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Mastering Service Drive Sales: 5 Strategies for Success 

In the fast-paced world of automotive service, making sales can often feel like an uphill battle. We’ve all been there – trying to explain additional services to a customer while juggling multiple appointments and dealing with the usual chaos of the Service Department.  

But what if we told you there are ways to make selling in your Service Drive not just easier, but more effective? In our recent episode of Service Drive Revolution, we dove deep into this topic, and we’re excited to share our insights with you. 

attracting new customers

The Problem with ‘Blind Date’ Selling 

Let’s start with a scenario we see all too often in Service Departments across the country. A customer waits on the drive for 10 minutes before anyone acknowledges them. They finally make their way inside, only to wait again for an Advisor to finish a phone call. When they’re finally greeted, it feels rushed and impersonal. Then, out of nowhere, they’re hit with a recommendation for $800 worth of maintenance. 

Sound familiar? We call this ‘blind date’ selling, and it’s about as effective as… well, asking someone to marry you on a blind date. It’s no wonder customers are hesitant to commit to additional services when we approach them this way. 

So, how do we fix this? Let’s dive into our five key strategies for making Service Drive sales easier and more effective. 

Strategy 1: Don’t Ask to Get Married on a Blind Date 

The first step in improving your Service Drive sales is to stop treating every customer interaction like a blind date. Instead of jumping straight into maintenance recommendations, take the time to build rapport with your customers. 

Greet them promptly when they arrive. Show genuine interest in them and their vehicle. Make them feel welcome and valued. When you establish a connection first, customers are much more likely to trust your recommendations later. 

Strategy 2: Make Appointments a Necessity 

One of the biggest challenges in many Service Departments is the chaos that comes from an open Service Drive. When you don’t have a structured appointment system, it’s nearly impossible to provide the kind of personalized service that leads to increased sales. 

Implement a system where appointments are scheduled by Advisor at specific intervals. This gives your team the chance to prepare for each customer, reducing wait times and improving the overall experience. 

Strategy 3: Master the Pregame 

Speaking of preparation, our third strategy is all about ‘pregaming’ – and no, we don’t mean tailgating before a big game. We’re talking about reviewing customer histories and preparing for appointments before customers arrive. 

One of our top Advisors has a system that’s truly next level: 

  • He prints out the pre-write and attaches the maintenance schedule 
  • He uses a color-coding system: green for completed services, yellow for due services, and pink for overdue 
  • He even researches personal information about the customer – where they’re from, their job, family details – to build rapport 

This level of preparation allows him to provide personalized service that customers truly appreciate. It’s not just about selling more; it’s about creating an experience that keeps customers coming back. 

Strategy 4: Never Practice During a Live Game 

Think about professional athletes for a moment. They don’t just show up on game day and wing it. They spend countless hours practicing, refining their skills, and preparing for every possible scenario. 

The same principle applies to your Service Department. Training shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should be a crucial part of your team’s routine. Role-play different scenarios with your Advisors. Practice walk-arounds. Refine your communication skills. 

Yes, it can feel uncomfortable at first. But that discomfort is a sign of growth. And when your team is well-trained and confident, it shows in their interactions with customers. 

Strategy 5: Maintain an Internal Locus of Control 

Our final strategy is all about mindset. It’s easy to blame external factors when things don’t go as planned. The customer was in a bad mood. The Technician didn’t explain the issue clearly. The parts were on backorder. 

But the most successful Service Advisors and Managers maintain what we call an internal locus of control. They focus on what they can control, rather than what they can’t. 

You can control how you communicate with customers. You can control the quality of your work. You can control your preparation and your attitude. By focusing on these factors, you’ll find that your ability to sell effectively improves dramatically. 

The Wrap 

Implementing these Service Drive sales strategies isn’t just about increasing your bottom line (although that’s certainly a nice benefit). It’s about providing a level of service that sets you apart from the competition. It’s about creating an environment where both your team and your customers feel valued and respected. 

When you stop treating sales as a necessary evil and start seeing it as an opportunity to truly serve your customers, everything changes. Your team becomes more confident. Your customers become more loyal. And yes, your sales numbers improve. 

But don’t just take our word for it. If you’re intrigued by these strategies and want to see how you can implement them (and others) in your own Dealership’s Service Department, we’d love to chat. Book a 15-minute strategy session with us, and let’s explore how we can take your Service Drive to the next level. 

Remember, in the world of Automotive Service, the drive to improve never stops. So keep learning, keep growing, and keep serving your customers to the best of your ability. Your success is our success, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. 

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