The Successful Service Advisor

The Successful Service Advisor

Dealer Panel Discussion Moderated by Bob Schwartz, ADP/Performance, Inc.

It makes no difference if we call them service advisors, service writers or service consultants. They play a crucial roll in the success (or failure) of our dealerships. In many boat stores, the person holding this job deals with more people in one day than a salesperson will deal with in a week. Bob Schwartz, ADP/Performance, will lead a dealer panel discussion on this very topic as the kickoff session of the Service Department track at the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (scheduled for Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla.).

“A good service advisor can add profit to your bottom line and keep customers coming back,” Schwartz explains. “Good advisors eliminate the need for the dealership to spend a bunch of money advertising our service departments directly and our sales departments indirectly. Customer word of mouth does our advertising for us.”

The panel discussion will feature two dealership service department operators with a history of success. Doug Malone, Sail & Ski Center, Austin and San Antonio, Texas, is Vice-President of Fixed Operations for the No. 1 dealer on Boating Industry’s 2009 list of Top 100 Dealers. Greg Larsen, Larsen Marine, Waukegan, Ill., is a partner in a marina with a proven service track record of sales and profit. Bob has spent many years evaluating service advisors.

The panel will focus on the job of a service advisor; the debate over whether or not that job is the same in all stores; what the best service advisors do with every customer, every time; how we should train a service advisor before putting her or him in front of a customer; the skills a service advisor must possess; whether men, women, or ex-technicians make the best advisors; service advisor pay plans; and how to know if you have a good service advisor.

To learn more about “The Successful Service Advisor,” make plans to attend the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14-17. With three concurrent educational tracks and more than 20 individual educational sessions, this event has been designed to help dealers return to the growth phase they knew prior to the economic downturn.

The “The Successful Service Advisor” panel kicks off the Service Department track. It will be followed by a session focused on solving your most challenging service problems, Web strategies to increase service department profits, sessions dedicated to personal development for service managers, financial management and more.

The Sales & Marketing track will be held concurrently and includes topics such as how to make more money by discounting less and charging more; high-impact, low-cost marketing tactics; the keys to succeeding as a 24/7 marine dealer; converting online leads into sales profits; immediate results using search engine marketing; and closing sales in a difficult economy.

While the Sales & Marketing track is perfect for sales managers and marketing managers and the service track will help strengthen any service manager or advisor, the newest, most exciting news for the 2010 MDCE is the addition of a third track, geared specifically toward dealer principals, titled Powering Profits. In this track, the educational topics will cover such pressing issues as pay plans, (re)building your culture, how to adopt best practices in your dealership, fact-driven dealer management and of course, myriad best practices to go with them. The event will also feature a general session and two keynote sessions, as well.

“We’ve covered all the bases with the education this year, making quality content, specific to service managers, sales managers, marketing managers and dealership principals alike, available in an unprecedented format,” explains Matt Gruhn, publisher of Boating Industry magazine, which partners with the Marine Retailers Association of America to produce the MDCE. “This will, without question, be the best line-up of education this event has ever produced.”

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