Structured process and sufficient training key to boosting sales – May 15, 2006

This is part of a series that looks at opportunities that were uncovered by GSA powersports specialists during actual consulting visits.
These opportunities are followed by recommended actions that address the issues. Following these recommendations can help dealerships become more productive and profitable in these areas.
The goal of this series is to provide you with some ideas that might help improve your dealership. As you read these articles, try to be objective about your own store.
This part of the series looks at the sales processes in place at this dealership.
Dealership Details
The subject dealership is located 15 minutes outside of a major metro area. They are selling 600 units per year and struggling to make a profit. The focus of our visit was to provide the dealer with a high-level needs assessment of the facility and the sales department. The goal for the recommended actions was to (a) boost their floor traffic, (b) improve unit sales, (c) increase profitability and (d) build add-on accessory and clothing sales.
The sales process
There are no written job descriptions, no organizational chart and only a very general policies and procedures manual that is in need of considerable revision. There are no written procedures for the operation of the sales department.
They have an effective greeting policy. Customers are greeted promptly by several people. Interviews revealed that they do not follow any structured selling process. Most of the sales staff has had no formal sales training. Because of this, there is little effective negotiation being done. The salesperson simply quotes the lowest price early in the conversation with the customer. There is little time spent in properly uncovering the customer’s wants, needs and desires so the sales staff does not always present the correct unit to the customer. The interviews also revealed the sales staff lacked full knowledge of the products they were selling.
The customers are not always offered the opportunity to purchase F&I products, and there is no consistency in scheduling appointments with F&I. The purchasing customers are never offered a tour of the dealership or introduced to any other departments such as parts and accessories, clothing or service.
The salesperson delivers the unit to the customer. There is no delivery checklist, so there is no consistent delivery process. After the delivery, there is no customer follow-up contact. There is no customer log or form being utilized to capture prospect information or measure traffic flows or closing ratios. There is no follow-up with customers who do not purchase and no prospecting for additional customers is being done.
Recommended Actions

  • Providing a detailed organizational chart will define the chain-of-command, which will reduce the power struggles that exist between the managers and lead to more effective management of the employees.
  • Revising the policies and procedures manual will provide realistic guidelines for the overall operation of the dealership and help create accountability for the staff.
  • Creating written job descriptions will enable the dealer to hold the staff accountable for their job duties and the performance of their departments.
  • Putting all of the sales processes in written form will provide for consistency in handling the customers.
  • Implementing a structured selling process in this dealership would increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and justify higher retail prices.
  • Providing additional product knowledge training for the sales staff would increase sales and customer satisfaction as well.
  • Ensuring that every customer has the opportunity to purchase F&I products will improve profitability on the unit sales.
  • Providing all customers with the opportunity to experience every department in your dealership will increase add-on sales of clothing, accessories and service.
  • Adding a 48-hour phone follow-up and personalized mailing after the delivery will lead to increased customer satisfaction and additional sales over time.
  • Adding a customer log and prospect follow-up system will increase floor traffic and lead to additional sales. psb
    Author, speaker and educator, Gart Sutton has been retained by every major powersport manufacturer/distributor. Visit

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