Idea List: Recapping Seminar

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Did you miss the "30 Ideas in 30 Minutes" seminar? Here's some of what was discussed during Steve Zarwell's Saturday and Sunday Dealernews LIVE sessions.

Build a lifestyle display. You'd like to think that your customers "get" what riding is all about, but many times they don't. So bring in some props and open up their minds.

Have demo rides. Sure, every dealer hates to allow demos, but they're the most successful way to sell a vehicle. Make sure you've got all the right forms, though.

Hire or train an aftermarket specialist. This person becomes the liaison among Sales, F&I and Parts.

Get a service greeter. This person greets the customer (especially in the morning), helps him or her offload the vehicle for service, and gets the basic information for the service writer.

Put an accessory display in the Service department. Why wouldn't you? It creates interest and reduces boredom. Customers can look at tires just so long.

Automate your CSI. Because customers don't take calls.

Rotate your Parts counter displays. Grocery stores do it at their checkout counters, and you should, too.

Delegate merchandising. Have your aftermarket specialist remerchandise the parts and accessories area, because they have the time and the talent for it.

Floor-survey your customers once a week. Find out what they like, what they want, and what they're not seeing. Make sure you're filling the need, not the shelves.

Hire a dedicated F&I person. This is essential if you sell 25 units or more a year.

Review your finance sources. Do this on a monthly basis with your F&I manager. Track the buy rates.

Institute menu selling. It protects you and the customer.

Cover your Parts and Service expenses with your Parts and Service department profits.

Consider a Sweep Account with your bank. Sweep accounts can earn you great interest income, but you have to negotiate with the bank.

For more information, contact Zarwell at sbz_co@pacbell.net.