New Year, New Focus

January 13th, 2015 | Written By: admin

This is the year of opportunity and we have been preparing for it for three years.  A growth market for service departments depends on certain market conditions coming into alignment.  Two of those key ingredients which are trending up are the number of new units in operation and a better economy which allows consumers to spend money to take care of their vehicle.

We have been preparing our tools and strategies for exactly this point in time.  How about you?  Every dealer is different and so is every service manager or general manager, but proper planning applies to all…

Who said the following?

“Our goal can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”

“The more time you spend contemplating what you should [do]… [the more] you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.”

The first quote is by Pablo Picasso and the second is by Lil Wayne (famous rapper for those not up on current events).  The point is success demands a plan.  And planning applies to your service marketing no matter who you are or which company you use.

Ask yourself three simple questions to prepare for this year’s service success…

If you did three things right last year, what were they?

Looking back, what should you have done that you did not?

Name three things you must accomplish to have a great 2015?

After answering these questions, here are some strong first steps to take when preparing for the year ahead.  Getting out of the blocks quickly might give you the edge you need for 2015.

Set a goal and commit to a plan in writing.  Most dealers make the mistake of not preparing and having a written plan to lead their staff.  If you commit to your plan by writing it down, it is much more likely to get done.  This should be the least overwhelming step because your goals should be simple and limited.  Only write down the things you MUST do.

Do something. The riskiest thing to do is nothing.  Service marketing decisions are now more than ever involving general managers and dealer principals. Everyone is playing an active role in running the service departments.  That can be good and bad, but you can count on the fact that service failure will still fall on your shoulders.  Setting up a good plan puts you in a position of strong leadership, which is what all teams need.

Change something and keep something.  If you write down the good and the bad you will be more likely to be able to keep doing what you have done well in the past, and change what hasn’t worked for you.  If you are working with Traffic Builders, we will help you with this free of charge.  We put numbers together that help you formulate ideas and back up that plan.

Traffic Builders encourages planning in November because procrastination typically costs you progress in January and February.  This only leaves you 80% of your year to catch up.  But it is never too late to start a plan.

Recovery is at the end of every recession and I believe strongly that the tipping point will happen this year and next.  Dealers who are prepared will start to see consistent double-digit gains once again.  As the owners of this business, with over 20 years of automotive service marketing experience, Tricia and I would be happy to talk with you about creating your plan.  Our job is to make you look good through the power of success.

Have a great 2015!

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