Matt Walsh, vice president of operations for Carter Myers Automotive in Charlottesville, Va., thinks service advisers need sales training as much as — and maybe more than — the vehicle sales and finance and insurance staffs because they meet far more customers face-to-face.
“Most dealerships tend to put all the [sales] training in the front half of the house and not enough in the back half of the house,” Walsh says. “I would argue that it’s more important [to train advisers] because we sold 13,900 cars last year, but we wrote 160,000 customer-pay tickets. That’s like 12 times as many customers, and that’s not including warranty or internal [repair orders], just customer-pay tickets.”
Walsh says Carter Myers hired DealerPro Training for the service department at its Buick-GMC-Cadillac store and saw the service department’s monthly sales grow from $250,000 to $300,000, helping it go from a breakeven operation to one that’s profitable.
“We wanted a fresh set of eyes,” Walsh says of the training. “They diagnosed what was wrong, did a lot of observation, helped us reduce costs, helped us with how to overcome objections [from customers] when calling back on declined work. We saw that our service advisers had a better skill set in front of customers and were better on the phone.”