Increase Service Drive Sales With Data Mining and Soft Credit Pulls

Selling in service is quickly becoming a standard sales channel at many dealerships thanks to today’s data-driven intelligence and decision-making. The key benefits of successfully implementing a service drive sales channel are customer retention, incremental volume, and increased gross profit per vehicle.

Although the benefits of a service drive sales channel implementation are simple and straightforward, their dynamics and impact are especially insightful, as illustrated by the following testimonial from Tim Roussell, general manager of Bryan Honda in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

This is an emotional buy about exchanging a vehicle for the same payment, not about price, so there’s less negotiation, and as a result our margins are at least 21% higher on these deals than non-service, in-sales deals,” says Roussell.

“It also gives us the insight to take customers out of higher rate deals into a new vehicle at a lower rate,” notes Russell. “When we offer this kind of competitive advantage, we become their hero, and the reviews are unbelievable!”

As profitable as service drive selling has been for many dealers, it was limited by access to information for service-not-sold customers—until now.

Today, thanks to the integration of data mining and soft credit pull technology, we can provide the same level of financial detail to the 30% to 40% of your daily service appointments that are service-not-sold customers. The net result is a 50% increase in your service drive selling opportunities.

How does it work? To date, your access to customer deal data like term, payment, equity, vehicle mileage, and credit rating has been limited to existing sold customers captured in your DMS.

Now, however, thanks to soft credit pull technology, we can utilize the credit bureaus to capture the previously unknown financial data for service-not-sold customers in order to provide them sales and upgrade opportunities as if they had purchased their car at the dealership. And because customers don’t apply for credit as part of the data pull, the process has no negative effect on their credit rating.

As you can see, the service drive is emerging as a very profitable extension of the showroom. Thanks to tools like data mining and soft credit pull technology, you will be prepared to capitalize on all your service drive selling opportunities.

Brian Skutta is CEO of AutoAlert, Inc., North America’s premier data mining, lead generation, and sales opportunity provider. Skutta brings to AutoAlert more than a decade of leadership in helping auto dealerships sell more vehicles and retain more customers. He has a proven history of successfully managing innovation and growth, most recently at VinSolutions and’s Trade-In Marketplace. Reach him at or visit

Brian Skutta


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    Joe Tareen November 05, 2015

    What a brilliant idea!!!!


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