disheveled service writer vs a superhero professional service advisor

Service Writer vs. Professional Service Advisor

-By Sally Whitesell for Fixed Ops Magazine. Which do you have on your staff? Every department has its standouts and its under-achievers, but have you ever considered what makes them so different? Both work in the same environment, with the same guests, and the same pay plan; but their productions levels and customer satisfaction scores […]

5 Aspects of a Successful Service Department (video)

Joe: It’s a pleasure to welcome to CBT news for the first time, Sally Whitesell, founder and CEO of SW Service Solutions. Sally, thank you for taking time with us today. Sally: Well thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure. Joe: So let’s get right to it Sally. We are always hearing about how […]

Don’t think training fits in your budget? Just look at your rear end.

-by Sally Whitesell. Most dealerships are used to focusing most of their time and attention on their sales team and profits from the front end. Unfortunately the profits made on each sale is dwindling and new car sales are down. Lost revenue on your front end makes everyone want to tighten their belts. The question […]

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Your Million Dollar Chair

-by Sally Whitesell for Fixed Ops Magazine. Have you ever put a price tag on each of your service advisor’s chairs? Well, you should! It’s probably worth much more than you realize. This chair has the potential to be the most valuable seat in your dealership. Just think about it. The person in this chair […]

emotional woman

Women are more emotional. Yes, I said it!

-by Sally Whitesell. Emotions play a big part in most women’s purchasing decisions. Yes, I said it! It doesn’t mean we are less informed. It means we use a combination of facts and feelings to make buying decisions. In case you don’t believe me – gentlemen, when was the last time you spent an entire […]

The Taste of a Successful Service Department

-by Kristopher Hampton. Did you know it would take a car salesman 22 cars sales a month to match the monthly gross sales of one average service advisor? These numbers may shock you! Have you ever considered how many of your clients an advisor works with each day? According to NADA, most advisors write up an […]

How to Create Champions: Invest in Your Team

-by Kristopher Hampton. “Playoffs? We can barely make it to practice!” Pretty much any coach has made this statement during a losing streak, but imagine you and your favorite team getting ready for a new season. You pull out your favorite jersey and call your friends while the chicken wings are frying because you are […]

Creating an Environment for Today’s Buyers

-by Sally Whitesell. Today’s customer will scrutinize every aspect of their customer service experience in your store. We don’t just make buying decisions based on necessity; we buy things that make us feel and look good. We buy things our friends have had a good experience with or that have high ratings and reviews. We […]

Who is Eating Your Profits?

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine. Terminating someone is never pleasant and not to be taken lightly. As a former service manager I only had to fire one service advisor -and I did not make that decision lightly. However, in most cases it is the employee’s choice to get fired. What do I mean? Certainly […]

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Recession-Proof Your Store

-by Sally Whitesell for Fixed Ops Magazine. The biggest topic in our industry right now is Customer Retention. How do we get people who walked in our door to keep coming back and become loyal long-term clients? There are many reasons our customers defect: poor customer service, frequent employee turnover or even poor communication with […]

Good is the Enemy of Great

Good is the Enemy of Great

-by Sally Whitesell Who on our team is the best, and how do we get the rest of our group to reach their level? This is a question you may have heard or even asked when planning training events or making business projections. While this is a good place to start, you have to take […]

Beat the Aftermarket and Keep Them in Your Store!

-by Sally Whitesell Have you stopped and considered how much money people are spending on their cars outside of the dealership? What if we could capture even a fraction of that number? There’s a race going on between manufacturers to create the lowest maintenance vehicles. While this is great for customers, it’s not so great […]

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Excellent Service…I Promise!

-by Sally Whitesell Customer service surveys are becoming more difficult to get our customers to fill out, and therefore, more difficult for us to receive. Let’s face it; we’re all over-surveyed these days. We’re usually not interested in wasting our time unless we are extremely irritated or extremely impressed. In an effort to increase the […]

Selling to Women. Is it Really Different?

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Online The moment a woman enters your facility, she is looking for signals. Signals you may not even realize you are sending. What is your demeanor? What are your intentions? Do you take her seriously? Why should we care about what signals we’re sending to women in our store? Because […]

cc flickr photo by AJ Cann

How To Train a Goldfish. (Or a human with a short attention span)

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine Are you having problems getting your Fixed Ops team to pay attention and retain the information from your training programs? Are you conducting training sessions without getting results from your trainees? Are they insubordinate, lazy or just plain bored? Believe it or not, most of your people have good […]

My New Car Buying Experience

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine The glaring mistakes of a well-intentioned sales team. I was excited about buying a nice new car, but like many of your clients, I was dreading the process. As a service advisor trainer who specializes in teaching the differences between selling to women vs. men, I’m in car dealerships […]

Are You Giving Your Customers Clear Signals?

-by Sally Whitesell Stand out on your drive in the morning and watch your customers. Do they appear to know where to go and what to do? Or are some of them parking and walking in while others are driving their cars into your service drive? When they do drive in, are they staying in […]

Summer is here. Let’s Make It A Merry Christmas! (whaaat?)

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine It’s hard to think about fall and winter when summer has just arrived. We have visions of backyard barbecues, family vacations and an ice cold…well you fill in the blank. But this is an awesome time of year; not only for fun in the sun, but for growing our […]

Getting the Most Out Of Your Team

-by Sally Whitesell for Fixed Ops Magazine Leadership qualities are not as cut and dried as they used to be. Many leaders feel that being professional in their position means being organized, focused and strong. They never let their personal life or emotions enter into relationships with their employees. Although these qualities are important, being an […]

Words That Sell Service, paperback and Kindle

Practical methods that work for every Advisor! “Words That Sell Service” is packed with knowledge and wisdom that will help you sell smarter not harder. This book is a must-have for service advisors and managers in automotive dealerships and repair facilities. Many simple yet exceptional techniques are demonstrated in each of the selling word tracks provided. […]

Recharge your Resolutions!

It’s that time of year again where we look back at the resolutions we made on New Years only to find that we are struggling to keep them. Good goals become great when we fulfill them! So how do we recharge and then keep our team on track and focused on our goals throughout the year?  […]

The 50/50 Training Technique (Spending training $$ wisely)

Would you ever consider letting a member of your sales team on the floor to sell cars without any training? Could your sales team sell cars without knowing the features and benefits as well as your process? Most dealerships spend a lot of time and money consistently training their sales departments with strict guidelines and […]

Becoming an Outstanding Coach

Do you think a professional coach would be a great manager in the car industry? A truly great manager is not only able to manage their team effectively, but also coach individuals while leading by example. This may not include throwing chairs or stomping up and down the sidelines, although I have to admire their […]

How Courtesy Shuttle Drivers Can Make Everyone Happy

What one person has the opportunity for an uninterrupted 10-20 minute conversation with your potential buyers and service customers? Your courtesy shuttle driver. Is this a person you trust to represent your store? The benefits of a friendly, professional shuttle driver can’t be overstated.  Their influence on your CSI and production can make an impact on the success of your […]