OK, you’re the Service Manager. You’ve taken the time to learn the best practices of running your department and you are putting them to work. This is a tough full time job but you are up to it because you learned what needs to be done and you are doing it. And the department is making money so everybody is happy so why try to fix what’s not broken right? Yup, you know what you are doing.
So when a sales person calls and asks for a meeting you say “Nope, we’re happy with what we have. But thanks for calling.” And you return to the task at hand. So the process of learning now becomes just the process of doing what you have been doing. And this can quickly lead to you being behind the curve of progress instead of in front of it. In business there is an old saying – “If you’re not moving forward then you are moving backwards.”
I know you can’t spend 2 hours every day meetings with sales people. This is especially true when you are convinced that you do not need another piece of equipment, or another process, or another marketing approach. You are keeping up with demand and making money right?
Well, here is why you should take the time to meet with them. It’s because these people are in service departments just like yours every day. They see the things that are being done better than you and worse than you. They know what you are going through and they just might have something that makes your service department more efficient, more productive, or safer. And in the end it could make your life just a little easier or make you and the dealer a little more money.
Here are some suggestions that can help you travel this knowledge path without it becoming bogged down and end up spending too much time away from your primary duties:
• When making an appointment always make sure that you know precisely what to expect from them and that they know precisely what to expect from you.
• Give them a specific time frame based on the situation and insist they stick to it. Even if you don’t really think you need their product tell them you can give them 15 minutes to hear what it does and how it could work with what you are already using. No demo’s or slide presentations just an overview of how it might benefit your shop. If you’re intrigued then set an appointment for another time when you can dedicate more time and attention.
• Be fair and give them the courtesy of your office and close the door. It will be easier for both of you if you can just focus on the topic at hand. Pretend they are a complaint customer. You want them out of your office but you NEED to understand their position.
• Finally, it’s OK to say no. If there is absolutely no way you’ll even consider their product after you’ve heard the preliminary pitch then say so. Tell them why you won’t use their product and chances are good they won’t pester you with follow up calls and emails. It saves a lot of time for both of you.
You have things under control and are doing a fine job keeping the train on the track. You know what to expect from the efforts put forth by your people and you know how to measure it. But what you don’t know is just what you don’t know.
Here’s the Deal. If you are open to hearing about what a lot of other dealers are doing to grow their service business, sell more cars and make more money – let’s set up a 15 minute meeting – and even if what they are doing isn’t right for your store at least you’ll know what else is out there and you won’t be left out of the loop. What are you waiting for? Check us out at CarPeopleMarketing.com or give us a call at 866.227.7337.