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Best growth plans for Power 15 dealer are ‘outside the box’

Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
May 24, 2013
Filed under Power 15 Dealers

Editor’s note: Second of a two-part series.

Team Mancuso increasing sales by 200 units per year

Open since February 2009, Team Mancuso Powersports South in Houston has put up some impressive numbers in its first four years under the Mancuso banner. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as Team Mancuso in December became a member of the inaugural Power 15 class as selected by Powersports Business.

The numbers tell most of the story: 350 units sold in 2009, followed by annual totals of 600 (2010), 800 (2011) and 980 (2012). Phillip Orange has guided other Mancuso stores to prominence in his tenure with the company, and, four months after being promoted at a different location, he was named general manager of the South location in April 2010.

What’s behind the growth on average of 200 units per year at Mancuso South?

“When everyone else makes money, everyone’s happy. Moving a lot of units, everyone’s making money, everyone’s getting overtime, trying to stay late and come early,” Orange admits. “The biggest thing is not passing up on deals. The product is readily available, so instead of being the dealer that passes up on every deal that’s not making MSRP plus-plus-plus… . Or they’ll knock $200-$300 off and the customer goes ‘Man, if you could do $500 off, I could do the deal.’ And they say ‘We can’t, this is it.’ And they walk a customer over it. …”

Instead, Orange and his staff take nearly whatever means necessary to make a customer out of a prospective buyer.

“Basically, if it makes $100 or if it makes $100,000, we make the deal happen,” Orange said. “In return with that, our service department has grown, our parts department has grown, because we have more bikes on the road, and more customers coming back for first services, for the 10K and 20K maintenance.”

Those customers, Orange said, then refer their friends, and the cycle continues.

“It’s not hard to grow the business. You just have to look outside the box,” Orange said. “This is not the norm. This is not the way that we did it 20 or 10 years ago. But this is the new norm. It’s what we have to do. I don’t necessarily love the new style of business. I love selling 70 units a month at full retail, instead of selling 90 units a month and having to discount and work it. Unfortunately this is definitely the new norm.”

The dealership has capitalized on the customer service experience that unit sales can generate. In 2012, Suzuki presented the store with a Super Service Award for excellence in overall customer satisfaction. The store had accumulated the highest CSI score in its region.

“What we do is take care of situations and issues,” Orange said. “We all have those dreaded customers who come in and say ‘That scratch wasn’t there when I brought it in for service.’ Do we lose a customer for life over that scratch? Over one little $20 fix?’

“But there are other customers that you have to get out of your store. I’ve had to say, ‘Mr. Customer, I can’t afford to have you as a customer. I lose money every time you come in, so please take your bike elsewhere to get it serviced.’”

With the riding season approaching, Orange in March related that his service department had a six-week backlog.

As for getting customers to provide CSI scores that load the trophy case?

“We try to let our customers to know that if they can’t fill out a 10 on everything, let me know so we can fix the problem,” Orange said.

 

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