By Michael Burns
“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind but how to get the old ones out,” says Dee Hock, founder of Visa.
This piece of advice makes me think it’s not the next wacky idea that will help automobile dealers increase profits, but instead it’s taking a look at what they thought they knew, in a whole different way.
All dealers have goals they would like to achieve. One goal on everyone’s list is to increase profitability. Maybe you’re trying some zany ideas in an effort to boost profits, but haven’t seen any results. Perhaps you have fallen into the traps of one of these dealership myths?
Myth No. 1: I’m doing the customer a favor by servicing their vehicle.
Customers want to be treated as if they’re special. Every single person would be thrilled to be treated like a VIP.
Myth No. 2: There are “good” customers, and then there are “bad” customers.
I don’t believe there are any “bad” customers. I think of every customer as an opportunity to increase profits and develop a new, long-lasting relationship.
Myth No. 3: I want to get the coupon-toting customer in and out, as quickly as possible, because Service Advisors don’t make much money on just an oil change.
One of the most difficult things for a Service Advisor to do is to get in the right frame of mind for customers who are just stopping by for an oil change.
Myth No. 4: I can’t increase profits because consumers have a spending threshold.
Many consumers have a mindset that going to a dealership is going to be expensive. However, most are committed to spending the right amount of money to protect and take care of their cars.
Myth No. 5: You can save your way into prosperity.
I can’t tell you how many dealers I’ve seen over the years who have tried to save their way into prosperity, and yet they are constantly fighting to keep consumers coming back to their stores.
Myth No. 6: The only way to increase profits is to cut costs.
Not every product is right for every single customer. With training, the Service Advisor can look for the right opportunities to help move customers into premium products. It’s easy to match consumers to premium opportunities when Service Writers ask the right questions.
Michael Burns is the North American Director of Automotive Retailers and OEMS for SOPUS Products. Our thanks to the folks at for this article, which you will want to read in its entirety.