Fixed Ops Feature LIVE in Vegas at Digital Dealer

Damon from Sherwood Ford in Canada dropped by at Driving Sales to give us insight into how his Service Department is doing and his roles as a Service Manager.

Damon states that “as the Service Manager, my job is to grow the business. That is my job. I don’t write the work order, but I have to put the team together, instill a culture and really grow the business and we’ve seen huge growth even in a recessionary time in Canada, in fact from Sept ’18 – Sept ’19 month-over-month we grew the business a quarter-million dollars. So it was a record for us. So if anybody ever tells you that it’s not going to work in your market it absolutely will if you put your mind to it.”

A quarter of a million-dollar growth in 1 month is a lot. What is the typical growth that you see?

Damon answered, “typically we like to grow from 10 to 12% and we just decided to go in a completely different direction and consistently evolve our department make it better, try some new ideas and that’s where we get the unbelievable growth from.”

What would you say contributed to that growth? A combination of things or something in particular?

“Yeah know it was a case where just everybody in our Department from the Advisors, to the appointment coordinators, to the technicians, everybody was just locked into the goal that we wanted to get to. We achieved that goal and then some. Everybody pulling in the same direction. That really made a difference.”

Now that you have set the bar pretty high what are you going to do now?

“Well, eventually our goal is to get to a million dollars in labor sales in one month… I am thinking in the next few days!”

Damon tells us about the Jeff Cowan session “Meet Your New Customer: Maximize Sales & Eliminate Heat Cases” here at Driving Sales. “Jeff comes to the table as the well-respected fixed operations trainer. He not only has worked in the business, but he has been a trainer for over 32 years. He was one of the innovators of the walk-around on a vehicle and he’s pioneered so many different word tracks and I have really a lot of respect for Jeff and what he does. What he talks about in his talk is getting to know your customers because they have chosen you. They could have gone to any other shop and any other dealership, but they chose you. And they chose you for a reason and it wasn’t just price, but its a number of factors and his word tracks are really, really, really strong. Those are what we should be using all the time. All the major corporations, all the major chains implore all their employees to use the exact same word track all the time to create uniformity. Both Service Advisors, Appointment Coordinators all the way through its the same words all the time. We are going to put these into the store next week.”

Damon saw Brittany Mullers Keynote, she’s from MOZ and said “the insights she was providing to just how much information is gaged from Google and what you can do to maximize your opportunities, it’s something that most fixed operations people think of, but that is the world that we live in now. And if we can gain just an infinitesimal edge over the competition we have to be embracing that technology.” So how we can “target, pinpoint, and remarket and use variable platforms to gain more customer insight and actually target our ads based on so many different demographics of our audience absolutely fantastic, I learned so much from her today.”

At this year’s Driving Sales it was the first edition of something they are calling “Beast Mode Growth” what takeaways do you have? “One of the really big takeaways that I took from the session this morning was as a business as an entity, the car business is very, very slow to change. Very slow to change. And the two gentlemen that were on stage this morning are taking their business to the next level by creating radical change, both in their processes and in how their culture becomes and they were just so inspiring to hear that these guys are taking their businesses to the next level. It makes you want to just go up there and change everything in your business to emulate that kind of success. No championship team is ever built by staying the same! The New England Patriots have always evolved and that’s why their perennial champions. And as a business, we have to do the exact same thing. What worked five years ago, just doesn’t work now.”

He had a great time at Driving Sales because “the people that are at this conference are really the best of the best. These are the innovators, the people that want to change their business. You can’t make people change, but when you’re in a group like this where everyone is so forward-thinking it inspires you to do more in your business.”

Thanks again for your time and knowledge.

Fixed Ops Website Review & Meeting

Julie Branum

Julie Branum

Julie has a decade of experience in the car business and marketing specifically for manufacturer dealerships in the U.S. Utilizing best practices and her background in design, Julie believes in presenting and converting dealerships online visitors into high RO Service and Parts Department customers.