September '14

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82 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com R ecently, a business manager told me that his dealership's customers are different than any other dealership. While we all like to feel special and unique, I advised him that unless his customers were green, glowed in the dark, and camped on Mars, I believe his customers are just like everyone's customers. Today's customers – just as yesterday's customers – want value, and they want service for the dollars spent. It is the method of shopping that has changed over the years, and many of you are experiencing an uptick in Internet leads, and deals completed via the Internet or telephone. Many of you are expe- riencing an increase in customers who live out of your immediate area of service. If this is the case, let's agree that the method of shopping has changed over the years – not the buying motivations, and not the customers. Why not use technology to do virtual first visits? Traditionally, the business managers would be physi- cally introduced to the customer to complete the credit application and to conduct a credit interview. After securing the financing, the manager would then present the first-visit products and services to the customer, ending with completion of the purchase order. Currently, this dealership is having the sales man- ager complete the purchase order and having the salesperson obtain the customer's signature. e initial payment is also collected and receipted by the sales manager. e customer leaves with a delivery date and an amount due. Best Practices for Handling Remote Customers Technology-savvy dealerships are embracing using the phone and Internet to close more deals. It does take some prep work, however. JAN KELLY is president of Kelly Enterprises. She is an educator and consultant, a convention speaker, and writes frequently for industry publications. For information about educational venues or joining an F&I 20 Group, call 800- 336-4275 or visit www.JLKelly.com. Building rapport over the telephone is a challenge, as sales reps are used to shaking hands and looking customers in the eye. Still, times have changed – and so must the process of completing sales over the phone or Internet.

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