Monday, November 5, 2012

Eight Habits Of Highly Successful Service Advisors-Part Two

Last month we identified the importance of an Appointment Process. Allowing your customers to "Just Bring It In" will never work and cause your customer to defect. Understanding the benefits will allow you to maximize your appointment system from "day before" preparation to "same day" follow through.

This month's blog, as promised, will cover the next three habits that are crucial in building a strong relationship with every customer in depth. We call this the "Communication Process" and review how important it is to the success of your service operation.

# 2 Daily Action Plan

The "Daily Action Plan" will allow you to prepare for each customer and include the following benefits:
  • Less Stress for the Service Advisor
  • More time to build a relationship with each customer
  • Fewer mistakes which will lead to increased customer confidence
Here's a list of what's in our Daily Action Plan:
  • Appointment List
  • Route Sheet
  • Pre-Write Work Order
  • 27-Point Inspection Form
  • Recall or Campaign Information
  • Appropriate Service Menu
  • Customer History
One of the first things we install is a Route Sheet Process for the Service Advisor. This process is followed throughout the day in order to keep the customer informed on the repair process  from beginning to end. It also allows the Service Advisor to see how much time he/she has to sell each day based on carryovers, appointments, and technician availability. I have found it to be a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to promising customer pick up times.

The big difference between computerized Route Sheets and paper Route Sheets is that it's always right in front of the Service Advisor as a constant reminder for follow up. Computerized Route Sheets require the Service Advisor to pull the Route Sheet screen up in front of them, which usually only happens when the customer is calling, wondering "What's Up With My Car"?....

Here's a look at ACG's Route Sheet:

Next we pull out the appointment list and start reviewing campaigns, recalls, and of course, customer history. We pre-print a work order so we can review the contact information with the customer for correctness, any notes or recommendations we made from our history review, what the customer is coming in for, and any maintenance needs based on time or mileage.

Many times, we have found that even though your customer reviews your computer screen and agrees that the information is correct, often times, it is not correct. By handing the customer the "pre-write" to review, correct customer information can be assured.

We also have either the advisor or cashier call each customer to confirm the appointment and any "no-shows" from the previous day in order to re-schedule those missed appointments.

Next, we staple any information we need to review with the customer (Menu, Recall, Campaign,  History) and put it in a file or work order holder at the time of each appointment. Arranging the files by appointment,  each advisor knows when the next customer is scheduled to pull up, allowing them time to review the customer's information in order to greet them out at their car by name.

# 3 Meet & Greet

When the customer arrives it's time for the "Third Habit" to come into play, the "Meet and Greet" Process. Now you will see why effectively setting up your Daily Action Plan is so important to this third habit.

Could you imagine your doctor walking into the room to visit with you and he/she hasn't reviewed your file or even know your name?

Same goes for the service customer who shows up for their appointment and you ask the customer what's your name? Or better yet...."Let me go get the VIN number and I'll be right back". This is happening in 90% or more of the dealers we visit and many dealers' wonder why their customers defect!

Let's take a look at some research done by UCLA as they looked at how people communicate. The results of the research came up with three main factors:

  • How you look
  • How you sound
  • What you say
To break it down further they found the communication impact percentages of each to be:

So as you can see it's very important to factor in  how we look, what our body language is telling our customers, the tone of our voice, and last but not least, what we say. We can say the same thing, however how we say it can change the meaning drastically.

So greeting your customer at their vehicle, fully prepared with a "professional greeting" provides your service advisor confidence and your customer a "Great First Impression" of your service operation. Wow! What a start to building a strong customer relationship!

Remember a customer is out of their comfort zone if they step out of their car and greet you first in the service drive. We need to make it convenient for them to do business with us as the customer will remember the advisor first, not the dealership or product.

# 4 Listening Skills

Let's move onto the Fourth Habit which is equally important as any other. As you well know, we have been in hundreds of dealerships and one of the things I have found everywhere is how advisors think FOR the customer, instead of thinking OF the customer.

If I had a dollar for every time an advisor said: "The customer won't do that" I could retire! I wish I could see into the future, however I have not found anyone yet in my 53 years on this earth who can! So why do we always think FOR them instead OF them?

Unfortunately, it's one of those habits that's not easy to break. We have to practice more "Active Listening" if we are ever going to scratch this record and record a new one. Let's take a look at some facts how the average person listens and speaks.

  • We speak around 135-175 words per minute
  • We listen at around 400-500 words per minute

Here's some of the things I have witnessed concerning Service Advisors on the Drive over the years:

  • Not Being Prepared
  • No Eye Contact
  • Ignoring The Customer
  • Interrupting The Customer Before They Finish
  • Assuming That They Already Know What The Customer Is Going To Say
  • External Distractions When Listening To The Customer 
 This is a short list, however it covers a lot of ground. A good start to building an "Active Listening" process in your service operation is to have each advisor take a self-evaluation on how well they listen through a series of ranking questions we have available.

As you can clearly see, if we start practicing an "Active Listening" process using "open ended" questions to encourage the customer to explain the problem, we will accomplish a lot in a short period of time.

Being prepared for the customer before they arrive will greatly assist in the listening process. Now you can see that each one of the "Eight Habits" is like a piece of the puzzle. Once you learn and practice each one with a good coach, you can clearly see how we create a "Wow" experience every time your customer visits.

Always remember a "Satisfied Customer" can go anywhere to get service, but  a "Wowed Customer" will always return!

So building a structured consistent approach to each of these "Eight Habits" is crucial to how your customer views your service operation and if he/she will do business with you in the future.

We call it "The Moment Of Truth!"

Next blog we will dive into the Last four habits; 5.) Walk-Around, 6.) Menu Presentation, 7.) The Customer Promise, and 8.) The Close. If you are serious about making things happen versus waiting for things to happen, call or e-mail us now! Don't wait till the end of the year!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Eight Habits of Highly Successful Service Advisors Part One

ACG has an exclusive Service Advisor Training Program that gets "tried and true" proven results. I will go into detail on how we achieve higher sales per Repair Order AND Customer Retention. To achieve these "predictable" results, it takes two key fundamentals to get started and they are "People and Process".

As you may have noted, I did not include "technology" as I know from experience that technology is not a factor in building a High Performance Service Operation. In fact, it usually stops you from growing and most often times, gives you a lot of added expense and excuses.

I've  always said that if you can't get them to fill out and use a written "Multi-Point Inspection Form", how do you expect them to fill out and use an electronic version of this same form. Let's go one step further, the same would hold true for menu programs...Electronic Menus versus "Hand Out" Menus. It doesn't make sense to spend money on new technology, when the first priority should be coaching, leading and managing  our people on the service process FIRST!

I believe the "People Process" has to come first and foremost. We have to consider the "human element" of our business by identifying the behavior tendencies of our employees in order to better understand our customers. I prefer to use the D.I.S.C. Profiling Process to identify who my service advisor is and to get a sense of who I'm working with. I want to know if this person is "Direct" or "Indirect" , as this may impact the overall customer perception and experience.

Once an advisor knows what his or her behavior style is, the training has started. I train each advisor to not only identify their own behavior tendencies, they will also better understand the tendencies of fellow employees and most importantly...they will better understand the customer.

 Here's the four dimensions:

There are four basic dimensions which everyone falls into. The intensity level is different for each individual which allows us to determine your specific behavior style. The next illustration is what we use with each advisor to determine the "intensity" of each dimension within 30 seconds after greeting the customer.

 Here's a few "How to Read Your Customer" questions:
  • Does this customer prefer to shoot the breeze? (Influence) 
  • Does this customer want to get right down to business? (Direct)
  • Does this customer want to deal in facts and figures?(Cautious)
  • Is this customer easy going and unconcerned (Steady)?
As you can clearly see, this is an important step in training our service advisors to identify who I'm dealing with so I can build a strong relationship with total trust. The second part of the "People Process" is hiring the right people, making sure I have the right people currently on board before you start to install a "High Performance Service Operation".

Let's move on to the Service Process. Here's a list of the Eight Habits:

Eight Habits 
Highly Successful Service Advisors

1. ACG'S Exclusive Appointment Process: Every eighteen minutes (18-36-54) with no more than 3 customers per Advisor per hour.

2. Daily Action Plan:  Each Advisor reviews History, Recalls, Declined Services, Special Order Parts, Maintenance Needs and makes notes on a Pre-Write R.O. with each Appointment the day before the customer arrives for service. 

3. Meeting & Greeting: Train and prepare each Advisor how to properly Meet and Greet each customer on the phone or in person.

4. Listening Skills/Prime Item: Train each Advisor on the proper listening skills and how to indentify the customer's prime items through asking the right questions. 

5. Walk-Around/Multi-Point/Fluid Analysis: Train each Advisor on the proper Walk-Around, Multi-Point, Analyze "Vital" Fluid Condition as well as finding commonality with each customer to build a relationship with trust. 

6. Menu Presentation: Train Advisors on how to present a menu using features and benefits. 

7. Customer Promise: Train Advisors on how to properly prepare and review repairs or maintenance needed as well as time needed to complete the vehicle. 

8. Close The Sale: Train Advisors on how to properly ask for the sale. 

# 1 Appointment Process

The Appointment Process is the most important of the Eight Habits and without it none of the other seven items I have listed will be implemented on a sustainable level. Simply put, most Service Advisors DON'T have enough time!
 Here's a look at a "Real Dealership" Appointment Process:

As you can see, four customers are scheduled to arrive at the dealership for one of the advisors at 7am. The next round of Appointments are scheduled for 7:30am and so on. If any of these customers are late, the Service Manager goes into what we call the "Fire Fighter" mode and starts to lose "Customer Trust". This usually leads to "damage control" by discounting service items due to an inefficient appointment process.

How can anyone expect this Service Advisor to have high CSI, High Sales per CPRO, and High Customer Retention? This Service Advisor is unable to do his or her job, let alone try and build a strong relationship with the customer! It's virtually impossible! Time Management is the Key!

Let's take a look at the ACG Appointment Process. It all starts with an appointment script that we have created from our personal experience over the last twenty years. The two option closing technique works extremely well and most customers will choose one of the options offered.

Next is our 18-Minute Process which allows our Service Advisors to train their customers not to forget their appointment due to the odd time frame. We only allow three customers per hour (18-36-54) in order to better build a strong relationship.

As you can see from this illustration below, we can STILL write up (15) customers by noon per each advisor. This allows for any walk-ins, or phone calls that need to be attended to. The afternoon  is usually for drop-offs and oil changes. In a nut shell, we have created a "Time Management" system for the Service Advisors.

Next blog we will dive into the (2)Daily Action Plan, (3)Meet & Greet, and (4)Listening Skills. If your serious about making things happen Vs. waiting for things to happen call or e-mail us now! Don't wait till the end of the month!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Half Time and your Behind Expectations!

So here you are and it's the 2nd half and your behind "Budget/Forecast/Projection", continuing to do the everyday things you do and expect different results!

When have you taken the time to really look at what is going on in your Fixed Operations? Maybe because we are to busy "putting out fires" instead of working on "fire prevention" or as Michael Gerber says: "Work on your Business instead of Working in it". Truth is, all you need to do is step back and look at a few basic things.

Now here's what we hear 99% of the time: "I already know how to do this"  "Your not telling me anything new" and here's the question you should be asking: How well are we performing these Basic Fundamentals?

1.) The Appointment Process:

The number one reason why many  fixed operations departments do not meet or exceed expectations. This is without a doubt the most overlooked Basic Fundamental in the Service Department today. 

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Do we tell our customers to "Just Bring It In?" 
  2. Do we have more than 2 Customers in the morning in line to see an Advisor?
  3. Do we take more than 3 Customers per Hour per Advisor? 
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions your Appointment Process is broken. The next thing that will stop you from achieving your expectations is being prepared for each customer before they arrive for their appointment.

Coach John Wooden said it right; "If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail" and this is so basic, however so many Service Operations fail to plan everyday and the customer is the one who makes a decision based on a "Moment of Truth" not to buy or return.

2.) Daily Action Plan

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Do you pull Service History on every appointment and make notes?
  2. Do you pull Service Recalls on each appointment?
  3. Do you have a Service Menu attached based on the Vehicle history for each appointment?
  4. Do you pull this information the night before so your ready for each appointment the next day?

Once again if you answered "No" to any of these questions your "Plan To Fail" is in place. Let's take a look at one more key basic fundamental. This is probably the most abused "Buzz Word" in our industry:

3.) The Walk Around Process

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Do you have a Walk Around Process in place?
  2. Do you greet the customer by name with their information and notes in your hand?
  3. Do you ask them if they could put their foot on the brake and turn the key on so you can check the lights with them?
  4. Do you ask them to pop the hood after you have performed the walk around and join you while you inspect their fluids for like new condition?

Same as above, if you answered "No" to any of these questions your Walk Around Process is broken. As you can see there is one common tread to these Basic Fundamentals and it's the Appointment Process.

So if you take a break and visit your service drive in the morning for about 3-4 hours you can get a really good look at the missed opportunities happening everyday.

As always we can help you stop the profit leaks and exceed your expectations through Training, Coaching, or Consulting your fixed operations. ACG is a "Results Based" company and we don't get paid until you do!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! (Part 2)

Part 2 of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly the dreaded "Pay Plan" for your Technicians. In Part 1 we went into how to build your "Hire to Fire" business model that is essential for any Dealership to be customer sensitive and profitable. My question is without one how will a dealership ever get were it's going if the team doesn't know where it's going?

 We've been in business since 1996 and have seen just about every pay plan imaginable. We will dive into how we build a plan that challenges the individual to be the best they can be! The first step is what do I want to accomplish?

The "Job Description" should state what your desired results should be at a specific time which should include any tools needed and training requirements to achieve. The pay plan then should be very easy to calculate so they can see the results of their efforts on a daily basis.

The pay plan should not encourage competition between each other instead with themselves so we never put a "First Place Bonus" out there do to the low morale it creates. All Dealerships have the "Super Stars" that are self-motivated and always reach or exceed expectations however there are far more employees needing Training, Coaching, and Consulting then the Super Stars.

What we like to create is a "Level Bonus" program that rewards anyone who achieves the desired results so the playing field becomes even based on the desire to achieve not "First Place" and "Second Loser" philosophy.

We start with a "Grid Pay" structure that rewards achievement in a stair step process. Here's an example of a Technician Grid structure that let's them decide what they want to get paid based on Training, Production, Efficiency, and Fixed Right First Visit.

This allows any Technician to become an "A" Technician if they desire through hard work and determination.  It's up to each individual to become who they want to become and not from a Manager/Dealer feeling or an annual pay raise even when they didn't deserve it. I had a Dealer recently give all his Technicians a raise before we arrived. He said he was trying to increase the morale before we started installing our Eight Habits Program.

This sent a Huge message to everyone that the Pay System is not a fair one and the morale actually got worse from this due to some of the Technicians said they did not believe all the Technicians deserved it based on Performance, Tardiness, Days Out, and so on. As you can clearly see the Technicians that deserved it felt like they didn't need to give the "Extra Effort" to get a pay raise.

That's why the "Technician Grid" levels out the playing field and if they want to improve themselves they will get rewarded for it. If they get lazy, or stop online or off site training it will have consequences to there pay. It's that simple. Now each Dealership has it's own requirements based on each manufacturer's needs and the Service Departments needs that makes good business sense.

The last thing I would like to add and is very important. As I said before, we have been around since 1996 and found that if you pay your Technicians and Advisors every week Performance Goes Up Automatically! The reason is people have a tendency to slack off if they know they not getting paid for two weeks and make it up the following week. It Works!

Summing Up

  • Job Description for each position that makes good business sense
  • Behavior Profile Style matches the Job Description
  • Hire to Fire Process in place
  • Everybody should be able to Win! No Losers!
  • Pay Plan that Rewards what you want repeated
  • Everybody gets paid weekly

The Service Advisor's pay plan is similar in structure however we will review it in the next e-zine

For a copy of ACG's: 

Technician Pay Grid Program 

If you need help in building your pay plan e-mail me: 

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

The Brutal Facts about Electronic Multi-Point-Inspections

One of our Dealers was asking us if the Multi-Point Inspection program he has is worth the $7500.00 a month he was spending for it. I asked him how much he paid to have it installed before the monthly fees? He said around $40,000.00 for the printers,computers, and training. I also asked him when it was installed? So I grabbed the financials and went to work on the "Return on Investment"

The 12 months prior to installation C.P. Labor was averaging 1.8 @ 80.00 or $128.00 per ticket averaging around 600 CPRO's per month. After the installation the CP hours per RO increased to 2.2 @ 80.00 or $176.00 per ticket in CP Labor. This only lasted for "Two Months" after the installation and so called training they provided and went back even below the average or 1.6 @ $80.00.

The next step was to find out how long it was going to take to break even and make a profit. The following formula is what I used:
  1. $40,000.00 Initial Install Fee
  2. $7500.00 per Month User Fee X 12 months ($90,000.00)
  3. Look at a 12 Month Period First
I took $40,000.00 plus the $7500.00 per month for twelve months. That equals $130,000.00 total which I divided by 12 and came up with $10,833.00 direct expense every month for the next twelve months. WOW! How much will I need in additional C.P. Labor Sales to break even?
  1. $10,833.00 Monthly Expense
  2. Divided by a Gross Profit Percentage of 70% 
  3. Equals $15,476.00 in Additional C.P. Labor Sales 
So if we take $15,476.00 divided by 600 C.P. R.O.'s equals $25.79 per C.P.R.O. or .3 @ $80.00 over and above to just break even. Doesn't seem like much however if you remember we actually went backwards after two months being on the program.

The other thing to remember is I want a Return on my Investment not just break even! The basic assumption that technology is the answer is really flawed! Remember that the best tools or technology will never substitute for Leadership and Management.

The Truth is if you are unable to get your Technicians to perform a "Paper Multi-Point Inspection Form" with every customer, Technology will only add to your expenses! I always ask a Dealer how well they are doing since installing "New Technology" and I get a "Don't Ask" 90% of the time and that's why your here!

That's not to say that it can really enhance a Service Operation that has Great Leadership and Management in place who believe in "Mastering the Basic Fundamentals" first before ever installing a program like this. I believe in three things that always work:
  1. Leadership/Management
  2. Master The Basic Fundamentals
  3. The Right People for the Right Job
How well is your Multi-Point Inspection Process working? Are my customers being advised on the condition of there vehicle every time they visit? 

Want more information on our Multi-Point Inspection Process? 

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Brutal Facts about Call Centers!

We have a Dealer who asked us to find out why his Customer Pay R.O. count is dropping every month. We know the Dealer is using a Major Call center to receive in coming calls and make appointments for the service department. They also call customers who are due for their next scheduled service as well as customers who have declined previous repairs & recommended services to set future appointments.

We had this Call Center send us the last 20 calls they recorded so we could listen to how they were being done. WOW! What we found was out of the 20 calls we reviewed, only 4 appointments were made! That means 16 out of 20 Customers who either wanted to make an appointment or were called said No! This is a Red Flag for any Dealership!

The major problem we found was the Call Center was trying to “Sell” the customer repairs and maintenance over the phone instead of just making the appointment and let our Service Advisor's build the Relationship &Trust “in person” which is needed to allow the customer to buy. The phone script being used is targeted on making a sale over the phone which we have found over the years is the fastest way to loose a customer to your competition. If you have not built a Relationship with your customer, the fact is they won't buy!

The real scary part of this is most customers will never tell you why they never came back. So I urge you as I have in the past to listen to 20 or more calls being made to your customers and ask yourself would I make an appointment after listening to the Call Center “pitch”?  If you’re unable to get the recorded version then just call into your Dealership and make an appointment.

Remember that 80% or more of your Service Department Revenue is coming from the phones and should be the most important part of your Service Operation business model. Also as an industry we have year after year lost 50% or more of our customers to the competition due to things just like this.

If you would like us to assist you in building a Phone Process for your Dealership give us a call and we will be happy to help!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 We have updated this Super Group Fixed Operations Mastermind Program and here are the details! We are going to select up to "10 Dealerships" from all the applications we receive. We are looking for Dealerships who want to achieve unrealistic goals by December 31 2013.

If you’re selected, we will meet in Fort Lauderdale for 3 days in January-9th-11th 2013 to evaluate your opportunities. Dave and I will then take you through our tried and proven strategies, systems, and tools and work one on one with each of you to create a Plan of Action, step by step to achieve these Unrealistic Goals we have set for 2013.

This will be followed up by a 1 week visit to each Dealership to “Kick Start” the program off. This will be followed by weekly Live Virtual Performance Group meetings with your Mastermind Super Group to track and discuss how well you are doing based on a Group Ranking Process.

This "Mastermind Super Group” is not for everyone and we’re only selecting "10 Dealers" so we can concentrate on a small group.

Minimum Expectations (Goals) for the Mastermind Super Group:
  • 100% Service Absorption
  • 30% Increase or more in Customer Pay Gross Profit Parts & Service over last year 
  • 70% Customer Retention or more
  • Minimum 80% "FIRST Time Off Shelf Fill Rate" in the Parts Department
This program is for you if:
  • Your tired of not Achieving your Budget, Goals or Forecasts year after year
  • Your tired of Entitlement and want Accountability
  • You want to “Achieve Unrealistic Goals”
  • Your tired of "Rewarding Tenure instead of Performance"
  • Your tired of “Trial and Error”
  • You want your Team to "Accept Responsibility for their Results"
  • You want to share your “Ideas, Problems & Concerns” with your “Peer Group”  
If you feel your up to the challenge and want to
 Make Next(2013) Year Your Best Year: 

                              REGISTER HERE

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! (Part 1)

I was speaking with one of my dealers about Technician Pay Plans and he said I have to do something because the one we have rewards those for no extra effort. Well, I have worked with a lot of different pay plans over the years and found the only way to pay anyone in any business is pay them on performance.

I have seen 90% of dealers install a pay plan without thinking about the consequences. The number one thing I found is the employee has no clear Job Description of what he's getting paid for and if there is a Job Description, it hasn't been reviewed in years or updated for current times.

Then I hear this famous quote: "I can't get my employees to do what I ask!" and not understand that you teach what you allow! What do I mean? If a Technician walks in late did you address it with him/her? 

If an advisor is late coming back from lunch did you address it right then? If not your teaching every employee that it's OK to be late to work or lunch because there will be no consequence to pay.

How can we expect our employees to be productive without a Job Description? If we’re not Training, Coaching, and Consulting them on what their expected to do everyday while they’re working for you, what results can we expect?  

I just don't understand the thinking, or lack of thinking of why anyone would think they would be  productive! I also have seen many really good employees with great attitudes get fired for not knowing what is expected of them to begin with!

I have seen over and over again where a dealership hires a Service Advisor, Service Manager, Cashier, Porter, Technician, etc., then handed a pen and told to go to work because they should know what to do because they have done this before. 

They don't even know were the bathroom is or what stall to work in, or how to close out the cash box for the night! It's unreal but true!

Here's what I know works every time and you will never fire anyone again. I always build a Job Description with pay plan first for a position I want to fill that makes good business sense. I review the Job Description with the potential new hire.

I have everyone fill out a Behavior Profile and make sure that Behavior matches the Job Description before I proceed. Then I have twenty interview questions I use to see if this person fits my Job Description.

I then have them come back for a third time and let someone else interview them and make sure we agree on this person for the job. This takes a lot of the guess work out of the decision making process. 

Then of course, after we make the decision to hire them  and it's off to drug testing, background checks, driver license checks, etc.

When this is completed, I have them come in for the orientation process. We review the employee handbook,  give them a tour of the dealership to meet everyone, show them where everything is and review the Job Description with pay plan once again. 

Finally, I get their signature stating that they agree with all the above as well as their agreement to follow it.

The fun has just begun! This is the time we start the Training Process on our business model on how we build relationships with our customers, employees, and vendors through timeless Basic Fundamentals until they prove they can follow it or not.

 If they can, then we can then go into the Daily Coaching Process until they’re achieving the Objectives and Goals set for a customer sensitive and profitable business.

That's when the consulting process comes in. This is the fine tuning needed to have a top performing employee through performance reviews daily. Remember what is measured can be managed and what we allow, we teach! 

The accountability process is where the tire meets the pavement. If you never want to fire another employee again then you must hold everyone accountable for their performance in writing.

I can't tell you how many times a manager went to fire someone only to find out nothing has been documented and either the dealer was getting sued, or you were not able to let this employee go due to their union contract! 

Don't let this happen to you and document everything you do with each employee. They will respect you for it more then just talking about what happened!

Now, as I said "Never Fire an Employee Again"…this can be achieved  if you follow these guidelines and build your own Employee Hire to Fire Process. 

When the time comes to review, if they don’t meet or exceed expectations within a certain time period they will fire themselves based on the agreement you have with them on what is good, great, or ugly performance as long as it is written up and signed.

I always ask them…when continuous performance is not up to standards, what would you do if you were in my seat? They always say I would let you go! This Hire to Fire process is the Basic Fundamentals of any business whether it’s a hamburger stand or a car dealership!

Remember turnover cost is huge and your customer is the one who suffers for all the confusion they have to go through and usually never come back because of it.

If you need any assistance putting together your Employee Hire to Fire business model let me know.

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Want To Increase Your Technician Productivity?

Measure it Daily! In our sales departments everyday the salesman arrive at the dealership and the first thing they do is go to the "Sales Board" to see who sold what and who is on top! They focus on the "Top" guy for a reason. They want to win! It's natural for us to want to be the best. 

However the majority of the dealers we visit do not measure the Technicians Daily results and post them for all to see. I have installed so many of these boards and to watch the Techs swarm around it each morning is amazing! They too want to be measured and told when there doing good! 

By installing a Performance Board and meeting with them each morning will bring the best out of them and hold them accountable for the results we are trying to achieve. It will also help management to assist the one's who are under performing and provide them with training, tools, or just a daily coach to get them motivated.

Whether you buy a white board or purchase one from a training company make sure you set it up to get the maximum results. I have tried and failed to post all kinds of numbers and found the best practice is to measure Stall Performance Daily. 

The measurement goes like this: Hours Flagged by the Technician each day divided by Hours the Stall is open for business. It's that simple! Each Stall should be at 100% or more and if not why?

Have a question?

If you would like a live webinar: ACG's Performance Board Program

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373