Destination: no-where?

Nearly half of all new businesses fail within the first few years.  Not too encouraging, is it?  What sets apart those who succeed from those who don’t?  Well, there are several factors but some of the most important ones include having a plan, creating solid internal processes, hiring and retaining great employees and keeping your eye on the goal to generate profit and grow your business.

Even if you are a seasoned business or business owner, it might be time to reflect on your business plan.  A business plan is an important roadmap for a dealership’s success.  Make sure you and …Read More

3 Overlooked Sales Secrets

As you begin to move into the season, it’s a perfect opportunity to spend a little time tuning up your sales process. Here are 3 key items to keep in mind as we move into peak sales season.

 Greeting

The first few minutes of your initial contact with a customer are crucial. Like building a house on a cracked foundation, it’s a lot more difficult to have a positive sales experience if you don’t start out on the right foot. Based on the initial moments of the greeting, impressions will be formed quickly, a tone will develop, chemistry will or won’t develop, …Read More

Winning At Management

Great managers have discovered that the secret to success in their departments is what they do during the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of every day. As a manager, your number one goal is to produce strong profits and give your customers an exceptional experience with the dealership. Whether you are managing service, parts, sales or rental, you are going to achieve those goals by focusing on motivating and communicating to your team.
It starts and ends each day with a “coach in the locker room” talk with your team. As you think …Read More

Recovery Rates Explained

In your dealership, do you track your Recovery and Efficiency Rates? If you are like some of our customers, you are on the fence about putting in the work to pull these numbers together, but if you are willing to take the time these numbers will give you great insight into how to get your shop performing at a higher, more profitable level.
The Efficiency Rate is the time that the tech is clocked into the work order vs. the time that you bill the customer for that work order. Top technicians strive to have an efficiency rate of 126% …Read More

Working with a Different Generation and Not Losing Your Mind

Working with people who are different than you is tough, right? Especially if they are family! One of the things that we hear time and time again about the challenges of family business, and small business in general is the frustration of working with different generations. Currently, there are three different generations present in they workforce with a fourth getting ready to join. Understanding how each generation works together is vital to the success of small business.

With 3-4 distinct groups of people who each have a completely different understanding about how the world works, there is a lot of …Read More

How We Deal With Family Business

My dad started Bob Clements International over 30 years ago. Small business is all I have known since I was a kid.  Like any small business, I have seen the ups and downs. We have had many vacations that were coupled with meetings; that was “normal” to me. If you would have asked me, up until about a year after I graduated from college, if I would have joined the family business my answer would have been a resounding “HECK NO!”  After my husband and I got married and had our twins, my dad asked me if I would be …Read More

Showcasing Your Dealership

Last week we talked about setting yourself apart from the Big Box stores. One way to do so is by showcasing your dealership. The easiest and most effective way to showcase your dealership is through your businesses signage.

The most important aspect of an outdoor sign is to grab someone’s attention- almost like a magnet pulling a customer toward the store. The more recognized the name, the more people that will be attracted to your dealership. Branding your dealership will ingrain your name into the minds of your customers, making them feel comfortable when working with and purchasing products from you.

I have …Read More

Principle 4- Define the Process

An Excerpt from "The 7 Principles of a High Performing Dealership"

The more you can repeat an action the better you become at performing that action.

As an owner or manager, you do not want there to be variability in your processes. Take McDonalds, for example. When they hire an employee to make fries they are not asking for their interpretation on the process. They do not ask if Sally, the fry maker, would like to have a say in the fry seasoning process. They use pictures and make the process as simple as possible. Sally’s interpretation of the fry making process …Read More

Negotiation

An Excerpt from "The 7 Principles of a High Performing Dealership"

Negotiation is about preparation, and nothing is more important in the process of negotiation as the creation of packages you can use to negotiate with. Depending upon the distance between you and a prospect and the type of equipment you are selling, you might need a package that is worth a few dollars—up to several hundred dollars. As an example, if you are selling a chain saw , then you need to have a low-dollar negotiation package that might represent something like a small card good for a six-pack of …Read More

Triage Basics for Peak Season

Triaging is vital to keeping our shops moving and our techs efficient. For many of you, season has begun and it is important to review the basics of the triaging process. The triaging process happens after the equipment has been checked into the dealership, the work order has been filled out and hopefully signed by the customer, and a red ribbon has been attached to show the equipment has just been checked in.

At 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the service coordinator will go to the service manager or service writer, take the clipboards and begin sorting out the equipment based …Read More