January '20

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10 • RV PRO • January 2020 rv-pro.com Ideas are powerful. That's especially true in business, where good ideas can lead to new prod- ucts and services, new and innovative ways of conducting business, and new enterprises. Recently, RV PRO asked more than 20 notable industry leaders, consultants and other experts representing a wide field of expertise – including F&I, sales, mar- keting, merchandising, parts, service and training – to share nugget-sized bits of advice that dealers can employ in the year ahead to become more efficient, effective and profitable. Of course, every dealership is different, so some ideas may be more applicable than others for individual dealers. Still, even one good idea, properly imple- mented, can be a game changer for the dealer who acts upon it. Read on to find out what advice the experts have for dealers for 2020. Modernize Your F&I Processes for Today's Tech-Savvy Shoppers If today's cus- tomers are buying units with a click of a mouse and a few details via keyboard entr y, rest assured they also are shopping for financing and service contracts using the same level of technology. Is your F&I department staying current with the changing times? What kind of presence does the finance department have on your deal- ership's website? (Hint: It should be more than a place to submit a credit application.) Also, does the F&I department have a remote presentation it can deliver at a moment notice? Can your F&I staff do an effective cash conversion using a GoToMeeting venue with a customer? Online buyers respond to those who reply to their inquiries – and to those who make the transaction easy and trans- parent. Assume in advance you are going to be shopped. Sell the benefits of doing business with your dealership and the companies you represent. Are you going to be able to hold the same profit as you would if the customer was not an Internet buyer? Most likely the answer is no, so you need to make it up by selling all of your products – not just the one or two most expensive items. You can do this by creating value with your "customer care" package (which you should promote with a well-written piece on your website). Finally, be prepared to show video testimonials from happy customers to appeal to tech-savvy shoppers. Jan Kelly, president Kelly Enterprises (F&I/ sales training and consulting firm) Leverage Key Metrics in Your Parts Dept. The Internet retailer is here to stay. The result is that parts store traffic is harder to achieve than it was even five years ago. However, that does not mean that your parts store sales or profit need to be declining. The RV aftermarket is mature. To be profitable in a mature market, your dealership needs to leverage key metrics. Obviously, gross margin is one of those metrics, but mature markets by defini- tion have downward pressure on price and therefore gross margin. The answer is measuring inventory turnover with gross margin. In the inven- tory management world, this is called gross margin return on inventory (GMROI). This measurement combines your inven- tory turns with your gross margin to give you the best measure of profitability pos- sible from one number. The next key metric is average sale per customer. If you have fewer customers entering your dealership, then the key is to get more sales per customer. Have the entire dealership – but especially the parts department – focus on the average sale per customer. In the parts business, this equates to making sure every RV buyer leaves with all the accessories they could possibly need to enjoy their new purchase. RVIA in August released its second aftermarket survey regarding consumer Top experts from a variety of fields share nuggets of advice on how dealers can be more efficient, effective and profitable in the new year. S PEC I A L S EC T I O N O U T LO O K 2 02 0 for 20 + 2020 Compiled by Bradley Worrell TIPS

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