September 3, 2007: Identifying necessary tools and training opportunities

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 ideas to help you improve your dealership.
This series of three articles was a follow-up to an initial 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, and there is a lot of development taking place. For the past 10 years, the dealership had been in a facility of 15,000 square feet. They have outgrown this facility and have purchased land for a new facility. They plan to make this new site a stand-alone for one major brand, while keeping the remainder of the products in the existing facility. They also will add power products to their product lines. 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 major units in the past 12 months.
The first two articles of this series reviewed the results of a previous visit and developing a new recommended actions list. This article describes the final step: Providing the necessary training to ensure the staff has the tools to implement the recommended actions.
Actions & Training

  • Institute an F&I menu presentation system along with the F&I log. Ensure all F&I products are presented to all of your customers, every time. Training in the use of a menu was provided, including role-play activities. The significance of presenting all products to all customers was reinforced.
  • Develop and implement a process for following-up with missed opportunities for extended service contacts. A follow-up log was provided, along with instruction on printing the necessary reports from their data management system.
  • Institute the customer path process. Managers participated in a walk-through of the process. Role-play activities on the customer hand-off between departments were conducted with the staff in each department.
  • Develop and implement a Performance Gear Safety Checklist to ensure customers have the opportunity to acquire the proper riding gear. Training was provided to the P&A staff to ensure they had effective open-ended questions to use when implementing the checklist.
  • Institute the GSA Customer Path Tracking Log. Managers should review this log during weekly manager meetings. Managers will be held accountable for ensuring customers are logged in every department. Weekly comparison of the logs from each department will uncover issues so they can be addressed.
  • Develop and advertise a vehicle sales referral program. Have the referral program printed on the back of all business cards. Wording of the program was finalized during discussions with the owner and sales manager.
  • Utilize the post-sale follow-up system for all major unit customers. Twenty-four-hour follow-up call word tracks and logging of the calls was discussed, 10-day, handwritten “Thank You” letter templates were developed, 30-day call word tracks and call logging was discussed and quarterly follow-up letter templates were developed.
  • Continue pre-accessorizing a percentage of new units to promote the sale of additional parts and accessories. Recommend that most units have accessories installed to provide more display area and promote additional sales of units as well as accessories.
  • Review your pre-owned inventory levels. Actively pursue other sources to acquire pre-owned inventory for the spring selling season. A list of sources for acquisition of pre-owned units was developed. The sales manager is responsible for follow-up.

    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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