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Tag Archive: Steve Kain

Steve Kain

Why Your Dealership Needs an Ups System


There are only two categories of dealerships: Those that use an ups system and those that don’t. Today, I’m going to explain why you might want to change your mind if you’re in the latter category.

No ups system = No system at all

Dealerships without an ups system tend to have a manager who “came up” through the ranks in a similar environment. Alternatively, management believes that their sales staff will wait more quickly on customers without a formal system in place. And, in some cases, they view an informal system as a way to reward the go-getters: Their most aggressive salespeople will get the most ups.

The problem with operating without an ups system is that your least productive people—those always standing on the point smoking and joking—end up waiting on the majority of your lot traffic. Meanwhile, your most productive people are following up with unsold prospects, contacting their sold customers and studying product knowledge: meaning that this approach rewards the wrong staff.

Even worse is the fact no system means no accountability. How often do you find yourself asking, “Is there anybody waiting on that customer?” You don’t know because there is no system that defines who actually should be waiting on that client. In addition, the aggressive non-productive salesperson waiting on your customer today will be the same salesperson not following up on that same non-sold customer tomorrow.

Take back control over sales

With an ups system, management maintains control of salesperson activity. A sound system creates a balance between face-to-face time assisting customers on the lot and time to follow up on unsold prospects, staying in contact with customers and asking for referrals, and studying product knowledge materials. Another key advantage is that sales people have no more excuses about not being able to do the things that make a salesperson successful because they don’t have the time—with no more burning through ups all day long, they should have plenty of time to do other work.

If you want to take your dealership to the next level, now is the time to implement a written ups system that will make your sales staff accountable for their time at your dealership. Good luck and great selling!

Learn more about Steve Kain and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting. Don’t forget to check out these exclusive Kain Automotive courses only offered through the NCM Institute: Mastering Internet Sales and How to Lead in the Digital Marketplace.

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Steve Kain

What’s the Score?


Just imagine. It’s a glorious fall night and you’re the quarterback, racing for the end zone. Lungs aching from the run, you finally make it: touchdown! You look at the scoreboard to see the score: -/-. What?

That’s right. Nothing. No score. All that work, and no idea how much it may have affected your team! Did you win? Are you losing? Without results, you have no idea.

Don’t know the score? Then, you’re losing the game.

Far too often, I’ve found that dealerships leave their staff in the dark when it comes to performance. Not only is it confusing for your personnel, this tactic makes it hard to determine a clear strategy for success.

Monitoring the current state—and sharing it daily—gives you concrete data to guide your decisions and clear metrics by which to hold your staff accountable. It’s only when they see the reality of their performance that they can improve it.

Prepare for victory.

First, let’s consider how you can use a scoreboard to help with advisors. Things I like to track include, customer repairs and customer pay dollar sales in both labor and parts. It’s also good to monitor the closing percentage on both menu opportunities and additional service requests, follow-up sales, number of warranty repair orders and customer satisfaction numbers.

Next, let’s score the technicians. There’s a lot you can track here. You definitely want to know the daily number of repair orders, how many hours were billed and productivity per tech. Other things to consider are how many additional service requests were generated from multi-point inspections and the number of comebacks. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, monitor customer satisfaction numbers.

Moving on, I also like to look at parts and service holistically. The key to this is tracking fill rates. After all, isn’t there a much greater chance a customer will say yes to the advisor when the part is in stock? I’ve even found dealerships that pay incentives to parts personnel based on technician productivity, because service can be negatively impacted by time wasted at the parts counter.

But don’t base parts’ score just on others’ performance. You want to note both total parts sales and also the gross profit margin of parts sales both individually and as a group. And, like I mentioned before, keep an eye on the fill rate for parts requests. It may also be beneficial to track the dollar amount of special order parts in the special order bin because those parts mean both parts and labor sales.

Make your own playbook.

Don’t be limited by my suggestions! If you want to improve numbers in your dealerships, start tracking them and developing an improvement plan. If there’s a number in the dealership that you want to improve, just track it and it will change.

Alright, Coach—are you ready to get those score boards up? Tell us your objectives and share how you plan to rally your team to a victory this month.

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