Sam Dantzler is a veteran sales trainer whose resume includes stints as CEO of the Retail Powersports Management Group, and partner with Lemco and Ride Now. He’s also a powersports enthusiast who owns 51 motorcycles and is working on acquiring more. It’s this perspective that keeps his training skills in big demand with many major OEMs.
Dealernews asked Dealership University's Rod Stuckey to speak with Dantzler on management issues. Dantzler will be conducting management seminars during the upcoming Dealer Expo and American V-Twin Dealer Show, Feb. 17-19, 2012.
Rod Stuckey: What are some of the challenges that dealer principals and sales managers face in today’s market?
Dantzler: We had it very good in this industry and we could afford to mess up. We could afford to not acknowledge everybody coming through the door, and still walk away with a very profitable business.
Those times are gone.
I believe you have plenty of people coming through your door. It's just a matter of tracking the people who are coming in and staying in touch with them. The difference between [the boom times] and now is that it’s absolutely critical to stay in touch with people. It’s absolutely critical to reach out … to have a CRM and maintain those relationships.
In the day-to-day swirl, how to do dealers stay connected and build relationships with customers?
Dantzler: Two words: mandated behaviors. You have a mandated behavior that requires that everybody you engage with makes it on to either the traffic log or the CRM. Then you have the ability to stay in touch with that person.
On the parts counter, track all your inbound phone calls and call them back at the end of the day to make sure they got what they were looking for. The service department should follow up with customers to make sure that the service work they had done on the bike was to their liking.
That’s just out of the norm in this industry, but it creates relationships, and it creates loyalty.
I always reference Disney. Anyone who’s ever been to Disneyland understands that there’s an entire organization with tens of thousands of employees who operate with mandated behaviors — whether it’s smiling at the customers, how they engage customers or the fact that you don’t see people at Disney with facial hair because it’s quite simply not allowed.
This story originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Dealernews.