Dealer Consultants

Good common sense

It’s prime selling season folks; summer is here! In my dealership rounds, I spoke with one shop in California that is up 26 percent from last year, another in the northwest up 10 percent from last year, and yet another that hosted more than 2,000 people for a one-day open house!

Picture this: Service is backed up, salesmen are trying to get better deals from the parts department, and that bike needs to be ready to go in 15 minutes (“Really, it does,” the salesman pleads!)  instead of the three hours that the service department wants. “The battery has to be charged properly,” the service manager barks from across the shop. He looks down and shakes his head (they all do this!) but it just so happens … he already has a battery on the charger.

In the end, everything wrapped up nicely.  The customer was there a little longer and made a friend in the parts department. He bought a little more gear, felt appreciated and liked and had a great experience. The service manager reminded the sales department that he saved their derrieres again (They all like doing this!), and the salesman sat down exhausted from the ordeal of the deal (They all do this too!).

Thank goodness for good common sense and for those who know how to use it! That salesperson knows that the bark that is coming from service will not be followed by a bite. Sales knows that service will get it done. The service manager knows this situation is likely to happen so he keeps a few batteries charged — and he loves telling sales that he has saved their butts again. The folks in the parts department are always the ones that get to keep the customers happy and entertained, all while they have more opportunity to add to their commission checks.

If good common sense wasn’t used by all, maybe this would not have happened. It would have been easy for a salesperson to throw the service department under the bus (They’re just not being cooperative!). The service department could have been unwilling to do anything (Three hours or we won’t warranty that battery!). The parts department can only keep people trying on helmets for just so long.

These dealerships that are on the upswing share a lot and perhaps don’t even know each other. But it’s certain that they do share managers who are good leaders, continual training that emphasizes doing your best, a team that works as one and a team that uses good common sense.

One would think common sense would always be prevalent because it’s free. One would hope that it would always be utilized, but sad to say it’s not.

Get your team on board with common goals achieved with common sense. It can be huge in the big picture!

“Good common sense ain’t common.” ~ Will Rogers

Mark Mooney is a 35-year veteran of the motorsports industry. He is the principal of Mohala Motorsports Consulting, which offers mentoring and training for dealer principals and their staffs, improving profitability while inspiring a positive workplace. Mark is the former owner of a multi-line metric OEM dealership in California.

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