The most important seven minutes of the sale
The single step in the overall sales and finance process that impacts dealer profitability the most is an effective menu presentation. We’ll focus on the main presentation, with an example of “creating a picture” in the middle of it.
At the end of this article, you will see what most business managers hear at the end of their menu presentation: “NONE OF THEM.”
The presentation of products and product packages
• Hired the right business manager;
• Provided him or her with the right office technology;
• Signed up with the right providers and trainer;
• Coached and trained the entire dealership on how to make the next seven minutes the best they can be for your customers and your business manager with the proper disclosures, turnovers and interviews;
• Allowed your customers’ interests to have been piqued (they’ve been through accessories, and they are excited and ready to complete the sale);
• Given the business manager an uninterrupted seven minutes to make the best of his presentation.
Business manager — It’s time to deliver! This is it! This is the most important seven minutes in the entire sales and finance process.
Your business manager at this point has memorized a portion of the script and always follows the same process. Here is a version that is used by many of the providers and trainers today, including myself. This is an abbreviated version for this article:
Business manager Brian Gallmeier (BG) stands up and greets customer (CU) at the door, has some more introductory conversations and shuts the door for privacy.
BG: Make yourself comfortable. As we discussed earlier, I have three responsibilities here at the dealership: to complete your paperwork accurately, to help you with you funding needs and to get you on your way as quickly as possible. May we begin? CU: Yes
BG: You are buying a ______, that’s a great machine! Is your name spelled B-R-I-A-N S-M-I-T-H? CU: Yes. BG: And you still live at 100 Memorial Drive? CU: That’s right.
BG: You agreed on a price of $12,000 plus fees, you have $1,000 down, and you are purchasing $1,200 in accessories, is that correct? CU: Yes, that’s right.
BG: OK, we’ll get to the rest of those details in a minute. We’ve verified the deal information, and I’ve already gotten approval from some banks for financing options for you. Now I’m going to share with you the optional products available with your purchase today, may I proceed? CU: OK.
BG: The first product I’d like to share with you is an extended service contract. Do you know how long your manufacturer’s warranty covers you? CU: One year.
BG: OK, thanks. So our extended service contract can provide similar mechanical failure coverage for up to five additional years. It’s exclusionary coverage, meaning everything is covered with the exception of things like high wear parts. An exclusions list is actually shown on the contract itself.
Create a related picture, any picture
BG: Can you think of a situation where you or one of your friends or relatives had a breakdown that caused them to lose some drive time, or cost them some hard earned dollars? CU: Not off the top of my mind.
BG: You ride more than average in a year right? I remember a time when my brother lost three months of riding time in prime season. He didn’t have the money to pay for the repair himself, and his buddy who is a mechanic didn’t have the time to get his bike fixed. It ended up costing him $3,000 and more importantly, three months of ride time. You’re buying this machine for some fun and enjoyment right? Could you imagine if this happened to you? How would that make you feel? CU: Yeah, not that great!
BG: Our service contract would have gotten him back on the road in days, with a $0 deductible and would have even included rental, towing and travel reimbursement since he broke down away from home.
Optional depending on how conversation is going
BG: Is the service contract something that may be of interest to you? CU: Maybe.
BG: OK, we’ll discuss that more later in the presentation.
Back to the Presentation, GAP
BG: The next product I’d like to offer you is called GAP, that’s Guaranteed Asset Protection. Have you heard of GAP? CU: Yes, what’s that again?
BG: GAP pays you the difference between what you owe and what your machine is worth in the event of a total loss. For instance, if you still owe $9,000 in three years and your insurance company says it’s worth only $6,000, in the event of a total loss, you would pay that extra $3,000, plus your insurance deductible and your down payment on your next machine, assuming you are a good driver. But GAP also covers your vehicle if anyone else gets behind the wheel, or if you have an accident that you didn’t think was even your fault, like sliding on some sand down into a ditch.
CU: Oh yeah, I understand. (The customer may offer a couple of objections, which would be handled either right away, or after the complete presentation.)
BG: We also carry a product we call tire and wheel. How expensive do you think it would be to replace a tire and wheel on this machine? CU: $1,000? BG: That’s right, well over $1,200 in this case.
BG: And the last product that sounds like you’ve already shown some interest in is called our appearance protection. Your salesperson mentioned you saw it on the showfloor and asked about it? CU: Yes, that sounds interesting. How much does that cost?
BG: I’ll share all the costs on the next page; let me explain this in a bit more detail first OK? CU: OK, but I’m about out of time.
BG: I’ll get you on your way in a few minutes; we’re almost done. Assuming you don’t enjoy washing and cleaning your machine? How about storage? Is it always inside? And how often do you ride where there are bugs or bird droppings? Sprinkler systems? CU: I get it. The brochures said it protects from all of those and more, for how long? BG: For five years, with no deductibles in the event of any repairs.
BG: OK, so that’s it. I’ve placed all the products we discussed into three distinct packages for us to review, may we begin? CU: Yes.
BG: First of all, you can see here that your base price was X, your interest rate is X, and your payment is X, is that about what you expected? CU: Yeah sounds right; I’d like to see the details.
BG: Great. We go over those in several documents, the purchase order, the bank contract and the title application, which come next.
BG: So, here are the three packages:
Platinum includes everything we discussed. (BG briefly explains just the main bullets of each product this time.)
The Deluxe package includes the service contract, GAP and appearance protection. It’s a downgrade from the Platinum package in that you forfeit the tire and wheel, so you would pay for any tire or rim damages.
Lastly, Standard includes just the service contract and GAP. You would forfeit the appearance protection, so you would be responsible for any blemishes due to bird droppings, water etchings, etc. Any further questions before I ask you to choose a package?
BG: Great, which would you prefer?
CU: “NONE OF THEM”
These are the three words I loved to hear most when I was a business manager. The customer actually understood that he had options. That’s win number one. I followed my process perfectly and have the customer anxiously awaiting completion of their paperwork. NOW is the time, BG.
Don’t be afraid, BG. Don’t be shy, now it’s time to discuss your products! Do some win/win negotiating, show some value, answer questions, handle objections and help the customer with what may truly be their best option.
“None of them” does not mean the customer does not want any of your products, BG; it means you did not show enough value in any of your products. Now finish your discussion and do what you’ve been trained to do!
We’ll pick up here in the next edition of Powersports Business.
Brian Gallmeier, founder of Income Development Partners, uses his powersports experience at the retail level to train F&I departments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612/616-8611.