Six Myths: Are They Depleting Your Profits?

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.

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