Last week RHD TIRE EAST (Ferndale) held a 3 Day Training Event with 2 of the best trainers in the business, Chris Welty, and Lesley Boyd. It was a major success with 100% attendance, participation, and engagement. Thank you to Chris, Lesley, and everyone who attended the classes, each and every one of you are extraordinary individuals!
Here’s a summary of some of the key points and topics we covered, and some food for thought at the end;
As Chris said many times during the training event we are “Neighbors helping neighbors”.
We are helping the people that live in the communities that surround our Dealerships. We are helping our family members, friends, the business people that work nearby, travelers passing through our cities, local schools, municipalities, our competitors, and our co-workers. We are all helping people get their cars repaired, their oil changed, we are helping to get them back on the road after a flat tire, doing a safety check before a family goes on a road trip, the list goes on and on.
And we are not just trying to capture their business one time, we are trying to gain the customer’s loyalty, trust, and partnership. We want that customer to come back and see us as their car repairs and maintenance needs arise. We want to be the trusted expert to all of our customers.
But how do we earn their trust?
Duane Gillens, a Service Consultant from Serra Chevrolet, said it best during Tuesday’s class, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.
We have to care, day in and day out, and the customer needs to know how much we care in order for the trust and loyalty to be established.
In our classes, Chris mentioned an article called, The Crisis of Trust, and this article gives a great analogy, “Trust is like a sheet of paper, once crumpled, it can never be perfect again no matter how well you try to smooth things out”.
So let’s do our very best to get it right the first time.
Everyone who attended our classes left with new ways to accomplish this as we brainstormed ways to go the extra mile in our customer interactions. As well as, reviewing the basics, such as listening, being warm and friendly, willing to help, and asking questions that help us really identify what the customer needs and wants, especially when it comes to tires.
Capturing the Performance Market
In the Capturing the Performance Market class we covered why it is so important and vital to ask our customers qualifying questions. My two favorite questions to start with are “what do you like about your car?” and “is there anything I could improve about that way your car drives?”.
After asking questions like those, you should be able to start the conversation with the customer about their likes and dislikes which will help you identify the BEST tire for them, not the cheapest tire, not the tire that you’d buy for your kid, but the BEST tire for your customer based on their preferences. When we take the time to get to know our customers we start to establish trust, because we are showing that we care. Let’s do this during every customer interaction! It’s simple, easy, and it will pay off tenfold in more ways then you realize.
On that note, if anyone needs tire product knowledge please reach out to me. I will get you on the RHD Sales Team calendar for a one-on-one coaching session so that you can confidently suggest and sell the BEST tires for the BEST price (we will review the value of price matching) for each and every customer. Now is the time to get into the tire business, and RHD wants to help.
Pro Phone Skills
Lesley Boyd of Bridgestone led the Pro Phone Skills classes at our training event.
Managers, I highly encourage you to call your own Dealerships when you have a minute and check and complete the following:
1) Inform the receptionist or BDC (Business Development Center) rep that you are calling to get a quote on tires.
2) Where do they transfer you? Parts? Service? Someplace else? Do they know where a tire inquiry should go?!
3) Does the Parts Person or Service Advisor ask for your tire size? (Be like an average consumer and say you do not know your tire size. What happens next?)
4) After all the questions or lack of questions did you end up with a tire quote?
5) Did anyone ask for your name?
6) Did they tell you they cannot look up a tire quote without your tire size?
7) Did they tell you to go out to your car to check the tire size?
8) How long did the call take?
9) Are you satisfied with the call?
and the million dollar question…
10) Did the person you spoke to ask to set an appointment with you to have you come in, so they can obtain your tire size, inspect your current tires, and then get you an accurate quote for the BEST tires for your vehicle and needs?
After that little test, if anyone needs phone skills training in their Dealerships please reach out! RHD wants to help and work with your staff. Everyone at your store should know where a tire call should go, and service advisor’s my hope is that you can schedule an appointment time and bring the customer into your amazing Dealership. Tell them about all of your awesome amenities such as free WiFi, complimentary coffee, water, and snacks, a comfortable lounge to relax in, all while you inspect their tires and engage with the customer to identify the BEST tire for them! Inform them of your ability to price match and that you will do the shopping around for them when they stop by your store. The goal here is to get the appointment time set, bring the customer into your store, and demonstrate that you are the expert when it comes to their car.
Shifting from Good to Great Customer Service
The 3rd class offering we had last week was the Shifting from Good to Great Customer Service course, which is my favorite class! In this course, Chris teaches techniques on how to improve your customer service. It is a very interactive course and thought-provoking. It is based heavily on the practices found in the book, “Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service”. I encourage you to read this book if you have not, or listen to it on Audible.
I have now been in this class a total of 4 times, each time I take note of a new idea or concept. This time it was “we should treat our co-workers the same as we treat our customers”.
Chris gave some great ideas of how we can go the extra mile for our co-workers and employees, in the same or similar ways we typically do for our customers. He suggested things like brushing the snow off of their car during the winter, and or warming up or cooling off a co-worker’s car before they leave for the day. Grab them coffee or offer to pick up their lunch. Simply put be kind to everyone, not just the customer. It will create a happier workplace, which will create a positive atmosphere in your store, and your customers will pick up on this and it could very well be the reason they chose to do business at your Dealership, instead of the Dealership down the street. Your co-workers or employees will go home happy and fulfilled and will return to work in the same way when they work in a positive work environment. At the beginning of this post, I noted that our co-workers are or could be our customers. They should be your customers. Their countless family members and friends should also be your customers.
Think about some of the disagreements you have had with a fellow co-worker, employee, and or manager at work. Had you treated them like a customer and been of service to them, rather than combative could the overall outcome have been improved? Most likely, yes it could have. There would have been no follow-up meetings, write-ups, no discomfort, no stress, and the influence of emotional contagion within your organization would have been positively impacted, as opposed to negatively impacted.
Moral Elevation and Emotional Contagion
Chris’s statement, “we should treat our co-workers the same as we treat our customers”, had me thinking a lot about what that would look like and how it could impact not just our workplaces but the world. As synchronicity would have it, I woke up March 15th, day 3 of our training event, and decided to listen to one of my new favorite podcasts, Ted WorkLife with Adam Grant while I got ready for the day. Episode 3, The Team of Humble Stars was exactly what I needed to hear. In this episode, Adam and his guests talk about moral elevation, which is a feeling that you get when you see someone else’s moral goodness. Typically these moments are small gestures that have a big, positive, moving impact. It could be a co-worker who stays late to help the team get all the work done, the boss who fixes the copy machine, or the co-worker who brushes the snow off of your car as mentioned above. It’s these small gestures or one might say virtuous acts that inspire more virtuous acts.
Adam Grant goes on to discuss emotional contagion, which is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. In the podcast, Sigal Barsade, describes a former colleague, “Meg”, that worked in her office and was a negative person, and one day “Meg” went on vacation, and it was then that Sigal and her co-workers noticed how much more relaxed they were without Meg around. We have all experienced a co-worker, manager, employee like “Meg”, and sadly we have probably been a “Meg”, we might be a “Meg” right now. The point is that contagion can be positive or negative, and it can impact the emotional state of a team, a department, and or an entire organization.
I felt these concepts really went hand-in-hand with what Chris spoke about in class. I see it day in and day out in the Dealerships. I see and experience both the negative and positive, and I definitely notice it has an impact on me. Sometimes I will leave a Dealership feeling elated because we laughed so much during my visit. Everyone was upbeat, friendly, and positive, not just to me but to everyone, the customers, and their co-workers. Days like this are true gifts. They light me up inside, I feel a sense of achievement, my self-esteem is up, and I find myself telling people about how much I love my job! Try it out! Smile at someone, laugh with them, offer them a bottled water, get lunch for your fellow co-worker, it just may be these small, kind gestures that not only make you feel better inside and happier, but they might lead to more sales and success!
Again thank you, Chris and Lesley, thank you Bridgestone, thank you to all of the attendees, thank you to the managers who sent their employees and encourage them to learn, grow, and develop their skills, thank you to the RHD Tire team members who attended the classes, and thank you to Kevin, Chris, and Mike (the 3 RHD TIRE owners) who fully support their employees. I hope the training has a positive impact on you for many months and years to come.
Allow me to introduce you to Nick Welch from Imlay City Ford.
Nick took 3rd place in April’s Service Advisor Incentive! Congrats Nick! I want to recognize him because he does something that so far I have not witnessed any other advisors doing and I think it is worth sharing.
At the beginning of each month, Nick shops his competitors for price matching deals on his lane’s most popular selling tire sizes and brands. He knows his customer base very well and can easily identify the tires they most frequently need.
He then prints out the BEST deals he can find and places the competitor’s quotes in a folder labeled by wheel size.
When customers stop in and Nick identifies they need tires he first locates the best tire option for their needs in the Tire Sales Tool, once a tire brand and model are selected he then accesses the “price matching folders” at his desk, locates the best price match offering, and then hand-writes the savings onto his customer’s tire quote.
Nick sold 125 tires in April, which is phenomenal, and he has consistently sold 100+ tires per month throughout his career at Imlay City Ford.
Nick says this method of shopping at the start of each month for the best price matching deals and printing them out has helped save him a tremendous amount of time during his customer interactions. Now he can spend more time talking to his customers, getting to know them, and building a longterm relationship with them, which is where Nick truly shines and excels! His customer interactions are very thorough, he listens and processes that information to make the appropriate suggestions that suit the customer’s needs. His customers do not mind waiting in line to speak to him. They know he is detail-oriented, very knowledgeable, and that he cares. They trust him and they come back again and again to see him.
Nick’s printout method could also be done electronically by creating a folder on your computer’s desktop and storing jpg’s or pdf’s of the competitor’s quotes each month there, this would be especially helpful for any writer’s who have to upload and submit their price matching claims themselves.
If anyone has great Tires Selling Tips like this one please reach out! I would love to hear from you. Email: Jill@RHDTIRE.com
(e.d. = Employee Discount, P/M = Price Matching)
Zach and his team at McDonald Ford Quick Lane in Freeland, MI have successfully held another AMAZING TIRE EVENT!
If you missed his first tire event click here!
This time he wanted to teach his customer base about tires so he created the “Learn 2 Earn” program.
With this program all customers who attended Zach’s class held on Saturday, May 5th, 2018, learned about tire care topics such as:
- Tread Life and how to measure your tread depth.
- Stopping distances based on tread depth.
- The importance of changing Run-Flats within 50 miles of a puncture.
- The potential dangers of driving with a bulge in the sidewall.
- Weather-cracking: what to look for and how to know if it is severe.
- And a live demonstration on how to change a flat tire.
All attendees earned a gift bag filled with great promotional items like a hat, a water bottle, keychains, a tread depth gauge, and 5 randomly selected gift bags included a certificate for a FREE “Works Package”!
The pictures below depict that amount of effort and hard work Zach put into this event, and it was once again a major success for them!
Since last October when Zach held his first tire event, his tire business has grown over 85%!
Great job Zach and the McDonald Ford Quick Lane Team!!!
Meet Mitchel Sykes:: RHD’s newest Sales Team member, recently graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Madonna University.
Mitch started at RHD Tire in August as a driver, so many of you may already know Mitch. In October 2017 he began his career as an RHD TIRE Auto Dealer Account Manager.
He has spent 6 weeks and counting in training as an A.D.A.M. and is well-versed in tire inventory management, warranties, tire training, tire product knowledge, and tire marketing. His newly developed and improved skill set will make a positive impact when utilized and entrusted to Ford, GM, and Chrysler Dealerships… so RHD TIRE encourages you to welcome him into your stores and put his vast business knowledge and acumen to good use! As an RHD TIRE employee, Mitch is empowered to make decisions and take appropriate actions to help your Dealership succeed.
Here are specific ways in which Mitch can assist your Parts and Service Department’s::
Inventory Management: He will identify obsolete, discontinued, non-movers & slow-movers, and will suggest removing those tires from inventory via an RHD TIRE no-hassle return. He will also identify what tires have been selling for the past 6 months to a year and examine the frequency and timelines of those sales and then determine if those are tires you should be stocking. At the end of his inventory review, he will present his recommendations. He can then set-up regular inventory reviews on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis to help ensure your tire inventory is intelligently managed at all times. Mitch, like all RHD TIRE Sales Representatives, takes full responsibility for managing your tire inventory!
Warranties: Mitch can assist with all Program Tire Brand warranties. From simply confirming if a condition is warrantable, to providing a customer service phone number to call and assisting with completing the claim form (both online or paper)… Mitch can help!
Tire Training: Mitch is teamed up with me (Jill) to provide tire training in any GM, FORD, and or Chrysler Service lanes! We will cover a wide array of tire-related topics customized for each and every writer, as we conduct tire training on an individual basis. This will not only ensure the writer we are working with is getting the most out of the training but we will get to know one another and learn how we can be of assistance to that writer moving forward when it comes to tire related questions.
Tire Product Knowledge: Mitch has taken the majority of the tests on GYRewardsPlus.com (Goodyear’s training website) and he has earned 9 certificates and counting on michelinlearninginstitute.net (Michelin’s training website). He is in the process of learning all of the other major tire brands models and will be traveling to several off-site training events in the first quarter of 2018. If any writers are in need of tire training via online courses Mitch has you covered! Just reach out to him.
Tire Marketing: Mitch not only has an innate business sense but he is creative as well and can help identify ways to market tires to your customers. He can also come up with forward-thinking ideas to help motivate tire sales… such as this month’s spiff!
So for the month of December here is your Service Advisor Spiff brought to you by Mitch Sykes!
DECEMBER SERVICE ADVISOR SPIFF 2017:
DECEMBER will be focused on ALL Program Tire Brands! The 7 Advisors that sell the most tires will earn the following:
1st Place = $100.00 Visa Gift Card + 2 tickets to the Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI:: Sat, 01/20/2018, 7:00 p.m. EST
2nd Place = $75.00 Visa Gift Card + 2 tickets to the Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI:: Sat, 01/20/2018, 7:00 p.m. EST
3RD Place = $50.00 Visa Gift Card + 2 tickets to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI:: Sat, 01/27/2018, 7:00 p.m. EST
4th Place = $25.00 Visa Gift Card + 2 tickets to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI:: Sat, 01/27/2018, 7:00 p.m. EST
5th Place = 1 Amazon Echo Dot.
6th Place = 1 Amazon Echo Dot.
7th Place = 1 Amazon Echo Dot.
Invoices must have YOUR name on them. You can not count fellow co-worker’s sales as your own.
ALL PROGRAM TIRE BRANDS COUNT!
TIRES SOLD MUST BE PURCHASED FROM RHD TIRE AND SOLD ON THE FORD OR GM TIRE PROGRAM. Off-program tire sales/purchases will not count.
REQUIRED: Advisors will need to track the date of sale, invoice numbers, the type of tire and quantity sold on the tracking sheet provided. Then email or text a picture of your tracking sheet to Jill by 1-6-18. (please print tracking sheets as needed)