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Business Management

Summer Service Sales Strategies

Incentives, promotions and other methods to make your shop a summer destination for customers.


Well, summer is here, and it is prime selling season for all departments. This month, I’ve crafted three sets of strategies to promote service sales throughout the dealership.

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Internal Bonuses
Many dealers bill each department at retail, and then offer pay incentives based on the success of each department. While this is good for measuring each department, it sometimes creates an adversarial relationship between the departments. When it all boils down, the average employee really only cares about how much is in his or her paycheck. Offering these kinds of cross-department incentives can help the overall health of your store.

Internal service bonus incentives: For every $500 of parts on a repair order, offer the service department a $25 spiff. If there are upsell parts on the repair order, there is going to be upsell labor.

Internal sales bonus incentives: Give your salespeople a $25 spiff on every $500 of labor sold on new unit accessory installs. Salespeople should be the best at getting the customer to purchase accessories when they sell a new unit, so pay them a little spiff and watch what happens.

Internal parts install spiff: If a customer comes in and purchases a bunch of accessories, spiff your parts people if they can sell them on the install. The same 5 percent should apply. Try spiffing $25 to the parts person on every $500 in install labor.


Make sure your sales team is doing new unit sales follow-up calls: Try spiffing them $25 on ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes if they get the customer to come in for a first service. Many times, these types of vehicles never come in for service after they are sold.

If you have a receptionist, have them actively make outgoing calls for recall work: Many OEMs will provide you with a list of people who have purchased recall bikes from your dealership. Use this list to get a few more bikes on the lift. Give your receptionist a little spiff on customers he or she calls who come back in for service. You can even tier this list based on the last time the customer was in your store. The longer they have been away, the higher the spiff.

Upselling Strategies
There are many ways to get customers to spend a little more while they are in your dealership, and it is important to make sure that you take advantage of the tools you have in-house.
Many DMS systems can customize the bottom lines of a repair order or parts ticket: Use that space to offer a special to your customers. If they spend $200 in parts, offer them $20 off their next service. Get creative with the space — you’re already paying for the paper, and your customer will take the receipt with them regardless.


Include attractive service specials in your hold message: Make sure you are competitive on tire sales and installs, and put those offers on the message. This type of special will get the units in the door and on the lift.

Brag about the experience of your techs: Most of the OEMs offer training on how to repair specific vehicles. Dealers spend money sending their techs to this training, so brag about it! One of the newest systems out there is MotoTv. This is a great new system for capturing your customers while they wait. Create a video detailing what separates your technicians from the store down the block. Chances are, if you’re a franchise dealer, your hourly labor rate is higher than some of the independent shops in the area. Brag about why it’s a few dollars more! Having the best highly trained technicians is expensive.

Increase Door Swings

Here are a pair of cheap promotions you can offer to get customers in your door during this summer.

If you have sales or parts employees who ride or race, purchase a rubber stamp that will allow them to stamp a discount on the back of their cards: Give the employee a little extra incentive when a customer brings in that card. The employee must attach the card to the repair order or parts ticket with the customer initials.


Encourage your employees to hand those cards out when they are around town or at the races.

If you have mechanics who ride or race, purchase business cards for them: Stamp the back of the card with a service discount and offer them a little spiff when you get one back that is signed by the customer.

This is the most important time of the year for dealers across the country, and the time when service departments should be in full swing. Hopefully some of these ideas will help increase your revenue and build customer loyalty. The main thing is to be creative with your specials. Don’t be scared to try some new things, because you might be surprised by the results. 

C.R. Gittere and the Service Manager Pro team specialize in service department efficiency, elevating customer service and increasing department profitability. His monthly column focuses on best practices and unique ways to get the most out of your service department. More information about Service Manager Pro can be found at

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