ProfitX seminar excerpt: The dealers of tomorrow

LAS VEGAS — A few years ago, dealers were growing and maximizing. But since the recession hit, they have been worrying more about survival and stability.

Those dealers that make changes as the market shifts have a chance to thrive, John Spader, owner and president of Spader Business Management, told attendees of Powersports Business’ Profit Xcelerator Conference & Expo.

“Faith, passion and adaptability, that’s the admission for the dealership of tomorrow,” he said.

Dealers have to have faith they will make it through the tough economy, passion for their products and adaptability to make changes with the new market, he added.

One way to adapt to new customers is to make the dealership a comfortable place to shop. “People want fun, and they want positive,” Spader said. “Is that place your business? Is that place your business right now?”

Once those customers are in the door or on the Web site, dealerships have to keep them coming back. “One of the single most important things you can do, folks, is get that Internet lead follow-up process started,” Spader said.

And if your dealership is struggling, Spader says, it’s time to talk to employees and ask more of them, if necessary. “Have you truly looked your employees in the eyes and asked for help?” he asked.

Dealerships that still want to be around in the future also must clean out their aged inventory, make a cash flow plan and prioritize, he said.

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