The Service Department

In a Downturn Look Close by First

There’s an unlimited source for increasing car dealership sales right on the dealer’s property. The sign above the overhead door reads “Service Department”. By communicating sales goals and sharing incentives with service personnel it is possible to boost what happens in the showroom. All it takes is identifying service customers who are ripe for a purchase and having the will to share the fruits of the sale with the service staff. The advantage of this approach, especially in an economic downturn, is that it doesn’t cost the dealer a dime.

Here are five tips to increase auto sales by utilizing the service department:

Here are five tips to increase auto sales by utilizing the service department

Establish a ratio of proposed repair cost to vehicle value which would trigger the involvement sales staff. For example, if 50% is your ratio and a car worth $7,000 needs a transmission costing $3500, the customer would have to be contacted by the sales department before the repair could proceed.

If this effort to increase car sales is to work it must benefit those generating the lead for the sales staff. In this case it would be the service writer and the technician. Compensation for the referral would have to be sufficient enough to motivate these employees to abandon the repair for the opportunity to increase car dealership sales. Devise a plan that would be based on a consideration of the income that the technician and the service writer would have made had they repaired the car.

Identify serious car failures that have jeopardized the integrity of the car’s engine or transmission and require the service department to notify the car sales staff. Instances of this would include extreme overheating or catastrophic oil loss. The idea here would be to advise the customer, “Your car will never be the same, it can be fixed but you may want to consider a replacement.”

Establish a rule that service writers must check customer history on any car with over 100,000 miles on the odometer. If the customer has spent over a certain threshold per year, these customers must be referred to the sales department hopefully increasing car sales.

Designate an employee to be the liaison between the sales department and the service department. This would be the individual who would interact with the service customer in an attempt to increase car dealership sales. This individual should have a background in automotive repairs (possibly holding an ASE certification) so he or she could talk intelligently to the service customers about why it makes sense to consider a replacement.

When economic conditions take their toll on car sales, why not turn to the bright spot in the operation – the service department. Increasing car dealership sales by mining your repair customers is an inexpensive tip for increasing auto sales.