PowerSports Business

April 3, 2017

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Page 34 of 47

www.PowersportsBusiness.com SOLUTIONS Powersports Business • April 3, 2017 • 35 Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series Winter is finally com- ing to an end as our customers take out their riding gear and prep for the season. Warm temperatures are coming, and the customers are going to be flowing in. What does this mean to you, your dealership and your customers? Now it is time to get into the groove by analyzing your dealership, customer retention and sales, then setting goals for 2017. Gather your managers. Begin with a review of financial statements and any other data pertinent to their departments. This is a great time for you to gear up: organize the shop, train your staff, review and revise policies, and strategize for more sales and more customer retention. What kind of improvements will you make this year? Are you doing enough for your customers? What can you do to entice cus- tomers into your shop? You need a strategy, for example, a Ride Night or Summer Begins theme. One suggestion is to offer specials and/ or rewards points to customers. Whatever your strategy, it needs to be planned well in advance. During your busy season, each department should have a marketing plan to keep customers interested and coming back. Customers tend to return, and refer others, because of your customer service, not just the specials. Plan now; the season is about to begin. A review of 2015 and 2016 data reveals that the busiest times of the year are between April and August. SALES DEPARTMENT New units: April, May, and June boast the highest average gross margin (GM) percentage for new units and also highest number of units sold. In a review of new unit sales in North America from CDK Lightspeed data for 2015 and 2016, the numbers are almost identical. Compare your dealership numbers with these averages for all dealers in North America; your numbers could be very different. Take the time to talk to your sales managers and investigate the reasons new unit sales did not increase in 2016. Plan, execute, groove! Used units: Let's take a moment to look at used units. The count for used units is not as high a new units, however, the gross margin percentage is around 15 percent and holding steady. Years 2015 and 2016 are close in line with each other. Make sure your plan includes used units in your strategy. SALES STRATEGIES Here are a few strategies the sales department can use to improve its sales: Create/have a marketing strategy Hire smart Train Create/have a marketing strategy: Do you have a marketing strategy? Every business needs a marketing strategy to drive your success. Marketing is not just about newspapers, radio, TV commercials and website ads, but also about events. Hold open season events at the beginning of the summer, have ride nights or help a local charity. Give out free hot dogs and have music outside to draw people into your dealership. A well-planned and well-executed strategy equals success. It is important for you to map out your marketing strategy for the summer. What is your theme for each month or each event? What results are you looking for (types of cus- tomers, units, service, parts, etc.)? Hire smart: Hiring the right personnel is Get into the groove with the coming season FOLLOW ME PAULA CROSBIE Source: Databack, CDK Global Recreation GROSS MARGIN PERCENTAGE OF NEW UNITS 6 7 8 9 10 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2016 2015 14 15 16 17 18 19 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2016 2015 GROSS MARGIN PERCENTAGE OF USED UNITS See Crosbie, Page 47

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