Video Blog/Jeff Sacks: Two Subtle But Major Transitions Underway in Car Dealerships

Video Blog/Jeff Sacks: Two Subtle But Major Transitions Underway in Car Dealerships

DealersEdge Headlines

Customers are Driving These Changes in Sales & Service

Well known and popular dealership adviser Jeff Sacks has noticed two distinct but subtle transitions in dealership operations as he visits his clients across the U.S. In his latest DealersEdge video blog, Jeff describes the changes and offers some suggestions for dealership managers.

The transition in service has been underway for several years and it is the change in work mix from mostly repair work to maintenance. The change began just as dealerships were beefing up their ranks of “A” techs. Now dealers find themselves with too many “A” and “B” techs and not enough “C” and “D” types. As maintenance work flows in, the “As” find themselves without enough work. To make this shift work financially, Jeff says he sees service managers relying more on team-type work groups so that the higher cost of the “A” techs can be mitigated. Another approach that Jeff recommends is shifting away from flat-rate pay plans in favor of a piecework approach. In this concept, a technician will get paid X dollars for an L-O-F regardless of experience or skill level.

The second and more recent transition that Jeff has noticed is in the sales departments. Instead of relying on walk in traffic to the showroom and skill in closing prospects, a newer breed of sales person needs to be more digitally savvy. Not only are customers able to research their vehicle purchases online before contacting a dealership, the ways that they contact the store are more high-tech than ever. Today’s dealership salespeople also need to be able to use social media to reach out to customers and prospects.

Some dealerships now require sales candidates to apply online only. The follow up exchanges are done by text message. This allows the dealership management to check the candidate’s spelling, grammar, and response time before scheduling an in person interview.

As Jeff notes, these changes are inevitable. The customers are demanding a different approach.