July 23, 2007: Assessing a dealership’s improvement

These articles recap some of the opportunities uncovered by Gart Sutton & Associates’ powersports specialists during actual consulting visits.
These opportunities are followed by recommended actions. The goal of this series is to provide you with ideas to help you improve your dealership.
This series of articles was a follow-up to an initial needs assessment visit. The consultant reviewed the status of the recommended actions from the prior visit and assisted the dealership with implementation of the solutions. Additional opportunities were uncovered and another set of recommended actions was developed to take the dealership to the next level.
Dealership Details
This multi-line powersports and power products dealership is located in a fast-growing resort town of 100,000. The nearest major city is located more than three hours away. The healthy local economy is fueled by recreation and oil. There is a lot of development taking place. For the last 10 years, the dealership has been in a facility of 15,000 square feet. They have outgrown this facility and have purchased land for a new site. The dealership has a year-round business with snowmobiles in the winter and motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft in the summer. They sold more than 1,500 new units in the past 12 months. They plan to make this new site a stand-alone for one major brand, while keeping the remainder of the products in the current facility. They also will add power products to their product lines.
The following is the recommended actions that were provided from a previous visit and their current status:
Job descriptions
Recommendation: Develop written job descriptions for all positions in the dealership. Without job descriptions, there is no accountability.
Status: The dealership is now utilizing written job descriptions. The initial structure for the job descriptions were provided by the GSA consultants on the initial visit. Once the job descriptions were finalized, the consultants assisted management in developing a list of company values and a mission statement.
Sales goals
Recommendation: Develop sales goals and incentives for the sales and F&I departments. Involve the managers and staff in the development of the goals.
Status: Goals had been provided for all sales staff for 2007. However, there are still no goals for the F&I department.
Recommendation: Develop goals for prospect calls and kept appointments.
Status: Although they still do not have goals for this, they are doing a better job of calling prospects and making appointments.
Daily huddles
Recommendation: Institute 5-minute daily huddles with F&I and sales staff to discuss what happened yesterday, what’s happening today and what will be happening tomorrow.
Status: Daily huddles are occurring and the sales manager is dedicated to making this a consistent process.
Showroom log
Recommendation: Implement a customer showroom log and prospect sheets. Sales manager should review daily to ensure compliance.
Status: The log has been implemented and maintained. The staff logged almost 200 contacts for last month. The sales manager reviews the log on a daily basis. Prospect sheets are being maintained by most of the sales staff.
Sales training
Recommendation: Implement a sales process. Provide training for the entire dealership staff.
Status: Training had already been provided by GSA consultants. The sales process was observed being utilized by the sales staff. Continuous training and reinforcement must be provided by the sales manager to ensure that the process is followed correctly and consistently.
Sales meetings
Recommendation: Institute weekly sales meetings. Include training and motivation.
Status: Weekly sales meetings have been implemented. The sales manager is using an agenda to ensure the meetings are productive.
Customer path
Recommendation: Develop a customer path process. Ensure all customers are introduced to the other departments following the unit sale, prior to final F&I. Utilize a log to track this process.
Status: This has not been implemented. The customer must be provided with the opportunity to experience the products and services each department has available. The managers and staff recognize the importance of this process and are dedicated to having it in place by the end of the year.
Sales management
Recommendation: Allow the sales manager to manage the department, rather than sell motorcycles.
Status: The sales manager has done a good job of beginning to separate himself from the role of selling units to managing the sales department. The new general manager enabled the sales manager to make this transition.
Sales worksheet
Recommendation: Require a completed worksheet for all unit deals. Require the sales manager to review and sign-off on all deals.
Status: The GSA worksheets were being utilized, and the sales manager was reviewing each deal. Additional training was provided on the proper methods for desking deals.

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

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