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April 2, 2007 – Outlining ways to improve new unit sales, profit

April 2, 2007
Filed under Archives

This series of articles recaps a portion of the opportunities that were uncovered by Gart Sutton & Associates’ powersports specialists during actual consulting visits.
These opportunities are followed by recommended actions that address the issues. The goal is to provide you with ideas to help improve your dealership.
The purpose of this visit was to conduct a needs assessment of the dealership with a focus on the sales and F&I departments. The goal for the recommended actions was to improve unit sales and profits, improve customer satisfaction and increase F&I product penetration.
This is the third step in a three-part series on this particular dealership. The first two steps, published in the Feb. 12 and March 12 editions, looked at the dealership from a customer’s perspective and the processes in place at the dealership. This last step details the recommended solutions to improve the dealership.
Dealership Details
This multiline powersports and power products dealership is located in a fast-growing resort town of 100,000. The nearest major city is more than three hours away. The healthy local economy, fueled by recreation and oil, has resulted in a lot of area development. For the past 10 years, the dealership has been in a facility of 15,000 square feet. They have outgrown this facility, and are actively seeking a new location for a larger store. The dealership has a year-round business with snowmobiles in the winter and motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft in the summer. It sold more than 1,500 major units in the past 12 months.
Issues and Solutions
Issue: Lack of job descriptions, policies and procedures in all departments. Employees cannot be held accountable unless written job descriptions and operating procedures guidelines are provided and reviewed with them.
Solution: Consultants assisted management in the development of written job descriptions. The outline for a Policies & Procedures manual was also developed. The department managers were involved in this process so they would then assume ownership of these documents and processes.
Issue: Lack of sales and F&I department productivity and profitability. Properly capturing customer information for prospecting and follow-up will increase floor traffic and create opportunities for additional unit sales. Exposing every customer to parts, service and F&I during each sale will increase add-on sales from all these departments. Presenting every F&I product to every customer will help improve penetration.
Solution: Consultants assisted the sales manager in developing a written procedure for the sales department. This covered their greeting policy, the steps of a sales process, capturing customer contact information, the prospect follow-up process and developing a customer path that ensures that every customer has the opportunity to experience every department in the dealership prior to the final F&I procedure. Sales management training was provided for the sales manager on all these procedures. The following tools were provided: The Customer Log Form, Prospect Contact Form, Purchaser Follow-up Form and a Sales Process Workbook.
The F&I manager was instructed in the use of the menu presentation process to ensure that each customer would have the opportunity to purchase every F&I product.
Selling skills training was provided for the entire dealership staff.
Issue: Lack of effective communications between departments is deceasing efficiency and productivity. Proper utilization of effective meetings will help enable the staff to become more productive, foster team spirit, improve relations between departments and improve customer satisfaction.
Solution: Consultants assisted the managers in establishing daily 5-minute, interdepartmental manager huddles and daily staff huddles within each department. These meetings are to discuss what happened yesterday, what’s happening today and what will be happening tomorrow. Weekly one-hour owner/manager meetings with an agenda focusing on dealership issues and processes also were developed. Weekly sales and F&I staff meetings will be conducted by the sales manager. These meetings will have an agenda and provide goal status review, performance recognition, training and motivation for the sales team.
Author, speaker and educator, Gart Sutton has been retained by every major powersport manufacturer/distributor. He is a frequent keynote speaker for national motorcycle conventions and state motorcycle dealer association events. Visit www.gartsutton.com.

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