Rainmaker or Order Taker – Which One is Your Service Advisor?

Recently I was on the West Coast facilitating an ATI 20 Group meeting. On the evening of the first day, we all decided to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Once we got there, we were seated at a huge banquet table. All good so far. They sent a waitress to service half of the room and a waiter for the other half. Fortunately, or so I thought, I sat on the side with the waiter – he got us our drinks faster and took our orders faster – and I’m thinking this is great!

The waitress was a bit slower in getting the drink orders out, taking their meal orders and bringing their bread. I was so glad I wasn’t in her section…but then this happened. The waitress starts bringing the customers on her side a dinner salad. I was eager to get mine too because I love salad. Mine must be just around the corner, right?

Nope, no salad for me! I felt like I was in a Jerry Seinfeld episode, but I wasn’t alone. Actually, no one on my side got a salad, not one. Nearly everyone on the waitress’ side got a salad. Then out comes the main course, and it was good, but I was still curious why we never got a salad. So, I asked my neighbor how he got a salad? To that, he replied, “our waiter asked us.” After asking the people sitting on my side, no one had been asked. That’s too bad because we all would have ordered a salad. Now all of a sudden I was wishing I was on the other side of the room.


When it came to dessert, I noticed that the waitress’ customers ordered more deserts than customers on my side of the room. I began to wonder: was she better at (selling) or offering the desert? After talking with some of the people around me, we did some figuring and realized that the waitress’ side spent around $300 more than the waiter assigned to our side of the room. Same restaurant, same location, same hungry clients and yet one side of the room spends more.

This observation got me to thinking about how this selling method applies to Service Advisors and their customers back at the shop. Ever wonder why some Service Advisers have a higher ARO than the others in your shop? Ever wonder why some shops have more sales per pay or more hours per ARO than other shops? Do you think that maybe that high producer Service Adviser is just better at slowing it down on the sales offer – just like that waitress with the salad orders?  I’d be willing to bet that is the case.

So, ask yourself – what’s on your menu at the shop and is your Service Advisor upselling and cross-selling your customers these options? One thing is for sure, they’re much less likely to buy them if you don’t at least ask.