Tag Archives: accountability

Are you executing your processes???

How can you make sure that the processes you have throughout the dealership are executed every time….. and with every customer?

This has been and still remains one of the toughest things to get accomplished in the dealership.

Every dealership throughout the country has their own processes and procedures when it comes to selling and servicing their customers.

Every dealership has slightly different “steps to the sale” in regards to selling a customer a new or pre-owned vehicle.

Every dealership has their own processes on what transpires in the Service lane.

Every dealership has their own “playbook” on how they want their customers handled.

So how do you get your employees to execute this “playbook” each and every time with every customer??

You need to build a “video” library of ALL of your processes so that each and every one of your employees know exactly WHAT you want executed and HOW you want it executed.

In this video library, you need to “role play” each and every scenario in every step in every process.

Take each step in the “road to the sale” and have your management team role play exactly how you want your salespeople to execute these steps!

Take all of the processes in your Service Drive and video each one so that your employees flawlessly handle each and every step.

In building your “video library” of training material, you can give your employees the confidence and competence to succeed! Otherwise you leave the employee to “interpret” what your processes are.

By having this video library you build efficiencies and consistencies throughout the customer interaction. An efficient and consistent process is very important to having customer satisfaction AND customer retention!

Once you have this video library of every step to every process, have some fun by having your employee’s video role play each step.

There is no better training tool than seeing yourself execute a process. Every professional sports team in America utilizes “game film” to help train their team to see what they executed well and where their opportunities lie.

In building a video library of your processes, it provides a tool that your employees can utilize to sharpen their skills on a daily basis. It also provides a new employee ALL of the information that they will need to succeed and “get them up to speed” in your dealership!

Build your “core” process video library TODAY!!!

Your employees, customers and profits will ALL benefit!!!!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital



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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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“The formula for MAXIMUM R.O.I. in Social Media!”

There is a rather simple formula when it comes to getting the MAXIMUM return on your investment in Social Media.

It’s so simple… might overwhelm you!

And while the formula is simple…..the actual implementation is the hardest part!

The formula???????…………….”Embrace it”…….

That’s the ENTIRE formula…..”embrace it”

That’s right!!…….go ahead and “embrace” social media!

Most Dealers and dealerships are scared to death to go ahead and try!

BUT…go ahead…..”Embrace it”!!!

Let’s start with the Sales Department.

We would ALL love to have an entire showroom floor filled with salespeople that could sell 20-25 units a month without EVER having to take any floor traffic.

Some dealerships have these salespeople already! Salespeople that have their own book of business and continue to sell their 20-25 units in good times and bad.

How do these salespeople accomplish this month after month??

These salespeople do an excellent job of calling their customers, following up, sending birthday cards, holiday cards and keeping them abreast of all the latest incentives, deals and new models that are coming out!

These salespeople become the customers “friend” in the car business!

Now what if you could get your ENTIRE sales team to do all of that every day??

It’s easy by utilizing Social Media!

Engaging your customers on Social Media sites such as Facebook, allows you to constantly update your customer with your latest incentives, your latest specials and article that pertain to the vehicle that they purchased from you, thus reinforcing that the customer made the correct decision in purchasing from you!

You can also update your customers on any “new” models that may be coming out! Everyone LOVES “spy” pictures of future product!

You can engage your customers to any special events that you may have upcoming.

You can send your customer the latest pictures or video of any accessories that you may have added to another vehicle that they might be interested in.

Did you make a note of the customer’s interests or hobbies in your CRM? You can send them interesting articles on their favorite sports team or television show.

What about the servicing of the customers car?

Wouldn’t it be great to send your customers information regarding any “Service Specials?”

How about some articles or video explaining tire wear or battery life?

Send your customer articles on preparing their vehicle for any seasonal changes, i.e…..snow tires, coolant checks, safety checks before a long vacation drive….etc…..

The amount of information we can send our customers via Social Media is non-stop!

But first…….you have to “embrace” Social Media!

The whole idea of Social Media is that it is a FUN way to interact with your customer!

People have FUN with their friends. And EVERYONE wants a friend in the car business! Friends take care of friends….You can be comfortable DEALING with a friend….a friend will always treat you right….friends always recommend their friends to other friends…..

You see, by “embracing” social media, you become more than just “that salesperson” at the car dealership. You become their friend!

Every dealership wants to have a great relationship with all of their customers. They would love all of their customers to endorse them and support them! They would want their customers to refer all of their family and friends to them!

You can do ALL of this by “embracing” Social Media!

So if you are trying to figure out the pros and cons of social media, what the investment is and how much of a return on your investment will be….. know this…..You will receive ZERO return on your investment if you DON’T embrace social media.

The saying goes….”you will miss 100% of the shots that you never take”….

Go ahead…..take the shot….embrace social media TODAY!!!

This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of “The Social Dealership”

Here is the link:


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital



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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 4 of 4) – Service Drive

In (Part 1) of this blog, we talked about the experience you receive when you go to a restaurant for lunch.

In (Part 2) of this blog, we talked about the “Level of Expectation” process in your Sales Department.

In (Part 3) of this blog, we talked about the “Level of Expectation” process in your F&I/Business Manager’s Department.

Now….lets talk about setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Dealership’s Service Drive.

The “Level of Expectation” allows you to guide your customer through a series of steps that are clearly outlined for their understanding and review.

Your customer will know exactly WHAT will happen, WHAT ORDER it will happen in, HOW LONG it will take and the information they will RECEIVE to make an intelligent purchasing decision in a TIMELY fashion!!

Today’s customers demand a process that is both professional and transparent!

Today’s customers also want the process to go as quickly as possible!

Service Drive processes vary from dealership to dealership throughout the country.

Let’s outline an example of a Service Driveprocess and how to set the “Level of Expectation for your customer and employees!


The customer enters your Service Drive/Lane.

Upon the initial greeting of the customer, your Service Adviser begins to explain what will transpire from this point going forward.

  • Collecting data on both the vehicle and the customer – 5-10 minutes
  • A thorough Multi-point inspection of the vehicle in the Service Drive/Lane – 5-10 minutes
  • A complete understanding and listening of what the customers vehicles Service concerns may be – 5-15 minutes
  • Service Advisor updating all customer records in the computer – 5-10 minutes
  • Service Advisor relaying to customer an approximate amount of time to service the vehicle – 5 minutes

This initial process can take anywhere from 25-50 minutes.

The Service Adviser then must set the “Level of Expectation” for when the service is completed on the customer’s vehicle.

  • A review of all services performed on vehicle and their appropriate charges (active delivery) – 5-10 minutes
  • A review on what items may need repair on the customers next service visit – 5-10 minutes
  • The setting of the customer’s next scheduled service appointment – 5 minutes
  • Customers payment for services – 5 minutes
  • The escorting of the customer to their vehicle and thanking them for their business – 5 minutes

This part of the process can take anywhere from 25-35 minutes to complete.

DON’T let your customer get frustrated and upset by “thinking” that the process is taking too long!

Remember, the customer has no idea of what the process is or how long it takes unless YOU tell them. And isn’t a calmer customer more easy to speak with than an upset and frustrated customer??

Will you have point of sale material around your Service Driveto aide your team in conveying yourDealerships Service Drive processes to the customer?

  • Banners
  • Table toppers
  • Posters
  • Video explanations on Service Advisors computers
  • Video explanations on your Dealership website

By providing a “Level of Expectation” in your Service Drive, it will do two things.

  • It will give the customer a clear and professional expectation of what will transpire on their visit and how long it will take.
  • Your Service Advisor will clearly, professionally and consistently give the same exact presentation and process to all of the customers.

By setting the “Level of Expectation”, your Dealership will quickly become proficient, consistent and professional!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital




Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 1 of 4)

We have all had the experience of going out to a restaurant for lunch.

The process is nearly the same in every restaurant.

  • First we are greeted at the door
  • We are then guided to an open table
  • We are then given a menu to choose from different options
  • We are asked if we would like anything to drink while we look at the menu
  • When the drinks arrive at the table, we are asked if we have any questions about the menu
  • We are then told about any “special” that the restaurant has on that day
  • We then place our order for lunch
  • We wait approximately 10-20 minutes for lunch to arrive
  • Before the food arrives, we are asked if we would like more to drink
  • The server then arrives with our lunch
  • The server asks if we have everything we need and asks if the food is prepared correctly
  • When we finish our lunch, we are asked if we would like a dessert or the bill
  • We then either choose a dessert or get the bill
  • The server then picks up our payment for the bill
  • The server then returns with the appropriate change or Credit/Debit slip
  • We leave a tip for the server
  • We exit the restaurant receiving a “thank you” for our business

This entire process happens pretty much the same EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to lunch! It does not need to be written down or explained. We probably don’t even think about the process much.

BUT…..what if the process was all of a sudden different?? The process was out of the “normal” order?

  • What if the server asked if you wanted dessert first?
  • What if you never got anything to drink?
  • What if you never received a menu of items to choose from?
  • What if you had to stand to eat?
  • What if you had to wait 2 hours before you got your food?
  • What if you received food you didn’t want and no one cared?
  • What if after not receiving a menu, you were charged an incredibly high price for your food without knowing about it?

As you can see, if the process was changed, we would become confused, upset, angry or all three!

This leads me into the processes you have in your dealership for the Sales experience, the F&I experience and yourService Driveexperience.

Now we know that different dealerships have different processes around the Country. Each individual dealership has its own series of processes and procedures. BUT….whatever process and procedure that you have, is it done every time, every day, without fail with no exceptions by all employees??

And since processes and procedures vary in every dealership, how does the customer know what to expect if we don’t tell them what will transpire??

By setting the “Level of Expectation” for both your customers and your employees, it assures that everyone will understand EXACTLY what will happen and in the order it will happen!! It gives both the customer and the employee an understanding of each and every step in the process.

In parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog, we will review the steps to setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Sales process, your F&I/Business Manager process and your Service Drive process.

The restaurant experience is all the same no matter where you go in the Country. HOWEVER….the same cannot be said of what happens in Dealerships around the Country. Every Dealership has different and unique processes.

With each Dealership having these different processes, we have confused, upset and angered our customers. They do not get the same experience in every Dealership they walk into.

I am NOT saying we should ALL have the same processes implemented the same exact way.

BUT…..what if we made the customer comfortable by telling them exactly what was going to happen and how long it was going to take at YOUR Dealership?

I believe it would give the customer a total sense of comfort AND provide the perfect playbook for your employees to work with every day, every time, without fail with no exceptions.

Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital



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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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Solve any problem!

How can you solve ANY problem that you might have???

There is a very simple process…to solving any and all problems…

The process… is basically 4 steps…

And you are going to need to write out your answers…to every step of the process…

So get yourself some paper and a pen…or type it out on your computer…



Write along the top…what your problem or situation is…

Like I said…it can be any kind of problem or situation… either personal or business related…

The first step…is to picture or reason out…AND write this down… the best possible outcome to the situation…

What is the best possible thing that can happen??

Don’t limit your thinking on this!

Go ahead and think of the best possible solution…

Remember…to get… what you have never gotten…you must do… what you have never done…

The greatest danger for most of us…is not that we aim too high and miss it…but that we aim too low…and we reach it…


The second step in the process is…what are we doing now???

What is the present situation?

What are we currently doing about the problem or situation?

Are we doing anything…or nothing??

Write down what you are currently doing…or what is happening with the situation at hand…

It is important to take a look at the difference…between step one and step two…

Step one…what is the best possible solution…and step two…what are we doing now…

Is there a big difference??

There probably is…

Step three….

What are the obstacles that are keeping you from reaching the ultimate solution???

Is it a person?

A process?

A team or a group?

Your boss?

A family member?

Technology…or a lack of it…

Your own laziness…or ego?

What are the obstacles that are standing in your way???

Write them down…and don’t leave any out…

These obstacles are the things that are standing in your way of reaching your ultimate solution…

Identify them…so you can take the necessary steps in overcoming these obstacles…

Now… you have the groundwork to solve the problem or situation…

You can envision what the best possible solution could be…step one….

You have acknowledged what you are doing now…step two…

AND…you have identified what the obstacles are to reaching your ultimate solution…step three…

You are now ready for step four…

Step four iswhen do you want to get started…and…be resilient in your quest to reach the ultimate solution???

(hint: START NOW!!)

You see…processing a problem out…and then trying to reach…what you believe…is the ultimate solution…takes time and effort…

And make no mistake about it…you may not reach the ultimate solution…

But by trying…by reaching…by pursuing…that ultimate solution…you are bound to be far ahead of what you are doing now…

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes…

This quote is from T.E. Lawrence… from…Seven Pillars of Wisdom…written in 1926…

The quote is this:

All men dream…


But not equally…


Those who dream by night…in the dusty recesses of their minds…wake in the day…to find it was vanity…


But the dreamers of the DAY…are dangerous men…


For they may act their dream with open eyes…and make it possible….

Follow these four steps…with open eyes…and make it happen…

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff video – Solve any problem


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital



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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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Knock yourself Unconscious!!

When we all first started our careers in the automotive business, we began to learn the basics of our jobs.

We all learned different skills such as, greetings, fact finding, product knowledge, the steps to a sale, word tracks, phone skills, prospecting and networking skills, closing skills, follow up skills and so on.

We all got better by practicing, drilling and rehearsing each and every day, without fail and no exceptions! This is what makes us the professionals that we are today.

When someone new comes into our business, I always try and break down the “4 steps of learning” to help them better understand what is ahead of them. By understanding HOW a human being learns a new skill, a person that is trying to understand all of the ingredients it takes to be proficient in their new job, can break it down a bit easier.

The traditional view is that learning a skill is divided into four stages. The four stages are;

Unconscious Incompetence

Conscious Incompetence

Conscious Competence

Unconscious Competence

First there is unconscious incompetence. Not only do you not know how to do something, but you don’t know you don’t know. Never having driven a car for example, you have no idea what it is like. So you start to learn. You very soon discover your limitations. You have some lessons and consciously attend to all the instruments, steer, coordinate the clutch, and watch the road. It demands all your attention, you are not yet competent, and you keep on the back streets.

Next is the stage of conscious incompetence when you grind the gears, over-steer and give cyclist heart attacks. Although this stage is uncomfortable, (especially for cyclist), it is the stage when you learn the most.

This leads you to the stage of conscious competence. You can drive the car, but it takes all your concentration. You have learned the skill, but have not yet mastered it.

Lastly, and the goal of the endeavor, is unconscious competence. All of those little patterns that you learned so painstakingly blend together into one smooth unit of behavior. Then you can listen to the radio, enjoy the scenery and hold a conversation at the same time as driving. Your conscious mind sets the outcome and leaves it to your unconscious mind to carry it out.

These are the 4 steps of learning a new skill.

In order to become a true professional, we ALL must go through these 4 steps.

That is why I encourage you to “knock yourself unconscious”!!!

Practice, drill, rehearse and knock yourself unconscious every day!!!!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital




Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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Are you SERIOUSLY kidding me??????

One of my mentors and fellow member, Mr. Dave Anderson, started one of my favorite articles with this paragraph;

“This article will offend far more than it inspires and quite frankly, I could care less. Political Correctness has gone too far. It’s run amok. It’s draining our country’s soul and debilitating corporate cultures. It’s time for leaders in business, religious and political sectors to dig deep, find their nerve and reverse the onslaught of political correctness that is creating mediocrity in business and feigned tolerance in society. In other words, it’s time to start telling it like it is again, to stop dancing around the tough issues and meet them head on. It’s time to worry less about offending and pandering to those in the minority and focus more on what gets the job done.”

In the name of “political correctness”, our culture has lost its way!

Isn’t it time we simply started telling the TRUTH again? STOP being “P.C.” and let’s get the job done!

Mr. Anderson goes onto say;

“The sham of P.C. is that it is done under the guise of tolerance and sophistication, when in fact; it’s simply the coward’s way out. It’s easier to let people play the victim, to allow them to blame the world and to shirk responsibility for their miserable lives. But the hard fact is that not everyone has earned nor do they deserve the same opportunities, recognition or resources. While all have equal value as human beings, there are some people who add far less value to society and business than others yet they fight for more in courtrooms and boardrooms based simply on the fact that they belong and think they are owed more, not because they accomplished and earned more.”

Are you serious about life and your future?

STOP making excuses for your own shortfalls!

You can either LEAD YOURSELF….or you will be led by others!

If you don’t like your current situation in life, whether it is work oriented, politically oriented or personally oriented……CHANGE IT!

You HAVE to make yourself accountable for:

  • Investing in your own personal development! Because if you don’t invest in yourself….no one else will…..
  • Holding YOURSELF accountable for your own situation! The ONLY one holding you down is yourself!
  • Doing everything in your life, legally, ethically and morally correct! Just simply do the RIGHT thing!!!
  • Drive yourself to be the BEST every day! That’s EVERY DAY, WITHOUT FAIL, NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Winning! Stop making excuses…..excuses are just a “reasoning of failure”




About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite:

Blogspot blog:

Automotive Digital




Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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