who are qualified to solve your customer’s problems. Without talented, well-motivated technicians your drive simply can’t operate efficiently.

First, let’s agree that success is defined by the end goal. Results are what matters. We are the sum of what we achieve, not what we intend. It doesn’t matter if someone had the best intentions in the world. In business, what matters is how much gets accomplished.

Without exception, service departments that perform well have a leader who’s created a strong system. Without clear rules and accountability, the system breaks down. So you must have a good, easy-to-understand system. Then, you must be able to share that system. Start taking notes now because this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

This is the stuff that’s actually working on drives all over the country!

Tip #1 – Track Production

This is production! You have to see how much people are producing. You’re living in the dark ages if you’re afraid to put the scores up in your service drive. Hang a dry erase board immediately and start tracking their hours. It doesn’t matter if some guys don’t like that idea. You can’t worry about the low performer, or be afraid of losing him. Equality of result is a lie. It’s equality of opportunity. Everybody has the same opportunity but not everybody is going to get the same results.

If you’re feeding your low-performing technicians so that they somehow get the same hours as the guy who’s working his butt off, you’re not creating a culture of high performers. The culture of performance is vital. Create that culture of performance by writing down the numbers from yesterday and everyone will be kept accountable.

Tip #2 Get to know your technicians

The single best way to make your technicians feel appreciated is to sit down with them once a month and talk about their goals. No, you don’t have to be their therapist, or Oprah, to make a huge difference. Use lunch as an opportunity to get together. Trust me, no one is going to poach your guys if you have a personal relationship with them. Your technicians are people too—they’ve got families and situations to deal with so find out what’s making these guys tick.

If you have a busy schedule and not much time to chitchat here’s a cheat sheet of questions you can ask: How’s work going? How can I help? What’s in your way? How can we get better as a department? Since we know from experience that they feel like the most ignored and picked on group in your shop, it’s your responsibility to change that.

Tip #3 Gamification!

If you have not read my book, Gamification, here’s the link.

Buy it and read it cover to cover. Look, I know the technicians are there to fix cars, but they also need to enjoy being at work. Gamification is playing for profits. It’s important to have a pattern interrupt with them where they get to have a break and have some fun. Let them throw a baseball or basketball at lunch—whatever gets their energy and mood up. If those don’t sound good to you, the book has at least 50 games in it so there’s plenty to choose from. I promise, if you throw some cash around, and add some work games into the mix, your technicians will get more done and be much happier in the process.

SKYROCKET YOUR SALES WITH THESE ADVANCED SALES TECHNIQUES

I recently found out that we added a new service—we can marry you. That’s right, our very own coach, Jair Martinez has been ordained in the state of CA! (I’m not sure what that says about California.) So, not only do we have the best coaching groups, advisor training, and service manager University around at Chris Collins Inc., now we can offer wedding services. Imagine the fun.

Every day is a new adventure here at Chris Collins Inc.

On today’s choose your own adventure, we’re dosing you with advanced sales tips so sit back, relax and enjoy the trip.

Let’s start with two strategies that seem like common sense, but actually aren’t as commonly practiced as you’d think—tone and mirroring. G-man found these tips in a little book called, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz. We discussed these and more on this week’s show. In case you haven’t watched the show yet, we’ll share them with you here.

You make a lot of sales calls in your service drive, right? We always hear about the different tones of voice you can use when you’re on the phone with prospects. There’s the EXCITED VOICE!! The Direct Voice. And the late night DJ voice. That’s right, folks, I’ll be here alllll night. Smooth, relaxing, and there for you in those late night hours.

The tone we choose to use to engage our customers will literally set the tone for the conversation, and get them in the mood to buy from us. There’s varying philosophies on which tone works the best, but for success across the board—we’ve found the late night DJ voice is the most consistently effective. The late night DJ voice is soothing to most everyone, and that’s always going to be the one you use when things get heated. It’s also non-threatening and calms people down, and a calm customer is usually the happier customer.

The second strategy is called mirroring, and you’re probably familiar with the concept. Just like the late night DJ voice, this tip also works just as effectively for service managers and advisors. Mirroring is when a salesperson uses the last three or four words the customer said to them and repeats it back as a question. For example, if the customer says, “I don’t need my brakes checked today.”

You’d say, “Are you sure you don’t need me to check your brakes?”

This forces them to explain to you why they don’t need the service done. And often, in the process of explaining, they realize that they really do need it done! Or sometimes, if you do this repeat back process a couple times, people will break down and agree just to get you to stop asking questions. This is a scenario in which we actually want people to be “yes men.”

The science behind mirroring is that we’re attracted to things that are familiar, while we often feel repelled by things that seem foreign. So don’t repel people. Bring them closer to you with a soft voice and mirroring language. It gives the feeling of comfort and has a higher success rate.

Whether you need wedding services, want to join one of our awesome coaching groups or just enjoy reading my sales tips every week–here at Chris Collins inc. we’re here to serve. So dream big and sell hard!

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THE NEW ERA OF MARKETING

This week was the show of a thousand thoughts… I think everyone forgot to take their Adderall. Of course, we got an update on Gary’s cholesterol because that’s becoming a hot topic here at Service Drive Revolution. Wherever we go people ask more about Gary’s cholesterol than anything else. But that’s going to prove my point later on about adding a personal component to your marketing. Hold on, we’ll get there…

Gary shared with me that I’m tweeting, which I find very hard to believe because I’ve never used Twitter. So he spent a few minutes reading my recent tweets and we tried to determine who’s actually writing from my account. Another oddity this week was that someone called me and asked me to comment on President Trump. My response to that? I need a year to think about it so ask me again in a year.

This week’s book report of the week is on Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. Gary was kind enough to explain that he initially thought ego referred to being cocky, but what the author is talking about in this book is far more subtle. In this case ego can stop you from progressing in a subtle way. Gary used his own career track as an example, explaining he had done so well as he ascended from service technician to service advisor to service manager, etc. that it caused him to rewrite history a little. When he looks back on his career it’s easy to remember the highlights and think he was great at each job. But the truth is there were failures every step of the way—it was experience and hard work that made him successful. But the mind (and subtle ego) makes it easy to remember the highlight reel and think he was really good the whole way through, not the actual learning curve that it was.

We also used a story about one of our friends as a perfect example of how the subtle ego can negatively affect one’s perspective. Our friend had been super successful at one dealership in Chicago so when he moved to a different state and got a job in a new dealership, he brought with him such confidence and big expectations that he was completely stopped up when he had issues there. Between office politics, a different culture and other barriers, our friend found himself unable to find success there and ended up quitting! His success at one dealership blinded him and caused him to have an ego and expectations that overlooked the need to try really hard and go back to basics at his new job.

The thesis of the book being you have to remain a student—humble and open to learning new things. The book references Ghenghis Khan and the Mongols and how despite their great success with conquering nations they still remained humble enough to learn and take the best pieces of each culture with them when they left. This way of doing business led them to champion the canon. By taking pieces of each culture they were able to create new technologies that made them even stronger. Gary wrapped up the book segment by trying to back out of his goal of reading 60 books this year. Seriously, Gary, four books a month is too much for you??

Back to the main topic of this show, which is the new era of marketing!

I look around at what other people in this industry are doing and it bores me! It’s all the same! So I put together some new, fun, usable tips on how to do effective marketing in this modern day. First, for the love of God, tell a story. If you look at what’s successful on TV these days it’s shows that have aspirational characters, drama and mystery. People love stories and they always have. Give your email blasts a personality. For example, the two best pulling emails we’ve ever sent were written in the voice of my Bulldog, Tequila. The point is to immediately hijack your audience. Using stories or a character is an easy way to capture the attention of your reader and draw them in.

Another powerful marketing tool is to use sequences. Sending series of emails is another tactic to keep your audience connected to your business and what’s going on. Next on the list and this one is super important, the more personal and real you are with your audience the better it will be received. The reason our Service Drive Revolution audience is so obsessed with Gary’s cholesterol is because it’s real and it’s relatable. This is a concern everyone has and allows people to share their challenges or experiences with high cholesterol. And believe me, people share their experiences whether we want them to or not.

Use cross over techniques! If you’re on several platforms for social media, which you should be, use them all. Put your posts on all of your social media and use video! Many people aren’t immediately comfortable with video, so practice. Video helps you rank better and improves your SEO. Facebook and Google pay attention to video so add it to your social media content wherever possible.

Make it entertaining! This one is kind of common sense but it bears mention. As well as telling stories make sure your copy is fun to read. Humor always works but even if you’re not a comedian, try and get original with your copy, emails and posts so your audience isn’t getting the same regurgitated content they hear over and over.

Tracking and conversions… Also known as fall in love with what gets results. We had a competition in the office where I asked three of our creatives to create an E-book about customer service. We gave them each a budget for Facebook marketing and I told them I’d give $500 in cash to whoever’s E-book converted the best. At first none of the E-books were converting but after we changed the pictures their numbers took off. By tracking what was going on, and making small changes, we were able to salvage their good work and get the conversions they needed by creating a better visual.

You really want to focus on what’s converting and getting results rather than being married to a headline. Here’s a little piece of gold from my personal vault—if you’re not getting clicks or it’s not converting try a variety of small changes. If changing the photo doesn’t work, try changing the colors on the email because a change as simple as that can make a huge difference. Often a color or headline that doesn’t look right to everyone will turn them off. Correct or alter those things and see what happens—what have you got to lose?

If you’re sending out post cards make them stand out. Use colors, or sizes or pictures that will make people notice that your content, mailers, whatever are unique.

The simple truth is when the value of something outweighs the cost people are happy to pay so make sure your content has value. Try using fiverr.com to get even more professional content. They’re great for logos, photoshop help—you name it and they have freelancers who can help. To wrap up, get creative with your marketing and the sky’s the limit!

SERVICE ADVISOR TRAINING: CIRCLE OF TRUST

In today’s environment, where customers want everything now and for free, it’s essential we build trust and credibility with our customers. Particularly because the service we provide is unique in and of itself, other sales strategies are not going to work here. We are selling a product that most of customers have never seen before and wouldn’t know how to double check the work. You have to establish a connection with the customer to gain the trust and the confidence that you will take care of them. Most of selling in the service department comes down to if the customer likes and trusts you. This Service Advisor Training centers on the Circle of Trust. It will help you accomplish and increase your customer retention.

Let’s start from the beginning with establishing an Instant Connection. Nothing kills connection quicker than making your customer come and find you. Hopefully, you all are already meeting your customers out on the drive. So, when you’re meeting the customers at their car, never ask the stereotypical questions like “What brings you in today?” or “Do you have an appointment?”. Instead strike up a conversation based on what is important to the customer. Remember the car is a commodity and not their passion.

When you’re doing the walk around with your customers, your goal should be to connect with them on a deeper level, Pet the Dogif you will. Talk about things like their pets, their kids, their work, favorite teams, really anything but the car. Build trust and a connection like a friend would. Service Advisor Training Pro Tip: imagine your customers were over at your house for a barbeque, what would you talk about? Focus on that as you’re leading the customer around the car checking for bumps and bruises.

Back in the 1950s, service advisors didn’t even exist. Most of the time customers pulled right into the shop and dealt directly with the technician. Part of your role as a service advisor is to make sure your customers are maintaining their car and that they understand what the car is due for. Check the History and Advise accordingly. Most studies show that customers generally aren’t maintaining their car because they weren’t informed or the maintenance due wasn’t communicated to them effectively. Bring your customers up to your desk, check their history, and clearly advise them on the maintenance issues at hand.

Whether you’re doing a 20 point inspection or a 58 point inspection, I personally recommend the 32 Point Inspection, introduce it upfront with your customers. Approach it by saying, “While the car is here, the technician will look it over for safety issues.” That way when you call your customers with any safety issues the technician found, they won’t think that you’re just searching for work. Quite the opposite, you’ll look like the hero you are.

Don’t beg for CSI at the end. Here’s something most service advisor training won’t tell you. Commit to CSI Upfront. Some of the service advisors I’ve seen just look like homeless people begging for a handout when they wait until the end to mention CSI. Commit to the customer upfront that you are going to provide a high level of service and that their feedback is appreciated. Then you only have to gently remind them at the end of their appointment.

One of the biggest mistakes service advisors can make is that they don’t Tell the Truth. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, writing the report and trying to build rapport with the customer, to over promise. Don’t say you can have the car done by 2 o’clock when you don’t yet know what the car needs. The idea is to under promise. Service Advisor Training Pro Tip: make the window for the appointment as long as you can. The longer the window, the more likely it is to add additional work to the RO. Properly set the frame upfront so you’re not causing any disappointment on the backside.

Sometimes a tiny little, seemingly insignificant, gesture can show huge rewards. Say for example, you send your wife or girlfriend flowers at work unexpectedly. For the rest of the week not only are you getting lucky but she feels amazing after having received flowers in front of all her friends. It’s the same thing with our customers. It’s usually standard procedure for the customer to call the service advisor wondering when their car is going to be done. I purpose incorporating a Two Hour Call to distinguish yourself from all the other service advisors. Keep track of when you wrote the customers up and as close to two hours as you can, give them a call. Even if you have nothing new to report, just let them know that you are just checking in. It’s as easy as saying “We’re still waiting for the technician to look at your car but I was thinking about you.” Touch them before they have a chance to touch you.

Once the technician has checked out the car and given you an inspection sheet, Call with a Diagnosis. If they’re in the waiting room, be sure to bring them into your office to present the work privately. When you’re presenting the work, always present value first and price second. Most advisors tend to list out the price for each individual piece. All the customer is going to hear is the numbers. It’s critical that you sell the value before you sell the number.

Get the car Done Early. Even if you know you can get the car done by 3 o’clock, tell the customer 5 o’clock. Then it’ll be a pleasant surprise when you call at 3 and tell them their car is ready to be picked up. Remember, under promise and over deliver.

It’s imperative that you have a system in place to guarantee Quality Control. It’s a tiny little extra step that makes all the difference in terms of CSI. Inspect the cars as much as you can. Make sure they’re washed, the keys are upfront, that there’s no new dents before you call the customers to come pick it up. Don’t fumble the ball at the 1 yard line.

Make sure that you touch your customers when they come to collect their car so they’re not doing the Walk of Shame to the cashier. A lot of times when customers come in, they’ll go directly to the cashier. They’ll leave without the service advisor reviewing what was done and what work will be due at their next appointment. You should always be reconnecting with your customers before they leave. There’s a couple ways you can accomplish this. One, you can withhold the paperwork from the cashier. That way the cashier has to inform you when your customers arrive. Or two, when you call your customers to inform them their car is ready, ask them to come by and see you before they go to the cashier to review the appointment. It’s at this point that you should remind them of your commitment to CSI and to be expecting a survey from the manufacturer.

The last link in the Circle of Trust and the key to making money as a service advisor is Be There Next Time. Stay in one place for a long time and collect customers. Selling will become the easiest part when you customers like and trust you. The hardest part will be staying in one place for a long time. But when you’ve been at a dealership for 3 years, you’ll have customers coming back specifically asking for your assistance. Start with little steps. Make it a goal to connect with 2-3 customers a day on much deeper level. Bear in mind that repeat customers mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. Stay in one place and become a fixture, an icon, in your dealership and reap in the rewards.

With these Service Advisor Training tips you now have the information to help you thrive as an advisor and create a Circle of Trust between yourself and your customers.

1. Instantly Connect with your Customers
2. Pet the Dog
3. Check the History and Advise
4. Introduce the 32 Point Inspection
5. Commit to CSI Upfront
6. Tell the Truth
7. Utilize the Two Hour Call
8. Always Call with a Diagnosis
9. Get Done Early
10. Ensure Quality Control
11. Avoid the Walk of Shame
12. And… Be There Next Time.

So get out there, put these tools to the test and I guarantee results.

SELLING MAINTENANCE IN THE SERVICE DRIVE: SERVICE ADVISOR TRAINING

Go with me on this quick story. In the end it will help you in selling maintenance in the service drive. So, the other night I had an intense dream. And I know what you’re thinking, out in the midwest- Chris moved to California and completely went native. Not so, I’m not a foofy vegetarian who’s all about brussel sprouts. That being said, I do think dreams are occasionally revealing. I suspect my dream was inspired by a conversation I had with a chemical rep recently.

Of course, this sparked a curiosity about dreams in general. Let me tell you, researching dream analysis lead to some interestingdiscoveries. So many people are constantly dreaming about absurd sex fantasies and the analysis that accompany these accounts are some real gems. Some other common themes include mansions, death, kissing, and pizza. I myself don’t dream that often which supposedly means I’m not entering REM sleep… but I digress. Where was I? Ah yes, my dream. So in my dream I was cornered by a ferocious bear. Luckily, I had a shotgun and plenty of time and room to aim but I froze. It was as if I was in a solid block of ice.

AND I BELIEVE THIS IS A COMMON FEELING AMONG SERVICE MANAGERS WHEN SELLING MAINTENANCE.

Hear me out.

The chemical rep I mentioned earlier started out in the industry in the 80’s selling and servicing coolant machines. Once a month he’d spiff the service advisors $2 for every coolant exchange sold. One service advisor in particular, Woody, would sell over 100 coolant exchanges every month (compared to a combined total of 4 between competing service advisors, which is a ridiculous disparity). So he would come and give Woody his $200 and give the others their $4. And one day he couldn’t help himself anymore and confronted the other advisors. He asked why is it that Woody, who’s at the same drive with the same customers, the same opportunities, is out selling them 50 to 1. The advisors claimed it was because Woody cheats by suggesting coolant to customers who are due for an exchange.

THIS, OF COURSE, IS NOT CHEATING.

It is your duty as a service advisor to check the history and advise your customers accordingly. A lot of service advisors freeze, just like I did in my dream, and consequently aren’t taking proactive steps. The bear in my dream represents how hard it is to sell customer pay labor these days. Selling Maintenance is really all we have. At least a quarter of your CPRO count should be alignments, the easiest maintenance to sell. When you ask customers about maintenance, your closing ratios are going to be considerably higher than the 0% you have when you don’t ask.

This summer, as leaders, we need to get out of our offices and onto the service drive and melt the ice, so to speak. If you’re a service manager, role play with your service advisors on how to sell maintenance, hold them accountable, and check ROs to make sure they’re either offering or on a decline line to market to it to customers at a later date.

So let’s have the best summer ever, get out on the drive and sell maintenance!

DEALERSHIP GAMIFICATION, NADA 2016 LAS VEGAS

After one of the more memorable NADA Conventions comes to an end, let me briefly recap for those unlucky souls who couldn’t attend this year. We held multiple Dealership Gamification workshops focused on engaging employees to increase morale and productivity.

“Dealership Gamification is a hack that will enable you to quickly become the leader you need to be to move mountains. But this isn’t magic, or any kind of trick. This is a system founded on common sense, and a product of the fundamental human desire for happiness and challenges in life. It already exists all around us.”- Gamification: Playing for Profits

Studies show that 70% of millennials say they would rather be happy at work than earn a lot of money. Adjusting to this new standard using Dealership Gamification motivate teams to perform at their best. Hundreds of dealers from across the nation are now empowered with tools and games to implement in their dealership to motivate their people and see results immediately.

A special thanks to everyone in attendance, see you next NADA. For more training tools, check out our virtual training courses!

TECHNICIAN TRAINING, SHOULD WE TRAIN THE TECHS? NADA 2016

We’re midway through NADA Las Vegas and I’m losing my voice now. I just completed my third Gamification workshop on how to convert in the service drive. NADA is trying out a new interactive workshop style. No stages or rows of chairs to make the experience more interactive and fun! One important key in my technician training I push is to keep it relevant and knowledgeable. Not some of the idealized version you hear being pushed.

My strategies have been implemented at multiple dealerships and are proven to show results. We recently added a new tech training portion in our Online Program (Collins On Demand) headed by one of the greatest technicians I have had the privilege to know, Gary Daniel. Check out his daily updates and watch it with the sound off for even more entertainment!

In the course, techs learn about the advisors goals and process in the front so they fully understand how important their job is to the dealership overall goal. We then focus on the best practices for technicians, how to properly inspect a car, and time management tools. Learn for yourself and check out our Online Technician Training courses for you dealership today!