BY MATT SELLHORST
Welcome back to part three of How to Add an Extra $50K this Off Season. We started with doing your math to see what your opportunity for this off-season. If you haven’t done your math yet, check out Part 1.
Then, we covered the issue of unnecessary discounting and started digging into the Lost Sales. As a review, here are the ones covered in Part 2:
- Not enough quality prospects to sell
- Poor lead capturing focus
- Poor sales skills
- Poor closing skills (or lack of asking for the sale)
- Poor follow-up skills
Let’s continue on with our list here in Part 3:
- A sales prevention department
- Poor reputation in the market
- Poor value proposition to the market place (aka, you don’t deserve to sell more boats)
Problem – A Sales Prevention Department
Solution – First, let me define what I mean by a sales prevention department. It’s anything in your business that makes giving you money difficult for a buyer.
Let me give you an example: A client calls up your dealership after hours and leaves a voice mail message in the general mailbox. That’s great so far but here’s where the sales prevention department comes in … you only check that voice mail once a month because you forget about it.
Or, you have a salesperson who thinks all (fill in the blank) internet leads or manufacturer leads or out of area phone numbers are “non-buyers” and they blow them off. That’s your sales prevention department.
The situations are numerous and the money they lose is real. To find them and close down your Sales Prevention Department, mystery shop your dealership. Call after hours. Submit a lead online. Call your parts counter and ask about a boat for sale. Add yourself to your CRM and see what kind of emails your sales people are sending out. Listen to your sales person when they introduce your F & I person or products (extended warranty, service plans, etc). Maybe it’s a person or maybe it’s a situation but The Sales Prevention Department must be shut down.
Problem – Poor Reputation in the Market
Solution – Be 100 percent honest and look at the naked truth about your business, your staff, your processes and your clients experience. Then, fix those areas that need to be fixed.
If the issue is truly perception and not reality (be brutally honest before you assume it’s not real). Then, focus on improving the reputation via online reviews and testimonials. Actively capture testimonials from your happiest clients and promote them every where. See my winning idea from the 2014 MDCE Best Ideas Contest in the Boating Industry White Paper.
Problem – A Poor Value Proposition (You don’t deserve success)
Solution – OK, sometimes the truth is hard to hear. With my coaching members the bare naked truth conversations are the ones I least like to have. But when my client is serious about improvement, they can often be the most impactful.
If you don’t provide your clients a valuable experience, if you currently don’t deserve to be as successful as you’d like to be, that’s fantastic. Just submit to the reality and take the steps necessary to change it. It will certainly require some difficult decisions and actions but the results will be worth it.
In one situation, the issue was with a long-term employee, 20+ years I think. He was the source of many complaints (internal and external). He actually was almost cause for me to not accept this dealer as a client. But, after one of those difficult conversations, the owner and I agreed that if the habits of this person didn’t change (or he was let go) I would not be able to keep him on as a client.
To both their credits, we had some frank conversations and discussed the importance of delivering an exceptional experience to all clients. These conversations were successful and now this person is one of the biggest promoters of the high standards this dealer now delivers across the entire organization.
If you are in this situation, be a business owner and take the appropriate actions. Those tough actions may just lead to more than a financial improvement in your business. It may make your boat business more enjoyable, rewarding and more profitable.
I’d love to hear about your successes as you get to work this off season. In the comments below, let me know which of the areas you plan on focusing on over the next several months to make 2016 an ENORMOUS year!
Remember, if you’d like to learn more about “How to Add $50K (or more) to Your Bottom Line This Off-Season” you can check out a free webinar at www.SuccessfulBoatDealer.com/50K