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10 Steps To Increase Your Income As A Service Advisor By 10% Or More In 2016

Have you mapped out how you will make 2016 your best year yet? If you’re a little behind, that’s ok! In this last month’s edition of Service Drive Magazine, Jeff Cowan gives steps to increase your income as a service advisor by ten percent or more, this year.

Step one- You know this saying, the early bird gets the warm. Rise and shine earlier so you can hit the ground running at work.

Step two- watch what you eat. Now this might sound silly, but how you fuel your body will impact your thought processes and decision making.

Step three- Find time to prepare for the coming day’s business by examining all pre printed RO’s and review customer notes.

Four- make adjustments where needed, halfway through your day.

Step five- At the end of the day, review what you’d done right and wrong,

Six- Continue your education and sign up for more training.

Seven- Surround yourself with winners- those who bring you up instead of down.

Step eight- Work each day like it’s the last day of the month. This saves you from scrambling at the end of each month for business in order to hit your goals.

Advance preparation for and review of each day, plus better customer communications pay dividends.
BY Jeff Cowan

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A Happy New Year to everyone. For those of you who are NFL fans and whose team did not make the Super Bowl, your heartache is over. The healing can begin, and you can set your sights on the start of next season in September and Super Bowl 2017.

I bring up professional football for a reason. Regardless of whether your team got to the Super Bowl, one thing is for certain: Every NFL team is already hard at work mapping out its future. Those franchises that got to the Super Bowl are game planning for a repeat performance next season. The rest of the teams are working especially hard figuring out what went wrong and what they can fix to reach the championship in 2017.

Make no mistake, all of the NFL teams will be working their plans diligently every day of the coming year, so they can maximize their chances of a title as much as humanly possible.

In short, football franchises leave nothing to chance – and neither should a dealership service department and its service advisors. If you as an advisor have not already mapped out how to make 2016 your best year yet, the 10-step plan I describe in this article will absolutely help get you there. As a matter of fact, I have shared this plan with many advisors over the years, and those who work it report their personal income has increased by at least 10 percent. Many have told me about even higher gains.

While this 10-step plan is very simple and direct, be forewarned: It will initially add one hour to your workday. However, the more you work the plan, the easier it becomes to implement, and ultimately it will require less time to execute. So, here it is:

Advance Preparation

1) The early bird gets the worm. Rise and shine an hour earlier than you do now. Use this time to get prepared for the day and catch up on the latest news and hot topics that your customers will be talking about. This hour will prove invaluable for sharpening your senses and getting your head in the game, so you can hit the ground running at work.

2) Watch what you eat. You will be amazed at how much a controlled, healthy diet boosts your energy level, clears your thought processes, make problem solving easier and eliminates the fatigue you typically experience at the end of each workday now. Plus, when you like the reflection in the mirror, it is a confidence-booster.

3) Find time to prepare for the coming day’s business. This is a significant step in increasing your income as a service advisor. Arrive at work at least 45 minutes before your “expected” start time. Examine all pre-printed repair orders and review customer notes. Doing this will help you determine exactly how many hours are possible to sell today.
You can measure your success if you prepare a game plan that addresses the issues of the coming day’s customers. This will increase your efficiency and productivity.

Midway Corrections, End-Of-Day Reviews

4) Halfway through your day, make adjustments where needed. These adjustments can be minor or major, and are likely to be varied. There is a reason for a halftime at football games, and it is not to rest!

5) At the end of each day, review what you’ve done right and wrong. This helps you identify which activities you should replicate, and which you should eliminate. This end-of-day review is a must. An advisor should examine your projections at the beginning of the day and whether you met or exceeded them, or missed them completely. Then, you need to ask why.

Better Customer Outreach And Training

6) Add “five more” to your customer communications. In other words, send five more thank-you notes, five more texts and five more e-mails; and make five more phone calls. Within 30 days, this extra attention should produce significant results.
Your communications with customers will center mostly on expressing gratitude for their business. However, it is imperative that you also follow up with disgruntled customers. Also, do not miss the opportunity to acknowledge important customer visits, such as a first visit to your dealership, one needing a significant amount of work, or simply a great customer bringing in his or her vehicle again.

If you think “five more,” you will create relationships that secure your future as a service advisor.
7) Continue your education. Sign up for more training. I know you already are required to undergo a lot of training throughout the year, but search out even more opportunities. Whether the course is for professional or personal growth, go for it. I highly recommend general business and marketing classes.

Sharpening Your Focus

8) Surround yourself with winners. This likely will prove the hardest of my 10 steps, since you may have to sever some longtime relationships. However, remember that

9) Work your job like it is your own business. I know that at a dealership, an advisor serves on a dealership team, a department team an advisor or management team. Of course, you should do everything in your power to assure the success of those teams. However, at the end of the day no one cares more about your kids, your spouse, your car payment, your mortgage or your general lifestyle than you do.

You will become a much more successful team player if your individual game is on-point. I often have wondered what would happen if a service desk was run like a styling salon, where each stylist has to rent booth space.

10) Work each day like it is the last day of the month. Why scramble at the end of each month for business in order to achieve your goals? Why endure end-of-the-month drama to hit your numbers? If you work each day of the month like it is the last, then you will end up exceeding your expectations and experiencing much less less stress.

In Conclusion

Those are the most straightforward steps I can offer to help a service advisor increase his or her income by at least 10 percent over the next 12 months.

In February 2017, two teams will face off in the Super Bowl. Each will have gotten there because left nothing to chance. They had a plan and executed it. When the game is played about a year from now, how will your business as an individual service advisor look? Between now and then, you will have increased, maintained or lost income. The plan you create and follow will determine in which of the three outcomes you land.

If you have any questions about my 10-step plan, feel free to e-mail me at jeff@jcowansprotalk.com for feedback. I look forward to helping you in any way I can. Let’s make 2016 a banner year for you, one step a time.

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