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The Unpopularity of Advisors and Consequently of Automotive Service Advisor Training

There are growing numbers of automotive service advisors who are victims of occupational fatigue caused by the impression that they are the only ones who can save the sinking ship. The media, advertising, guides and other sources of information change people’s perceptions vis-à-vis the marketing department. It is not uncommon to see in some magazines dedicated to consumers or some television specials that a speech was a negative trend towards products and dealership services after buying or leasing a vehicle. Hence, the consumer comes to the office of the automotive service advisor with a lot of misconceptions about the apprehended meeting.

This has the serious consequence of depriving the consumer of certain benefits. Some customers argue about having to pay the huge amounts of money for repairs on a vehicle or pay the monthly installments in the case of a stop work due to accident or illness. These situations are sometimes pathetic as they can change a life.

Despite all the duties and responsibilities of automotive service advisor, he will meet with all clients to see that they enjoy all the protections, the fact remains that he needs all the support from the sales team. I do not believe that the arrival of new “miracle” products could revolutionize the marketing service department. Unfortunately nowadays, many advisors who have not had the right automotive service advisor training expect new products that will help them save the dealership.

Yet the solution is in the crew and the manner in which this team can support the advisor in office. Some dealers have good tools to measure and manage to raise a sales team. It is then necessary, and this is imperative if one wishes to achieve success, to see that the team meets the training standards and trends required to sell products for profits.

The seller must also know that he has some control over his client and he should not waste this beautiful energy in a clumsy manner expecting all work to be done by the automotive service advisor. Remember this important basic principle: the client has chosen its nominee, but is imposed the automotive service advisor.
An analysis reveals that 63.4% of customers used vehicles presented to them by the automotive service advisor against 81.7% customers for new vehicles. We find a national average of $488.00 per unit when the new livery customer is presented with the purchase. This average drops to $272.00 when the customer receives a presentation of products and services during the take-up, finally reaching $67.00 in a presentation call (source: F&I Management & Technology, September 2000 – no rebate funding).

Educating salespersons in transaction becomes in some cases the solution for profitability of the dealership. That’s really the approach that Honda & Acura America chose for their “MAP” Management Action Plan program, for which more than 475 dealers participated in training seminars. Lyle Price, senior director of sales of Honda Finance stated that the approach is “user friendly”. The principle is simple, present the automotive service advisor from the beginning of the transaction to create a climate of trust and demystify the end of some transactions.

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