5 Ways You Are Defining Insanity With Your Sales to Service Attempts

Everyone wants the coveted 3 – 5% RO’s converted to sales each month! We invest thousands of dollars in software, we hire a service to sales representative and give them a fancy name like “vehicle exchange manager”. On top of all that, we do and don’t do a bunch of other things as well, that cause this department to fail more often than not. Are you defining insanity with your sales to service department strategy?


You’re insane if you turn everyone against them.Your new rep is already challenged enough by learning a new job. On top of that, you are turning your service writers and sales departments against them when you do the following:

  • Take RO work away from service writers if sold by the department.
  • Take bird dog checks away from service writers to pay for the sales to service rep.
  • Allow veteran salespeople to lose customers that the sales to service person engages without a set of rules around long term follow up…etc.


Have them work together by sharing in the financial success of the department. Ensure everyone understands how critical this profit center is to the dealerships success and create some sort of reward when it succeeds. This department takes team work to thrive!


You’re crazy for posting them up on the showroom floor.The sales to service rep needs to know who is coming in and out of service, all day long. They need to learn what repairs cost how much. They should know when a customer has warranty work done, and just saved $1,200 bucks and will be out of warranty next month. They should know about each RO that was declined so they can find out what the customers plan B is. FYI, this does NOT happen on the showroom floor! Their office should be with the service writers. They need to be a fly on the wall for every interaction with every customer! This is how they will learn to sell to this type of customer, and be involved in each interaction.


Unicorn hunting and cherry picking is nuts.If you’ve got someone new to the auto industry in this role, and you are scouring your service scheduler list each day to figure out the 3 opportunities that have equity, have a car you want for your lot, and weren’t sold by one of the people on the showroom floor… YOU are unicorn hunting! Stop it. On the flip side, if your sales to service person is a sales veteran, who gets the list each day, and picks which 2 people they want to engage with from the list each day, you are nuttier than a port-a-potty at a peanut convention. If you want to sell 3 – 5% of your RO’s each month, is talking to 1% of them going to accomplish that?


You’re delusional if you think all your sales to service deals will come from in market buyers.If you engage your service customers with the intent of selling them a car today, or throwing them away, you’re going to fail. Knowing the average American household has 2.5 cars, and the average American buys a car every 3 years. This means each household will buy a car almost yearly! Engage these customers with the intent on creating a relational sales opportunity. Just because a customer bought their car 3 months ago and is here for their first oil change, doesn’t mean I should avoid them. In fact, the satisfaction and excitement of having a new car is still fresh on their mind. This makes it easier to ask them the following questions, “Did we exceed your expectations when you bought this bad boy?” “Who else might want to buy a car just like it?” “Do you have family and friends that would also want to get a similar experience, car and deal?” If the customer says yes, you’ve been given the green light to sell their family and friends cars too through referral generation right here, and now. Think long term here, 6 months will come around soon enough. You can be selling these referrals by then!


You’re are a basket case if you don’t show them how to do it.Have you ever learned how to drive a stick shift? If the answer is YES, I’m going to tell you how you DID NOT learn to do it. Someone told you how to drive a stick with some written instructions, then you went out and drove it successfully without killing it, and no further instruction! In reality, someone explained how to drive it, then showed you how, then watched you drive it and gave you feedback. If your managers haven’t sold out of the service drive, and haven’t shown your new sales to service person how to do it, and don’t watch them do it… How in the heck can you expect them to do it? Can we give these people some guidance, observation and coaching for the love of God?


This blog has outlined just five of the two dozen reasons your sales to service department is defining insanity and failing over and over again. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, the first time. Set your department up for success by investing time and money in the people and the department. The way I see it, you get to choose between two options. Keep doing the same thing, and months from now you will be rocking back and forth in a padded cell wrapped in a straight jacket. Do it right and be rocking this department with an extra few dozen sales, another thirty fresh trade ins, and another sixty thousand in gross profit. You are insane if you choose door number one!


Car Motivators works with car dealers across the country to customize real and relevant training that everyone at the store wants and needs. By coaching excellence into each player on the team, we create an ongoing sustainable process for developing and growing sales among your top performers. We help our dealers align to a unique cultural vision, value proposition, and ensure this vision becomes reality when we create winning cultures that impact your results. Your managers can leverage the tools you already invest in, and the people you already have to increase both profit and sales without working harder. If you are interested in achieving these results, you may email or visit  you may also view our exclusive VLOG at



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