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How to Challenge Dealership Sales, Service & Parts Stereotypes

Understanding critical moments of truth and challenging traditional stereotypes can reshape your business to create opportunities for growth and success. This article will explore 3 specific moments of truth in sales, service and parts. Leaders should actively coach different behaviors and explain the reasons why.


Trust Techs to Sell

Traditionally, the saying in our business was, “The salesman sells the first, and the serviceman sells the rest.” With more technology, we’ve started to call the most technically astute people in the dealership “technicians” instead of “mechanics.” Thus, the notion of who starts the sales process should be reversed.


With their extensive expertise, technicians have emerged as the most credible and trusted advisors for customers. They can build rapport and establish trust with customers because they often know the technology better than many sales reps. With users of competitive equipment, your dealership may only sell them a different brand if and when you can demonstrate that you have technicians who can repair their machine.


Dealers should recognize this shift and coach technicians to leverage their credibility when on the farm or when consulting with customers. Road techs should be encouraged to seek out other machines to work on when they see the customer’s fleet.


Align Time Expectations

The most crucial conversations in a dealership are between the service manager and technician, and they should happen several times daily. Both must agree on the expected duration of a job.


Technicians, known for their perfectionism, often spend more time than necessary on a task. Techs may also need to realize how much time a job should take because of a lack of knowledge or skills.


The service manager should coach the technician to ask for help if they anticipate exceeding the expected time frame. The coaching might be to work part of the way into a job then stop and return for further guidance. For new technicians, this practice will help their learning and productivity.



By aligning expectations and providing guidance, dealerships can ensure optimal shop productivity and prevent delays. These regular conversations will benefit shop productivity and profits. It will also improve customer satisfaction because machines are repaired faster and with fewer surprises.


Harness Parts Personnel

Parts counter staff should be positioned as something other than parts pickers. Given how often they talk to customers needing parts for maintenance or repair, they are crucial in influencing customer satisfaction and driving sales.


Whether at the parts counter or in the shop, the parts personnel should leverage their expertise and contribute to the dealership’s success. Changing how we look at parts personnel might mean less emphasis on the speed of picking a part and coaching them to spend more time to understand why a part is needed.


Parts managers and dealer leaders should coach their parts counter staff to ask open-ended questions. An example is to ask the customer, “Tell me the nature of the repair.” By doing so, the parts person might identify additional parts or special tools required. The customer will leave with a better chance of completing the repairs.


If the parts person describes a repair that is likely beyond the customer’s ability to complete, they can walk the customer back to the shop to schedule repairs with the dealership. This increases revenue and improves customer satisfaction.


The same technical dialogue about the nature of the repair should happen between the parts person and the technician, ideally in the shop around the machine. A good parts person can help anticipate the parts needed to complete the entire repair, not just the next segment.


This idea is for parts personnel to “feed the tech.” The result is higher parts sales and better shop productivity.


Leaders will create new opportunities by coaching roles at moments of truth that challenge traditional stereotypes. Technicians should sell, service managers and technicians should have a meeting of the minds, and parts personnel should be considered vital assets for driving customer satisfaction and sales. By understanding and leveraging these moments of truth, dealerships will break free from old paradigms and drive positive change.

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