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Are Your Sales Training Efforts Paying Off?

Performance Training – How to judge and hone your team’s skills on a daily basis.

Service Advisor sales training can be a mishmash of different manufacturer certifications, off-site classes and handed down techniques from management and fellow advisors. Or, as many an advisor will tell you, they may not have gotten any formal service sales training. Even if you have an extensive onsite, online and seminar schedule and your advisors practice the latest techniques, there may still be room for improvement. Right?

The fact is, as a manager, it’s really hard to know if your training efforts and advisor sales techniques are paying off and that your advisors are communicating with your customers in a way in which you would approve and be proud.


As a service manager, time is a precious commodity. We need methods to streamline and perfect our processes to achieve greater success. There is a simple and time-efficient method to assess and then hone the skills of your advisors daily. This is a general approach and these are tactics for any service manager to oversee effective sales train- ing of advisors through first hand interaction. This check and balance method requires that managers role play with advisors and let them present job to YOU, their manager before they take a crack at a live customer.
This coaching and assessment process works by identifying gaps in training so the manager has a perspective that the customer would have in a similar situation.

As managers we can provide the coaching and training and sometimes discipline that is needed to continually improve. From this coaching inter- action we can assist advisors to evaluate and polish their skills in a host of different areas. As we assess them we will know what type of additional training and attention the advisor needs for improvement. Standard process compliance or lack there of will be exhibited.

From discovering and presenting findings from the customer’s prime concern and related needs as well as considering the results of the multipoint inspection, previous history, driving habits and factory required maintenance suggestions will be exposed. We will see the advisors approach to all of these things and more. We can also tell the subtle, often overlooked, things like the confidence level the advisor is broadcasting and a whole host of subjective things that standardized testing and K.P.I.s will NOT tell us. This is coaching meant to be done with LIVE repair orders and can definitely result in more sales RIGHT NOW. These sessions are meant to be confidence builders for your team and a chance to really get to know what your Advisors come across like.


The idea is advisors will have an assigned “coach.” The coach is usually the service manager, parts & service director or assistant manager. The advisors will get the coach involved with every RO they can AFTER or DURING the point where the Multipoint Inspection and Prime Concern (if there is one) is completed by the tech. During the process each advisor will receive custom, immediate instruction that their manager will follow through with for continued improvement.

For Advisors: Get them to prepare a Prioritized Estimate Presentation based on the recommendations of the tech, previous history and, if needed, physically inspecting the vehicle yourself. Organize your customer presentation with a Prioritized Estimate Sheet and Present it to your assigned coach BEFORE presenting to the customer.

Advisor sets the customer up for MPI review by getting assumptive approval to do it FIRST “We will do a FREE Multi Point Vehicle Inspection so if there is ANYTHING ELSE you may need, I can keep you informed, OK?” – GET YOUR ADVISORS: Role Play THEIR word tracks AN EFFECTIVE PRIORITIZED PRESENTATION INCLUDES THESE ELEMENTS:

➜ Say something positive about the car, overall condition, etc.
➜ Review prime and related items first
➜ Review MPI, Brakes, Tire and Battery every time – GREEN, YELLOW, RED – Emphasize what is good
➜ Review NEEDS NOW & related items uses the words “NEED” “REQUIRED” “IMMEDIATELY” and/or “SAFETY” when appropriate
➜ Review YELLOW or future maintenance that may make sense to perform now and prepare customer for upcoming service
➜ Give positive outlook scenario of what improvements the customer will receive. “After that you will only need oil changes and rotations for 15K miles”
➜ Sets up estimate leaving room for unfore-seen needs by overestimating cost 10% or so.
➜ Wait to the bottom and give total price first then become silent so the customer can respond with an approval or an objection
➜ Have a plan B and C prepared to immediately go to with the price that can easily be quoted without fumbling
➜ “Advise” by asking again emphasizing importance that SAFETY and/or NEEDED NOW things be done now
➜ Offer to set an in-between appointment to complete postponed work.
➜ Leave the conversation open ended so it’s appropriate to follow up on postponed services next visit “Ok, I will remind you and help you prioritize your needs on future visits”

It doesn’t stop there. Remember to assure the customer that the vehicle will be in top order after completion.

As a manager this process will help you oversee effective sales training of advisors. You will be sometimes painfully aware of the needs your staff has in the way of sales training. This method will also help you identify lapses in your process flow that need attention so that advisors can do their job effectively. Deficiencies you address will in turn give your advisors greater confidence in your leadership and improved conditions in which to perform.

I promise not everyone is excited about doing role play, especially at first so keep it light and fun and create some prizes based on best presentations and most work upsold.

Good luck and good selling!

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