Make All Deliveries Special

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The OEMs often impose a vehicle delivery process on their dealerships. What locks these dealers into this organized, determined process is the customer satisfaction survey. Many manufacturers tie the survey score to dealership awards, vehicle allocations, special vehicle models, etc. Some dealers have adopted the delivery process to the point that it is now second nature.

Follow the same procedure for your pre-owned bikes. Doing this will reinforce that your dealership treats all customers well. Plus, your sales reps will have the opportunity to practice their delivery techniques over and over. No exceptions.

Look over your manufacturer's customer delivery sheet. Make enough photo copies so that the same process can be completed on used bike deliveries. This is usually some form of vehicle preparation checklist. Most include places for the rider to sign off acknowledging acceptance of the bike. Most also state that the dealership has delivered an owner's manual, two sets of keys, and other items. One copy goes in the deal jacket and another to the customer.

Extra Keys

Whenever you trade for a vehicle, get all keys and the owner's manual. Train your sales reps to ask for these items at the time of appraisal. Because most riders don't bring these items with them, sales reps will have to ask.

The request can even be worked into the conversation about the appraisal. The rep says, "Here is what we can offer if you trade now," and if the rider resists, the rep explains that the dealership might be able to allow an additional $50 to $100 if the rider can provide the manual and all keys.

Don't pass on a sale if the rider can't honor the request. But asking should be part of the process.

If you have a used bike in stock that doesn't have a manual and keys, have your used bike manager order the appropriate items from your parts department. Don't wait for the customer to ask, "Uh, do you have another key?" To which the sales rep replies, , we only got that one from the fellow who traded the bike, but we can order one at the parts department." Why make your customer feel like a second-class citizen because she's buying a used bike? Why make her ask for it and then get a puzzled look from the sales rep?

If a rep has convinced a customer to pay top dollar for a used bike, you don't want any hard feelings. You don't want her telling everyone how much she paid and saying, "And they only gave me one key!"

Extra keys and a manual are another way to confirm value in the minds of your customers. Not only can you tell them about the precise checklist that you follow for prepping the used bike for resale, but that at the time of delivery customers receive the same things new-bike buyers do.

Nothing Different

Sales reps should go over the operating controls of the bike. They should make sure the bike has a full tank of gas and that the rider knows how to put gas in the bike. Sounds simple, but little things add up.

Before the new customer rides off into the sunset, the sales rep should introduce him to someone in clothing, in parts and accessories, and in service, then review with him the customer satisfaction survey.

Probably none of the OEMs surveys used bike buyers. But at least one already offers a certified used bike program. As these programs spread, surveys will come.

Sales reps need to follow up within three days of the rider's taking delivery of the bike, just as they do with new bikes. Start the follow-up call differently by saying, "I was just following up to see if you had any questions." Train sales reps to ask for referrals.

Having the same delivery process for all bikes you sell substantiates value in your customers' minds. It keeps the sales department on track doing the same professional duties over and over. The process becomes second nature to them, and this will benefit your new bike deliveries too.

Jay Williams is the owner of Motorcycle Maxx Ltd. in Raleigh, NC. E-mail questions and comments to editors@dealernews.com.