A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 06, 2019
“Sales sells the first car and service sells the rest” (car dealership adage)

"Sales sells the first car and service sells the rest” is an old adage among car dealers. It’s not known who said it first.

“We believe sales sells your first car, but service sell the next” was printed in the South Bend (IN) Tribune on October 13, 1983. “Sales sells the first car, and service sells it thereafter” was printed in the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on April 7, 1985. “Most sales managers now realize that sales sells the first car and service sells the rest” was printed in the Automotive Executive in 1988.


13 October 1983, South Bend (IN) Tribune, pg. 37, col. 1 classified ad:
WRIGHT Chrysler/Plymouth
We believe sales sells your first car, but service sell the next.

7 April 1985, Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), “The rising sun shines on U.S. auto dealers” by Philip Bulman, pg. 1E:
Joe Chiavaroli, general manager and executive vice president at Pompano Lincoln-Mercury, said the competition now will shift slightly as companies make long-term warranty and service commitments to customers.

“Sales sells the first car, and service sells it thereafter,” he said.

Google Books
Automotive Executive
Volume 60, Issues 7-12
1988
Pg. 57:
Most sales managers now realize that sales sells the first car and service sells the rest.

24 January 2000, Automotive News (Detroit, MI), “Hine follows principles his father taught in ‘42” by Janet Plume, pp. 60-62:
Hine (John Hine Jr.—ed.) believes the business still operates under the service-oriented ideals his father adopted when he became a Pontiac dealer in Alton, EL, in 1942.

“We have always operated from the idea that sales sells the first car, but the service keeps customers coming back,” Hine says.

Google Books
Outraged:
How Detroit and the Wall Street Car Czars Killed the American Dream

By Tamara Darvish and Lillie Guyer
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2011
Pg. 133:
“Sales sells the first car, service the second one,” is a familiar adage in the dealer world, and most service departments are expensively stocked.

7 November 2011, Automotive News (Detroit, MI), “Dealer: A la carte menu helps lift service work” by Jamie LaReau, pg. 23:
“I feel we’re improving our credibility with the clientele. The old saying is: Sales sells the first car, service sells the second and the third,” (Gian—ed.) Sud says.

Twitter
Raul Cabrera
@raulcabrerar
Sales sells the first car, but service sells the rest.
8:53 PM - 29 Oct 2012

Twitter
ELEAD1ONE
@eleadcrm
#WednesdayWisdom Sales sells the first car, great service in the service lane sells the rest.
5:53 PM - 6 Jul 2016

Google Books
Fast Lane:
How to Accelerate Service Loyalty and Unlock Its Profit-Making Potential

By Jim Roche
Atlanta, GA: Cox Automotive, Inc.
2018
Pg. ?:
There’s an adage in the car business that sales sells the first car, and service sells the rest. It’s a statement that’s stood the test of time because it’s true.

Automotive News
June 18, 2018 01:00 AM
Service-to-sales can be a gold mine
Alysha Webb
(...)
Selling out of the service lane begins when a dealership’s salespeople introduce new-vehicle buyers to the service department at the point of sale, says Todd Farrell, president of Benchmark X Inc., a sales consultancy in Sioux Falls, S.D.

That handoff lets buyers know that the dealership’s service department can take care of them, and also repair vehicles that weren’t purchased there, he says. It is a “100 percent profitable situation,” Farrell says. “Sales sells the first car, service sells all the rest.”

Automotive News (Detroit, MI)
May 06, 2019 12:00 AM
Bridging the gap between sales, service
DAVID MULLER
(...)
Given the old adage that “sales sells the first car and service sells the rest,” service personnel should enjoy any success that the rest of the dealership has, Wise says. He is considering paying service advisers bonuses for exceptional monthly sales performances.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, May 06, 2019 • Permalink