Boost Sales Through Communication
When John Glosek began working as a service writer at a local auto shop, it brought in $550,000 per year. When Glosek left, a little over five years later, it produced more than $1.25 million. He then moved to Jeno’s Auto Service, where he has aided in the shop’s 25 percent revenue growth in the last five years as a service-writer-turned-service-manager.
Jeno’s Auto Service owner Steve Horvath goes so far as to say that the shop’s recent expansion in the last couple years can be attributed to Glosek.
Horvath nominated Glosek for the Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards because of his ability to grow sales, along with the procedures and techniques he has brought to Jeno’s.
“Everything that goes through the shop, goes through John,” says Horvath. “He’s done a lot, and I’ve always appreciated that.”
How employees communicate with each other is at the forefront of any business, and is one of Glosek’s largest priorities.
“The big thing is not reducing verbal communication between mechanics and service leaders. That will truly backward twist things in a hurry,” says Glosek.
Quickly after Glosek moved over to Jeno’s Auto Service, he set up an interoffice instant messaging system to improve the shop’s communication. The messaging program is connected to every technician and employee at Jeno’s, including the secretary up front. The program is called PinkNotes, explains Glosek, and says it is an efficient way to promote the shop’s communication.
“No Post-it notes get lost and no verbal communication gets lost,” says Glosek.
Implement an inspection program.
Within days of starting to work with Steve, Glosek brought in something that Jeno’s Auto Service had never done before: inspections.
“He immediately instituted an inspection program, which we had never had in all our years before that, so that was pretty good,” says Horvath.
Glosek now has each employee adhere to a strict policy on checkouts and inspections. He brought in an inspection sheet that he previously created and then slightly modified it to fit the shop. He then made photocopies of his inspection sheet on the shop’s printer and immediately implemented it.
Glosek says these inspections have been one of the largest factors in Jeno’s growing sales.
Jeno’s Auto Service is now working on transitioning to digital inspections.
Find your selling style.
Horvath attributes Glosek’s sales abilities to how he communicates and educates customers.
“He’s good at not scaring people to death by letting them know what needs to be done now, and what needs to be done later,” says Horvath.
Glosek describes himself as a “rule breaker,” and says he doesn’t doesn’t follow the traditional service writing/managing techniques.
“They want us to call a week or two weeks later and hit on the points of what's been done, thank them, and then try and upsell them on recommended work that hadn't been done. I don’t do that,” he says.
Instead, Glosek doesn’t call the customer after their service is complete, he simply sends a follow-up thank you letter. This service managing style has helped build and strengthen the shop’s customer retention.
Treat customers like people.
“When you get to the point where you can talk to customers like regular human beings, it will help increase revenue,” says Glosek.
Obtaining high customer retention comes down to how you talk to them, explains Glosek. He takes the same approach to speaking with customers as he would if he were having a casual conversation with someone sitting next to him at a bar. This relaxed style aids to easing customers’ uneasiness. It all comes down to breaking that initial barrier, he says.
“If they (customers) walk through the door, you have to smile, drop what you are doing and say ‘hello.’ Even if you have someone on the phone, you ask to put them on hold, and then you get back to that phone call,” says Glosek.
Another communication trick that Glosek follows—tone matching—is something he learned through WORLDPAC Technical Institute instructor, Cecil Bullard. A customer’s tone can include anything from their demeanor to their attitude and personality. Glosek says if you can match the customer’s tone, you communicate on their level, and can successfully and quickly form a relationship.
“It sounds crazy, but it works,” says Glosek.