In Fixed Ops Toolbox by Don Reed

– Don Reed, CEO
DealerPRO Training

There are 2 kinds of Service Advisors out there …
 “Those who are making money for you and those who are losing money for you.
“Those who are losing money are Under Achievers–Some want to be doing better, and others don’t wannabe.

How do you deal with this?”

Making a Difference

We’ve talked about being different from every other dealer in town so that you could provide your customers with the highest level of service possible by exceeding their expectations every time they visit your dealership. Now let’s continue to focus on what you can do to be different and achieve record profits at the same time. 

That being said, it’s time to start doing things differently or maybe do different things. A great place to start would be your employees. Whether you are a manager or a dealer, you must evaluate the performance of your people. Let’s begin by dividing them up into two groups called “Underachievers” and the other “Top Performers.”

Why Are Some of Your People Underachieving?
Underachievers exist due to one of two reasons: 1.) They don’t know how to become “Top Performers”, or 2.)THEY DON’T WANT TO! If they don’t know how, that can be corrected through training because training can and will solve any problem within any organization whether it be the United States military, Microsoft, IBM or ABC Motors.

However, if the trainee does not want to learn new ideas and processes in order to CHANGE their behavior and become a “Top Performer”, then what do you do? I would hope that you cut their final pay check and show them quietly to the door after you have conducted a thorough “exit interview”. This is the result of a creative process known as ACCOUNTABILITY.

Hold Everybody Accountable
You can’t MANAGE what you don’t MEASURE.

Most RV dealerships have something called a “Performance Board” for their salespeople that is posted daily to track the number of units sold per salesperson, the number of units sold by the dealership, average Gross PRU and even average F&I Gross PRU. Your Service, Parts and Body Shop Departments should also have a “Performance Board” tracking the hours produced per Technician per day, the Advisors’ Hours Per Repair Order, Effective Labor Rate, Parts Sales, etc.

You could also call these “Accountability Boards.” The results posted on the performance boards will clearly point out those individuals and those areas of performance that need immediate attention by your management team. Additionally, everyone on the respective team gets to see how everyone is performing in relationship to the goals that were set at the beginning of the month. I believe it is called peer pressure. Top Performers love it! Underachievers hate it!

 Top Performers LOVE IT! Underachievers HATE IT!

Creating A Fair, Measurable Process
In order for the accountability process to be fair to everyone you must establish what processes you expect them to follow with every sales opportunity. Everyone must then be trained on how to use those processes and insure that they all understand that these processes ARE NOT OPTIONAL! They are company policy and must be followed.

Next, you must measure their performance, advise them of their performance both good and bad so that they know and understand exactly how you feel about their performance. Now here is another opportunity for you to be different—DO THIS EVERY DAY! Not weekly, not monthly and not semi-annually.

Make it 100%
Performance must be measured and evaluated DAILY. Guess what? Your Top Performers will LOVE IT and your Underachievers will HATE IT.

Another example of how this works in the Sales Operations is the Salespersons turnover of their customer to the F&I Department. Most dealers have a policy (not optional) of 100% turnover of every customer to the F&I Department. The obvious reason being that they want every customer to have the opportunity to finance or lease their vehicle at their dealership and they want to insure that everyone is presented the benefits of buying additional products such as Extended Service Contracts, Insurance, etc.

That Means Everybody
Why not have a similar policy (not optional) that all Service Advisors must present a Maintenance Menu to 100% of your customers every time they come into your Service Department. By present, I mean explain the benefits of preventive maintenance that will help keep their vehicle in like new condition and maintain their factory warranty or extended service contract. The Advisor does not have to be a hard “closer”, they just need to offer what the manufacturer recommends.

This process again will probably give your customer a different experience since I have yet to go into a Service Department where the Advisors present Menus to 100% of their customers. If your Underachievers do not want to participate in this new process then it is time for the “exit review”.

How to Recruit Top Performers
For a motivated replacement, you can drive down to your local restaurant for lunch and seek out the best food servers. Tell them about all of your fringe benefits, no nights, no weekends, health insurance, paid vacations and earnings potential of $30,000 to $50,000 a year. They will be more than happy to present Menus to 100% of your customers all day long since that is exactly what they are already doing!

Have you ever sat down in a restaurant without being presented a Menu? Don’t get me wrong, these food servers will need some training of course but I assure you  they will out perform the 1.5 HPRO Underachiever who refuses to give your customers the highest level of service that they possibly can. Maintenance Menus will increase your sales—IF YOU PRESENT THEM TO 100% OF YOUR CUSTOMERS!

These “Green Peas” often turn out to be the highest performing Service Advisors on the team!

I could go on and on about the sales processes that are used every day on the showroom floor that can be applied to Service, Parts and Body Shops. Give it some thought and start preparing your plan of action. Top Performers are needed to ensure high owner retention and long- term success. Underachievers need to be shown the door.

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them”
–  Dr. Denis Waitley

Call Don Reed toll free at 1-888-553-0100
Or email


Don Reed
CEO--DealerPRO Training