Book a 15-Minute Discovery Call Today +1 (800) 230-5165 Book a Call

How To Get Promoted At Your Dealership

Today on Service Drive Revolution we’re going to talk about how to get promoted as a Service Advisor or Technician to being a Manager. 

Are you currently looking for a promotion? Do you feel tired of your current position?


We’ll be covering…


-What are the steps? 


-What are the things that you need to understand to accomplish that? 


Now this might be the best advice that you’ve ever received in your life, so you’re gonna want to pay attention and take some notes. 


There's so much more to learn when you watch our youtube videos, learn how to get promoted now.

How To Get Promoted: 


This was actually something that was asked on YouTube, how to get promoted from a service advisor or tech to a manager.


What things can you do to get promoted from where you are right now?


There comes a time where you’re working hard and you’ve been around a while… 


You then decide like, 


“Hey, I think that I should be a Service Manager or General Manager” 


For me that happened mostly just by being the recipient of all the bad decisions that the manager I worked for made.


Whether it’s just time and you feel like eventually wanting to be in leadership or you are working for somebody who couldn’t lead their way out of a wet paper sack. At some point you’re gonna decide you want to be a manager of your dealership. 


How to get promoted from a Service Advisor to a Manager:


1) Raise Your Hand


You have to raise your hand and tell your owner, general manager, whoever it is, that you want to be promoted someday. 


Owners and General Managers are not mind readers, they don’t know if you want to be promoted. 


They’re not psychic, I have yet to meet a dealer, general manager, or service manager for that was psychic. 


If anything, most of the time they’re reactive.


 If you think about people in our industry, they’re not even good at being reactive. They’re usually late to that. So to think that they’re gonna be anticipating something that hasn’t happened yet is wishful thinking.


Most of the time the elephant in the room has to stand up and start knocking stuff over before people in our industry decide that they need to think about changing.


What sort of things happen when you raise your hand and you say to show interest in becoming a manager one day? 


The best possible thing that could come out of that is that when you raise your hand to your General Manager or your Owner, is that they become your mentor.


One of the things you have to understand is the outcome of this, they should take you in, start to mentor you and explain how the business really works.


I also believe that even if you’re a service advisor or technician, I think understanding financial statements makes you a better employee overall. 


There’s no downside to understanding the financial side of a dealership. 


This book for your service department will teach those who are interested on higher roles at the dealership on how to get promoted.


Approaching your boss about your potential promotion: 


Now I’ve had this happen two different ways and you should be able to tell where you stand by the reaction when you express this. 


I’ve had kids come and say, 


“Hey, someday, I want to be a manager.”


And I’m like, well I’m gonna start treating you like that and I’m gonna teach you some things to see how you react in certain situations and I will make time to start explaining why things are happening. Additionally, I will give them specific feedback in the effort of mentoring them. 


But I’ve also had people that asked to be promoted and in my head, I’m going, 


“God, no, you are the last person that we would ever want in leadership or management.”


Having said this, depending on their reaction, it’ll tell you how you’re perceived.


2) Being Positive 


That’s a good point because there are people that want to be in management that aren’t gonna check a lot of these other boxes that we’re gonna talk about.


There are people that want to be in management that aren’t gonna check a lot of these other boxes that we’re gonna talk about. Like for example, number two that we have on the list is being positive. 


You’re not going to get promoted if you are not perceived as somebody who’s positive. 


If you’re always focused on the problem and the negativity, that is not somebody that you’re gonna want to promote into leadership. Therefore, understanding that to be a leader, your perspective has to be about opportunity and positivity. 


When you’re focused on negativity, this will exclude you from the opportunity.  


By addressing issues and not about ways to be more efficient in the shop, you might need to kind of change the way that you’re controlling the narrative because people are listening.


Nothing makes you lose your authority more than being negative.


Take our service department training if you want to know how to get promoted to a manager!


Next on the list of how to be promoted to a manager: 


3) Consistency 


You gotta be consistent. When someone wants to be promoted and they don’t show up on time, they have a lot of comebacks, they overlook things, or their attitude is inconsistent… 


This makes it harder to trust them enough to promote them to a General Manager or Service Manager. 


Consistency in your work ethic in and in the actual execution of the work that you’re doing will naturally create this border of positive expectations. 


Having said this, consistency is a big part of moving up because people want to follow somebody who’s consistent. You don’t wanna follow somebody who’s inconsistent just because of the fact that it makes you feel insecure because you never know what’s gonna happen and where you stand.


Therefore, when you’re pondering on the idea of ‘how to get promoted’ you need to be consistent with everything that you do. 


4) Customers and Company First, not you. 


You’re gonna have to understand that it’s the company and customers first and not you. 


Additionally, you’re gonna have to make a transition and understand that being in management or leadership is a very selfless endeavor. 


In the sense that you gotta put the company, employees, and customers way ahead of yourself. 


One of the things I see managers or newer managers struggle with the most is the thought that their employees sometimes make more money than they do. 


So the truth is sometimes hopping up the ladder into management is a little bit of a pay cut.


I believe that you have to kind of completely change the way you flip and 180. As a service advisor or as a tech, there’s a little bit of selfishness. 


Like you gotta fight for your repair orders, you gotta fight for your hours, and there’s a little bit of looking out for number one in both of those jobs. 


So we’re asking you to completely reprogram, but just understand that this promotion might be a pay cut in the beginning… However, in the end, it always works out.


It’s common for somebody to get promoted to service manager and then they realize that one of their service advisors or one of their techs is actually making more money than them. 


They then hyper focus on that and they don’t focus on all of the things that they can control or how they can maximize their pay plan. These people are just focused on the fact that somebody’s making more than them and they assume that because you’re the manager, you should automatically make the most money, but that just isn’t how it works. 


You have an opportunity most of the time to earn more money. But you’re certainly not going to achieve that by focusing on what others are getting paid.


It can be a big stumbling block and a lot of ego is involved in that.


I believe when you get promoted into a new job, ego couldn’t be more of an enemy. 


Humility is the thing you want to take with you into these new positions. 


Browse more of our content if you want to learn how to get promoted to a manger.


Something you need to understand about how to get promoted: 


5) Understand that life isn’t fair 


It’s not fair. You’re responsible for all man’s sins. If you are thinking that things are fair or that you’re gonna get praised, it’s not gonna happen.


It’s a lonely thankless thing and it’s not fair.


You’re gonna take the blame for all of the problems and give away the credit for all the successes. 


That’s really how it is and it’s not fair whatsoever.


6) Focus on Customer Satisfaction


You have to focus on the customer satisfaction because the dealership and the dealer world is judged on CSI. 


How the manufacturers look at you, depending on how big the group is. A lot of times groups can’t buy more dealerships until they fix their CSI. Therefore, CSI and the customer experience is a big part of the equation. 


You have to be able to provide a consistent customer experience or you’re not gonna last as a manager. 


I would say that CSI sometimes is number one over profitability. They’re very close to each other and especially those stores that are in high acquisition mode.


CSI is gonna affect your relationship with the manufacturer in a negative way. If you can’t provide a consistent experience to the customers. 


So if you’re still currently wondering, 


“How to get promoted to a manager”


Just understand that part of it is very heavily focused on caring for the customers that come in. 


If you're looking to get promoted, this book will teach you ways on how to get promoted to a manager.


Last but not least on the topic of how to promoted to a manager: 


7) Imagine yourself in that position 


I would approach it in the sense that I would imagine myself in that position. Then I would sit down with the piece of paper then write down things like, 


– “If I’m a really successful manager here where I’m working… What is it that I would have to act like and what would my confidence have to be?”


– “How would I dress?”


– “What would be my overall attitude?” 


When you’re thinking about ‘how to get promoted’ to a manager, follow these steps: 


I would make a list of what your idealized version of what a successful manager looks like. Then slowly create yourself into that description. 


Start acting like that, start expecting very little praise, and understand that it’s not fair.  


Reverse engineer what you’d be today to get to where you want to be tomorrow. 


Jump ahead a couple years to when you’re succeeding.


Think about the characteristics, the mindset of who you are, and then adopt those ideologies now. 


If you want to know how to get promoted at your dealership, join our OnDemand program.


Got a question? Call us at 1-833-3-ASK-SDR


Related Blogs/Podcasts:

Service Advisors need to stop being average

Ways to promote teamwork in your business 

The difference between a boss and a leader

Customers can’t always be right

Chris Collins $25,000 Service Manager winner


This might be the best advice that you've ever received in your life, so you're gonna want to pay attention and take some notes if you want to learn how to get promoted easily. 

Recommended Posts


Automotive consultants are employed by dealerships and other car companies to help in developing their businesses and, in turn, increase profits. They also might work


Join me as I tell the stories from my best-selling book.

1: Contact Information

2. Payment Information

Claim Yours Before We
Run Out Of Stock!

$74.95 $39.95

This Step By Step Guide Will Teach You How To…

  • Create a workplace you and your employees love!
  • Drive traffic and increase your RO count!
  • Significantly increase your CSI count!
  • Create lifetime customer loyalty!
  • And so much more!

Get Free Access to Our M.O.R.E Technician Recruiting Workbook!

First enter your best email address below so we know where to send it!
We respect your privacy. Your email will never be shared