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The 6 Traits of All-Star Service Advisors

Want to know the inside secrets of what separates the top-performing Service Advisors from the rest of the pack? After visiting hundreds of dealerships across North America and coaching countless advisors over the years, our team has identified the key qualities that the best of the best all share. 

In this article, I’ll reveal the 6 traits that allow elite Advisors to consistently write more tickets, retain more customers, and out-earn their peers. Use this as a blueprint to take your own skills and mindset to the next level!

attracting new customers

They’re Never Satisfied

You won’t find complacency among Advisors at the top of the leaderboard. They’re always pushing for more – more car count, more revenue per repair order, more hours booked per day. Even after a massive month, high performers don’t kick back and relax. They’re obsessed with continuous improvement.

That insatiable appetite separates the pros. They find motivation in competition, whether it’s their own numbers from last month or where colleagues rank on the Service Drive. 

They Know the Numbers Cold

All-star Advisors have their KPIs down pat. Open RO count, conversion percentage, individual customer payload – they track and analyze their most important metrics religiously. 

But it’s not just their own stats they obsess over. To stay #1, you need to know what #2, #3 and #4 are up to. I can always tell who’s seriously gunning for the top spot because they have the full scorecard memorized. They know exactly how many more ROs they need to write this month to catch first place.

This granular numbers knowledge pays off hugely. It enables top Advisors to set clear performance goals, rather than just winging it day to day. And the competitive intel lights a fire under their drive to succeed.

They Embrace the “Law of the Slight Edge” 

The best Advisors recognize that excellence is achieved gradually through consistent, humble improvements. I call it the “law of the slight edge.” They win through daily disciplines – showing up early, volunteering for extra work, learning new phrases to use with customers.

Here’s an example. At one dealership I coached, they opened the Service Drive at 7 AM. But this rock star Advisor started unlocking the doors every morning at 6. That extra hour greeting early birds and taking night drop-offs gave him a massive head start on RO count each day. 

Small optimizations like that, compounded daily, push Advisors’ skills – and stats – to the next level. But only if you have the patience and work ethic to stick with it. Victory favors the tenacious!

They’re Control Freaks (in the Best Way)

Top Advisors want to completely own the customer interaction from start to finish. They don’t hand off customers for others to check out or let porters move cars around. They inspect vehicles thoroughly before returning keys, never leaving quality control to chance. 

Why so obsessive? First, it reduces mistakes and confusion that lose customers’ trust. But just as importantly, controlling the full service experience helps cement the Advisor-Client relationship. When customers only ever deal with one Advisor, loyalty skyrockets. 

Don’t worry, this control freak tendency has major benefits for your team too. Advisors who fully own their customers gain leverage to demand the best Technicians and service. It’s a win-win situation.

They Investigate Issues Like a Detective 

Any Advisor can write “noise from engine” on a repair order. But only all-stars dig in with follow-up questions and research to pinpoint the actual problem. Top performers act like diagnosticians, piecing together clues to solve the mechanical mystery.

Developing this investigative mindset pays dividends for both Advisor and Technician. Customers get the issue resolved properly the first time, while Technicians can fix it accurately without playing guessing games. 

So be curious and ask questions! The more precise your diagnosis, the smoother the service process for all.

They Make Maintenance Sexy 

Here’s the reality – we’re not selling Ferraris and Cadillacs on the service drive. It’s Alignments and brake pads, air filters and coolant flushes. 

But while they can’t change the offerings, elite Advisors can package them attractively. Through polished verbiage and presentation, they get customers excited about investing in their vehicles. It’s about selling the value of maintenance.

For example, I coach Advisors to say “Let’s get you scheduled to have this done,” instead of “I recommend you do this.” It’s more of a peer-to-peer conversation, not top-down advice. Little tweaks like that word choice completely change the customer experience.

Be an All-Star Advisor 

There you have it – the inside scoop on what sets the superstars apart. From an obsession with performance to a magnetic charisma, these top Advisor traits are indispensable pillars of Service Drive success.

So where do you stack up? How can you apply one or more of these qualities to your own approach? Your Service Department needs you operating at the highest level possible.

And if you feel stuck in a rut, my customized 1-on-1 coaching programs can help spark rapid performance breakthroughs. I’ve worked closely with hundreds of dealerships to drive real Service Department profitability gains. 

Connect for a quick strategy session with one of my coaches and map out a custom action plan for you to start dominating on the Service Drive immediately.

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