March 8, 2010: Indirectly, a huge bonus

Asking customers for their contact information and then providing them a compelling reason to buy from a dealership are two sales practices that usually do not happen on a showroom floor, according to a national survey conducted by Pied Piper Management.

But the same company, in doing national surveys, found that a Massachusetts dealership, Cycles 128, does both of those key retail sales practices on a routine basis.

“They’re all the same: they’re opportunities,” John Rice, owner of Cycles 128, said of the practices of collecting consumer contact information and providing buyers compelling reasons to purchase from their store. “And if you squander your opportunities, then you’re not maximizing your performance.”

How does Rice get his sales staff to routinely collect consumer information? “There is no current compensation plan or incentive to actually get a contact directly,” he said. “There, of course, is greatly indirectly in the form of their commission,” he said, noting his sales staff’s wages are entirely tied to commissions.

The store, as well as the three other locations in the dealership group, uses a lead management system, Traffic Log Pro, “a great tool for calendars and planners for the salespeople,” Rice said. Once a week, management meets with the dealership group’s four sales manager to go over traffic log performance. “It’s the sales managers who are held accountable for accurate traffic logs,” he said.

Cycles 128 also ensures the staff is diversifying its dealership group from competing stores, a practice that happens nationally only about once every three times, according to the Pied Piper surveys.

Rice says his sales staff ensures consumers know the dealership group’s advantages over other area retailers, including the fact that the group has one of the largest inventories in the Northeast and has access to a deep financing pool, including a large sub-prime lender.

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