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5 Habits of the Exceptional Service Drive Manager 

In today’s post, I want to talk about what it takes to be a good Service Manager. It’s a tough job, no doubt about it. You’re constantly juggling a million tasks, dealing with different personalities, and trying to keep the department profitable. But how do you know if you’re really cutting it as a leader? Well, I’ve got five signs that separate the mediocre from the exceptional Service Managers.  

attracting new customers

 1. You’re a “People Collector” 

First and foremost, a good Service Manager is a “people collector.” This means two things: one, you have the best Techs, Advisors, and staff working for you. Talented people want to be on your team because they know they’ll thrive under your leadership. Two, you create an environment where customers want to keep coming back. Your systems and processes make them feel comfortable. They trust you and choose your dealership over the competition. 

2. Your Department is a Profit Machine 

A good Service Manager knows how to make money. And I’m not just talking about putting up big gross profit numbers. You understand the financials inside and out, and you consistently hit your goals while maintaining profitability. 

You’re not just focused on short-term gains; you’re building a sustainable, profitable department for the long haul. 

3. You’re the Hunted, Not the Hunter 

Third on the list: you’re the hunted, not the hunter. What do I mean by that? Simply put, other dealerships are trying to poach you. They see the success you’ve brought to your department, and they want a piece of that action. You’re not out there looking for a better gig because you’ve already created the best gig for yourself. When you’re a good Service Manager, you can write your own ticket… (making you essentially Irreplaceable…) 

4. You Have a Coaching Tree 

Fourth, a good Service Manager has a coaching tree. You’re not just focused on your own success; you’re invested in developing the next generation of leaders. You mentor your team, provide growth opportunities, and create a pipeline of talent that can step up when the time comes. And when one of your protégés moves on to a bigger role, you’ve got someone ready to fill their shoes. 

5. You Have a Seat at the Table 

Finally, a good Service Manager has a seat at the table. When the big decisions are being made, you’re right there in the room. Your opinion matters, and you’re an integral part of shaping the dealership’s overall strategy. You’re not just reacting to what’s handed down from above; you’re proactively contributing to the business plan and driving results. 


So there you have it, the five signs of a good Service Manager. If you’re nodding your head and thinking, “Yeah, that’s me,” then congratulations! You’re crushing it in one of the toughest jobs out there. But if you’re looking at this list and seeing some areas where you could improve, don’t worry. Every great leader starts somewhere, and the fact that you’re here, reading this post, tells me you’re committed to growth. 

If you liked what you read today and want to take your Service Department to the next level, I invite you to book a 15-minute strategy session with my team. They’ll dive into your specific challenges, identify opportunities for improvement, and create a plan to help you become the best Service Manager you can be.   

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